Where will you be when the end begins? If it’s not at ground zero, don’t sweat it. Give it an hour and you’ll see it all on YouTube. George Romero is back with the fifth installment in the “Night of the Living Dead” franchise and it’s got a Web 2.0 twist.
“Diary of the Dead” is all hand-held this time, as our heroes set out to make a horror movie and end up documenting their own demise. The low-budget indie was filmed in only four weeks with much of the action being filmed in long-continuous shots. This meant the actors had to utter pages of dialogue while rushing from zombies, ducking under lights and avoiding the boom guy who was avoiding getting caught on camera.
But this isn’t just a flesh-eating-fest for the sake of a good scream. Romero has a point to make about how media and the web have turned us into “viewers” and not “doers.” Face it, he’s right. A bridge collapses and two people run to help while four people run for their video cameras.
Tonight the zombies take over a small Pennsylvania town. Tomorrow it’s MySpace.
Latest Video: Watch me eat my friend’s brains right out of his head.
Still with me? Terrific, because I got the scoop on “Diary of the Dead” directly from one of the stars. Meet Shawn Roberts, formerly known as Rogue’s boyfriend in “X-Men”, this is his second Romero zombie flick and he’s having a great time.
Describe your character for me and do you turn zombie
Tony is the guy who doesn’t believe the news reports. Dismissing the whole concept of the dead coming back to life until faced with one. When there’s no other option, he’s the one to pull the trigger.
How fun is it making a zombie movie?
George has this great sense of humor, so that kept the atmosphere up-beat during the long, cold and rainy nights. And the fact that the entire cast and crew were simply delighted to be a part of a George Romero film might have helped too.
What’s something no one knows about George Romero?
That all this legend needs to operate is a coffee, couple of smokes. He’s always so involved with what’s happening on set that you hardly ever see him hovering around the craft table. He’s a machine!
You worked some long, cold and rainy nights – talk to me about the physicality of making a movie like this.
The most physical part of this entire shoot was carrying the tiny figure of Tatiana Maslany, and that hardly counts. I’d have to say that putting on, and taking off all the layers of clothing I was wearing is the top of the list haha
Did you do any stunts? I heard you once surfed on top of a vehicle for a film!
In this film I didn’t get the chance to do any wire work or huge fight scenes, but the pace of the filming could be considered stunt work. We were filming in one continuous shot, what most feature films would shoot in a day. Other than discharging my Beretta and blowing up dynamite… it was a pretty tame set.
Funny coincidence – Scott Wentworth was one of my first celebrity interviews many years ago and I see he’s in this movie with you. So I gotta ask, give me the scoop on Scott.
Scott was amazing! I learned so much watching him work. With his extensive theatre back ground, the 7 pages a shot thing, was no big feat. He’s a pro. It was an honor to work with him.
EDITOR NOTE: Scott Wentworth is known to TV audiences as Kermit from Kung Fu: The Legend Continues.
Movies or TV, which do you prefer?
I’m a fan of film, because as an audience member you get the time to fully invest in the characters and their story.
Is there a dream role, or show that you’re dying (a little zombie humor) to work on?
Haha. While, there are a number of roles that I wish to take on in my career, right now I’m focusing on doing my own projects. We shall see what the future brings.
Any secret talents that no one knows you have?
You mean other than being an incredible driver? Ha ha…. I play Guitar Hero on medium… so there.
Time to get Random!
What’s something you’ve kept since you were a kid.
I have so much junk from when I was a kid. I’m a bit of a pack rat. But the most prized of all… my GI Joe collection.
What was the last video game you played?
Guitar Hero…. on medium.
Captain Kirk vs Captain Jack Sparrow (interpret that anyway you like)
Jack Sparrow…. he always such a smooth guy during his exit strategy. As if he had it planned the entire time.
Catch Shawn Roberts and his undead pals in Diary of the Dead and stop by the film’s MySpace site where you can watch some film clips and enter the Diary of the Dead Video Contest! (Then run like heck! They’re after you!)