Ever since The Walking Dead premiered in 2010, the show and its various spin-offs have enjoyed a great deal of success in terms of ratings and merchandise sales. Of course, part of the reason for that is all of the loyal and passionate fans who want to know all of the cool facts about what went on behind the scenes of The Walking Dead. Additionally, The Walking Dead also has lots of casual fans who aren’t as knowledgeable about the show’s behind-the-scenes dramas.
When people tune in to this popular show, they assume that producing the series is a lot of fun even though The Walking Dead has featured many extremely sad scenes and incredibly tense sequences. For the most part that seems to be right as it is very clear that many Walking Dead cast members have gone on to become the closest of friends. On the other hand, some shockingly intense things have happened on the set of The Walking Dead. For example, it is simply amazing that one Walking Dead cast member had a S.W.A.T. team called on him for good reason.
Other Intense Behind-The-Scenes Walking Dead Incidents
When most movies and TV shows are filmed, the stars spend hours on end lounging around waiting to be called to set. While it seems safe to assume that happened on the set of The Walking Dead as well, it is very clear that producing the show became very intense at times. For example, when The Walking Dead comics creator Robert Kirkman spoke to Entertainment Weekly, he revealed that Steven Yeun passed out during his first day on set.
“I guess he didn’t anticipate how much running he was going to be doing because we ended up having to do a few takes, and he hadn’t eaten anything, so he kind of blacked out on his first day of shooting. So we always used to make fun of him for that and he was always a good sport about it.”
Of course, The Walking Dead is known for its many memorable character deaths. Despite all of the experience that the show’s producers had filming scenes like that, things got out of hand on The Walking Dead’s set is when the death scene for Dante was filmed. According to that actor who brought Dante to life, Juan Javier Cardenas paid the price when things went wrong due to fake blood.
“You see the life-size puddle of blood on the floor — well, slight problem is that by take 15 that blood starts to congeal and starts to get sticky. And then the retractable knife started to get stuck a little bit. So by take 15, my liver was, you know, I ended up taking a couple of shots, delivered with a non-retractable knife a little bit.”
A S.W.A.T. Team Is Called On Michael Rooker
During Michael Rooker’s lengthy Hollywood career, the actor has appeared in many classic films alongside some of the top actors of all time. On top of that, it is well known that directors like James Gunn love working with Rooker so much that they cast him whenever they can. Despite Rooker’s truly impressive filmography, there still are a lot of people who know the actor best for his Walking Dead role.
Cast as Merle Dixon, the big brother of many Walking Dead fans’ favorite character Daryl, Michael Rooker appeared in 14 episodes of the popular show. While that number pales in comparison to the number of episodes The Walking Dead’s main stars appeared in, Rooker still had a pretty big impact on the hit show. After all, Rooker was so great as Merle that many viewers wept when the character died even though he was racist, abusive, and misogynistic when the show began.
As it turns out, it wasn’t only The Walking Dead fans who had a big reaction to Michael Rooker’s portrayal of Merle Dixon. After all, while filming an early episode of The Walking Dead, someone called the S.W.A.T. team on Rooker. While it seems wild that an actor had a S.W.A.T. team called on them, it makes perfect sense that the cops were called on Rooker based on how things played out.
During the second episode of The Walking Dead’s first season, a group of survivors finds themselves on the roof of a building that is surrounded by walkers. At one point in the rooftop sequence, Merle Dixon can be seen dispatching walkers by firing on them from the top of the building with the kind of firearm that is easy to see from a long distance. Of course, it seems very safe to assume that the proper permits were in place before that sequence was filmed. However, the people in the neighboring buildings wouldn’t have known that and they had no idea that the man with the weapon firing blanks wasn’t a real danger. As a result, Rooker had a S.W.A.T. team called on him.
During a making-of video on The Walking Dead, Michael Rooker described what took place once the S.W.A.T. team was called in. “I was shooting zombies, you know, and I didn’t really have any concern for that, until I actually did the first shot and I saw people jump and run. They had already dispatched the S.W.A.T. team. The officer said please, stand down, we’re shooting a movie.” Based on that description, it seems like the S.W.A.T. team situation was seen as a funny anecdote. However, if the S.W.A.T. team didn’t identify that Rooker was an actor on a set right away, something tragic easily could have happened.