IGN recently sat down with Chad L. Coleman (Tyreese) to discuss his character’s death, how he would fit in to the current story, and what new show he’s working on. Here’s a sample of the interview:
IGN: In the episode, while he’s dying, Tyreese encounters a lot of ghosts. What was it like to once again act with the girls, David Morrissey, Lawrence Gilliard, and Emily Kinney again?
Coleman: Oh, it was like a family reunion, man. You know? Or a class reunion. David Morrissey’s such a wonderful actor. So to get to mix it up with him was great. And Chris Coy too, who plays Martin. And of course Lawrence and the girls. I loved the use of the ghosts. I really did. I thought it was incredibly effective and you got to use them to really dig inside Tyreese and see the exact things he was haunted by. Some of the things he was suppressing. Which, at that point because of his bleeding out, he couldn’t hold down anymore. So you got to see how much this man was carrying around as emotional weight and guilt and rage. All the various emotions. I thought that was just great storytelling.
IGN: After Tyreese’s death, the group arrived at Alexandria and Rick sort of tried to take control there. Do you think Tyreese would have stopped him if he’d made it to Alexandria?
Coleman: Well, he certainly would have given it the old college try. And that’s actually part of the reason why he had to go. Everything’s predicated off of Rick, so if Tyreese was present then the challenges that Rick needed to go through would have been impeded. Rick really needed to experience all of that, in Alexandria, without having that voice of reason. The objections that Tyreese would have made. Rick had to find that within himself. So if Rick had Tyreese there to lean on, I don’t know that his development would have been the same. To really internalize where they were trying to take Rick, to be able to experience the decisions he had to make, I think he needed me not to be there. And, in certain respects, he came around. By the end of the season. He came full circle, and even though people were looking at him in sort of a tainted way, he showed them who he is.
IGN: You’re going to be a part of another big genre series – another ensemble piece – Syfy’s The Expanse. Can you talk about who you play on that?
Coleman: Yeah, I play Commander Fred Lucius Johnson. And he works for the government on the series. Think of him along the lines of a Colin Powell, commanding a lot of troops and holding a lot of power. But then he’s put in a very precarious situation that has people really bad-mouthing and tainting his name and he finds himself between a rock and a hard place. And you don’t quite know if he’s a good guy or a bad guy. But he has his own agenda that will play out as the season unfolds.