Keven Meets The Zombies of THE WALKING DEAD Part 1
EXCLUSIVE: Sonya Thompson plays one of the zombies in AMC's upcoming comic adaptation, The Walking Dead; see what she has to say about working on the highly anticipated horror series.
The Walking Dead chronicles the travels of Rick Grimes, a small-town police officer from Cynthiana, Kentucky, his family, and a number of other survivors who have banded together in order to survive after the world is overrun with zombies. The six episode first season of The Walking Dead begins on October 31st, 2010, on AMC.
Sonya Thompson's face has been all over the internet the last couple months - Although you probably wouldn't know it was her; or what looks to be left of her, anyway. Thompson's zombie promo picture is plastered all over magazines, T-shirts, comic books and whatever kind of merchandise there is to sell. If you want to catch a glimpse of her in action, just watch nearly every episode of the first season. Hint: She's wearing a green dress and she's hungry for our group of survivor's delicious flesh.
Keven: What's it like seeing your promo photos all over the internet, magazines and merchandise promoting the upcoming show? How have your friends'/family's reacted to seeing your photos?
Sonya: It has been kind of cool, to see myself as a zombie all over the place. I have really enjoyed the reactions of the fans. They are so excited to see the show and I know it will be a hit.
My friends and family love it! They all agree that I am a very intensely, gross zombie.
Keven: You mentioned that you were on a tank chasing after Andrew Lincoln (Rick Grimes on the show), that must have been enjoyable.
Sonya: Its always a good day to chase after the lead of the show. I did my own stunt work on that one. That scene was very exciting, he looked kind of scared. (laughing)
Keven: What was it like working with director Frank Darabont? Did he offer any solid tips on how to look or act?
Sonya: Frank Darabont is a wonderful person and I enjoyed working and talking to him. He gives great direction and is very involved with each scene. I have met plenty of directors and he is one of the best that I have ever worked with.
Keven: Can you talk about any specific scenes you're in and which episode(s) of The Walking Dead we can expect to catch a glimpse of you?
Sonya: I can not give out details...I will say this, you can find me on top of a tank and in some of the down town scenes. I am also in a convenience store scene. Episodes: 1, 2, 3, 4, and 6. You can also see me in the trailer between 3 minutes and 16 sec and 3 minutes and 19 seconds. Its a gruesome close of me.
Thompson's journey has taken her places she probably never expected and perhaps it was her experience in another ghoul flick that drove her towards AMC's The Walking Dead.
Keven: This isn't your first time playing one of the undead on film, you've mentioned you were featured in the incredible Zombieland.
Sonya: In the behind the scenes part entitled "In Search of Zombieland" When it gets to Rule #3, there will be a red head making faces (that is me) - Myself, three others and the directer Reuben Fischer did a Zombie Training video. After that, there are photos that are shown, when you hear Mad Cow Disease, that is me in full Zombie. (All the zombies in Zombieland, watched the full zombie training video, to learn how to be zombies in Zombieland).
You can also find me in one of the deleted scenes titled "Zip Lock Bags."
By now you've seen Sonya in full undead makeup, you can credit that brilliant work to Greg Nicotero and his KNB EFX Group for transforming her into one of the best looking and original zombies to ever grace a camera. The work that is going on in The Walking Dead is rivaling most big budget films from what we've seen so far.
Keven: What was it like working with the incredible make-up crew for the show? Greg Nicotero is one of the best – if not the best in the horror industry right now – did you get to meet him?
Sonya: All of the guys on the make up crew are awesome! Greg and I worked together and he is an amazing artist and great guy. He did my make up a couple of times. I always joked, that I was at the "Zombie Spa" when I went in to have the make up applied and removed. (laughing)
She also mentioned that her makeup would take about an hour and a half to apply and 30 minutes to remove at the end of the day.
Keven: What was the most difficult part about playing the undead and, in the end, what's the one experience you'll always remember?
Sonya: Playing the undead in the 98 degree weather was the most difficult part. Being in prosthetics and having to wear a long sleeve cardigan, wow talk about hot. The one thing that I will take away from this experience is the great people that I met and worked with. I was truly blessed.
Thompson mentioned she was bitten by the acting bug at five years old when she played an angel in a school play. "I felt as though I was suppose to be there. My dream as a child was to sing and dance on Broadway," she said. Her inspiration that had carried her into a career in acting was seeing Julie Andrews in The Sound of Music. "I have even been told that I resemble her, in her younger years," she said.
Keven: Why did you decide to pursue a career in acting, that can't be an easy decision – is it tough to balance your personal time and work?
Sonya: I was a single mother most of my daughter's life. And I have wanted to act since I was a child and did so in school plays, but was not able to pursue it until my daughter was a senior in high school. I did some modeling for local retail stores, when she was little, but that wasn't my true passion.
I enjoy entertaining and bringing smiles to peoples faces. It sometimes can be tough balancing my schedule, but the way I see is this: If its not meant to happen, then don't stress over it. There is always a bigger and better opportunity out there waiting. Things in life, happen when they are suppose too.
Watch out for Sonya when AMC's The Walking Dead debuts this upcoming Halloween and you can also see her in the upcoming movie Ebony Knight. She plays Detective Chelsea in the sci-fi super hero flick.
Keven: Do you have any advice for aspiring actors/actresses?
Sonya: Don't give up, follow your dreams, and know that it does not happen over night. You have to work hard.