A relative unknown has (allegedly) landed one of The Walking Dead‘s most high-profile roles.
Ross Marquand, who channeled Paul Newman in a Season 6 episode of Mad Men, is joining the second half of the AMC smash’s fifth season as a series regular.
The network would not confirm the specifics of Marquand role, but TVLine hears that the actor will be playing Aaron, a prominent gay character from Robert Kirkman’s Walking Dead comic series.
Aaron is a character first encountered in Issue 67 of Image Comics’ The Walking Dead and is a resident of the Alexandria Safe-Zone community, formally working as a recruiter. He worked with Eric, who was his work partner and boyfriend.
Last November, Kirkman confirmed that a“prominent” gay character from the comic books will appear in the second half of Season 5.
Marquand’s casting comes on the heels of speculation about the sexuality of Norman Reedus’ Daryl — buzz Kirkman addressed in that same Talking Dead appearance.
“In the letter column of the comic book that I do, I mentioned that there was a possibility early on about making Daryl Dixon’s character gay,” he explained. “I just wanted to clarify that the possibility is there and that I would have been fine with it, the network would have been fine with it — but we ultimately didn’t do that. I can make it official: Daryl Dixon is straight.”