Though The Walking Dead has remained relatively faithful to its source material—Robert Kirkman's comics—so far, it remains far from predictable even for the cast. In a new interview, stars Steven Yeun (Glenn) and Jon Bernthal (Shane) made it clear that the show has a mind of its own, and that they open every script without knowing whether their characters will survive.
While promoting the show's return to U.K. television, Yeun was asked by SFX how much of Kirkman's comic he's read. He said that while he has read a good bit of it, there comes a point where the series just takes over.
"I'd read all of it up until we started. Whatever is new after we started I haven't caught up on. It's an amazing comic but I think you can't read it because then you form too much [of an opinion]. The television show isn't deviating or anything like that but it's its own entity and it's its own medium and I think you have to pay respect to that in some way. I think as a cast, all of us have read the beginning but nothing more. You just go on your own way, otherwise you're too informed."
Bernthal compared the feeling of unpredictability he feels on the show to the no-one-is-safe mentality of shows like The Sopranos when he was asked if he read every script and worried it would be his last.
"I think there is a sense, it's not quite that, but I think there is a sense and that is quite important on a show like this for the atmosphere and the world that you could go at any time. One of the first movies that I did was with a lot of Sopranos actors and they said about that, about how every time they cracked open a script you never knew if it was going to be your last one and you never knew when you were going to get whacked. It's the nature of the show, anybody could go at any time - and we all love it, we don't want to die. We want to stay and play as long as we can. I don't think that it's quite that, especially this season cause we got so many scripts ahead. But we don't know what happens after that, you know what I mean?"
Well, they do know a little of what happens after that, because as Yeun notes, the series is still hitting many of the major points of the comics.
"I think we're going to hit the Walking Dead landmarks we're supposed to hit. As actors we don't specifically know, per se. I think it's common knowledge that the prison is in the future. We're definitely getting that, but at what point we don't know."