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If there was a Venn diagram made for the Terminator and Walking Dead franchises, there'd be two instances of overlap. Which isn't exactly a lot, but sort of weird that it happened twice, right? Shoutout to Dr. Doofenshmirtz.
The first is T2's T-1000, Robert Patrick, who appeared in a Season 10 bonus episode as a crazed man hoping to expose humanity's uglier attributes by by forcing Aaron (Ross Marquand) and Gabriel (Seth Gilliam) to play a twisted game of reverse Russian roulette. The second is Kyle Reese, aka John Connor's unwitting baby daddy — the legendary Michael Biehn — who showed up as the skull-collecting warlord of a religious community of survivors in this past Sunday's episode of the eleventh and final season.
As fate would have it, both Terminator guest spots involved Aaron and Gabriel.
"It's so funny, because I definitely kind of laughed when I heard that Michael was going to be playing the part," Marquand told ComicBook. "Because I was so excited to work with Robert [Patrick] last year and excited, but also intimidated because I love his body of work. And also, he usually plays such scary badasses that I was worried that he was going to come to set and be kind of gruff or whatever. Robert couldn't have been nicer, couldn't have been more fun to talk to. We were laughing and joking around half the time. And then it came time to work, he was most professional and easy to work with."
Marquand's initial sense of intimidation (after all, Biehn is also known for playing "gruff badasses") soon vanished like Rick Grimes in a Season 9 helicopter. "They were both just the most lovely, affable, fun-to-talk-to guys," Marquand said. "I mean, we're so lucky to have such incredible veteran actors like them to play on our show, even if it was just for an episode. I mean, we really lucked out getting both of them to play in our universe. They were both so much fun to work with and I'm just really pleased that they got to play in our world."
Biehn, who's apparently been a fan of The Walking Dead since the very start, had been waiting around for a call to join the undead universe.
"I remember the first year of The Walking Dead, I watched it, and I said to myself, 'I want to be on that show,'" Biehn reportedly said on the latest episode of Talking Dead hosted by Chris Hardwick (also via ComicBook). "I just thought it was a really, really quality show, and I've always wanted to be a part of it. For whatever reason — whether it was my schedule or interest, or non-interest [from TWD] — I was never offered a role until this past season, nor did I ever audition for a role. But it's a show that I've always thought was quality."
He continued: "When you look at a show that's been on for 12 years, it's absolutely astounding that you have a show for 12 years. It just speaks to the quality of the show. I got a call from my agent, they had offered me a role, I read it, I thought it was a really fun character, so I said 'yes' right away."
Sadly, Biehn's character was short-lived (literally), as he was killed on the shady orders of shady Commonwealth executive, Lance Hornsby (Josh Hamilton).
New episodes of The Walking Dead premiere on AMC every Sunday at 9pm EST. Only three episodes of the current eight-episode block remain before the next break. Subscribers to AMC+ can watch forthcoming installments a full week before they air.