EXCLUSIVE: 'Walking Dead' Star Juan Gabriel Pareja Says Latino Zombies Are the Toughest

The second season of AMC's hit show The Walking Dead premieres this Sunday at 9/8c, and we caught up with one of the show's stars, Juan Gabriel Pareja, to get the inside scoop on the new season. Check out the interview below!

Tell us about your Latin roots!

My family came over from Medellin, Colombia about 40 years ago. I was born in Houston. 

Who do you play on The Walking Dead?

I play a character named Morales. He's one of the few characters that was written in by Frank DarabontThe Walking Dead is a widely popular graphic novel and it has a pretty thorough following, and my character was one of the few characters that was created for the first season. That was kind of this cool aspect to have a brand new character that people don't have preconceived notions about. Morales is a moral character who tries to keep people grounded when tempers are flaring and things are heating up. 

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What's coming up for your character in season two?

I felt very blessed and fortunate that when the big zombie attack came to the camp in season 1, that I was able to hold my own and smash a few zombie heads in with a baseball bat. Morales kept his family alive. But then we decided to go up to Birmingham. At some point we’ll check in with Morales and see how his journey is going along with his family. I have high hopes that maybe Morales will come back in and swing the bat and save the day at some critical moment down the line.

Why do you think The Walking Dead is so popular?

It could be that to a certain degree people are just a little weary and exhausted now with the vampires and the werewolves, and it's now the heydey for the zombies. {Laughs}. I think there may be other undertones as well—the social situation of a lot of people, because of society a lot of people are sleepwalking and going through the motions. And there's this growing sense of kind of a dread with the approach of 2012. 

Why should Latinos check out the show?

Based on all the polls and all the numbers from the Census, it looks like we're the ones who are going to be around in the future, so you should expect to see a lot more Latinos in the world of The Walking Dead. And in my opinion, those are the people you want on your side when you're trying to survive a zombie attack!

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