Whoa, pick up a slice of pizza and sit down, because things are about to get totally tubular, dudes!
After Vulture attended The Walking Dead premiere event at Madison Square Garden in New York, they learned a very interesting piece of information: Lennie James a.k.a. Morgan was trained by none other than Donatello of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles fame. Talk about radical!
While the friend who taught Morgan his staff fighting skills is yet to be revealed on the show, behind-the-scenes we've learned that it was Steven Ho who trained James. Ho was the stunt double for Donatello in the films Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III, check him out on set back in the early '90s (check the mullet!):
Lennie James isn't the first actor that Ho has trained in the art of the bo staff, working with many action stars, including Tobey Maguire and James Franco in Spider-Man, and is currently the stunt coordinator on the talk show Conan!
So what was it like for Lennie James trying to pick up a whole new skill for the series? Apparently it wasn't too bad! Speaking about the training, James told Vulture:
“I don’t want to toot my own horn, but I took to it much faster than I thought I would. And, that made shooting the series a lot better. It meant that we could push along what we’d show in an episode at a higher level. And, I feel like the stick has become important to Morgan’s identity.”
And judging by the scenes we've seen Morgan demonstrate his staff skills in, I'd have to say he definitely appears to have a very good grasp of the art.
Episode 2 of The Walking Dead 'JSS' airs Sunday, October 18th on AMC.