How The Walking Dead’s Michael Cudlitz Kept His Return A Secret


On a show with such an avid fanbase as The Walking Dead, the actors need to be very careful about what they say and do in either their everyday lives or on social media, lest the overly-attentive viewers find out something about the series that they shouldn’t.

For instance, in the recent seventh season of The Walking Dead, Abraham was memorably murdered in the opening episode. However, the beloved character made a surprising return to the show, in the form of a flashback, in the season finale. You’d think keeping something that big a secret must have been difficult, but it sounds like actor Michael Cudlitz has developed a solid system for how to throw people off the scent after years of working on the series.

When he wants fans to recognize him, Cudlitz told that he makes sure to keep Abraham’s signature features:

“For me, the biggest thing was the look. You know, keep the red hair and keep the mustache.”

After that, he said the key is to “travel a lot” and be seen doing it. That way you can make sure people know where you are when you want them to.

“I had pictures saved up that I would put out on my Twitter account and I’d talk about Atlanta when I wasn’t there. When I was there, I would make sure I photographed and tweeted and be seen as much as possible. Especially the airport — the one place where I do not use the lounge…or didn’tuse the lounge. I would make sure I was in line at the food court, and eating out in public. You make a big deal of it when you are there. If you’re at a hotel for the night, whatever, you make sure you at least walk out a little bit, be seen. It only takes one or two people to put it out their social that they saw you, or whatever. ‘What’s he doing there? Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.’ And they take it and they run with it. They do all the work.”

Cudlitz is clearly a master of deception when it comes to withholding spoilers. In particular, the idea of fooling fans into thinking he’s on set by posting old selfies is a notion of such evil genius that it’s worthy of Negan.

The Walking Dead returns to AMC for its eighth season on October 22nd. We don’t expect Abraham to make another appearance, but with Michael Cudlitz’s methods of misleading fans, who knows?