‘The Walking Dead’s’ Khary Payton Talks King Ezekiel At Walker Stalker

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The Walking Dead season seven second episode “The Well” aired Sunday night and the 2016 Walker Stalker convention concluded Sunday in Atlanta, but not without Brandon Davis from ComicBook.com doing a one-on-one with King Ezekiel a.k.a Khary Payton.

Payton enlightened his part on the show as it was a “long time coming” and apparently he is his own scrutinizing critic. Considering this is Payton’s first appearance on the series, he doesn’t particularly care for his first attempts.

“I always hate anything I do the first time. Even if it’s good, I don’t care, I always hate it the first time and honestly the first time I watched this episode I thought to myself, ‘I don’t hate this!’ I was like, ‘That’s a good sign!'”

The King Ezekiel actor gave accolades to the brilliant performers that have been a part of The Walking Dead for so long. Both Morgan and Carol had their own little side story going during the season six finale that proved that they worked well together after having left Alexandria.

“And then the second time I watched it, I was like, ‘You know what? There were moments that really worked and the truth is you can’t hate anything that’s got Lennie James and Melissa McBride doin’ what they do. I think their just two of the most brilliant actors.”

When Davis talked about Shiva the tiger, he asked Payton what was like pretending it was in the room. Of course, everyone around had to act like there was a tiger present, but since Payton was playing King Ezekiel, that character had a different perception of the beastly pet.

“I have to act like it’s a Corgi. You know? It’s a Labradoodle that can bite somebody else’s head off. I’m the only that doesn’t have to worry about it.”

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Payton got to play two characters, one of a zoo keeper and of course King Ezekiel. Both of which still think there’s hope, optimism, and survival in the zombie apocalypse. Payton says the personas are “two sides of the same person” when he goes into “Zeke Mode.”

When The Walking Dead’s season seven premiere shocked the audience, the first time encounter between Rick Grimes and Negan very obviously showed a difference in leadership styles. Davis asked Payton his opinion on how an encounter between him and Rick would turn out.

Payton had a little fun in answering that.

“I think probably that they’ll look at each other, longingly. Comb one another’s hair.”

Payton did say fans would see all of what King Ezekiel’s about.

“From the bottom of his shoes to the top of his dreads.”

Davis pointed out to Payton regarding a storyline in the comics involving King Ezekiel and Michonne and angled if Carol would in kind have something going on with The Kingdom’s leader.


“I like my job and I’m going to keep it and I’m not going to tell you.”

That being said, it’s better to enjoy the episodes as they happen. Stay tuned for AMC’s The Walking Dead which airs every Sunday night at 9 p.m. EST.

Source: ComicBook.com





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Tony Smejek
Tony is fanatical about his geek pop-culture passion. He specializes in the Marvel Cinematic Universe as well as the DC Extended Cinematic Universe. When other shared universes start to jump on the band wagon, he may even push the envelope into those worlds as well. Sci-fi is yet another interest of his from TV franchises as well as epic films. He's also an 80s fan as well, partaking in dressing the part as a Ghostbuster or Spaceball character. Tony can be found at his local conventions, bumping elbows with celebrity guests, cosplay enthusiasts, and comic book artists.


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