Walker Stalker Con Boston 2017: Talking walkers, faith and everyday life with Seth Gilliam
Back in the Summer I was able to navigate the herd of lumbering craze filled zombie fanatics that occupied the famous Westin Hotel in Boston and get a few moments with man behind the apocalyptic collar for The Walking Dead: Seth Gilliam.
Graphic Policy: I am here for Graphic Policy to interview the talented Seth Gilliam who currently plays Father Gabriel on AMC’s The Walking Dead and I thank for you time today, first off how was the flight into Boston?
Seth Gilliam: Well actually it was delayed but I’m hoping things roll on more positive as we go.
GP: I hope that for you as well. So for those who are unfamiliar with your work, you play Father Gabriel on the hit show The Walking Dead.
SG: Yes I do.
GP: You play a very interesting character who has gone through a tremendous arc since he was introduced. That is the fascinating thing about The Walking Dead is not necessarily the Zombies themselves or walkers, but rather the people and what they go through. You actually play a priest. So I wanted to know, Are you a man of faith yourself?
SG: Yes. I do believe in God. I don’t know if my faith is called into question to the level that Father Gabriel’s has been though.
GP: Interesting. Would you say there is anything so far on your time filming this show that has helped you or you now apply to your every day life?
SG: Hmmm. Not really. It’s not like my every day life is chock full of dead people or anything. So in that respect there is not too much from the show you can apply to everyday life. It’s not like MacGuyver where I would learn how to make a bomb out of a toothbrush or shoe laces with a spoon or nothing like that. (chuckles) I don’t really know if daily affirmations apply in the role I play.
GP: Were you a fan of this genre before you got assigned to play this character? Was it something you sought out and wanted to be a part of?
SG: Actually I’m not really a big horror fan. Or a big gore fan. I’m pretty squeamish actually. I guess I would prefer Sci-Fi. I really like kitchen sink dramas above and beyond. The Walking Dead though is really like a kitchen sink drama once you remove the walkers. It’s about a bunch of people and where they go from where they start off. I mean it is not like a soap opera and where events get sped up to the extreme. However The Walking Dead does sort of fast track people because of the walkers and their situations it does speed it up a little more than normal.
GP: What does being in Fan Fest and not necessarily you being a fan of the genre but rather the people and the atmosphere. What does it mean to you?
SG: This is actually pretty cool. It feels like before I’d be invited to a party and they’d be like hey “Who is that guy?” Now it’s like I am me and me is my costume and to see people react to it the way they do and the level of excitement that they have for the genre, it’s like anything else. I mean looking at these lines and how it makes people feel reacting to the films they’ve seen or the tv shows they’ve seen the energy is so fantastic. It’s been really upbeat and really positive and everyone seems happy to be here, and I kind ride off their energy especially if you been working long or your flight’s been delayed. (laughs) You just got to settle into town and wait to see the energy of the people that they bring to you, you know it is pretty cool.
GP: In other words, it’s special.
SG: Yeah it really is.
*Greg Molina: I have just one question, from a youth empowerment perspective what can you speak to about people facing their fears and anxieties?
SG: You know it’s a horribly confusing experience growing up. I know it was for me. I tried and took solace in acting. It was something I could focus on. It was something I could I do and build my sense of self worth and self esteem. I think it is important for kids to try and find one thing, just one thing they can relate to, that you can make your own and throw yourself into when things get overwhelming or chaotic it certainly is helpful. If there is anything, dance, writing, drawing, acting anything that is a creative outlet. Especially if it is something you can call your very own that you can withdraw yourself into to fortify yourself as you step outside and deal with crazy world around you.
GP: This was great sir and thank you for your time.
SG: Thank you very much as well.
Question with * was asked by Greg Molina of YCE Young Culture Entertainment @youngcultureent