Back from the ‘Dead’: The Walking Dead’s Steve Coulter

Everybody loves Reg! I believe this rings true for The Walking Dead fans as we watched Mr. Steve Coulter bring the role of Reg Monroe to screen in Season 5. Unfortunately, this fan favorite met his demise in the finale at the clumsy hands of a drunken Pete.  So, I thought it would be a great idea to check in with Steve to interview him about his portrayal of Reg and find out what has been keeping him busy since his time on The Walking Dead. Once #TWDFamily, always, #TWDFamily — so let’s take a moment to catch up with everyone’s favorite cardigan-clad professor!

Everyone loved your portrayal of “Reg Monroe”. He was so likeable! Were you given a lot of specifics about the character’s personality or did you have some freedom there?

That’s so very nice of you to say. Actually, the character was very evident in the writing. His directness, his kindness. It was very clear from the script that this was a man who didn’t act out of fear, that he was kind and open-minded, and that he didn’t have any hidden agenda. It was very refreshing to play a character like that.

How long did you have to keep your role a secret and how difficult was that for you?

Well, we shot in October and November, so had to keep it secret for around 4 months, until the episodes that Reg was in started to air. It was pretty hard, especially when people really wanted to know. My son knew I was on the show, but not the role. He had some friends who were rabid fans, and I knew if I told the name, they could easily go to the comics, see that Reg was reversal of the character Regina in the comics. And then, the fact that Rick & Co. ended up in Alexandria would’ve been revealed. So I kept my mouth shut!

What did you think of the wardrobe Eulyn Womble designed for “Reg” and how did it help bring “Reg” to life?

That’s a great question. Eulyn was absolutely amazing. She realizes how much wardrobe can define a character, and she had chosen a wide selection of clothes for Reg. They were all very upscale clothes, since he was a very successful architect, but the clothes also had to be very comfortable and not showy. So we worked together to pick what he would wear. Her instincts are phenomenal. I’d try something on, and it wouldn’t feel quite right, but before I would open my mouth, Eulyn would shake her head and say, “Noooo, that’s not right.” The clothes made me feel very comfortable, like clothes I’d worn for years.

Can you tell us one thing you and “Reg” have in common? How about a difference between you and “Reg”?

Let’s see…I think I’m pretty even-tempered, as he was. I also don’t tend to act out of fear, or in my own self-interest (although that hasn’t always been true!). Also, I like to pass along any wisdom I’ve learned along the way, if asked for it. That’s one of the reasons I liked the scene with Noah in the gazebo so much. 

As far as differences…he has MUCH nicer clothes than I do (see above)! He’s probably much smarter than I am, as well. He probably scored twice what I did on the SAT.

The bond “Reg” had with “Deanna” was very believable! Did you and Tovah have much time to nurture a friendship before filming? Or had you met before?

I’m so glad to hear our bond was believable. We’d never met before, but hit it off right away on set. Part of that, perhaps, is that we both came up through the ranks of doing theatre. We were very comfortable with each other. A funny thing happened during shooting. I found that when I was standing next to her (like in the scene where we’re seeing our son off when he’s going to look for supplies with Noah & co.), I’d have my hand on her back, and I’d start rubbing her back lightly. She kept telling me, just like my wife, “stop that!”. And, like a numbskull husband, I’d forget and do it again the next take. It became a running thing between us.

The Walking Dead fans have a big “welcome wagon”! How immediate was the fan response to you on Twitter once your first episode aired?

Pretty immediate. I was very new to Twitter. I think I’d tweeted only half a dozen times before the episodes started to air. I was overwhelmed and humbled by the messages from fans. It may sound corny, but I really believe they’re the best fans in the world.

 


What was your first fan convention experience like? Some actors are asked to do some pretty silly poses in photo ops. Did you have any interesting requests? Are there certain topics that come up frequently when fans talk to you?

It was absolutely great! When I got off the plane in Orlando, I was immediately greeted by some fans right at the gate (not sure how they made it through security!). That was a surprise. And when I got to baggage claim, there was a small crowd of fans waiting to greet me. It felt strange (not used to folks recognizing me at the airport) but delightful. The fans were so gracious and kind…just an incredible welcome.

I gave one fan a piggy-back ride for one photo op. I had a lot of fun when I would take a break and walk around the convention floor. I snuck up behind a few people taking photos of themselves and photo-bombed them. They’d look over their shoulder and there was Reg. I wasn’t supposed to do that (fans are supposed to pay for autographs & photos at your table), but I was just so grateful for the kindness of all the fans, I wanted to pay them back in a small way.

One thing I enjoyed was when fans just stopped by the table and didn’t ask for photo or autograph, they just stopped by to meet me and say hello. The most common thing fans wanted to talk about was how Reg died. Everyone expressed to me their condolences (which was odd, since I was still alive!). They also wanted to know what the shooting of the death scene was like and how it was shot.

I understand you recently wrapped a couple of movies. What can you tell us about them?

It’s been a crazy busy month. I’ve only been home for about 3 days since the first of June. I finished shooting a role (I play a very evil character) in director/writer Nate Parker’s film, The Birth of a Nation, which tells the true story of the slave, Nat Turner’s, rebellion in 1831. It’s going to be a very powerful film. This month I also shot two episodes of the Cinemax series, Banshee, up in Pittsburgh. I play a recurring character, Elijah Bowman, who is Amish. I also shot a role in the Michael Keaton film, The Founder, about McDonald’s founder, Ray Kroc, and I played Tom Cruise’s flight instructor in his upcoming film called Mena, another movie based on a true story.

I just wrapped an episode of Banshee and head home tomorrow for around 10 days. Then I fly off to London for the London Film & Comic Con…I can’t wait.

How can fans keep up with you and your career?

I guess best way is through Twitter. They can follow me at @coulter28.

I’m sure this will be tough, but can you give three words that best describe your experience as a member of The Walking Dead cast?

“A true family”

That certainly speaks volumes! A big thank you goes out to Steve Coulter for taking the time to give us more insight into a beloved character and update us on his impressive body of work.  And I think it’s safe to say I will never look at a gazebo again without a little tug at the heartstrings!

 



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