‘Walking Dead’ returns, puts the Gold Dome to good use


Originally posted Monday, October 8, 2018 by RODNEY HO/rho@ajc.com on his AJC Radio & TV Talk blog

The majestic Georgia state capital Gold Dome, already seen in a raft of films and TV shows, is back in the spotlight again, masquerading as an American natural history museum in D.C. for the ninth season debut of “The Walking Dead” Sunday night.

Shot in May, the scenes focused on Rick Grimes' crew seeking seeds and an old-fashioned mechanical plow to help rebuild a post-zombie apocalyptic society in an agrarian way. As they bring an old-fashioned wagon holding a heavy plow down the expansive entry stairs, King Ezekiel falls through the glass floor where walkers reside below. He is pulled up just in time.

Of course, in reality, the floor has no walkers underneath. They had to replicate the scene on a soundstage.

In “Talking Dead,” they show how this was all done and gave the producers the opportunity to wax poetic about the place.

"It's an amazing building," said executive producer Denise Huth. "It has incredible architecture and art work. It gives us such scope and gives the show a look we haven't seen in a very long time."

"Every inch of this place is amazing and every inch of this place is fragile," added Tom Luse, another executive producer. "We are 'The Walking Dead' so it's like inviting the circus with the elephants into your house. It's a testament to the state of Georgia and their commitment to film that they're letting us shoot here."

During the shoot, Gov. Nathan Deal - an enthusiastic supporter of the state's tax credits for film and TV production companies - showed up and took pictures with Norman Reedus, who plays Daryl Dixon. During "Talking Dead," host Chris Hardwick shows a photo of the two of them holding up knives.


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“How did this happen and how did you not get tackled?” said Hardwick.

“There was a lot of security around him,” Reedus said. But since this is Georgia, folks were, “like, whatever. Nathan Deal was cool.” Pause. “My knife is so much bigger!”

Angela Kang, the show runner, said the building was still operational while they were shooting. "There were field trips," she said. "The governor's office was working. They were literally signing a bill. Okay, we're shooting in this area. They're working on that other side... We were trying to stay out of each other's way."

“Then Daryl voted on a referendum,” Hardwick joked.

Long-time executive director Greg Nicotero said they only had two days to shoot those scenes. They were very long days, he noted.

The Georgia Dome has been used in films and shows such as  NBC’s “Revolution,” "Selma," "Kill the Messenger" and "Ride Along 2."


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