The Walking Dead’s Ryan Hurst Reveals Beta’s Tragic Origin Story Not Told on the Show

Ryan Hurst reveals Whisperer Beta's never-before-told origin story after the latest episode of The Walking Dead, "Look at the Flowers," revealed the masked murderer was once a famed country music singer named Half Moon. Confirmation of Beta's secret identity comes after flashbacks seen in 1002, "We Are the End of the World," revealed the flesh mask Beta never removes is made from his best friend's face. Beta's real face was shown on vinyl records seen in a Season 5 episode of Fear the Walking Dead, followed by the performer's music being played at Hilltop earlier in The Walking Dead Season 10.

"Originally, it was one of those weird things. When I had read the comic, when they brought me on board to do the show, Beta was an actor and a basketball player," Hurst said on Talking Dead about Beta's little touched comic book backstory. "But the way it was revealed in the comic almost felt like more of a comedic bit than anything else, and I didn't really see any sort of real longevity to that for the narrative over two or three seasons. So I was like, 'What can we come up with that has more legs to it?'"

The idea that Beta was a country singer came to the actor while meditating, a background Hurst pitched to showrunner Angela Kang.

"I just had this little vision, I was just trying to think of, I wanted him to keep his mask on all the time. And I was trying to think of, narratively, why someone would keep a mask on all the time," Hurst said. "I just sort of invented this little backstory about him being a country music singer and a source of sort of inspiration to people before the apocalypse."

Sometime before Beta met Alpha (Samantha Morton) in the first years of the apocalypse, a meeting revealed in "We Are the End of the World," the world-famous musician had a traumatic encounter at the onset of the outbreak that forced him to keep his face hidden beneath a balaclava.

"I just had this idea about what if, right after the apocalypse, somebody broke into his house and he had to end up killing somebody, defending his family or something," Hurst said. "In my mind, I just sort of ran with this idea like somebody broke into his house, he had to defend his family, and he was killing them, and he was stabbing them and he flipped them over, he saw the person he was killing was wearing his band’s t-shirt."

"I was like, that would be a reason why somebody would sort of cloak who they were for the rest of the apocalypse," Hurst added. "He was gonna let the life that he led before the apocalypse continue to inspire people, but if he had to kill people in the meantime, he was gonna do that also."


Hurst previously teased Beta's secret backstory could unfold somewhere outside of The Walking Dead.

New episodes of The Walking Dead Season 10 premiere Sundays on AMC. For all things TWD, follow the author @CameronBonomolo on Twitter.