The most shocking thing about Sunday’s episode of The Walking Dead was not that Merle Dixon died, but that we actually felt kinda sorry for him when he did. Not only was Merle killed by the Governor in a last heroic act of redemption, but he then came back as a zombie and had to be killed again by his on-screen brother Daryl in a truly heartbreaking scene. However, the man who plays Merle, Michael Rooker, insists that was not the most powerful scene of his final episode. I spoke with Rooker, who talks about the scene with Norman Reedus that he is most proud of, his unique (and very Rooker-esque) reaction upon learning his character was going to die, and his thoughts on playing zombie Merle.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Tell me how you first learned the news of Merle’s demise. Did showrunner Glen Mazzara call you up and break it to you?
MICHAEL ROOKER: Yeah, it was a phone call. But we were in the middle of switching episodes so I ended up having about two weeks notice as opposed to a week notice. I’ve heard some people get less than that, so I considered myself quite fortunate.
EW: What was your reaction when you got the news?
ROOKER: You really want to know my real reaction?
EW: Give it to me.
ROOKER: My honest to God true reaction was THANK F—ING GOD I DON’T HAVE TO WEAR THAT STUPID F—ING ARM ANY MORE! THERE! PRINT THAT S—! Oh my God, I was so tired of wearing that thing. I was like, oh, God, not another season of wearing this thing. I’m going to go crazy! READ FULL STORY