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First Look at Seth Gilliam as Father Gabriel on 'The Walking Dead'

August 28, 2014 (5:57 am) GMT
The 'Wire' actor will make his debut on the AMC zombie drama as Father Gabriel Stokes in the upcoming fifth season.
First Look at Seth Gilliam as Father Gabriel on 'The Walking Dead'

A new still from "" is released via Entertainment Weekly ahead of the fifth season of the AMC series which returns October 12. The picture gives a first glimpse at "The Wire" star Seth Gilliam as Father Gabriel Stokes which was introduced in issue #61 in the comics.

It's unclear how the new character will fit into the story on the zombie TV show which stars and , but in Robert Kirkman's comic series, Father Gabriel offers the survivors his church to hide from the undead as he tries to redeem his past sins.

"I actually did not realize I was reading for the role of Father Gabriel during the casting process," Gilliam said. "The sides were for a school guidance counselor named Michael, who had an issue with a couple of his students. I had not seen the show before I was cast on the show. So I just thought, 'Okay, I guess they've discovered some guy who's holed up at a school or something like that and was carrying around this horrible exchange that he had with his students.' "

After securing the role, he started familiarizing himself with the character by reading the comics. "I only read the comic book where Father Gabriel was introduced," he explained. "I didn't read anything before that, and I haven't read anything after that."

"I discovered from reading about the show that often times characters' names and journeys are kind of crisscrossed and mismatched, so I thought if I did read too much I might be giving myself a lot of information that would be useless, or just outright wrong. So I figured, like with everything, I'd just take the script and try to fill him out the best I possibly can."

But he did watch all four seasons of the TV versions. "I watched and I was like, this show is not about zombies at all, really. The show's about a whole lot more than just zombies, which I was really excited by," he enthused.

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