As those of us who’ve earnestly studied The Walking Dead Season 5 trailer know well, so much depends on a mullet-sporting doctor. At least it sure seems that way.
With most of the Grimes Gang — plus Dr. Eugene Porter (Josh McDermitt) and his faithful security detail Rosita Espinosa (Christian Serratos) and Sgt. Abraham Ford (Michael Cudlitz) — trapped in a Terminus train car by the possibly people-eating Gareth (Andrew J. West) and his fellow Terminans, Porter’s insistence that a cure awaits in Washington, D.C. appears to be the group’s only salvation. That’s not lost on McDermitt, who along with Cudlitz and Serratos joined the AMC drama midway through last season. “It’s just exciting,” says the actor and comedian. “I’m a fan of the show and to have such a pivotal role is amazing.”
So as Season 5 bows Sunday night in what the show’s brass has promised will be a thrill-a-millisecond premiere, McDermitt says it’s all about trust — where to build it, when to withhold it and what the fallout of each might be —especially for Dr. Porter.
“He had a hard time trusting Glenn when Glenn came on the scene, and to bring in Bob and Maggie and Sasha when they were traveling to Terminus — just because you end up trusting someone, it doesn’t mean you trust the people they trust,” McDermitt explains. “So it’s interesting to have that responsibility — you can’t really let everybody know what is going on, because you just don’t know what their motives are.”
While we wait for Sunday night to arrive, we trusted McDermitt with our “7 Questions.”
1. You’re at a magazine rack and can only pick three titles. Which ones do you choose?
Men’s Health, Architectural Digest, and then I’d grab something I’d never even heard of or wouldn’t bother to read. Something like Cat Fancy or Guns & Ammo. There’s some gems in there!
2. If your TV carried just three shows or networks, what would they be?
AMC and The Walking Dead. I need the show Veep — that’s my favorite comedy on TV right now. And I’m really getting into Brooklyn Nine-Nine now, too.
3. Tell us about your strangest fan encounter.
[Laughing] Ohhhh, I never thought that this was going to come up. A woman who was a mortician gave me a [morticians’ A/V plug] that they use in bodies. It hadn’t been used — and it’s like a corkscrew. It screws in, and she said, “It doesn’t come out, so don’t try it.” I was like, “Thank you!” And then I threw it away.
4. Tell us about a time when you were starstruck.
When I met Jim Rome, the sports host. I used to produce a syndicated radio show out of Arizona and we were broadcasting from the studio next door to his in Sherman Oaks, Calif. I went into the kitchen to get a cup of coffee and he was in there making the coffee. All of a sudden I got a dry mouth and couldn’t say anything except, “Heeeeyyyy.”
5. What are three things you have to have in your fridge or pantry?
String cheese. Definitely need to have some chicken that is not expired. And then maybe Brussels sprouts.
6. Is there a special Walking Dead School of Secrecy you guys have to attend to deal with people like me?
I’ll be honest, we don’t really get coached on this stuff — we just live in fear. We don’t want to be the one who slips up — ‘Did you hear about McDermitt? He’s the one who told everyone the Governor died, so let’s kill him now!’ Everyone’s just living in fear for their jobs. Sometimes I’d rather just not know — ‘Oh where’s so and so?’ ‘He died three episodes ago.’ ‘WHAT?!’
7. If Eugene did get eaten by a zombie, what would he taste like?
Hopefully, pulled pork.
Josh McDermitt as Dr. Eugene Porter: AMC/Gene Page
Josh McDermitt Photo Credit: Riker Brothers