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Isaac Sterling

Interview: 'Walking Dead' Star Josh McDermitt On Becoming Eugene & Dream Role

Get more familiar with the man behind Eugene Porter on The Walking Dead

Josh McDermitt is more than just the guy with the mullet. As Walking Dead cult favorite, Eugene Porter, the Arizona native has many talents: he's a comic with drama experience (see: Last Comic Standing and Retired At 35), a hot air balloon pilot (#moreonthislater) and isn't too shabby at darts (he tried a quick round at VIBE HQ before this interview). With his glorious head of hair in tact, the funny man turned real-life meme on AMC's hit show details his TWD beginnings, "The Mullet of Life" and the craziness Season 6 has in store.

On landing The Walking Dead role: Well, the whole time I was on another show called Retired At 35. I was studying with my acting teachers and just doing drama only 'cause they didn’t want to ignore that half of my career. Retired At 35 gets cancelled and I was still working on that but still trying to get on another sitcom. I went through pilot season and nothing happened, just kind of farted around, trying to get some more work. [Laughs.] I didn’t work for eighteen months and I was, like, not devastated, but just the truth of this business hit me. You can be on a show and then not work for a long time and I was like, 'Crap, man!' So I went through all of my savings, was living off of that and then I was like, 'Oh, I forgot this whole time I’ve been working on drama. I should tell my agent.' So I told them to start sending me out for stuff on the dramatic side and this was literally the first thing I went out for. And I love doing drama! It’s fun. It’s completely different from comedy. It’s challenging in its own ways and now the trick is trying to let people know that I do comedy 'cause they know me as this dramatic guy. In fact, I just lost out on a movie role because they had said, 'Well, we want a comedian.' And I was like… [Insert cricket noises.] The audition was funny and more comedy than anything and they loved it but they were just like, 'We want to go with someone who’s a comedian.' And I was like, 'Uhhh... 'kay.' Weird things happen all the time.

First zombie memory: My mom would play practical jokes on us. She had this half mask. It wasn’t a zombie mask but it was the same kind of torn up skin [like a zombie]. She would just put a blanket on and cover her head and everything and walk in through the house like ‘Rrrrr!’ We wouldn’t expect it so it would freak us out. It would be like in April or something but that was what my whole childhood was like so it kind of pushed me into this performance path where I love kind of screwing with people, having fun and asking for apologies later.

His little brother being Eugene's muse: My little brother is just like me in terms of he likes to screw with people to. He was working at Costco as a forklift driver. Now, he’s a travel writer but the whole time at Costco, he had all his coworkers convinced that he was Russian. Like he had this big, thick beard and a Russian cossack hat that he would wear and he would talk about the time when he was in the Red Army. He would just BS his way through work everyday. Then I get on The Walking Dead and I start telling people I’m basically my little brother and this and that then he calls me up like, 'Stop telling people that! You’re ruining my thing.' And I’m like you’re lying to your coworkers. But yeah, he really got mad. The thing is he’s just dry 'cause he doesn’t speak with any effect at all, so I based Eugene on him in that regard but he’s definitely not as socially awkward as Eugene is ... I got so many fans come up [to me] and go, 'You sound just like I pictured him in the comics' and that, to me, is one of the highest compliments 'cause I do not want to be the guy that shows up and screws up the show or screws up someone’s image of these characters in the comics.

The story of the mullet: So the thing is Eugene obviously has it in the comics and that was a big thing that [writer Scott Gimple] wanted to keep. When they write the audition they don’t give you any indication of who the character is but the character I was auditioning for had a mohawk and I was praying to God that I didn’t have to [wear] a mohawk. So then I show up to Georgia and they’re like 'Yes, can you get a mullet,' and I was like, 'Oh, okay.' I have blonde hair normally and they cut my hair, dyed it brown, cut it in a mullet and I was devastated 'cause it was like such a shock to me. ... But the mullet's really taken over our hair department. Danai [who plays Michonne] wears her dreadlocks...but the hair people, they do a great job and the mullet, they just kind of crack jokes about it and call it the "Mullet of Life." If you’re tired, you’re thirsty, you can’t make it to the end of the day, come drink from the "Mullet of Life."

The part where he's a hot air balloon pilot: A lot of people think it’s fake but that’s a real thing. A lot of families have like a boat or ATVs or whatever, we’re a weird family. We had a hot air balloon.

His ethnic roots: My dad was adopted. He’s Puerto Rican. So McDermitt is an adopted name but I have Dutch ancestry on my mom’s side so I look like my mom. It’s easier to tell people I’m Irish then it is to go through the whole [history]. But what’s funny is that in Phoenix, where I’m from, my dad grew up in the barrio and is very entrenched in the Mexican culture even though he has Portuguese heritage. He considers himself Mexican. He was always making his own tortillas. We always had like ten bottles of horchata in our fridge. He would drink beer with chili peppers in it. I mean, it was ridiculous but I also feel like a lot of people in Phoenix, that’s their life, you know. The Mexican culture is such a beautiful culture and it definitely more than seeped into that community and that state. I know they’ve had their issues in the past with immigration and all that stuff but I feel like that’s such a small minority to what most people feel about that culture. I just love enchiladas.

His dream role: [Playing] Seth Rogen’s brother. We have the same body. People will buy it. If I could create my own role, I would just do a movie with Seth Rogen and we play brothers. I’m a big fan of his. He’s just creating all of his own stuff and I love it. In fact, they were filming Neighbors 2 in my neighborhood in Atlanta, on my street. I was sitting there, calling everyone like, 'Who do you know on Neighbors 2?' I [was] just going to show up 'cause I heard he watches the show. I just wanted to be like, 'Dude! It’s the mullet!'

2 more Sundays... #TheWalkingDead ?🏽?

A photo posted by Josh McDermitt (@joshmcdermitt) on

What fans can expect from the new season of Walking Dead: It’s not going to be easy. I feel like most of the fans are on board with Rick [Grimes]. They see where he’s coming from but it’s not going to be an easy road to get the Alexandrians to kind of decide to live for themselves. It’s a really exciting season and I’m really proud of it. It’s just taken a lot out of us to work on it and I think a bunch of surprises. It’s about these characters but it’s a pretty intense season.

Catch the Season 6 premiere of The Walking Dead on Sunday, Oct. 11, at 9/8c on AMC.

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John Phillips

Oprah Responds To Viral Video Of Her Eating Unseasoned Chicken

A hilarious old video of Oprah Winfrey making an uncomfortable face as she dives into a piece of unseasoned chicken has been circulating the Internet all week. While these sort of silly videos wouldn't usually garner a response from the billionaire, Oprah surprised everyone when she shared a video explaining the chicken-eating experience and her initial reaction.

To give you some context, the video is a clip from The Oprah Winfrey Show in 2006, in which O invited her guest Anna Ginsberg to make her award-winning chicken dish. After one bite, it became clear that Oprah wasn't too pleased with the chicken's bland taste. She even asked at the time if she could add a little seasoning.

I often think about the time Oprah did a cooking segment with a woman whose chicken recipe won $1 million, and Oprah's jaw dropped when she tasted it and realized the lady didn't even add seasoning pic.twitter.com/rfs7PS1Jc3

— Spencer Althouse (@SpencerAlthouse) December 9, 2018

Now, more than 10 years later, Oprah is setting the record straight. In her new video posted on Instagram on Thursday (Dec. 13), she noted that she likes to provide a pleasurable experience for her guests but also live in her truth. On that particular day, she was presented with a dilemma. "I was having a moment of trying to decide: Do I want her to have a great time? What is my real moment of truth?" she said. "Because the truth for me was that I'm used to having salt and pepper on my chicken. That's just the truth...That's what I was thinking, 'This chicken needs some salt and pepper.'"

So that's that; Oprah has spoken. She may have played it off at the time, but like many others, she would prefer her chicken with seasoning.

 

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Over the weekend, a 2006 video of @oprah tasting an *interesting* chicken dish made its rounds online. We asked the O of O, what REALLY went through her mind as the cameras were on her—and she answered. Swipe left if you haven’t seen the hysterical video! #tbt

A post shared by O, The Oprah Magazine (@oprahmagazine) on Dec 13, 2018 at 7:13am PST

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'Sesame Street' Praised For The Inclusion Of Homeless Character

Sesame Street continues its crusade to include statement-making characters on their block. This time around, families will be introduced to Lily, the show’s first homeless character.

According to USA Today, Lily- an adorable hot pink, red haired puppet- was first introduced to the show in 2011, but in new online clips, Lily opens up about being homeless and staying with friends.

"Now we don't have our own place to live, and sometimes I wonder if we'll ever have our own home," she says to Elmo in one clip. In her initial appearances on the show, Lily discusses her family’s food insecurities, meaning they didn’t have much to eat.

“We know children experiencing homelessness are often caught up in a devastating cycle of trauma – the lack of affordable housing, poverty, domestic violence, or other trauma that caused them to lose their home, the trauma of actually losing their home, and the daily trauma of the uncertainty and insecurity of being homeless,” said Sherrie Westin, President of Global Impact and Philanthropy at Sesame Workshop.

“We want to help disrupt that cycle by comforting children, empowering them, and giving them hope for the future," she continues. "We want them to know that they are not alone and home is more than a house or an apartment – home is wherever the love lives.”

In recent years, Sesame Street has introduced a slew of ground-breaking new characters, including Julia, a puppet with autism, and Alex, a character whose father is incarcerated.

READ MORE: 'Sesame Street' Introduces A Character Who Has A Father In Jail

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Cardi B To Join James Corden On A Forthcoming "Carpool Karaoke" Segment

Your rapper’s favorite rapper Cardi B is slated to make her debut on “Car Pool Karaoke” with James Corden, Billboard reports. The Late Late Show host teased the upcoming episode, which airs Monday (Dec.17) via Instagram along with a small schedule of the show’s upcoming guests.

 

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Here’s what the next two weeks look like on the @latelateshow! Seeing the year out with a bang x x x

A post shared by James Corden (@j_corden) on Dec 10, 2018 at 5:17pm PST

In addition to the “Money” rapper, Amber Heard and Armie Hammer will also appear on the same episode. Corden is closing out the last leg of 2018 strong by having a slew of other prominent stars on the show on the last week before the program goes on break for the holidays. The likes of Gwen Stefani, RuPaul, Jennifer Lopez, Emily Blunt, Leah Remini, Lin-Manuel Miranda, among others will be featured on the show after Bardi’s Monday episode.

To say the least, we're sure the British talk show host and the newly minted Grammy-nominated rapper are going to have the time of their lives.

The 26-year-old's now estranged husband Offset, along with the other members of Migos were guests on the beloved show. Joining Corden as he drove through the streets of Los Angeles, the trio performed a slew of hits including "Walk It Talk It"  while also giving a nod of praise to past hits, including Whitney Houston's "Wanna Dance With Somebody."

With all the fun Migos had with Corden, we can only imagine what shenanigans James and Belcalis are going to get into.

READ MORE: Cardi B Buys Her Mother's House

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