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When news broke that Khary Payton had joined
, fans were stoke to see the actor’s take on Ezekiel. The kingly character is a favorite from Robert Kirkman’s bestselling comics, and Khary seems like the perfect guy to take on the role. So, it’s not surprising to hear that the actor is giving the role all he’s got and is loving every minute of it.
During a recent Q&A, the actor was asked whether he had fan bringing Ezekiel to life. And, judging by Khary’s hilarious answer, it’s safe to say that his answer is a resounding yes.
“It’s like somebody asked me what exactly would you like,” he explained. “I’m just going to check off a list of all of these things. Would you like to be introduced as a badass? Yes, I would. Would you like a large tiger that will do whatever you want? Yes, I would. Would you like to be introduced on the biggest television show in the world? It’s stupid what is happening to me.”
Khary went on to say that, “this [experience] doesn’t happen to everybody and this doesn’t happen every day. I don’t ever want to forget that.”
Of course, the actor takes the role seriously for reasons beyond fame. Khary, who is fan of
comics, said he has a “connection” with Ezekiel that he intends to honor. The actor told Entertainment Weekly he greatly admires the hopeful nature of Ezekiel despite the crummy situation he’s found himself in with the zombie apocalypse.
"I always say that when you’re in this acting business, you get a lot of rejection. You get a lot of people telling you no and you’ve got to get up, dust yourself off, and try again, and I feel like in a way Ezekiel fits that same mold where he’s in the hope business,” Khary said.
“I always say I’m in the hope business. You’ve got to stay hopeful. You’ve got to get up off your behind and try again no matter how many times they tell you it’s not going to work out. Your opinion’s got to overshadow whatever negativity might come your way. In a zombie apocalypse one can find themselves getting down about their situation, but Ezekiel’s not one of those people. He fights with all he’s got to make sure he stays positive and stays joyful. That’s what I love about him."
When fans see Ezekiel debut during Season 7 of
, they can expect to see Khary give the character all he’s got. The actor recently described his take on the respected leader, saying that fans will “think he’s a little bit out there.”
"You first come upon him and you think he’s a little bit out there, and he is a little bit out there," Payton explained. "But the truth is that everything about this world is a little bit out there, and if you want to survive in it and if you want to survive on your own terms, you need to preach your philosophy and preach it loudly so that it doesn’t get drowned out by all the crazy."
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