Seth Gilliam's role in the upcoming fifth season of "The Walking Dead" has finally been revealed, and the 45-year-old actor talked about how he landed the part and prepared for it in a recent interview with Entertainment Weekly.
The news that that former "The Wire" star had joined the cast of the hit AMC post-apocalyptic drama was revealed back in May, according to Coming Soon, but it was only Wednesday, Aug. 27, when AMC, through EW, confirmed that Gilliam will in fact be playing Father Gabriel as many avid fans theorized.
Gilliam said that he did not know that he was actually reading for the role of Father Gabriel when he auditioned.
"I actually did not realize I was reading for the role of Father Gabriel during the casting process. The sides were for a school guidance counselor named Michael, who had an issue with a couple of his students," he told EW.
"I had not seen the show before I was cast on the show," he admitted. "So I just thought, Okay, I guess they've discovered some guy who's holed up at a school or something like that and was carrying around this horrible exchange that he had with his students. [Laughs]."
When asked how he familiarized himself with the character, Gilliam, who currently plays Dr. Alan Deaton in "Teen Wolf," said that he read the comic book where his character was introduced and watched the series from the very start.
"I only read the comic book where Father Gabriel was introduced, which I think was episode 61 in the comics," he told EW. "I discovered from reading about the show that often times characters' names and journeys are kind of crisscrossed and mismatched, so I thought if I did read too much I might be giving myself a lot of information that would be useless, or just outright wrong."
"I watched the first three seasons on Netflix in a week," he continued. "And season four was not available on Netflix at that time. I watched season four on a weekend when I got down to Atlanta and started working. And I actually started working before I was able to watch the fourth season."
In the comics, Father Gabriel turned away members of his ecclesial community and holed up alone in the church in the hopes of surviving the zombie outbreak, Comicbook.com reported.
He first encountered Rick's (Andrew Lincoln) gang after Dale's (Jeffrey DeMunn) disappearance at the hands of the human Hunters. He joined the team and ended up at the Alexandria Safe-Zone as the person to run the local church, according to Comic Book Resources.
His character's storyline on the TV adaptation, however, is being kept under wraps.
"The Walking Dead" Season 5 premieres on Oct. 12 at 9:00pm ET/PT on AMC.
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