'The Walking Dead' actor unhappy with character's sudden death

The Walking Dead is a series with one of the biggest body counts on television. In any given episode, any character can die at any time, providing some of television's most unpredictable tension. While season 2 featured some significant and shocking character offings, season 3 has only upped the ante. Remember the fourth episode of this season, "Killer Within," which unexpectedly killed off not one but two major characters? Or how about in the recent episode "Home," which saw prisoner Axel suddenly gunned down by the Governor, mid-conversation? 

While that last death was the beginning of a particularly well-received shootout for the series, it still has its detractors. Actor Lew Temple, who played Axel, was in particular disappointed with the decision. Speaking with Entertainment Weekly, the actor expressed his disappointment with the sudden killing of his character:

"[Showrunner Glen Mazzara] had a really nice visit about what we were doing with Axel, and he was so effusive and kind and lovely, saying “I really dig how you’re bringing Axel out, and the layers that are there. We can go in so many directions because you’re keeping things close to the vest and we’re not sure what he’s about. So I was fairly excited, and I got a call from his assistant the next day saying Glen wanted to speak with me, and I’m like oh, great!, assuming he’s going to want to speak more about character development. 15 to 20 seconds into the conversation he says, “Lew, this is really unfortunate but I’ve got to let you know that Axel is going to take a bullet to the head.”

Don't think that Temple finds his experience to be a bad one though. He reportedly "loved being on the show," despite being "disappointed" with his character's death. "I felt like there was a lot more to do with the character. . . So my appeal was as much for Axel as it was for Lew Temple." 

The Walking Dead's deaths always seem to feel a little cheap and played for shock value, so I can sympathize with Temple. Having said that, that was kind of the show he signed onto -- it's not one that's particularly known for really developing characters (though I will say that the Merle/Hershel and Carol/Daryl interactions from this week's "I Ain't A Judas" were pitch perfect). 

The Walking Dead airs its next episode, "Clear," this Sunday at 9/8c on AMC. 

- The Walking Dead
- Lew Temple
- amc

Written by: mcpherson
Feb 25th, 2013, 11:10 pm

Images courtesy of AMC


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Message Posted On Feb 26th, 2013, 11:37 am

Completely disagree about the show not developing characters. If we're looking past Rick, how about Glenn? Maggie? Carl? Hershel? Daryl? Merle? Carol? All of these characters have changed and developed from where they were originally.


It's baffling to read criticism about the show failing in the character development department. Seriously, I would love a few examples of genre shows with superior character development. Obviously there are a ton of Grade-A series out there that I'm missing.


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Message Posted On Feb 26th, 2013, 3:49 am

Missing an edit button :/


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Message Posted On Feb 26th, 2013, 3:44 am

Can agree to an extend. It always feels a bit "meh" when bringing a lot of new characters on a show just to kill the off one by one shortly after.

And I think Walking Dead is going downhill fast as well, sadly :/ At least from my own personal point of view. We're not afraid of the zombies anymore. It's not nearly as exciting as in the first season, with loads of character dialog and development all the tim. Now we've started even demanding action, otherwise an episode is too boring. So it's becoming just action show, where the zombies now doesn't really matter much.

Rick can just fend off two with his hands, no scratches, bites, anything. They aim incredible well while on the move with handguns, but can't hit eachother with hundreds of bullets. Dead people apparently rot within seconds, making their skulls become squishy right off the bat, ready for crushing with nothing but a shoe or so. It just doesn't cut it.

The show had so much potential, but it hasn't been used. It's still good, but AMC has definitely done a bad job since the firing :(

Really hope it picks up again, and we get some more really interesting characters, with actual human traits unlike the governor. That's just too far-fetched. Dale was a hell of a character though. Lew didn't do bad with Axel either, and Shane was definitely a great character as well, really in the whole mindset of the world they were in.

Sad for Lew he "lost" his job and doesn't get to be on the show anymore. Although I have to say that it's not the biggest loss for the show, so I really don't see it as one of the risky and courageous moves like e.g. Shane, Dale and so forth.

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