"It was one of those weird things. It was probably about eight months before I was offered the role," the former Sons of Anarchy star told EW.
"I literally had this strange premonition that I was gonna be on the show, so I literally called my agent, and I was like, 'Can you call The Walking Dead and just ask them if I can be on the show?' And they were like, 'That's not how it works. Usually, you have to audition for a role.' And I was like, 'I know, but I think I'm gonna be on the show, and I know I sound like a crazy person, but why don't you just cold call them and tell them that I'd like to be on the show?' And they were like, 'Okay, I guess.'"
Hurst's representatives reached out and the star was told "'there's nothing for you on this show.'" That would later change when The Walking Dead began to adapt the Whisperers storyline and Hurst was tipped off by Negan star and longtime friend Jeffrey Dean Morgan.
"I started getting these strange texts at like two o'clock in the morning that were these really ambiguous texts of him just going, 'Dude, this is fantastic. What a great thing,'" Hurst said.
"And I was like, 'I don't know what you're talking about,' and supposedly, he had known that I was offered the role way before I did, and then somebody said, 'You can't text him. The deal hasn't gone through yet.' So he was like, 'Oh, nothing. Never mind. Talk to you later.' So I was the last to know. It was like Norman, and Jeffrey, and [Greg Nicotero] — everybody knew before me! And then two weeks went by, and then they offered me the role. And so it's just been a blessing."
Hurst turned to the Robert Kirkman-penned comic books and engaged in discussions with showrunner Angela Kang "about how they wanted to differ from the comic book and kinda run from there, but as everybody knows, the comic is just such a tapestry of character and the beautiful world that they've created," Hurst added. "I'm just so amazed to be a part of it."
The actor debuted in Sunday's 912, 'Guardians,' when Beta captured a peeping Henry (Matt Lintz) at the Whisperers' camp. Hurst has since said he helped to hide "little pieces that may resemble other characters" in his costume as Beta, a trench coat-wearing behemoth who never removes his walker skin mask.
Beta next battles Daryl (Norman Reedus) in 913, 'Chokepoint,' premiering Sunday, March 10 at 9/8c on AMC.
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