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Josh McDermitt Interview: Romance Changed Eugene on TWD

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Margot Bingham as Max, Josh McDermitt as Dr. Eugene Porter - The Walking Dead _ Season 11 - Photo Credit: Jace Downs/AMC
Photo Credit: Jace Downs/AMC

Josh McDermitt spoke to The Natural Aristocrat® about romance & love changing Eugene Porter away from his tendencies of self preservation above all else.

McDermitt elaborated that without Max Mercer, the old Eugene would likely have already left The Commonwealth on The Walking Dead Season 11.

This Walking Dead interview took place during a press day roundtable over Zoom.

THE NATURAL ARISTOCRAT (NIR REGEV): Eugene Porter was such a logical, pragmatic character all throughout the series until he spiraled into romance. It’s become a weakness in away because he’s always chasing and blindly following their lead.

Margot Bingham as Max, Josh McDermitt as Dr. Eugene Porter - The Walking Dead _ Season 11 - Photo Credit: Jace Downs/AMC

Josh McDermitt as Dr. Eugene Porter, Margot Bingham as Max – The Walking Dead _ Season 11 – Photo Credit: Jace Downs/AMC

He used to be ‘Dr. Smarty Pants’, creating gadgets on a dime, even being asked to make bullets from scratch.

Seth Gilliam as Father Gabriel Stokes, Josh McDermitt as Dr. Eugene Porter - The Walking Dead _ Season 8, Episode 15 - Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC

Josh McDermitt as Dr. Eugene Porter, Seth Gilliam as Father Gabriel Stokes – The Walking Dead _ Season 8, Episode 15 – Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC

Falling head over heels has clouded Eugene’s judgment away from the best path for his own survival. How do you feel about Eugene straying from solely self preservation?

JOSH MCDERMITT: Yeah, I mean it’s an interesting thing to play. I mean his pragmatism, as you said, was really in the forefront. It was in the front of his brain and now he’s got these blinders on it.

I think it’s really what made him fall for the decoy, Stephanie, he wanted that to happen and to be real. And so that allowed him to kind of overlook some of the other things that if he had just remained pragmatic, he might have caught.

Josh McDermitt as Dr. Eugene Porter, Chelle Ramos as Stephanie - The Walking Dead _ Season 11, Episode 5 - Photo Credit: Josh Stringer/AMC

Josh McDermitt as Dr. Eugene Porter, Chelle Ramos as Stephanie – The Walking Dead _ Season 11, Episode 5 – Photo Credit: Josh Stringer/AMC

It’s interesting now that Eugene’s with Max… She’s in a sense, bringing him back down to earth to where he can actually just see everything for what it is.

I think where we find these characters is they’re confronted with a lot the things that are going on in The Commonwealth and they’re just asking themselves like, “What are we gonna do about this?”

You know, it’s hard to say, I don’t know if Eugene without Max would be there right now. Just because he might have just gone back to bearing his head and just becoming who he used to be years ago.

Jeffrey Dean Morgan as Negan, Josh McDermitt as Dr. Eugene Porter - The Walking Dead _ Season 8, Episode 7 - Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC

Josh McDermitt as Dr. Eugene Porter, Jeffrey Dean Morgan as Negan – The Walking Dead _ Season 8, Episode 7 – Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC

So it’s an interesting turn for the character to have him fight for love and to have that love kind of blind him in a sense, now having to be brought back to Earth.

Josh McDermitt on the constant fear of having your character die on The Walking Dead:

Norman Reedus as Daryl Dixon, Josh McDermitt as Dr. Eugene Porter - The Walking Dead _ Season 8, Episode 15 - Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC

Norman Reedus as Daryl Dixon, Josh McDermitt as Dr. Eugene Porter – The Walking Dead _ Season 8, Episode 15 – Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC

You know, we’re all going to fight for our characters and kind of shape where we feel like they should go in what direction. I definitely had strong feelings about how long Eugene survives, which I’ll withhold.

But whether or not he’s ever gonna get killed off. The only thing I ever cared about was being a part of those conversations, because sometimes with these, with the writers, like they’re living with these decisions for months before it’s ever even brought to you.

Jeffrey Dean Morgan as Negan, Josh McDermitt as Dr. Eugene Porter - The Walking Dead _ Season 7, Episode 11 - Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC

Jeffrey Dean Morgan as Negan, Josh McDermitt as Dr. Eugene Porter – The Walking Dead _ Season 7, Episode 11 – Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC

And they’ve made decisions based on decisions, based on conversations and in more decisions. So by the time that it’s brought to you, you may not have as much of a voice as you thought you did.

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So for me… I would just hope that no matter where I was brought in from the get go, that I’ll be able to help shape where I felt the character should and could end up. But I guess we’ll see. I mean, we have eight more chances to see if Eugene makes it or not.

Josh Hamilton as Lance Hornsby, Josh McDermitt as Dr. Eugene Porter - The Walking Dead _ Season 11, Episode 9 - Photo Credit: Josh Stringer/AMC

Josh Hamilton as Lance Hornsby, Josh McDermitt as Dr. Eugene Porter – The Walking Dead _ Season 11, Episode 9 – Photo Credit: Josh Stringer/AMC

Josh McDermitt on the biggest lesson playing Eugene Porter taught him

Josh McDermitt as Eugene Porter, Chelle Ramos as Stephanie - The Walking Dead _ Season 11, Episode 7 - Photo Credit: Josh Stringer/AMC

Chelle Ramos as Stephanie, Josh McDermitt as Eugene Porter – The Walking Dead _ Season 11, Episode 7 – Photo Credit: Josh Stringer/AMC

Eugene has taught me to be less selfish in my own life. You know, I never felt like I was a very selfish person, but just to see how Eugene really puts others before him… I was like, yeah, that’s kind of how we should all be living.

THE NATURAL ARISTOCRAT: Thanks Josh!

JOSH MCDERMITT: Thank you!

Be sure to read our interview with Josh Hamilton on the similarities between Lance Hornsby & The Governor and working with Melissa McBride!

The Walking Dead Season 11 Return Date

The Walking Dead Season 11 returns on AMC and AMC+ on Sunday, October 2 at 9:00 pm ET / 8:00 pm Central! What will become of Governor Pamela Milton? Only time will tell.

Episode 1117 “Lockdown” Synopsis:

“Daryl and Negan rush to the Commonwealth to stop Hornsby from going after their families. Pamela deals with protestors demanding justice for Sebastian’s crimes. Mercer needs Rosita’s help to fight a swarm.”

Directed by: Greg Nicotero

Written by: Julia Ruchman

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Josh Hamilton as Lance Hornsby - The Walking Dead _ Season 11, Episode 14 - Photo Credit: Jace Downs/AMC

Josh Hamilton as Lance Hornsby – The Walking Dead _ Season 11, Episode 14 – Photo Credit: Jace Downs/AMC

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