Monday, July 23, 2012

Interview: Actor Alex Darko

Zombie Mania has gripped the nation and actor Alex Darko is right at the center of it! Alex is a regular "Walker" on the hit AMC show "The Walking Dead". If you've ever wondered what it was like to become a member of the undead, keep reading! Alex fills readers of the Confessions of a Cosplay Girl Blog in  on transforming into a rotting corpse, filming season 3, his background in acting and being voted AMC's Fan Favorite Zombie Walker.

Victoria: How many episodes have you appeared in The Walking Dead?

Alex: I have appeared in 5 episodes during season 2. I also did episode 6 "Everything Dies" of the Webisodes that were directed by the wonderful SFX guru, executive producer and friend Greg Nicotero. I have recently worked and played on 3 episodes of Season 3 which is going to be the best zombie action yet! Fans of the comics as well as the show are going to be very satisfied and on the edge of their seats for season 3. 
Victoria: You always play a different Zombie, correct?
Alex: Yes that is correct, sometimes even multiple zombies in one episode before. It's daunting, but fun all at the same time.
Victoria: How long does it take to get into Zombie makeup and wardrobe?
Alex: It depends rather if you're featured, which we have a term for and that is "hero zombie." When we go in the makeup up team already has an idea of how they will make us look and have pieces and prosthetics set aside ready for us. And the wardrobe is already pre-picked for us. The longest time I have spent in the chair has been 4 to 5 hours. First time was last season and the second time was most recently for an episode in season 3 directed by Greg Nicotero and that is by far the one I am most proud of.  
Victoria:  Is it startling for you to see the results of the Zombie makeup and seeing yourself as a rotting corpse?
Alex: At first it was startling when I shot the first episode of season 2 titled "What Lies Ahead" as you can see in the photo: The incredible and talented artists Andy Schoneberg, Kevin Wasner and of course Greg Nicotero are responsible for that masterpiece. I love those guys! That took 4 hours in and out, but unfortunately that scene got cut. I have gotten so used to it that I am always anxious to get back in the chair again. It's an incredible and fun process and experience for me! You go in and really appreciate the whole process that these talented artists do to you and how they do it. It's bloody amazing (pun intended) *laughs* Most recently for an episode that we just got done filming for season 3 was very startling for me and everyone on set, because I could not  recognize myself at all. I had so much layers upon layers of makeup and prosthetics applied to me that I have no words to describe it. When the episode airs I don't think anyone will believe that it's actually me to be honest. And I think I look great as a rotting corpse! The special death scenes where I get killed in some unique fashion are my favorite and fondest moments, I always look forward to those! *laughs*
Victoria:  What are your thoughts on the Zombie craze? Why do you think people are intrigued by the undead? 
Alex: I think it's because the thought of zombies walking among us is more terrifying than vampires, werewolves, etc. There is so much thought and fear that goes into it, once you're infected that's it you're done. They spread like cancer, just imagine living in a world like that it's terrifying! Believe me I've had my share of nightmares about the zombie apocalypse! I truly think it could happen one day, but more in the sense of something like "28 Days Later." But I much rather live in a zombie world like Shaun of the Dead. I need humor!
Victoria:  How do you feel about the flesh eating virus currently spreading through Georgia and the "zombie" attacks?
Alex: Wait, I didn't know or hearing anything about this flesh eating virus..... shit I'm out of the loop. *laughs* And as for the zombie attacks that happened in Miami and other locations....I tell my friends and everyone (I told you so!) 
 Victoria:  In addition to being an actor, you are also a writer. Are you currently working on any writing projects?
Alex: I haven't written anything lately, no! But me and my best friend were developing our own comic book at one point, but our scheduling was off. So now seems like a good time as any to getting back to writing and developing the story for that. We'll see how that goes!
Victoria:  What is your background in acting and what does the future hold?
Alex: I grew up doing theater back in my hometown Savannah, TN. It's a very small town so to save you from saying you've never heard of it. I get that a lot *laughs* And I have lived in Atlanta, GA for almost 3 years now. I first started out working as an extra in the "Franklin & Bash" pilot as well for a few other TV shows and movies like: Teen Wolf, Vampire Diaries (been an extra, stand in, and photo double), Drop Dead Diva, Hall Pass, Big Momma's House 3. A night club raver in the upcoming film "The Collection" which was the first thing i ever did dying on screen. Among other productions that have filmed here in Georgia. But The Walking Dead has really been my big break for character acting and launching my face out there. I've appeared in Entertainment Weekly as well in magazines in other countries, on birthday cakes, t-shirts, valentine ecards (which blew up my Facebook wall), paintings, sketch cards, and even tattoos. All that is great, but what i would really like is an action figure of myself as one of the zombies that i have played! All my friends who I have worked with on the show just tag this information to me and I'm always like WOW that's incredible! I am grateful for all of my achievements that The Walking Dead has given me. I don't know what the future holds, I can't see the future. But my foot is in the door thanks to The Walking Dead and I am just now peeking through it! I hope it's a good one and I'm just going to embrace every day that comes my way. That's all I can do really!
Victoria:  I was so happy to find out you're a fellow geek and gamer! What are your favorite comic books and video game?
Alex: **Laughs* Yeah i'm a huge geek, I am proud to admit! I love the Walking Dead comics of course. Recently I've been trying to catch up on the new DC 52's, they are bloody brilliant fantastically well written and drawn out. My favorite video game franchise has to be The Legend of Zelda games. I've been playing the Assassin's Creed games, they're great too! Resident Evil, Halo those are some good titles. When I need to release some frustration I turn to shooting games. I've dabbled a little bit in Skryim lately and it just blows my mind of how much you can do in that game. I was like "I CAN'T DECIDE WHAT I WANT TO DO!" *laughs* But all in all I'm a die hard old school gamer! The original NES is where my heart is at and will always hold a special place for me. Love me some good old Mega Man, Legend of Zelda, Super Mario Bros., Metroid, Chip N' Dale Rescue Rangers, and Contra.
Victoria:  Tell me about being voted AMC's Fan Favorite Zombie Walker!
Alex: I did not even know there was a fan favorite voting contest going on at that time. My friend Clair who I worked with on the show tagged and messaged me telling me about it. I was like what are you kidding me? She gave me the link to it because I couldn't believe it, the thought of it just made me laugh and was too outrageous. But then I saw it and I was like wow, really? That image and scene wasn't even shown, and now I outvoted Sophia and the Well Zombie? It definitely put a smile on my face. So who knows maybe I'll get voted again this year, hopefully! 

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