The Walking Dead: Exclusive interview with Josh McDermitt

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Your comedy career helped land you some pretty great opportunities.  For example, TV Land’s ‘Retired at 35’.  I binge watched that show a couple of weeks ago.  Both seasons.  What was it like working with legends like Jessica Walter and George Seagull and what was the experience on that show like?

"“It was the best acting school I’ve ever been to.  To be able to work with those two legends, and not just those two, but the show took place in a retirement community.  So, all of our guest stars were legendary comedians.  We’d have Fred Willard on or Shelly Long or Estelle Harris, who played George Costanza’s mom on Seinfeld.  These are people who I’ve been a fan of for years, so it was great to essentially go to acting school every day for my job and learn from these people who have been nominated for Emmys.  I believe Jessica won an Emmy and George was nominated for an Oscar.  You can’t beat that for your first regular gig in Hollywood.”"

Not at all.

"“It was certainly awesome. It had happened just a couple of years after I moved to L.A. and it was pretty awesome.  I would say that without that, I wouldn’t be on The Walking Dead today.”"

You had a couple stops between Retired at 35 and The Walking Dead.  I saw you had a stint on Mad Men, which I admit that I haven’t watched.  But leading up to The Walking Dead, most of your roles were comedic.  How did that change happen from comedy to something so serious and gory?

"“It was interesting.   Just because I was on Retired at 35 the entire time I was saying I should take a look at the dramatic side of my career and make sure that I don’t ignore that.  It didn’t really matter if it was The Walking Dead or Mad Men or anything.  I was kind of set up for it.  They’re all different in terms of tone and that sort of thing, but they’re also similar.  You just need to be real, alive, and present in the character.  And you find that with comedies as well.  You find that the more you work, the more things are kind of similar in how they’re run.  It was awesome to be able to go over and do a few episodes of Mad Men because that was a show that I was a fan of…and to be able to see how that sausage was made was pretty special.  I just love seeing how people work and that sort of thing.  I’ve done a couple of pilots where I’ve gotten to work with Christopher Lloyd (the actor, not the Modern Family writer) and some other really big actors and big directors.  It’s cool to be able to work with them and see what they do, what their process is like, and take some of that for myself and adopt some of those principles and work ethic as well.”"

Next: More with The Walking Dead's Josh McDermitt