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Chad Coleman talks 'The Walking Dead'

Former 'Wire' star discusses his casting as Tyreese, the mid-season finale and more

By Mekeisha Madden Toby Dec 3, 2012 3:31PM

'The Walking Dead' '/' AMC

There's not a lot Chad Coleman can tell you about Season 3 of "The Walking Dead." The man wants to stay employed, after all. 


But the actor, who made his debut as fan-favorite Tyreese during Sunday's mid-season finale, doesn't mind talking about how he got the role, how this zombie hit and his old HBO show, "The Wire," are similar and some general things fans can expect.


Bing: More on 'The Walking Dead' | Chad Coleman | 'The Wire'


For instance, Coleman, who is best known for his role as Cutty on the seminal drama, is playing Tyreese because Robert Kirkman, the creator and one of the series' executive producers, enjoyed Coleman's work on "The Wire."


"Robert Kirkman was a huge fan of 'The Wire,'" Coleman said during a teleconference Monday. "Unbeknownst to me, my agents had been talking to (him) for a while."


Plus: Goriest 'Walking Dead' moments, Season 3 | 'Walking Dead' fantasy draft


'Tyreese Walking Dead' '/' AMCColeman said fans also played a role when they recommended he play Tyreese on numerous fan sites long before Season 3 had begun. "For those folks leading the online charge, you're going to be incredibly proud," he said.


Fans may have also noticed Coleman's Tyreese is considerably different than the comic-book version. For starters, the original is a lone wolf. The TV Tyreese has a sister, Sasha (Sonequa Martin-Green, "NYC 22") and friends, Allen (Daniel Thomas May) and Allen's son, Ben (Tyler Chase), who were all a part of a larger group similar to the show's main characters. Both versions of Tyreese are humanitarians and former football players.


When asked how "The Walking Dead" is similar to "The Wire," Coleman laughed and said he's more winded on "The Walking Dead." He also said his current co-stars are already teasing him because he constantly compares the two dramas.


"There are similarities between the intelligence and creativity of the actors and the producers and the artistic integrity," Coleman said. "Both deal with questions of life and death and violence. Like 'The Wire,' this (show) is Filet mignon. You don't get that a lot."


Coleman could not answer questions about Tyreese and Rick (Andrew Lincoln) working together or Tyreese possibly having romantic relationships with Carol (Melissa McBride) and Michonne (Danai Gurira) the way he does in the comic book, but Coleman did say he welcomes the possibilities.


"That would make for some meaty exchanges," said Coleman, who will appear in five of the final eight episodes when "The Walking Dead" returns in February. "You're going to find out more about his relationship with Sasha and Allen. Get ready. It's a hell of a ride."


"The Walking Dead" Season 3 returns Sunday, Feb. 10, at 9 p.m. ET/PT on AMC.

Dec 4, 2012 1:30PM
They better not kill off Daryl if Tyreese is supposed to be Rick's right hand man!
Dec 4, 2012 12:02PM
I liked Tyreese immediately when he came on the show (I did not read the books).  It would be interesting if he had romances with Carol and Michonne.  :)   I also do not want to think about if they killed Daryl off.  LOL
Dec 4, 2012 11:48AM
It's a trip to see how they keep trading out the black males in TWD.  T-Dog gone, then enters Oscar. Oscar gone, then enters Tyrese.  I guess one at a time...  But, that's okay, I still love the show and won't miss a single episode - that is unless they kill off Daryl.  OMG, I don't even want to think of it...
Dec 4, 2012 11:47AM

Lovely article. Are you new to this? Last two paragraphs needed a "spoiler alert". Just throw that on there next time Toby. Thanks

Dec 4, 2012 11:34AM
It's about time they brought in Tyreese. Mr Coleman will do an awesome job at the role!
Dec 4, 2012 11:08AM

It is refreshing to see Mr. Coleman on the screen again. I was a huge fan of the wire, and started watching The Walking Dead about two weeks ago because my husband did!!!

He is such an underated actor... I hope he stays on in the up coming season 3.


Tyresse is a zombie butt kicking bad ****!!!...  there is a reason to stay up late on Sunday nights again...

Dec 4, 2012 10:31AM
he whupped up on the zombies better than c-dog.   welcome to TWD!
Dec 4, 2012 10:12AM

The Wire was a great show and Chad had a great part in it.  I am glad to see he is on Walking Dead and it is great to see new characters coming on board.  Love The Walking Dead!

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