Exclusive Interview With The Walking Dead’s David Morrissey in Total Film Indonesia

RISE OF THE GUV’NOR

Think you’ve seen David Morrissey somewhere but don’t quite know exactly where it was? It’s not just you. But if you see him now, you know you’d have to be careful. Where The Governor is, heads will roll…

WORDS AMANDA AAYUSYA

Last October, Total Film Indonesia found itself in a bind. The phone number given to TFI to call one of the biggest names of the third season of AMC’s The Walking Dead, David Morrissey, was not working. Only after dialing repeatedly, did we manage to get connected. Even then, we were asked to wait for a few more minutes for David’s arrival. All we could think about was: screw the phone bills – as long as we get to talk to The Governor. Or, should we say, the guv’nor?

Well, we’re not only totally crazy about the show. We admit to being obsessed with TWD the way zombies are obsessed with eating human flesh – the series is dramatic, intense and stunningly star-studded – but Morrissey is a bit of our hero as well. We’ve seen him in Basic Instinct 2, Derailed, The Other Boleyn Girl, Centurion, Blitz… and recently he was in Hollow Crown, BBC’s Shakespeare mini-series, in the Richard II part of the show along with Patrick Stewart, James Purefoy and 007’s new gadget man, Ben Whishaw. And our inner geek also recalled his outing with Tenth Doctor David Tennant in The Next Doctor, a Christmas special of Doctor Who.

He’s that kind of actor – you may not immediately remember his name, but his face is certainly recognizable. Like David Straithairn or Elias Koteas, he’s a character actor with a comprehensive CV. And his chops are undeniable – he’s done stage, TV and films. All medias covered. Now, thanks to the zombie extravaganza The Walking Dead, he’s going to be even more recognizable, face- and name-wise. Here’s a food for thought: now that he’s in a popular American hit show, would he be willing to go back to England and do Who? When we finally got to speak to David, we put the question to the guv’nor…

Let’s talk The Walking Dead, your first ever zombie gig. Is there a difference between playing in a zombie series and the other things you’ve done in your career so far?
Yeah, I’ve not encountered many zombies in my acting life so far. They’re very real. I think one of the wonderful things about being in the series is Greg Nicotero, who is the head of the special effects that do such a brilliant job, that you really don’t have to that much of your imagination to imagine what it would be like to be confronted by these terrible things. And the guys who play them, I’m told, come at 4 in the morning and then have them go into make-up and stand under the terrible Georgian heat. They are wonderful people who work very hard to bring these characters to life. So, yeah, it’s a challenge but it’s also wonderful to do. I think it’s an amazing creation done by an amazing team.

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Exclusive interview with The Walking Dead’s Sarah Wayne Callies in Total Film Indonesia

Back in August, I had the privilege of having a phone interview with Sarah Wayne Callies who plays Lori Grimes in AMC’s The Walking Dead. She was a very nice lady who answered questions very clearly and professionally. In our interview, she addressed character deaths that might happen on the show, including her own. She also had some very interesting insight on a lot of aspects on the show. It was truly a pleasure to be talking with her and discussing TWD (as well as zombies and aliens) with her.

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FEARLESS FEMME

Exclusive interview with Total Film Indonesia: Sarah Wayne Callies on character death, strong women and aliens…

WORDS AMANDA AAYUSYA

Lori Grimes, the leading lady portrayed by Sarah Wayne Callies in AMC’s The Walking Dead, is one of those love-her-or-hate-her types. After cheating on his husband (Andrew Lincoln’s Rick Grimes) with his best pal (Jon Bernthal) in Season 1 and getting pregnant without knowing who the father of the baby is in Season 2, probably not a lot of people would cry to see her go after a zombie bite. But hang on – The Walking Dead would truly lose one of its biggest intrigues without her. Can the show survive if she was really gone? Callies herself told us what she knew and what she wanted for her character in this exclusive interview with Total Film Indonesia. Apparently, she is not afraid of dying…

WARNING: The following interview contains spoilers from The Walking Dead. Please read with caution.

How far do the actors in The Walking Dead know about what’s going to happen to their characters?
We talk to the writers at the beginning of each season and we get the broad strokes so we can start making decisions and prepare things appropriately. There are certain details that they keep from everybody. For the second season, Frank gave us the first seven episodes about a month before we started shooting so we can start working on our lines and what’s happening but they kept back the 8th episode so none of us knew about Sophia dying until about a week before we shot that. And it does vary. We’ve had people on the show who were called and told they were going to die and they don’t. And then there are people who’d not been told they were going to die and they die. And that’s just kind of how it works.

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Q&A with Seth Grahame-Smith in Total Film Indonesia

For Total Film Indonesia issue 33 (cover: The Amazing Spider-Man) I did a feature on Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter. I also had the opportunity to interview Benjamin Walker, the star of the Timur Bekmambetov movie, as well as the author of the ALVH book, Seth Grahame-Smith.

We talked about the differences between ALVH book and  movie, the process of writing the book and his other projects. I also asked him about the Pride And Prejudice And Zombies movie that has been on hold since FOREVER.

Read the complete Q&A with Seth Grahame-Smith here.

Harry Potter & The Deathly Hallows Part Two Special Coverage: TF Interview: Daniel Radcliffe

This a continuation of the Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows: Part One coverage that I did for Total Film Indonesia magazine. This Daniel Radcliffe interview is part of the Deathly Hallows press junket that the magazine attended (but we weren’t allowed to publish it until last month). The rest of the Deathly Hallows cast interview can be found in the archives.

THE TOTAL FILM INTERVIEW: DANIEL RADCLIFFE

Jack Kipling. Alan Strang. Arthur Kipps. J. Pierrepont Finch. And, of course, Harry Potter. After 10 years, Daniel Radcliffe’s journey as the young wizard whose name is on the mouth of every people in the world will end in July 2011. “I actually miss Harry,” said Radcliffe of his on-screen alter ego, “like you would miss a friend who you haven’t seen for a while. I do feel the fans’ pain.

In early March 2011, Total Film Indonesia has its eyes glued to a YouTube video of the 21-year-old Brit actor Daniel Radcliffe singing “I Believe In You”. The song, from Broadway musical How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying, is beautiful and not only owns the song, but he should be able to own the world with it. Or, at least, should he ever feel inclined to join the reality TV show, he could really impress the judges of American Idol.

A month later, Radcliffe and his fellow How To Succeed cast performs live at The Today Show, this time singing “Brotherhood of Man”. Agile and acrobatic, Radcliffe sings and dances as if he was born for it. It is now wonder, then, that Rob Ashford’s How To Succeed gets nine Tony Awards nominations and a generally positive reviews from all corners. And surely the Harry Potter alumnus will not be begging anyone for jobs after the Warner Bros. film franchise ends its run on multiplexes.

The young actor has proven he can work in any media: he’s a live action film actor who has done TV (Extras), stage (Equus) and even animation (as the voice of Edmund, a parody of Twilight’s Edward Cullen in The Simpsons‘ “Treehouse Of Horror” episode). What next? Forming a band and releasing an album with Rupert Grint, Tom Felton and Matthew Lewis? “No. I would not be good in a band. I don’t think I particularly have a rocky kind of sounding voice.”

That’s what he said to TFI when we interviewed him last year in August in Claridge’s, London, a couple of months after the Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows shoot wrapped up. Radcliffe had waited for us with a firm handshake and a warm greeting and, like a good host, offered us a drink as we sat down. On that day, the actor who was born on 23 July 1989 did not resemble any character he has played. But despite his jeans-and-t-shirt-clad slight frame and completely fluffy hair, he still manages to exude poise, presence and professionalism.

Radcliffe may sidetrack himself and tell an unrelated story but he always remembers the original question at the moment you find yourself about to despair. Then he returns to it unprompted. His stunningly blue eyes will be focused intently on you as he answers your question. During our chat, he faltered – very slightly – only once, when he forgot the name of his ‘eldest son’, which we had to remind him of. But on the whole we found it was quite impossible not to fall at least a little bit in love with the charming Mr. Radcliffe…

Very soon all the Harry Potter fans will experience withdrawal syndrome. What do you suggest for them to be able to deal with it and how would you deal with it?
I’m fortunate because of course all my friends worked on it as well, so we sort of… we talk a lot so I don’t have to miss it too much. Because the thing I miss most is hanging out with the people. So I think I’d just maybe read the books again. That’d probably be a good thing to do. I think they might do that, anyway. I suppose, treasure it for what it was, while it lasted. It ended at the right time, I think.

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Gleeks and Other Rising Stars in Total Film Indonesia (Issue 16)

Watch out, people! The newest issue of Total Film Indonesia magazine, with two different types of cover (one featuring The Adjustment Bureau, and another featuring I Am Number Four), is out… and it’s chock full of features on today’s hottest young Hollywood stars.

First of all, can I just say that I managed to successful plug in Chris Colfer’s script, Struck By Lightning, in the Buzz section of the magazine? Yeah, I’m quite proud of this. I did that for Chris… not that he needs any more publicity, but I think any news about him writing that movie should be spread out as many times and to as many people as possible. This should show serious moviegoers that a Gleek is not just a Gleek… but he’s also a budding filmmaker!

Secondly, I wrote three interview articles of the main stars of I Am Number Four.


This is a snapshot of the ‘proof prints’ before they went to the printing company; I was working on the spellcheck with my friend at a restaurant.

My history with these three actors are somewhat different, which is interesting because I think my level of ‘favoritism’ for them had changed since I first discovered them. Alex Pettyfer was the one I discovered first (through his debut movie, Stormbreaker, in which he played Ewan McGregor’s nephew). I used to like him so much (let’s face it, he’s very good-looking), but since he hadn’t been playing in any movies until now, I had very little reason to continue liking him. I wish he would step up his game soon… and I think he will, although I admit that I’m now more interested in the female stars of Number Four.

Do you Tweet?
No and I’m not on Facebook and I don’t blog. To keep in touch with friends I do normal stuff like calling or texting.
Alex Pettyfer on the issue of social networking (Total Film Indonesia, Issue 16, March 2011)

On the other hand, I didn’t find out Teresa Palmer until last year, when she appeared as Jay Baruchel’s on-screen love interest in The Magician’s Apprentice. However, it turned out that I’m more interested to see where her career is going because she seems to be taking her job very seriously. From the interview, I could tell she’s not in Hollywood to try and aim to be “The It Girl”… she wants to play in good movies, taking good roles and working with good filmmakers. I wish her all the best of luck.

“I think there are a lot of strong female characters coming up in these films. And it’s nice; it’s definitely a shift from what we’ve seen in the past, with it typically being a male star who is the action star or the hero of the movie. I love it, and I think women are going to really respond well to it too. It’s like we are tough; we go through some of the hardest things in life and we have to give birth! Men don’t have to go through that experience. We are tough; it’s ingrained in us and it’s nice that film is starting to really appreciate women in that way.” – Teresa Palmer on the role of strong women in films and all around girl power (Total Film Indonesia, Issue 16, March 2011)

Sometime between discovering those two, I discovered Dianna Agron, who is of course one of the stars of Glee. Now, here’s the thing about Dianna: she’s very pretty. She has great tastes, bordering on the edgy, and she seems like a nice person who is less of a diva than Lea Michele. But she just doesn’t have that wide a range of acting. She seems to know how to play one thing and one thing only: the pretty high school girl in a “boy meets girl” story. That does not bode well for her career. Getting typecast after only having 2 major roles in a TV series and a movie? Hmm… But I like Ms. Agron. I wish her all the best of luck, too.

“I think anything fantasy-based. I would love to do something like Lord of the Rings or a Tim Burton film. I fell in love with Narnia and all the Hobbit books when I was a kid; that’s what got me interested in reading and got me interested in stories and characters and things like that. So a role along those lines would be fabulous. – Dianna Agron on what characters she wants to play (Total Film Indonesia, Issue 16, March 2011)

“Both production teams were so nice about it. What I did basically was rehearse with the tour, then I went to Pittsburgh for a couple of days for a rehearsal. I went back to the tour, finished the tour, and then the next day I was on a plane and started shooting. Then, right as soon as I was done, I went back and started the season. So there wasn’t any down time, but I like that, and especially since I was playing such a different character, it really didn’t matter.” – Dianna Agron on managing her time between I Am Number Four and Glee (Total Film Indonesia, Issue 16, March 2011)

Well, I hope I’ve whetted your appetite for this excellent issue of TFI. I’m not only saying this because I wrote half the feature articles in it, but the ‘original issue’ from the UK was also an excellent one. It’s all about book-to-movie adaptations, so if you’re a bookworm and a movie geek like me, this issue will please you very, very much. You can buy the magazine in all major bookstores in Indonesia.