The Walking Dead: Mealworm Walker

Joseph Hardin. Walker. The Walking Dead. AMC
Joseph Hardin. Walker. The Walking Dead. AMC /

There was a great hand-less walker on The Walking Dead with Glenn and Heath when they were in the woods acquiring possible walker heads to use as Gregory’s head.

The walkers on The Walking Dead have always been spectacular. They keep getting more and more interesting to watch. Even the most ordinary of walkers is extraordinary.

Each has its own personality in its lack of personality. It has its own walk and physical story. Yet it still remains devoid of emotion. It is a walker. It is a vessel. The changes have all happened to it. Its only choices are to moan and orient itself toward food.

Walkers hold an unusual fascination for me. Aside from the entire story aspect of the apocalypse, the walkers themselves are intriguing. They are beautiful. They do not have any malice in them.

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When I witnessed the death of my father, there was a moment that was one of the most peaceful and beautiful moments I’ve ever known. It was very fleeting. The body that remained in his bed was not the person I loved; it was a body.

Killing walkers, while difficult for the living, isn’t killing the person who once occupied that body. It’s killing the ugliness that has taken over their bodies. But, oddly, because we know there once was a beautiful spirit in there, we can still see beauty in the ugly that has covered it up.

In season 6, many of our walkers are undernourished, which is good news for the living, but bad news for the dead. There are gorgeous, exposed rib cages under delicate, thin skin.

Our walker here has lost his hands somehow as well as his shirt. It looks as though he has been wounded in his chest and stomach by a knife or something sharp and has a head wound, too.

Joseph Hardin played this stunning walker. Joseph has played many walkers on The Walking Dead. The make up here was done by Garrett Immel and mealworms were done by Kevin Wasner and Garett Immel.

Did she just say mealworms? Yes, I did! According to Joseph’s Facebook page, they placed mealworms into the wounds of this walker!

Joseph Hardin. Glenn. The Walking Dead. AMC.
Joseph Hardin. Glenn. The Walking Dead. AMC. /

"“You can KINDA see them (in above image) Soooo weird. They packed them into the chest cuts and onto the side of my head wound. I could feel them squirming around in my pants… “drumming” on the latex covering my ear… just strange. Everyone stayed away from me that day, needless to say. I think I even grabbed a few out from my boxers in my car on the way home after cleanup. It was fun though. I remember helping the older gentleman learn how to be a Walker. I think he won a contest or was a friend of a crew member… but yea, he didn’t know how to zombie.”"

Did you notice the worms? Greg Nicotero, his special effects team, and the make up artists are incredible. The attention to detail and passion is really amazing. The walkers are just fantastic.

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It’s interesting that Joseph said that the older man didn’t know how to be a zombie. I can’t tell you how many times I hear people say they want to be a zombie on the show. I understand the desire, but it’s a big deal. Those actors work really hard.

I imagine they get to the set really early to get the work done. They need to wait for their set time to come about. They have to ACT. They need to take direction, be patient, do things over and over, and then have their make up removed.

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I think people think you just show up, groan and hang out with Rick and Daryl and go home. If the walkers weren’t the actors that they are, the emotion and action in the scenes would really suffer. Thanks for wearing mealworms, Joseph!