EXCLUSIVE: Michael Cudlitz Talks Abraham's Gory 'Walking Dead' Goodbye and If He'll Spinoff on 'Fear the Walki
By Leanne Aguilera
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WARNING: Once again, if you have not watched the season seven premiere of The Walking Dead, you need to leave immediately and read what happened because we're not holding back!
"Suck my nuts."
And with those three last words, The Walking Dead fans said a final farewell to one of the biggest badasses we've ever had on the AMC series: Michael Cudlitz as Abraham.
To help you cope with this crushing loss, (Ill-timed pun totally intended), ET welcomed Cudlitz into our studio this morning for an exclusive postmortem interview to get the behind-the-scenes scoop on that gory goodbye and to find out if Abraham could be returning on TWD's spinoff series, Fear the Walking Dead.
Abraham may be gone, but his spirit (and appearance!) will live on. Well, for a little while at least.
"I feel like it's a little respectful to the fans," said Cudlitz, who was still sporting Abraham's signature handlebar mustache and fiery red hair. "We're going to leave [the mustache] for a moment so that no one feels like I'm in such a rush to leave this character. It's like a mourning process that we all go through."
With less than 24 hours to process, most fans are still in shock over Abraham and Glenn's passing, but Cudlitz confessed that he and Steven Yeun have known about their character's deaths for a very long time.
"I found out about a year and four months ago. That's when Steven and I found out initially. We knew it was coming. I knew that my time in the comic book had come or was coming," he explained. "If you're a fan of the show, and you've seen what they’ve done on the show, and you come on the show, you know that your time is limited. There's an expiration date stamped on the bottom of your foot, so I was not surprised. I just wanted it to be pretty epic."
"You want your death to be epic and memorable," Cudlitz added, "but more importantly to honor the life that the character had, and I think that's what we did."
The 51-year-old actor revealed that his initial reaction to Abraham's death was not what you'd expect. "Honestly, the biggest concerns for me going into the whole thing is that I've got really crappy knees," he said. "I just read the script and all I could picture the whole time was, 'Wait! We're all just on our knees?' And I just kept turning pages and I'm like, 'Fart! We're all just on our knees.' That's me self-editing in my head."
While Cudlitz may be skilled at self-editing, TWD fans loved Abraham for his hilariously unfiltered one-liners – and his final words on the series were no exception.
"Who doesn't like a good nut-sucking?" Cudlitz said with a smirk. "Even until the end it really was, 'Eff you, [Negan]!' You corned us and, logistically, the numbers don't add up to us being able to survive this, but it was [Abraham] who owns this moment -- not you."
Cudlitz described his farewell to the cast as "bittersweet" and he's thrilled to see what opportunities will come next for his career. We at ET pitched that we'd love to see Abraham pop up on AMC's TWD prequel series, Fear the Walking Dead, but Cudlitz is not so sure.
"I think we're all walked and deaded out," he said with a laugh. "I don’t think those two shows can even exist in the same [world]. We're based on the graphic novels, which gives us permission to do things that the other show doesn’t have permission to do."
"That show is much more based in reality of what would really happen. If we had people walking around looking like this," Cudlitz added while gesturing to his mustache, "with crossbows and samurai swords [it wouldn’t work.] There's a heightened element to our show because it’s the graphic novel that the other show doesn't have. So I don’t think that a lot of our characters -- some of them could -- but I don’t think a lot of them could transfer into that world and not look ridiculous. But who knows?!"
The one thing we know for sure is we're certainly going to miss seeing Abraham in all his outrageously blunt glory kicking, zombie a** on our TV screens.
The Walking Dead airs Sundays at 9 p.m. ET/PT on AMC.
What are you going to miss most about Abraham? What did you think of The Walking Dead's season seven premiere? Share your thoughts with @LeanneAguilera on Twitter!