John Hawkes is one of those actors who you’d recognize having seen but wouldn’t necessarily be able to name, which is how he prefers things. He was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his performance in Winter’s Bone, where his performance was superb and chilling. His resume includes everything from high profile indies like Winter’s Bone and Martha Marcy May Marlene and television shows like Deadwood and Eastbound & Down to supporting roles in big flicks like Contagion and The Perfect Storm. Now, he may be joining the cast of AMC’s The Walking Dead as one of the biggest non-zombie dangers from the comics: The Governor.
There’s been no official word from AMC execs or any of the creative team on who will play The Governor, but actor and make-up artist Tom Savini let it slip that Hawkes was being courted for the role. Apparently, Savini has long been campaigning for The Governor based on the fact that he looks just like the character. He says that the last time he brought it up to Greg Nicotero, the zombie make-up mastermind told Savini that they were going after Hawkes for the part. Savini doesn’t seem terribly happy about it, seeing as he so strongly resembles The Governor and that “everyone I talk to, the people that read the graphic novels….They’ve all said that I would be the perfect Governor. Because he is tough and brutal”.
Savini may bear a stronger physical resemblance to the character than Hawkes (who is not actually too off-mark, facially), but basing this kind of casting decision shouldn’t be solely on physical resemblance. Hawkes is an extremely talented actor and is no stranger to taking on dark, sadistic roles. His performance in Winter’s Bone chilled me to the, well, bone, and I think he would be more than up for the challenge of the part.