At the recent Walker Stalker Con in Orlando Florida, which took place June 27th & 28th, 2015, actor Tyler James Williams, who played the recent fan favorite character Noah on The Walking Dead, spoke on stage to fans for the first time since his character met an untimely demise on the AMC hit zombie show.
The actor indicated that at his last convention appearance was in Dallas Texas just prior to his character Noah being killed off. In fact, the actor had to cut short his appearance at the Dallas convention as he needed to be in Las Angeles for an appearance on The Talking Dead, where it would be revealed that Noah had in fact been mauled and devoured by a ravenous group of zombies.
Williams indicated that having to be quite after learning of Noah’s planned demise was actually quite hard to keep secret, especially throughout that Dallas convention as it took place on the very same weekend in which Noah would become zombie food. Even the cast could not stop talking about it to themselves, with the actor saying, “It was so hard not to say anything.”
Williams also began to speak about actually watching fans react to his face being ripped apart on line, just as crowds could be heard in another part of the convention floor cheering and applauding in the background. The actor continued talking about his surprise at how much reaction there actually was to Noah’s death and said, “It was crazy and really nuts, but it shows that people related and connected,” before being interrupted by the panel host who asked, “I would imagine it was kind of cool to see that you had an impact on the fans?”
“Yeah it was cool and it was something that I didn’t think would be that big of a deal!? And mainly because of how long I had been there. I was only there nine episodes and it was kind of like, well no one is really going to care about a character who really hasn’t been there that long. But you know, it was the exact opposite.”
Then as the host begins to respond to Williams, the gathered fans sitting in on the panel begin to applause and cheer as Josh McDermitt who plays Eugene on the Walking Dead walks on stage to a huge round of applause from the audience, along with the added surprise of both the panel host and Williams himself. So the earlier and far off heard cheers during the panel were actually fans reacting to McDermitt leaving his booth in order to walk over to surprise Williams at his first panel after Noah’s death.
As McDermitt waves to the crowd he then embraces Williams and immediately grabs the microphone out of the actors hands and almost as if he were in physical pain says, “I miss Noah so much!” as he looks out and into the crowd with a small pause before continuing on, “It pains me!” With that, both the panel moderator and Williams begin laughing along with the crowd as the fun being had on stage is quite apparent, good humored and infectious.
With that the moderator seizes the moment and asks a question of McDermitt, who should not be on stage as he is an actor still currently on the show and barred from giving interviews in between seasons while The Walking Dead is actually filming. “So while we have you here, how mad should Noah be that Eugene didn’t come a little bit sooner with his van?” To which both Williams and the crowd make a face of mock surprise and anger as McDermitt responds, “Oh no, Eugene wanted that.” says McDermitt with a devilish grin on his face as all on stage again laugh heartily along with the crowd.
“He’s like, ‘My plan is coming together.’” as he looks around to the audience as if to bring the point home before turning back to the seated Williams and mockingly says, “Goodbye Noah.” Both actors begin to laugh as McDermitt hands the microphone back to Williams before blowing a kiss to the gathered fans and then once again snatching the microphone lovingly from Williams saying, “Peace Out.” with a peace sign in the air towards the fans in the audience.
The crowd cheers as McDermitt walks off waving to the crowd and quietly says goodbye to his friend and costar before Williams himself still smiling says, “That turn that we had to take emotionally which was like, ‘Yeah Eugene finally stepped up!’, and it means absolutely nothing for me. Great!” As the crowd laughs with Williams feigning insult and shaking his head up and down sarcastically. “He finally does this and I’m gone.”
The panel host then says, “There was a lot of foreshadowing in the episode, like when you were talking to Reg and you said,” with Williams jumping in and finishing his sentence, “Oh you mean,’Being here for the long haul!?’” as the crowd laughs at Williams timing.
“That was a line that to all of us knowing what was happening made it super obvious. So it was a line that was very hard for me to deliver.” With Williams indicating that he really did not know what to do with that as he smiles along side the laughter from the audience.
“You watched the episode?” asked the moderator, to which Williams responded, “I did. I did eventually see it.” with Williams going on to say that that there were multiple hints even a couple of episodes before Noah was killed that foretold Noah’s upcoming demise. “There were tons of them and as we were going through, like in a scene with Maggie, Noah and Glenn where she says, “You’re family know and you’re here to stay.” The crowd again laughs as Williams continues to say how comments like that made it so clear to him that Noah was going to die next.
The moderator then looks out at the crowd and asks if anyone knows the techno music line that was playing in the van as Eugene was driving it, with a fan yelling out, “Now you’re going to die!” With Williams pointing to the fan and saying, “Exactly,” before making techno sounds and dance-like motions before repeating, “Now you’re going to die!” and as the crowd is chuckling he looks bewildered with a whimsical gesture and says, “Really?” which garners even more cheerful laughter from the audience.
“And if you actually freeze frame the scene I’m going” to which Williams again makes the previous whimsical gesture, “right before the line ‘Now you’re going to die.’” To which the crowd applauds and gives the actor some Walking Dead fan love.
At this point Williams really seems to be endearing himself to the audience and I then ask the actor if he is a reader of the Walking Dead comic book, to which he indicated that he is now after being a late fan of the comic series once coming onto the show. “Now I can’t put it down.” said Williams as he referred to the monthly series from Image Comics and Robert Kirkman’s Skybound imprint.
I then asked the young actor to speak to the clues given in season 5’s episode nine, ‘What Happened and What’s Going On’ in which Tyreese dies after the group returns Noah to his home. I was also extra careful to point out to Williams that I was looking for his answer not as an actor who was on the show, but rather as a fan of the comic series with respect to all of the signs, which seemed to indicate that Glenn would be meeting his end sometime in season six at the end of Neggan’s bat ‘Lucielle’?
Williams then seemed to get a bit uncomfortable as an actor as I again reminded him that I was asking for his personal opinion as a fan and not as an actor, to which he stressed, “As a fan?” as he looked at me with large mocking eyes.
He then went on to say quite candidly that episode nine in particular has a lot of foreshadowing and clues in it with respect to Neggan and the Wolves. He was quite specific in fact to tell everyone gathered in the audience to look at the episode again very closely in order to gleam secrets of pain still to come where Glenn is concerned.
Williams specifically referred to the scene in which Glenn gives Noah the bloody bat to hold as if Glenn was giving his character Noah the bloody bat first so as to indicate who would be dying before the other.
Now while Williams did not specifically say that Glenn was going to die at the hands of Neggan and his pet bat ‘Lucielle’, he did in fact hint heavily that there are many spoilers in episode nine of the season 5 that would seem to point to Glenn as the next major death in the coming season of AMC’s The Walking Dead.
Tyler James William’s Walker Stalker Con panel was quite fun, entertaining and quite telling from a behind the scenes look at both Noah and Williams as the actor behind the role, as well as from the perspective of the many hints dropped in episode nine of season 5 with respect to Glenn’s uncertain future.