Ross Marquand from The Walking Dead just wrapped up a convention in Bournemouth, UK, and will appear at Newcastle Film and Comic Con this weekend. He plays Aaron on the show, which is currently heading towards the finale of season six. Ross just recently appeared on the Jimmy Kimmel Show to lay down some spot-on celebrity impressions, including Michael Caine, Christopher Walken, Justin Timberlake and Kevin Spacey. He also did a wonderful micro-impression video for Vanity Fair. Marquand took time out between appearances to chat with Flickering Myth’s Tai Freligh about Negan, Jesus and season six of The Walking Dead…
Will we be seeing more of Aaron in the second half of the season?
I’m excited that Aaron is stepping up into more of a warrior role, as we saw in the raid episode, now that protecting what they call home is taking precedent over recruiting new Alexandrians.
How much of yourself do you bring to Aaron and have you taken anything away from his character and applied it to you personally?
Aaron is at his core a good guy concerned with looking after other people, and I’d like to think he and I share that in common. One of the most fascinating elements of his character is his background in Africa doing relief work, which lends him his calm and cool nature in life or death situations. I’ve had some close calls and tend to channel that collected energy when it comes down to the wire.
How do UK fans differ from US fans, i.e. experience at Walker Stalker Con in Atlanta versus Bournemouth Convention in the UK?
The fans at Walker Stalker London and Bournemouth flew in from all parts of Europe. Chatting with everyone and hearing all of the different dialects is fascinating to me, and I invariably end up picking up new ones.
Your celebrity impressions are spot on. Are you the comedic relief on a show that is so dark and grim and heavy?
We all try to keep it light when we can on set. Josh (Eugene), Michael (Abraham), and myself entertain ourselves doing voices and watching what the Internet has to offer up. One of the classics we’d watch and quote were Connor O’Malley’s vine compilations. “Oh hell yeah!”
How does Negan and the Saviours impact Aaron and Alexandria’s plan to find more survivors?
The discovery of other communities has led them down a path to band together with these groups who seem trustworthy. This revelations gives Aaron the opportunity to apply the intuition that he’s developed over years of recruiting to determine how best to combine resources.
Aaron is to Alexandria as Jesus is to Hilltop. Compare and contrast your characters!
Aaron’s methodology involves his negotiation tactics and honesty to gain the trust of people in a genuine way. Jesus, from his introduction, appears to be a bit more scrappy — his first scenes with Rick and Norman portray him a bit Machiavellian. He does have charm and the best of intentions for his own community. Aaron has proven to be considerate of everyone in hostile and tense situations, and now we know Jesus was attempting to drive off with that truck because he has his own colony of people to provide for. Both of these characters prioritize the welfare of their groups, and we will have to continue to get to know Jesus to gauge the extent of his trust in regards to Alexandria and Rick’s group.
Do you read the graphic novels and if so, anything you would like to see happen next season on the show?
I read the graphic novels to get to know about Aaron’s background, but as a fan of the show myself as well as wanting to maintain a fresh outlook as the new scripts come in, I haven’t read too far along. I would love to see the Alexandrians successfully come together with these new groups to fulfill Aaron’s philosophy that people are the essential resource and that despite the apocalyptic pressures, good people can persevere in this world.
You’re stuck on a deserted island- one movie, one book and one guest. What do you choose and why?
Crocodile Dundee. Cat’s Cradle. Paul Hogan. Are we watching our movie on a flat screen or on a projector playing on dead palm tree fronds?
In the upcoming Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, who do you pick? Batman, Superman…or Wonder Woman?
Batman… all the way, baby!!
Zombies in 28 Days Later run super fast, but zombies from Night of the Living Dead are slow. Which version do you think is more realistic in the zombie apocalypse?
I think we should live life as if we will be faced with the fast 28 Days Later zombies, but hope that the molasses ones are the creatures who greet us should we cross that apocalypse bridge.
Many thanks to Ross for talking the time to chat with us and to Lauren for arranging the interview.
Ross Marquand can be seen this weekend in Newcastle, UK at the Film and Comic Con Newcastle and on The Walking Dead this Sunday at 9/8pm central on AMC.