Surprise deaths are the name of the game on The Walking Dead, but usually it’s only a surprise for the audience, not the actor of the character who’s killed off. That’s not the case for former star of the show Vincent Ward, however, as he was kept in the dark about the fact that he was being written out of the series until he read the script.
While speaking to Commando TV to reflect on his TWD career, Ward opened up about his anger in regard to how his exit was handled. Oscar was introduced at the beginning of season 3, as one of the original prison crew who aided Rick and company in their battle with the Governor. As Oscar was a tough guy who could take care of himself, Ward felt pretty confident he was in the show for the long haul…until he picked up the screenplay for episode 8, “Made to Suffer.”
“I didn’t even know I was getting killed,” Ward revealed. “I was pissed. And the reason I was pissed was because nobody told me. I was in makeup and I saw a script sitting there, I picked up the script, and the first thing you do is you look for your name. I got all the way to the end, and it said, ‘Oscar dies.’ I was like, ‘What?!’ I grabbed the script and I just threw it down.”
Ward recalled that Andrew Lincoln entered the room soon after as he’d just heard the news himself and had come to say that he had enjoyed working with his co-star. However, when he found out Ward hadn’t been told beforehand, he took it upon himself to get the higher-ups to give him a formal apology.
“He said, ‘Nobody told you anything?’ I said, ‘No, I just read it right now.’ He said, ‘I’ll be back,'” Ward recalled. “Before I knew it, all kind of producers and people were coming in apologizing to me. Because they’re supposed to tell you.”
Ward did go on to say that he was only contracted for a certain number of episodes, but he still felt like there was a good chance his run on the series would be extended.
“But in the same breath,” Ward continued, “to their defense, when you sign your contract, they kind of tell you how many episodes you’re gonna do. But in my mind, I was like, ‘Okay, they’ve got me hanging around with the main people now, I might be around a little longer.’ No. It didn’t happen.”
Of course, this isn’t the first time there’s been some controversy over one of TWD‘s shocking deaths. Memorably, Chandler Riggs’ father blasted AMC on social media after Carl Grimes was killed off in season 8, given that his son was under the belief he had a long time left on the show. That said, Riggs himself has no ill will towards the producers.
The Walking Dead is currently on hiatus, but AMC will air its season 10 finale later this year.