The corpse stays in the picture.

Dubious and far-fetched ideas.
Nov. 11 2010 10:22 AM

The Corpse Stays in the Picture

An undead actor shares a lifetime of delicious show business anecdotes.

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28 Days Later(2002): Danny Boyle tried to bypass SZAG (the Screen Zombie Actors Guild) by claiming that his zombies were actually living humans infected with the "rage virus," but thanks to our strategic alliances with other trade unions (in addition to the ever-present threat of flesh-eating), we were able to force him to employ zombie performers. I almost wish we hadn't. By then, I was far from a newly dead, and the vogue for fast-moving zombies took its toll—one take of running is enough to snap every remaining tendon in a seasoned zombie's body.

Plastic surgery may be common in Hollywood, but it's an absolute necessity for a working zombie. If you're ever playing the which-zombie-has-had-work-done game, I'll save you the trouble—it's all of them.

The Walking Dead(2010): If you'd asked me, back when I started acting, if I'd ever do television, I'd have said no way. But, look … you get older. Suddenly you find a one-room coffin isn't enough for you, and you start looking at sarcophagi. Your children's children start having children—that's the problem with being undead, your offspring expand exponentially, and each new generation expects to go to college. Sometimes, you need the job security of a day-in, day-out gig, and you could do worse than a prestige project for AMC.


Does it get tiring? Sure. Sometimes I just want to lie down and rest my weary bones. But can I complain? No. It's a good life.

Or it was.

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