During the 2010 premier of AMC’s The Walking Dead, series protagonist Rick Grimes (played by Andrew Lincoln) killed the show’s very first walker during the pilot episode. Dubbed Summer the Teddy Bear Walker by fans, keen-eyed viewers of Sunday’s season 8 premier might have noticed a suspiciously similar zombie among the masses of undead.
Huffington Post confirms what many had theorized upon the first airing of episode 1 of season 8 – 100 episodes later, Summer is back. Not literally, of course (at least, one would hope given the utter hopelessness of a world where even the zombies become zombies after death). Instead, Addy Miller, the actress who portrayed the walker in question, made a cameo appearance in the new episode for a nearly shot-for-shot remake of her original role.
According to Addy, not even Lincoln himself was allowed to know of her appearance prior to the episode’s airing. “They had to film me separately from Andrew because he’s known to spill some spoilers, so they had me in hiding the whole time so the crew couldn’t even know.” The producers went so far as to even hide her real name from the rest of the show’s crew, having her made up under the name “Lily Brussels” inspired by her dog, Lily Potter, who is a Brussels Griffon mix.
The original crew still working with the show since its first season recognized her quickly, though they all agreed to keep the secret for the sake of the reveal. Even more than the crew, though, Addy herself had trouble keeping the secret prior to the episode’s release. “It was really difficult keeping the secret for so long because so many fans were asking after they released a clip that was signaling the parallelism between the first season and this season.” She forced herself to deny anyone asking for a definitive answer, at one point leaving the decision to reveal the twist prematurely up to her mother.
Addy also told HuffPo that she only learned of her role the day prior to shooting. She goes on to say that she’s not actually sure whether or not the character she played that day is meant to be Summer or a totally different zombie altogether. She also mentions how, despite Lincoln being on set the same day as her, they were both kept separated to avoid the possibility of him accidentally leaking any information.