John Hawkes Turned Down 'The Walking Dead' Role....Why?
Is it as shocking as knowing that Dave Chappelle almost played "Bubba" or Bill Murray was considered as "Forrest" in "Forrest Gump"? Nope. But hearing why John Hawkes passed up "The Walking Dead" has an admirable twist.
The "Winter's Bone" performer was approached by producers, hoping he'd portray The Governor for the record-breaking AMC phenomenon's upcoming third season. That one would pass up the role is eyebrow-raising enough. It's a chance to be on a show that seems on a course to go down as one of cable television's most successful dramas.
Then he told MovieWeb why he said "thanks, but no thanks": would you believe, simple deference?
"They offered me the role, and I just felt there would be someone else who could do it better," he said. "I was flattered, and I took a look at the series. It held interest for me, but I just didn't feel like I was the guy for it."
Producers eventually went with British TV veteran David Morrissey. In the upcoming season, he'll play the autocratic-leaning leader of the Woodbury survivor group, and the greatest living threat to Rick Grimes (played by Andrew Lincoln).
It's one thing when a performer puts the show above him or herself once already cast. It's another entirely when one respects a series that much without even taking a job in the first place.
OK, so Hawkes admittedly had other concerns. Namely, he has misgivings about sponsored broadcast television.
"I have to be careful of what TV shows I choose, particularly ones that have commercials in them, becaause it's going to be a different kind of television show," Hawkes explained. "There are going to be sponsors. No matter how good the show is, if there are commercials, it's going to be a different show, to me. That's just my personal feeling. Yeah, it was nice of them to ask, and it's a good show. But, again, I just didn't feel I was the guy. They came to me and sent me the graphic novel and the first two seasons. I took a look at them, and just didn't feel like it was for me."
The Walking Dead