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The Walking Dead Q&A – Michael Cudlitz (Abraham Ford)

Michael Cudlitz, who plays Abraham Ford on AMC’s The Walking Dead, talks about Eugene‘s (Josh McDermitt) secret and who would win in a brawl between Abraham and Rick (Andrew Lincoln).

Q: We get a peek into Abraham’s back story in Episode 505. Were you given a lot of information ahead of time or did you find out more about him as you went along?

A: When I was first hired, I asked Scott [Gimple] if there was a need for me to read the comic books, to which he responded, “Absolutely.” Abraham’s back story is very, very similar to what happens in the comics. It’s emotionally dead-on. There’s a lot of value in having the audience understand what pushes him forward.

Q: Abraham probably reaches his lowest point when he realizes Eugene is a fraud. What advice would you give Abraham?

A: I have not experienced a loss like Abraham has. I don’t know if too many people have. It may be the lowest point, but it just means that things cannot and will not get any worse. That being said, there’s got to be hope.

Q: Were you as shocked as Abraham was to find out Eugene isn’t a real scientist?

A: That’s a pretty major lie… In Episode 505, we talk about the people who gave their lives for this mission, but we never talk about the people that Abraham has killed for the mission. There have been a lot because of this lie. He’s a crafty little bastard!

Q: Your character is so focused on protecting Eugene. Have you ever looked out for a friend that much?

A: I think it’s in my nature to look after people. A couple of the cast members jokingly call me Dad because I check in on really stupid things that I know everybody knows, but I can’t stop myself sometimes. I’m sure some of them wish I would stop worrying about adults. [Laughs]

Q: Have you ever found yourself pursuing a mission so single-mindedly? 

A: The stakes in the show are so interesting because everyone is literally trying to save their own lives. It’s about life and death every day. There are not too many situations you’re put into where the everyday stakes are that high and the focus is that intense without burning you out. In this case, staying alive is encapsulated in the goal. I don’t know if it’s even possible to do that. I’ve certainly had goals I’ve put a lot of work into, but I don’t think this type of focus is even achievable in a way that’s healthy.

Q: Abraham commandeers a fire truck in Episode 505. Had you ever driven one before?

A: The irony with large vehicles is that they actually do keep breaking down. The motor on that truck blew up while getting to the location. Every day that we did not need it to move, it worked. [Laughs]

Q: Where would you want to travel to in the event of an apocalypse and why?

A: I credit Alanna Masterson (Tara) with this answer. She said that she would find an island and clear it. I mean, [zombies] can’t swim, but can they walk underwater? I don’t know. If I were writing it, I would make everyone think that they were safe until walkers were coming up on the beach.

Q: Abraham says he’s “relaxing the grooming standards.” Do you enjoy the facial hair or a more clean-shaven look?

A: I think the facial hair is fun and very specifically paints him as Abraham. What kind of personality would be aware of that specific of a look and maintain it? That’s his version of keeping his s—t together. Now, let’s be clear… he talks about relaxing the grooming standards, but they’ve already been relaxed!

Q: Abraham is such a strong-minded character and a leader in his own right. Who do you think would win in a brawl between him and Rick?

A: It would be close because Rick’s not a dummy, but if Abraham didn’t get too cocky, then I’m sure it’d be Abraham.

Q: Who would you follow: Rick or Abraham?

A: Depends on which Rick we’re talking about. I do think that Rick could ultimately come up with a great plan, while Abraham is able to initiate it.

Q: Abraham is in a relationship with Rosita (Christian Serratos). Do you think it’s possible to find love amidst an apocalypse?

A: It’s possible to find love anywhere. It would take on a different form and it goes hand-in-hand with hope. If love is dead, then what’s the point of living?

Q: With Sasha losing Bob (Lawrence Gilliard Jr.) in Episode 503, Sonequa Martin-Green told us that heartbreak is even more painful during an apocalypse. Would you agree?

A: I think the losses have been so great that there’s very little left of us. The dating pool gets a little thinner in this world.

Read an interview with Emily Kinney, who plays Beth Greene on AMC’s The Walking Dead.

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