IronE Singleton went to University of Georgia on a full athletic and academic scholarship and after dreams of an NFL career didn't work he started his a little earlier than planned. Prior to his role as T-Dog on AMC's record breaking ratings hit The Walking Dead he was best known for playing drug dealer Alton in The Blind Side.
Al Norton: Were you at all familiar with The Walking Dead when you got cast on the show?
IronE Singleton: I was not familiar with it at all; I just knew that Frank Darabont and Gail Anne Hurd were on the project as executive producers and that excited me enough to want to be a part of it.
Al Norton: What drew you to T-Dog, or was there something about the subject matter that turned you on?
IronE Singleton: Yes, the subject matter because it was relative to what we are going through here now given the present state of our economy and this dismal state that we've been going through for the past so many years. I thought it was a perfect metaphor for life; I thought, "this is what we're dealing with and people will really be able to relate to it", and they have. That's the reason why the show is so successful; the audience can see a lot of themselves in our characters and the struggles our characters face. They see themselves going through the same things.
Al Norton: Do you ever get used to seeing the extras walking around the set in full make up?
IronE Singleton: Sometimes (laughing). For the most part yes but it depends on how hideous the zombie – the walker – is. Like that well walker, I don't know if I could get ever get used to seeing him walk around like that. Certain other zombies, too. I call them my marquee zombies; they're just too hideous to ever get used to.
Al Norton: With the intensity of the subject matter you all are dealing with, do people tend to be goofy and loose the minute the director yells cut just to get away from it?
IronE Singleton: It all depends on our mood for that day but for the most part that's what we tend to do, we tend to jump to the other side. We need a breather from that dark side and that's what we do most of the time but then sometimes, if it's too deep, we have to stay there in that moment. Like with Sophia at the barnyard, that scene didn't allow us to jump to the other side so quickly. We were caught up in it because that moment was so horrific, so tough for us to see one of our own go down like that after she had become a part of our family. It was heart wrenching for us.
Al Norton: Did that scene take longer than usual for you to shoot?
IronE Singleton: It did. That scene took us probably two days. We were occupied with that scene for almost two full days and normally a typical scene for us…we may shoot four or five scenes in a day.
Al Norton: Every time you get a new script are you flipping through to make sure you are alive at the end?
IronE Singleton: I could have answered your question after your first couple of words (laughing). We get asked that all the time and the answer is yes, I flip thought. I think we all flip through. I think I've heard every cast member say that except for maybe Lincoln (Andrew Lincoln), who plays Rick, and possibly Carl. The rest of us are flipping through that thing thinking, "please don't let this be my day to die."
Al Norton: You must have been reading the script where T-Dog got caught and thought, "oh no, this is it."
IronE Singleton: I jumped up and then skipped ahead in the script to make sure he survived it and was happy to see that he did. I read that thing front to back to make sure I didn't miss anything (laughing).
Read the rest of the interview here