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Walking Dead Actor Talks His Surprising Avengers: Infinity War Cameo

This post contains spoilers for Avengers: Infinity War.

Avengers: Infinity War is a cinematic experience chock full of surprises — some expected, and some that come completely out of nowhere. But nothing is more out of left field than the surprising role played by Ross Marquand of AMC's The Walking Dead.

Marquand, who has played Aaron on the hit AMC series since its fifth season in 2015, joined up with the cast of Infinity War to take over a role first popularized by another actor: the Red Skull, originally portrayed by Hugo Weaving. 

As the Red Skull, Marquand showed up in Infinity War in a scene on the planet Vormir, acting as the black-cloaked keeper of the Soul Stone.

It's a crazy moment in the movie, especially considering that Weaving had previously said in 2012 that he had no interest in returning to the role of the Red Skull, whom he portrayed in Captain America: The First Avenger

In casting Marquand to take over the role, Marvel Studios has been able to keep Weaving happy and surprise fans at the same time, bringing back a character that many thought they'd seen the last of.

In case you don't remember, the Red Skull vanished at the end of the first Captain America movie, being engulfed in light and seemingly beamed into the sky by the power of the Tesseract, aka the Space Stone. 

As Infinity War reveals, the Red Skull didn't die when the Tesseract consumed him, instead ending up at a lonely outpost in outer space, where he proceeded to sit alone for the next 70 years.

Speaking to Entertainment Weekly, Marquand broke down how he accomplished his performance as the Red Skull, keeping his interpretation of the character very close to what Weaving originally portrayed.

"The biggest thing that Marvel wanted to do was come as close to the iconic role that Hugo Weaving portrayed seven years ago and pay homage to it while also giving it a new flavor," Marquand said. 

Marquand says he was encouraged by directors Joe and Anthony Russo to switch up his performance as the Red Skull from a strict impersonation of Weaving.

"[The Russos] said, 'You know, he's been by himself essentially in this intergalactic prison of his own making for 70 years. He's going to sound a little different,'" Marquand said. "'We want him to have this kind of ethereal, almost ghost-like quality to his voice, so please try that.' I think the reference they might have given is 'Yoda-esque.' His ambition has brought him this great pain, but also this great wisdom, and I think that's what I tried to imbue that performance with."

During the interview, Marquand revealed that he got the performance down by watching The First Avenger over and over again, saying it took him about a week and a half of work to nail the character.

"For me, it was a matter of melding his iconic performance in The Matrix with the German accent he brought to the character with Red Skull," Marquand said.

Considering how many viewers seem unable to tell that the man behind the makeup isn't Hugo Weaving after all, it's safe to say that Marquand nailed it.

Avengers: Infinity War is out in theaters now, already notching a record-setting reign at the top of the box office. The next movie in the MCU, Ant-Man and the Wasp, is set to swarm into theaters on July 6.