Melissa McBride Nearly Quit Acting Before Starring in The Walking Dead

Melissa McBride's former Walking Dead co-star IronE Singleton reflects on his time starring in the series opposite the actress, once a casting director who nearly quit acting before joining the first season of the zombie drama as Carol Peletier. McBride, who appeared in such television series as In the Heat of the Night and Walker, Texas Ranger, was convinced to audition for the Frank Darabont-directed feature film The Mist at a time when McBride had transitioned into a career as a casting director for Stilwell Casting in Atlanta, Georgia. McBride would sometimes hold auditions with Singleton before both actors were recruited to appear in The Walking Dead, developed by then-showrunner Darabont.

"That is special to see what Carol has been able to overcome," Singleton, who played T-Dog for the first three seasons of The Walking Dead, said on the latest episode of Skybound's Talk Dead to Me podcast. "And we were talking about it. Melissa, she actually called me last week, or a couple of weeks ago. That's my girl, I love Melissa. Melissa started in Atlanta, and I would actually audition for Melissa because she was a casting director for commercials in the past."

The Mist "had a lot of familiar Walking Dead faces in it," Singleton notes, referring to McBride and eventual Walking Dead co-stars Jeffrey DeMunn and Laurie Holden, who portrayed Dale and Andrea, respectively.

"We had the same agent in Atlanta and Frank Darabont called our agent and personally requested Melissa McBride because he remembered her from The Mist, and he asked her to be Carol. And she had no intentions of acting anymore," Singleton said. "I was asking her about that, I said, 'How crazy is that, Melissa?' I said, 'Are you planning on doing some more acting after The Walking Dead?' She's not in search of it."

He continued, "She's like, "I'm not really in search of anything, but if something falls in my lap, maybe.' But otherwise, I said, 'You had no intention of acting anymore, ever again, and that opportunity came.' Look at her now, I'm so happy."

Singleton would exit The Walking Dead in Season 3 episode "Killer Within," where T-Dog died protecting Carol from walkers when their base inside a cleared out prison was invaded by zombies unleashed by scorned former inmate Andrew (Markice Moore).

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As of Season 10, McBride's Carol is one of just two Walking Dead stars still with the show after appearing in its first season. The other is McBride's longtime co-star Norman Reedus, who plays Carol's best friend Daryl Dixon.

The Walking Dead next airs the Season 10 finale, “A Certain Doom,” as a special episode later this year. For all things TWD, follow the author @CameronBonomolo on Twitter.