VIDEO Jon Bernthal addresses leaving The Walking Dead “I’m going out with a f***ing bang!”

The Walking Dead actor Jon Bernthal on the Covino & Rich Show

SPOILER ALERT! If you haven’t seen the latest episode of The Walking Dead then you seriously need to stop reading right now!

If you have seen the latest episode of The Walking Dead, then you know good guy Rick Grimes was forced to finally deal with the problem that just wasn’t going away, namely Shane Walsh. Shane lured his “best bud” out into the forest to look for their escaped captive Randall (who Shane set free before then breaking his neck) where Shane intended to shoot Rick so he and Lori and Carl could finally get back to being the family they had become when they thought Rick was dead. (These zombie shows are complicated y’all!)

Annnnnyways…. Rick turns the tables on Shane by refusing to draw his gun and then talking him down before surprising Shane by stabbing him in the heart. A very emotional Rick then screams, “This was you! Not me! You did this!”

Then, because everybody that dies now becomes a zombie (whether they were bitten or not), Shane rises up from the dead and sneaks up on Rick from behind as Rick’s son Carl holds a gun on his dad after realizing Rick has killed Shane. Carl fired the gun, killing Zombie Shane.

The Walking Dead Zombie Shane

(My apologies for the brief recap, it felt necessary to set up the interview clip)

Jon Berthal, who plays played Shane Walsh on The Walking Dead, sat down for a radio interview with SiriusXM’s Covino & Rich Tuesday in which he talked about his departure in a pretty bitter (and profanity-laden) way. He even half-jokingly refers to AMC as “f***ing d!cks” for killing him twice and not allowing even the possibility of a returning role as zombie Shane.

Here’s the interview video – but be forewarned that it contains A LOT of cursing!

Does anyone else get the impression from that interview that Jon Bernthal is exactly like his character Shane Walsh? And you could even take it one step further by drawing a comparison between AMC killing him off and Rick doing it on the show! It was something that both parties would have liked to avoid, but it was just unavoidable – partly because Shane/Jon is a bit of an ass. 😉 If Jon had approached AMC about the death scene, they might have responded with, “This was you! Not us! You did this!” Oh, and Jon Berthal says in the interview that he still returns to the set, just like a zombie!

And in case you were wondering, Frank Darabont (Shawshank Redemption, Green Mile) was the director and executive producer up until halfway through the second season, at which point AMC let him go in a rather unamicable fashion. (You can read Frank’s rather candid take on leaving the show HERE) I suppose we should liken AMC killing him off to the death of Dale.

If you weren’t able to watch the clip for some reason, here’s a transcript of the interview:

Covino & Rich: Dude, your character, you on that show – amazing.

Jon Bernthal: Thank you.

Covino & Rich: For you to be off the show, essentially they fired you to some degree, to some degree right? How do you swallow that?

Jon Bernthal: I mean look, I think that I always knew taking this job –

Covino & Rich: Oh, from the get go?

Jon Bernthal: From the get go I knew that I was dying, but that being said … hey look dude, they can decide not to fire you, to kill you.

Covino & Rich: Yeah!

Jon Bernthal: You know, you do look at it that way, and I think there was a bit of me, especially with everything that went down with Frank [Darabont], I’ll be honest man, there’s a little bit of me that kind of wanted to buy into that for the character. Like, “F*** you! You guys wanna see me die? Well watch this, I’m going out with a f***ing bang!”

Covino & Rich: Yeah!

Jon Bernthal: And to use that and fuel it and, yeah man. But look, for me it was really about making that death matter, and matter for Rick, and something that’s going to haunt him and f*** with him for the rest of the show. That was the thing I really cared about. My only concern was, you know, Frank leaving the show, he was supposed to write that episode, he was supposed to direct it, you know? Look, everybody involved with the show is awesome, but Frank Darabont was going to write and direct that episode. So it’s really just about really trying to earn it and make it count.

Jon Bernthal
^ Jon Bernthal arriving Tuesday for The Late Show with David Letterman

Covino & Rich: Will you be a fan and continue to watch the show?

Jon Bernthal: I’m gonna watch man. I mean look, the cast and crew of that show, they’re my family and I love them and I wish them all the best, and I will be there supporting them. Look man, the movie I’m about to go do shoots in Georgia – every day off I’ll be on Walking Dead, making sure they’re f***ing doing they’re job right.

Covino & Rich: One of the big mysteries on The Walking Dead was – now does everyone have this disease? Is that sort of what we figured out? Is that official? Everyone sort of has the disease?

Jon Bernthal: I think so man. That’s what it is in the book, you know? And it’s kind of cool, I can just say whatever I want now because I’m off the show. I’m like, “And guess what happens next?!?” But yeah man, I think that that’s the deal. I thin it’s like, we are the walking dead.

Covino & Rich: The whisper was the controversy. The whisper scene when the doctor whispers to Rick. We actually beefed up the volume.

[They play the scene with the doctor whispering, “Your wife nailed your best friend like 50 times when she thought you were dead.”]


Covino & Rich: In the butt! In the butt! See, a lot of people don’t know that.

Jon Bernthal: That’s the funniest f***ing thing I’ve ever heard. That is amazing!

Covino & Rich: In the butt!

Jon Bernthal: And gave her zombie disease.

Covino & Rich: By the way, you played a great zombie. Did you get excited that you actually got to be a zombie for like a few seconds?

Jon Bernthal: No. No man. I like hated that sh!t because it was like, “F***! Now I gotta go be a f***ing zombie!” You know what I mean?

Covino & Rich: You had to put the makeup on like the other lemmings of the crew?

Jon Bernthal: It ain’t that man, it’s just that … you don’t just get killed once but you get killed twice. You don’t even give me a shot at coming back next season, you f***ing dicks. You know what I mean? Like, couldn’t you have stretched it out?

Covino & Rich: Because if they didn’t kill the zombie, it could have been a storyline next year. Like, the “walker Shane” could have f***ed everyone up!