Ever since it was confirmed that Maggie Rhee (Lauren Cohan) would be returning to AMC’s The Walking Dead, fans have been eagerly awaiting the appearance of her son, Hershel (Kien Michael Spiller).
The son of the late Glenn (Steven Yeun) and named after Maggie’s father, the arrival of Hershel Rhee would always be poignant among fans. Episode 17 of Season 10C proved to be even more so as not only did viewers finally get to see “Little Glenn” but Maggie had a run-in with her husband’s killer, Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan).
With so much dedicated backstory and fans often citing Maggie and Glenn as their favorite The Walking Dead couple, it was vitally important to find the perfect actor to play their son.
The Walking Dead showrunner breaks down the auditioning process for Hershel Rhee
The Walking Dead’s current showrunner, Angela Kang, revealed to Entertainment Weekly just how important it was to find the perfect child actor to play Hershel Rhee.
Using Fincannon Casting, the search was on to find Little Glenn.
“We knew that we were looking for something really, really specific, because you’re looking for a kid that you could buy is the kid of Glenn and Maggie,” Kang explained.
All of this was also done during the global coronavirus pandemic, adding more pressure to the situation.
While plenty of kids auditioned, ultimately, it came down to two contenders.
However, Lisa Mae Fincannon from the casting agency had a certain “feeling” about Spiller.
Kien Michael Spiller won out because he most embodied Glenn’s ‘rascally’ personality
“I just have a really good feeling about this kid,” Fincannon told Kang. “I have such a good feeling about him. He’s really smart, and there’s just something about him.”
Kang agreed, adding that the actor had “that rascally thing that reminds you of Glenn.”
“But he has something of the old soul of Maggie, which is really wonderful. So it was an adventure. We saw so many wonderful, young, child actors, and he won it, and we love having him. He’s such a sweetheart.”
In addition to making sure the actor could portray the embodiment of his parents, he also bears a striking resemblance to his father — especially with the addition of a baseball cap. Glenn was often seen, particularly early on in The Walking Dead, wearing such a hat.
This token item of clothing was not lost on Kang either, with it being a deliberate act in order to remind fans of the much-loved but no longer with us character.
The Walking Dead airs Sunday nights at 9/8c on AMC.