[Warning: The below contains MAJOR spoilers for Season 9, Episode 12 of The Walking Dead, titled “Guardians.”]

Ryan Hurst has traded wheels for walkers in his newest Television part.

Whilst lots of fans know and adore him as Opie Winston from Sons of Anarchy, Hurst not too long ago stepped into the part of the villainous Beta on The Walking Dead a beast of a man recognized for his unwavering devotion to the psychotic Alpha (Samantha Morton), his talent in hand-to-hand combat and his refusal to take away his walker mask (certainly that factor will have to get stinky?).

Television Insider chatted with Hurst about Beta’s major Walking Dead debut, the nature of Alpha and Beta’s connection, what it was like filming the “enjoyable and traumatic” walker-skinning scene and Beta’s greatest adversaries.

How significantly did you know about Beta and The Walking Dead just before you had been cast? Had you study the comics or watched the show?

Ryan Hurst: I had watched the show, I had not study the comic book by way of the Whisperers but. But at a bunch of comic-cons, men and women had really come up to me and they had been like, “You need to be on The Walking Dead!” I was like, “Oh yeah, excellent!” And they mentioned, “You have to play Beta.” So I’d heard that for a handful of years just before landing the part, but it wasn’t till I was presented the part that I went and explored the comic book a small bit additional.

That was an additional factor I wanted to ask you about — exactly where did you draw your inspiration from for Beta’s character? Given that he’s so special with the way he talks, and his presence…

I drew some inspiration from Anton Chigurh, the antagonist character in No Nation for Old Guys. He was so wildly insane and impenetrable and so psychotic. And I recall in Javier Bardem’s functionality, it was so eerie since he did so small, but he mentioned so, so, so significantly with his presence. So I utilized that. A small bit of Anton Chigurh, a small bit of Jack Sparrow in the costume.

How would you describe Alpha and Beta’s connection? In the comics, portion of the purpose he does not challenge her is since he has feelings for her — do you believe that is correct on the show?

I believe it is intimate and difficult. Some of this is but to be totally explored on the show, but I believe he is her appropriate hand, he is her enforcer, he is her consiglieri, a bit. And as we see in this initial episode, she just about every when in a though turns to him for a bit of solace. Samantha [Morton] and I talked about this a small bit — if Alpha has a soft spot left, she knows that Beta is her secure location. But at the similar time, these are psychotic killers wearing zombie masks. It is a incredibly intimate, complicated connection.

Why does Beta opt for to stick to Alpha?

Nicely that is the major query, is not it. Why would this humongous man stick to this crazy lady? But that is the story of all time, is not it? [Laughs] Not to be as well obscure right here, but in Kundalini Yoga they speak about how girls are 16 instances additional effective than males, and they can use that energy for progress or for destruction. It is fair to say hell hath no fury like a Whisperer scorned. She’s a incredibly, incredibly effective lady.

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We know that Beta respects Alpha, but how does he really feel about Lydia? How does he see Alpha’s daughter?

That is a great query. I believe as Alpha mentions — she’s conscious of it and Beta’s conscious of it — they’re breaking their personal set of guidelines, going right after her daughter. And I believe Beta not-so-subtly brings that to her interest, like, “Look, the group is additional crucial than your daughter. We have a set of guidelines that we reside by, and this does not include things like risking the pack to go right after your daughter. Who has a name, by the way! I believed we gave up names! I’m Beta, you are Alpha, why are we calling your chick Lydia?” [Laughs] I believe there’s no compact quantity of animosity for the “human” connection Alpha decided to place the group at threat for.

Beta has a single of the grossest scenes I believe I’ve ever noticed on the show, exactly where he’s generating a new walker suit for Lydia. What was that like to film?

Enjoyable and traumatic. [Laughs] Nicotero is so brilliant at what he does, and when you have to be inches away from some thing that appears so wonderful, it is just gross, man! When you are sticking a knife up somebody’s… and peeling the skin off their face, it is as gross as you have described.

In the teaser trailer for 9B, there had been a handful of scenes that seemed to hint at a major fight involving Daryl and Beta. What can you tease about that confrontation?

It was enjoyable to shoot. Norman and I choreographed a bunch of that collectively, and it took us about a week and a half to do it. It was scripted as a 3-web page fight scene. I recall when I initial got that scene I was like, “Oh my gosh.” It is an epic, epic battle involving these two. One particular of the enjoyable points is — and I cannot give away as well significantly, but — it is the initial time we’ve noticed a sort of worthy adversary for Daryl.

Speaking of Beta’s adversaries, what about Negan? They have a fairly legendary rivalry in the comics. Any opportunity fans will see that play out on the show?

I confident hope so! I’ve generally believed that Beta is a great foil to Negan. As significantly as Negan is complete of hubris and charisma, Beta is the precise opposite. He is an immovable object to Negan’s unstoppable force. So when and if they meet, I believe it is going to be some thing to watch.

The Walking Dead, Sundays, 9/8c, AMC