The Walking Dead‘s Co-Executive Producer Denise Huth talks about portraying the Governor’s wife and her No. 1 tip for surviving the apocalypse.
Q: After four seasons of The Walking Dead, what aspects of production still manage to surprise you?
A: That it never gets easier! [Laughs] You’d think it’d become routine at a certain point — and it doesn’t — it just gets bigger and harder. It’s great and it makes the show fun. It always feels like a new challenge and not just another day on The Walking Dead.
Q: How is the location scouting going? Can you tell us about any new locations for this season?
A: We’re out of the prison and we’re on the road; and we will see a little more of Terminus. The [survivors] don’t have a space to get back to, like the prison, so this year will be really brand new, which is exciting.
Q: We saw a photo of you as The Governor’s wife during Seasons 3 and 4. Did anyone actually recognize you?
A: I do meet people who love the show and slide in the fact that I’m the Governor’s dead wife. They always want to go back and watch the episode to see the picture. It’s the best cameo because I didn’t have to do any acting, plus Greg [Nicotero] can’t make me into a zombie because she died a year before the apocalypse happened. David Morrissey (The Governor) used to always tease me because he was this normal, nice guy and then I died and he went crazy. So, apparently it’s my fault that The Governor even existed.
Q: Any other buried Easter eggs from last season that we might have missed? Will there be any this season?
A: When Daryl was in the country club last season, all those pictures of the club presidents were pictures of our crew. A lot of times when we need photos that have to be used, so we use people from the crew. There are always tiny things like that where we won’t highlight it too much — it’s more for the people who work on the show, but there will probably be a few this year.
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Q: You produced the horror film The Mist. Have you always enjoyed working in horror?
A: I love a good story. That’s what’s great about The Walking Dead. It’s not just gore and fear for the sake of it. There’s something about scaring people that really gets them invested. My best friend always calls me, freaking out on the phone as she’s watching the show. I’ve never actually had a zombie nightmare after all these years on the show, though.
Q: What’s most challenging about the Georgia weather as production goes into the summer months? Have you developed any new ways to keep cool?
A: The heat is definitely a huge challenge, but you do get used to it. The costume designer does a lot of things to wardrobe to help them cool down, like letting air come in or using cold packs. Everyone is in danger of passing out. Thankfully, it works with the show because the characters are supposed to be hot and tired.
Q: What’s most exciting about putting together the premiere episode? How does it compare to creating a finale?
A: Premieres are exciting because the audience is dying to know what’s happening, especially this year since we ended on a cliffhanger. It’s about answering all those questions that fans have had all summer long, and setting up where we’re going for the rest of the year. Scott Gimple is very good at laying in all these little details in the first few episodes that will pay off during the season. With the finale, you want to be satisfied and leave people wanting more.
Q: What are you most looking forward to fans seeing in the upcoming season?
A: A lot has happened to these people while they were apart. We don’t know where Beth is, the group doesn’t know what happened with Lizzie and Mika…there’s a lot of story that will affect these characters. Seeing them back together after everything they’ve lost will be really exciting.
Q: What’s your Number 1 tip for surviving the apocalypse?
A: You need people to survive. You can have weapons, food and shelter, but anyone left alone in this world too long either dies or goes crazy.