What's the only thing more fun than seeing Eugene's mullet on The Walking Dead every week? It's the fun his portrayer, actor Josh McDermitt, has with his distinctive 'do.
"Everybody wants to know about the mullet," McDermitt told the Associated Press. "They want to take pictures with the mullet and not me."
The business-up-front, party-in-the-back hairstyle, which is the character's trademark in the Walking Dead comic books, as well, takes more than an hour to whip into shape. It's a mix of extensions and McDermitt's own locks.
"Thankfully, I don't have a real mullet," the actor told Yahoo TV earlier this year. "I had longer hair … They fashioned it into a flattop, and they left whatever length I had in the back. Then they clipped in some extensions and dyed it.
"But when they'd take those extensions out, I'd still look ridiculous. They were taking us back to the hotel, after we were shooting one day, and I was so sad and embarrassed, and I said, 'Can you please just take me to the store so I can buy a hat?' They looked at me funny and went, 'Yeah, OK, whatever.' So they take me to Walmart. I walked in, and there were, like, five people with the same haircut. Instantly, I'm, like, 'You know what? I'm OK.'"
McDermitt, who promises viewers will get some much-awaited backstory on Eugene, Abraham (Michael Cudlitz), and Rosita (Christian Serratos) in Season 5, is a good sport about the hair, which even inspires his cast members.
"Because we're filming in Georgia, it's hot, it's humid," he says. "There's bugs, and they make jokes. They say, 'If you're ever tired, if you're ever thirsty, just go to the mullet, drink from the 'Mullet of Life.' It's so disgusting."
The actor, who also guest-starred on a pair of Season 7 Mad Men episodes, frequently posts missives about Eugene's mullet on Twitter. Not surprisingly, given how much fans love it, the hair has its own Twitter account: @EugenesMullet.
One more secret about the mullet: It's not McDermitt's real hair color, as he told Yahoo TV.
"It was really difficult, because a lot of my friends are actors, all of us having blond hair, and coming back to Los Angeles, all of a sudden, they see I have brown hair, and it doesn't quite look right," he said, laughing as he described how he had to keep the real reason for his new hair color a secret after first getting cast on the show.
"They say, 'What are you working on?' I couldn't tell them. I just kept saying, 'Oh, I just wanted to change my hair.' We had a nondisclosure agreement we had to sign. It was pretty tough. I was wearing a lot of beanies and baseball hats, [and] I honestly don't look good in a hat. I just have a large head."
The Walking Dead Season 5 premieres Sunday, Oct. 12 at 9 p.m. on AMC.