Keven Meets The Zombies of THE WALKING DEAD: Part 10
Published: October 26, 2010 - 3:20pm
EXCLUSIVE: Kristen Sanchez isn't someone you'd peg to be a flesh-eating monster when you first look at her, but when she got the role on AMC's upcoming The Walking Dead, not only did she transform into a zombie - but she ended up eating the absolute crap out of a horse and scaring the living daylights out of unfortunate kids.
Keven: You don't seem like you'd be into the zombie deal at a first glance, why go for The Walking Dead?
Kristen: I wasn't at the time, I'd never heard of TWD and while zombies are cool I didn't think too much about it. I just submitted myself for the work when casting posted it and was quickly booked to attend zombie school because I had the "look" they were going for: tall, skinny and strong facial features. I had worked with the casting agency only once before so I was kind of surprised they picked me because you do tend to get booked more the better they know you- but I will always be grateful to the ECA crew for that amazing opportunity.
Keven: Are you a fan of horror films - if so what's your favorite?
Kristen: I'm not usually, to be honest I'm a bit of a wuss when it comes to horror movies. I get all paranoid after watching them and get nightmares for weeks. Although i do enjoy "bad" horror movies like Piranha and the Final Destination series.
Keven: How was the makeup process, did Greg Nicotero work on you or was it someone else from KNB EFX?
Kristen: Greg worked on me once but it was usually his otherKNB guys. It really depended on how much I was being featured that day, which was (almost) every time I worked because I apparently "had a good face for the prosthetic" (laughing).
I did have to wear one of the latex masks of death once during filming and it just so happened to be the hottest weekend on set, I felt like I was melting into it.
Keven: Can you describe your scene(s) so that BLAMMERS know where to watch out for you?
Kristen: I can't give specifics on things that haven't been seen yet but basically any time Rick is downtown; definitely look for me in the horse feasting scene and always keep your eyes peeled for the barefoot girl limping around!
Keven: You were a part of the horse feast scene? I'm told it was quite horrific to see?
Kristen: I was right in the middle of it and it was awesome.
Seeing them bring the buckets of blood and guts out and load it into the horse for us to "eat" - it was like a riot scene. I almost got crushed and by the end of it I was just covered with the blood. It took days to wash all the blood out of my hair.
Keven: What was it like acting as a zombie - what would you say was the most difficult part?
Kristen: Trying to seem natural. I was too stiff with my movements at first and with a ballet background I was finding it really difficult to slouch/use bad posture. Another difficult time was the day they decided they wanted a barefoot zombie. It was a middle of the street scene early in the series and each step I took was more painful than the last. This was the middle of the summer, in Georgia on dark pavement so the ground was scorching hot.
Nicotero is the sweetest guy though, between every take he would let me run up and stand on his feet and at lunch call he iced them down and he and Darabont had the crew applaud me for suffering for the show so much that day.
My feet might still be recovering from that. it was awful.
Keven: Aside from the awful heat and long days, what was the most fun you had working on TWD?
Kristen: Hanging out with everyone and making as many friends as I did. It's a hurry up and wait kinda business so without someone to talk with the days just drag oooonnnn. And of course having the opportunity to work closely with Greg Nicotero and Frank Darabont; some of the movies they've worked on are my favorites so it was really amazing.
Keven: Did you get to meet any of the other cast or was it all business?
Kristen: Andrew Lincoln exchanged a few brief words with me several times and
Norman Reedus helped me up after a take once and we chatted for a few minutes. i actually had no idea who he was until someone told me later
. Andrew, I had known from the film Love Actually. Both of them are very nice guys though.
Keven: Are you a fan of the comic in which TWD is based and have you checked it out since your time on the show?
Kristen: I had never heard of the comic before the show and didn't think I would enjoy a comic but I checked it out after starting the show and basically read through all current issues in a weekend.
Keven: When you're a part of a zombie mob and you're shuffling after someone, did anybody ever fall and slowly get trampled or hurt and nobody notice since they were already covered in blood and decay?
Kristen: On one of the first weekends, there were a couple of people that fell during the horse scene but as far as I know they weren't hurt.
During the feast though there was a ridiculous amount of shoving and pushing and a bunch of us definitely left with a few scratches and bruises.
Keven: Was there anyone that ticked you off and perhaps tried to OUTzombie you on set - did you feel any sort of competition amongst your fellow zombies or was it a team effort?
Kristen: I don't really think anyone was trying to outzombie anyone- although on every set you get the people that think they are stars and have the ego to match but I just tend to avoid them and chat with my friends. I made more friends on TWD than I have working on anything else.
Keven: Did you bump into anybody off-camera while in your zombie makeup and scare the crap out of someone? Kids?
Kristen: Yeah - we were filming in a neighborhood and some children were walking back to their house from the neighborhood pool or something and one of them accidentally bumped into me.
When I turned to face him he screamed and ran. I felt kinda bad but it was still funny at the same time.
Keven: Is acting a full-time gig for you - or do you occupy yourself with the everyday boring grind?
Kristen: It is now. I started doing this just for some "easy cash" because I'd been having problems finding a job but i really began to enjoy being on sets and have worked on a bunch of productions since then.
Keven: Where else can we see Kristen Sanchez? Any other projects you're working on so BLAMMERS can watch out for you?
Kristen: Lately I've been doing more behind the scenes work as a stand-in which is nice because you tend to get treated a little better. But keep an eye out for me in Big Mommas House 3, Christmas Carol and Footloose.
Keven: Has anyone talked about you returning as a zombie for a new season of The Walking Dead or any murmurs of a return to the show?
I've only heard rumors of the show coming back to Atlanta for season 2 but i would definitely love to be a part of it again! it was the best summer job. ever.