WILLIAM SIBLEY HART
actor interview BRENT ARMOUR
William Sibley Hart as he appears in life and on AMC's THE WALKING DEAD
I had a bit of a geek out moment when actor William S. Hart asked to be added to our mailing list. A Zombie from ‘The Walking Dead’? Seriously?? But he doesn’t just play one Zombie; he plays several, as well as various background roles in The Vampire Diaries. Most importantly, he was the Zombie that bit Hershel’s leg. YIKES! With the new season of ‘Dead’ just around the corner, I knew I had to sit him down and pick his brain a bit. I had a ton of questions for him. How does Scott Wilson’s leg taste? How often are “blood drives” held on the set of’ Diaries’? But I tried to keep my geekdom at bay…
HelloHorror: Though it sounds like a dream gig, I'm sure that playing a Zombie, with all of the makeup and the less-than-clean scene work, can be challenging. What did you do to keep it manageable?
WILLIAM SIBLEY HART: It is a dream gig, but you are right, it can be very trying at times. We come home bruised, scraped, sore, and are at the mercy of Georgia weather for outdoor scenes. In the case of the S2 Finale, Beside the Dying Fire, it was 25 degrees out during the entire two weeks of shooting the overrun of the farm. Most nights were 15-17 hours on set, that's in at 3-4 in the afternoon, out with the sunrise. For the s3 premier, where I bit Hershel, I was sitting on the floor of the prison, contacts in, unable to see for about 6 hours of shooting. I spent much of my time meditating with my eyes closed, as that made the contacts a lot more bearable.
HH: Do you have a method for getting into a zombie's 'head space'?
WSH: I just let my mind fully blank and just go primal instinct. Movement, sound, that becomes food and I am always hungry.
HH: And what about the all-important ‘Zombie-walk’?
WSH: I honestly recreate a state of extreme inebriation in my mind, you know that night you drank 20x too much and are stumbling back home. I find embracing that states helps keep my shamble disjointed and a surprise even to myself as to where my foot will be next.
HH: Ah, I know that inebriated and hungry state all too well. In regards to where your foot is landing next, I understand you’ve joined 'The Vampire Diaries'. Tell me more about what you're doing there.
WSH: I have been in the background on a couple different episodes in S4. I was in the auditorium in the 10th episode, although I was unable to find myself in that episode. I was also fairly heavily featured in the 17th episode of s4. You can catch me rocking out (wild head banger in the flashback) then right behind the girl that was fed on, 30 years later. All in all I believe I counted myself 8-9 times in the first 20 min of the episode. It's been fun being on that set, too. I love being out there, it's a fun set to be on.
HH: Sounds like you've got quite a presence there! If I may ask, just as a viewer, which of the shows do you prefer?
WSH: The Walking Dead is one of the few shows that I keep up with any more. I haven't had cable in quite a while, so run off my Netflix, or iTunes. When it really comes down to it, I prefer more action, less drama.
HH: And does your viewing influence your working preference?
WSH: I enjoy both sets equally. The Walking Dead is a place where you get filthy, watch yourself become a horrible creation, and then have the wildest ride of your life. Vampire Diaries is a bit more glam, everyone stays clean; you actually know who you are networking out with, etc. There have been many times on set of TWD that we run into someone that we chatted with for hours the night before, only to not recognize them without the makeup.
HH: The both sound like pretty wild experiences in their own way. Concerning other shows, are there any other series you'd like to act in? I know in acting, every gig is special in its own right, but if you got to choose, where would you land next?
WSH: As for dream gigs, ‘Dexter’ is one of my favorite shows, I would’ve dearly loved to have worked my way onto that fabulous set and earn myself a nasty death from Mr Hall. Having not done the cable thing in quite a while, I am way behind in the series and need to play some catch up.
WSH: Yes, and I must say, there are some changes from the books that I have been a touch disappointed in, although someone told me something that wasn't quite a spoiler, but was enough to get a pretty good idea of the spoil. It seems they may have rectified that mistake in a season I have yet to see.
HH: What about movies? Are there any directors you’d love to work with?
WSH: Only other dream gig I could think of would of course be ‘The Hobbit’. I have no shame in saying I cried at the opening credits. The first time I read the books, as a child, I remember thinking to myself "I hope they make this into a movie." Peter Jackson has not disappointed me in the least bit; I don't think there is a better man for the job, in Hollywood. I would seriously go all 127 Hours, if that's what it took to get myself on that set. Yup, you brought out the fan boy with this question, well played sir…
After William let his fan boy shine, my own inner fan boy finally let loose, and I had to end the ‘official’ interview. I could include the fifty or so questions that I asked him about Ian Somerholder, such as; “Does he ever talk about Boone from ‘Lost’? “Does he ever receive ex ‘Lost’ cast members as guests on set?” “Does he ever take random flights over the Pacific, hoping to crash?” I managed to work my way back around to my initial ponderings on the taste of Herhsel’s leg, and William gave me a chilling answer…
WSH: Like a human.
HelloHorror would like to thank William Sibley Hart for granting this interview.
Bent Armour is Editor in Chief of HelloHorror.
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