Everyone wants to drag one leg or walk like Frankenstein. We try to dispel those characteristics. We say, “Imagine that you walked out of a bar at 2:00 in the morning.” I tell people to relax their shoulders. Zombies don’t have the muscle tone to raise their arms as often as they’d want. As soon as actors get that sloped-shoulder attitude, it changes their body language.
Eyes are critical. When someone’s looking around the room, you see their eyes landing on certain things. That shows an intelligence. Let your eyes wander instead.
I’ll tell the walker extras to keep their chins down. There’s something a little more malevolent about having a chin down with eyes forward. —As told to Brendan Greeley
• Nicotero is a co-executive producer, director, and special effects makeup designer for The Walking Dead