Usually I include TV in the movie section (when it comes up…it usually doesn’t) but since this was part of C2E2 it is here. And I also think The Walking Dead is art.
Laurie Holden & Jon Bernthal Of The Walking Dead
The Walking Dead is a ratings champ cable zombie extravaganza was the most highly anticipated new show of 2010 (by me at least). It didn’t disappoint, except when I saw some whining about how they was talking that interrupted the shooting and growling of zombies. The show is great, down to the details, which is always the difference between good and great. Great starts with great writing, of course and both Holden and Jon Bernthal noted that director Frank Darabont doesn’t write every script but he certainly “Frankifies” each and every one.
In general, panels at book fairs and shows of asimilarsort, are not always scintillating. Sometimes the people do not want to be there. Sometimes they are stiff and inarticulate. That wasn’t the case here at all.
Commenting on his character’s liaison with his best friend’s wife Bernthal said, “Things happen in a zombie apocalypse.”
When you hear and see Bernthal he comes across as totally different sort from his character. He comes across as laid back and gregarious but on the show his gravitas somehow makes him OLDER. That is good acting. And horror acting may not be trying to do comedy but when your premise is fantastic to be able to play it with Gregory Peck-like seriousness is impressive.
After Holden, in response to a audience question, gave a heartfelt discussion of how the uncertainty in the world has bred a certain fear and that if there were a zombie apocalypse she would gather those close closer Bernthal said “I’d call my best friend’s girlfriend.”
At one point, while praising the minds behind The Walking Dead (and taking a shot at others in the industry), Bernthal made a hand gesture as he said some directors just wanted to stroke their…egos…during auditions, that those in charge at The Walking Dead made the process humane. He then realized there were kids present and tried to make his language more PG. Instead, every sentence he said included at least ONE word that could be interpreted in, let’s say, another way. Finally he said “I am not going to talk anymore”. Mercifully that wasn’t true. He even extended the questions by saying he felt bad people had been cut off telling people to quickly shout out some questions.
Holden wasn’t at all SILENT during this. Bernthal just, sometimes accidentally, received more of an audience reaction.
Holden mentioned there was a RUMOR Stephen King might write an episode. A rumor from a CAST member? Hmm.
An audience question also mentioned how, in the last episode, set at the CDC the CDC guy whispers something to Holden’s character Andrea. They asked both what they thought he said. Bernthal answered that he had no idea and Holden said that it was in the script saying; don’t you read the script? (to laughter). Of course, they never did say what he whispered.
Given that Bernthal said you do not even learn your lines before a script has been “Frankified” maybe he DIDN’T!
Another questioner noted that Bernthal’s character, by the time the first season ended, would be long dead in the comics said you never know when you might get killed on a show like this. He noted that he was in a movie, Tony & Tina’s Wedding (he also said only his mom and he had seen it..he is wrong…I saw it. I have no idea why). A number of the actors from The Sopranos were in the film and they all told him that you never know when you are going to get “whacked.”
It must add a certain edge to the production when you might be dead in the next script. It is to be hoped both of these actors live long and healthy on the show as they are a huge part of why the series is so compelling.