Football fans may notice a familiar face this season on The Walking Dead – in zombie form. Hines Ward joined The Walking Dead team to make a guest appearance as a walker on the groundbreaking AMC thriller.
When rumors started surfacing that Hines Ward would make a guest appearance on The Walking Dead, co-executive producer, special effects makeup designer, and “born and bred” Steelers fan Greg Nicotero was beyond excited.
“When the Hines Ward request came in, I was like, ‘Oh my God, this is gonna be great!’” he recalls. “I was a very vocal proponent for making sure that this happened.”
According to Nicotero, the rest of the crew had to reel his excitement in a little, but he was still pumped.
“We don’t like to do a lot of celebrity cameos because we don’t want our audience looking for a ‘Who’s Who’ of zombies.”
A sensible argument, but on this occasion, the guest appearance seems to be a success. Ward, a former college teammate of IronE Singleton (T-Dog) and resident of Georgia, found the guest role to be a great opportunity.
Steven Yeun thinks that Ward might give them a run for their money as a walker.
“He’s going to be maybe our most muscular zombie to date. He’d be a horrible zombie for us,” the actor jokes.
Singleton agrees of his college teammate’s formidability on the show.
“He’s a competitor. He’s just tough.”
Tough indeed. Ward played a very aggressive 14 seasons in the NFL and retired during this past off-season.
Ward isn’t so sure that he’ll be so frightening, considering that he’s so well known for constantly smiling and being upbeat.
“Hopefully I can scare somebody. I think I’m known for smiling all the time, but it’ll be hard for a smiling zombie to really be scaring people.”
After sitting in makeup for nearly two hours, Singleton gives Ward some lessons on how to be a walker. He tells him, “Just don’t hold back. You’re supposed to be ravenous.”
According to the story, “Hines Ward will be turned loose sometime this season.” Keep an eye out for Hines Ward on The Walking Dead. Watch the video from the NFL and USA Today.
“Hopefully I did a pretty good job. I think I scared some people.”