The Walking Dead

Walking Dead’s Josh McDermitt Recalls Fun Memory of Meeting Michael Cudlitz

Josh McDermitt recalls meeting Michael Cudlitz, with whom he “just had a connection immediately," on their flight to start filming The Walking Dead.

Actor Josh McDermitt, who plays Eugene on The Walking Dead, recalls a fun memory of the first time he met costar Michael Cudlitz. The Walking Dead, which is based on Robert Kirkman’s beloved comic book series of the same name, premiered on AMC in 2010 and quickly became a global phenomenon, spawning spinoffs Fear the Walking Dead and The Walking Dead: World Beyond. The Walking Dead’s 11th and final season is currently airing on AMC.

McDermitt and Cudlitz joined the show in season 4, episode 10, “Inmates.” Cudlitz plays Sgt. Abraham Ford, the leader of a group trying to safely escort McDermitt’s character Eugene Porter to Washington, D.C., in the false belief that Eugene can find a cure there for the zombie plague. Their group soon becomes allied with the show’s core group of survivors, led by Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln). Though Abraham met a bloody end at the hands of Negan and his trusty Lucille, Cudlitz has returned to The Walking Dead as a director multiple times. Thanks to Eugene’s ability to lie his way out of trouble, McDermitt is still on the show.

In an interview with (via ComicBook), McDermitt shared a fun memory of the first time he met Cudlitz when the two actors were seated next to each other on their flight to Georgia before filming began. McDermitt recalls that he was “personally freaking out” about being on The Walking Dead, and he and Cudlitz “just had a connection immediately.” Read what he had to say below:

“I didn’t know him before The Walking Dead. We were on the same flight out. I remember seeing him on Band of Brothers and seeing a few episodes of Southland, and all of a sudden I’m sitting next to him on a flight. We didn’t talk to each other on the flight because it was loud and everyone’s got their headphones in, plus we’re not really supposed to be talking about being on the show. Then at one point as we were about to land, he turned and looked at me, stuck his fist out, and I gave him a fist bump and I was like, ‘Oh this guy’s cool.’ He knows how exciting this is.

This is a guy who’s been around forever, and I’m personally freaking out like, ‘Oh my God, I’m going to be on The Walking Dead!’ And that little fist pump was his little, ‘Oh my God, I’m going to be on The Walking Dead!’ And I love that. We just had a connection immediately, you know?”

McDermitt also shares how much he appreciates “any chance” to work with Cudlitz, whether it’s when they’re onscreen together or when Cudlitz directs an episode of The Walking Dead – or even when they sit at tables next to each other at fan conventions. He also expounds on their friendship, saying “when [Cudlitz] left the show, we lost a pillar within the cast” and “losing him, for me, it was losing one of my closest friends.” 

As the beloved series approaches its end, it’s inevitable that the cast and crew, who have undoubtedly become extremely close over the years, will be starting to feel nostalgic about their time on The Walking Dead, and sad to say goodbye both to the show and to one another. Fans, too, will be sorry to see the series finish its run, but they will at least have multiple The Walking Dead spinoffs to help them move on. Many of the actors will likely consider their time surviving the zombie apocalypse as a high point of their careers, and one that has created lifelong friendships. One thing’s for sure – from sitting next to each other on that first flight to Georgia, to sitting next to each other at conventions devoted to how much fans love their work on The Walking Dead, McDermitt and Cudlitz have been on quite the journey together.

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