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Dispatches From the Set – Co-Executive Producer Denise Huth on Season 6

The Walking Dead‘s Co-Executive Producer Denise Huth talks about welcoming Lennie James (Morgan) back to the set and the first thing she’d do upon arriving at Alexandria. 

Q: How did gear up for Season 6? Does the process get easier or harder every season?

A: In some ways, it gets easier because we’re so fortunate that we have an amazing crew who come back year after year. We’re very lucky to have everyone want to do it again. It’s harder in the sense that the show gets bigger and more complicated. It’s always amazing when we get those first few scripts in. We keep making it bigger and bigger. It’s always a thrill to come back and realize what we can actually accomplish.

Q: The group has finally made it to Alexandria! If you were a part of Rick’s crew, what would have been the first thing you did upon arriving there?

A: Probably eat something. The characters had been on the road a long time and were eating dead dogs just a few days before they got there, so having a place with food would be pretty exciting.

Q: The fans really took a liking to Aaron, but who is your favorite Alexandrian so far?

A: That’s so hard! I really like Aaron. I would probably go with him as well because he’s just so genuine. He doesn’t have ulterior motives, he sees the good in people, he’s tough and he knows how to survive. It’s not like he’s spent the entire time behind the wall like a lot of the Alexandrians have – he has an awareness of the world – but it hasn’t broken him. That’s a pretty amazing quality for anyone to have at this point.

Q: Which would be your sanctuary of choice during an apocalypse: The Prison, Terminus or Alexandria?

A: Definitely Alexandria. At Terminus, you’re pretty much lunch. The prison served its purpose and it was a good sanctuary to have for a while, but in comparison to a house, it’s no contest.

Q: So many fans were excited for Morgan’s return. Are you looking forward to seeing his storyline play out next season? Do you suspect his perception of Rick will change?

A: I’m so excited. It’s amazing to have Lennie [James] back. He’s a dream. We worked with him so long ago back in the pilot and had these little glimpses of him. His story is very interesting and he seems to be very different now. He’s obviously been on quite a journey that we don’t know about yet. Quite obviously, Rick has changed quite a bit, so they have to reacquaint with each other. They’ve actually spent a limited amount of time together, so to have them back after surviving all they’ve survived is going to be very cool to see.

Q: What has been the most shocking The Walking Dead moment for you so far? Do you think anything in Season 6 will take the cake?

A: I think one that will always be hugely jolting was last Season’s Premiere at Terminus when it becomes clear what those people were actually doing. I think the cool thing is that up until that point, I could have listed a dozen other shocking moments, so I have no doubt that this year will provided moments where you’re just like, “I can’t believe they did that!” As a fan of the show myself, it’s going to be a wild ride.

Q: What was it like seeing a clean-shaven Rick?

A: [Laughs] I remember Andy from back then and he looked so different. I definitely prefer the more clean-shaven look to the homeless man beard, but it’s strange. As a character, he’s changed so much from who he was when he woke up from that coma, so to get him back closer to the look he had back then and yet still see his entire journey on his face – it’s not just the beard that’s changed him – I think Andy plays that very well.

Q: You guys host “death dinners” when a cast member leaves the show, but are there any traditions for when new actors join The Walking Dead family? How do you welcome them?

A: Our actors are so great and it’s a great vibe. There’s always a huge effort made in welcoming new people to the set. I have great empathy for the actors because it’s got to be so tough to come into this environment when we’ve been on for so long, but our new actors always come up to me and say, “This is the best set I’ve ever been on.”

Q: Heath, from the comics, recently joined the cast. Will we be seeing anything else from the comic that you’re excited about this season?

A: It’s always fun to have the comic as a road map and we’re following along pretty closely, but we always change things up just a little bit. There will definitely be more storylines from the book that fans will recognize.

Q: What’s one thing you can’t wait for fans to see this time around?

A: The premiere episode is pretty amazing. It’s huge in a big, big way. It’s something we’ve never seen before on the show, so I’m just excited for them to come back from where we left them and how everything ended last season and hit the ground running. Even with having the road map of the comic, you still never know exactly where we’re going!

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