With the second half of Season 2 of The Walking Dead finally making its return on Sunday, Feb. 12 at 9pm ET on AMC, the cast took some time to reflect on a cast member who won’t be returning. For the cast, as well as fans of the show, the midseason cliffhanger was simply heartbreaking when, after weeks of searching for Sophia (played by Madison Lintz), the survivors find her when she’s the last to stumble out of Hershel’s barn of walkers.
Melissa McBride who plays Carol, Sophia’s mother, said: “Madison and I are both from Atlanta and I’ve known her for awhile so I was looking forward to going through the season with her. I read the script, that she would be missing and then another script that she was still gone, and then another one where we were still looking and then, ‘Oh no.’ I was pretty upset she wasn’t going to be there, but at the time I didn’t know what the outcome was. When I read that script it was pretty devastating But, boy was she great.”
“I had a reaction even before that,” says IronE Singleton, who plays T-Dog in the series. “When we were filming Episode 2, Andrew Lincoln, who plays Rick Grimes, he and I had a conversation and he mentioned that to me. I was like ‘What!?’ And he was like, ‘Yeah, I think there’s a possibility that we might find Sophia in the barn with other walkers.’ I was like ‘No!!! You are kidding me.’”
“So that was a major blow then and that was weeks, maybe months, before we started filming Episode 7. It was painful because it’s somebody you worked with since Season 1 and you’ve become so accustomed to seeing them day in and day out — someone who has become like family, and that’s what we’ve become on that set. It wasn’t a good feeling. Then to receive the script it was like déjà vu. And to read it, it really hit home even more, and then when we actually did it — it was one of the worst feelings of my career. It was tough for everybody.”
Norman Reedus, who plays the crossbow-yielding zombie killer Daryl, was really disappointed. He said he and Lintz enjoyed a lot of fun bantering back and forth on the set, where Lintz would kid saying he was her boyfriend. “We were at an LA premiere and she had gone up to my girlfriend and told her, ‘I’m going to call you Norm-mate, because Norm is my boyfriend.” Reedus said he was really “bummed” to see her go.
Steven Yeun, who plays Glenn, summed it up saying, “It just shows we are all really tight and if anyone has to leave it’s really rough.”