This interview was held by Rick123Axel.
Erin Leigh Bushko portrayed many walkers most notably Erin and "Jawless Zombie"
What role/roles have you had in The Walking Dead?
I started working on Season 1 of TWD, doing background work on almost every episode that season. I was called back for all four seasons, doing featured parts including the Jawless Zombie in Season 1, Episode 4 (Vatos) and "Erin Zombie" in Season 3 episode 12 (Clear). I have also been a body double for living characters on the show.
What episodes did you appear in?
I have been in all four season. All of Season 1, and multiple episodes in the other seasons. They don't always tell us how they are using the material we shoot, so it's hard to say where my face will get used.
How did you get your role?
I had worked with the casting company before, and had worked as a zombie on Zombieland, so they knew I could do the job. I was asked to audition, I went, and I guess I impressed them.
Did you create your character a name or backstory?
In the actual episodes, no, I didn't really have control over the character. We did discuss on set the reasoning for a lot of things. For example, the Jawless Zombie....when Merle came through he ripped off her jaw in a struggle so he wouldn't get bitten. The "Erin" Zombie was actually really funny. I had no idea I was playing a featured that day, and they kept asking for Erin , so of course I am there working, and finally there is this huge confusion because they are giving me a bracelet to wear with my name on it, and everyone keeps asking me my name. It was a complete coincidence that my name was Erin and the character's name was Erin. Stranger still, I have a character I play at Christmas at a place called Stone Mountain Park in GA, and I walk onto set and (you can see it in the beginnning of the episode) -and there's a cardboard sign with streamers that says something like "Erin - We tried for Stone Mountain" - so that was weird...Did you read the graphic novel or watch the show after getting a role in the show?
I read the graphic novel, the whole compendium, before going on to set. I really wanted to know the vibe of the material, really do it justice. I watched the first two seasons every week when they came out. I was on top every moment. Unfortunately, you have to keep working and if you're lucky, as an actor, you get to work a lot, but that takes up time...so I haven't kept up with the later seasons.
What is it like to work with the amazing special effects artist Greg Nicotero?
It's amazing to work with talented people, in general, but Greg and his whole team are just geniuses when it comes to monsters. They are fun to hang out with, easy going, but also devoted to getting it perfect. Not to mention super nice and considerate...We were doing the scene from season 1 out in front of the CDC, and I was lying on the ground, dead, and Greg came by with this bucket of blood and said he was really sorry he had to pour blood on me, but he would try to not get it in my hair. Of course, me loving the blood part of it all was like "bring it on!", and he shrugs and said ok, and literally dumped a bucket of blood on me. I was also playing a "bog walker" one time (I came out of a river and was bloated and soggy) and it was hot outside, so we kept looking really dry, and he came up to me and said, "Sorry" then proceeded to dump several buckets of water on me. So, like I said, they're great!
What is the atmosphere like on the set of such a serious, dramatic show?
It's actually really laid back. I think with such heavy material, you have to have some levity, plus, what we're doing is so ridiculous, such an alternate reality, it can be really funny when you step out of the moment. I mean, when you're standing in a field in 100 degree weather with full prosthetics, for 10 hours at a time, and people say things like "can the zombies have a break?" or "Can I get a granola bar the jawless zombie?" you have to laugh.
Do you have any interesting or funny stories from your time on the set?
I was doing stand in work one time and there was a whole conversation over the bra I had to wear...that was...awkward...What is the best thing about working on The Walking Dead?
The family there is the best. You're all sweating bullets in the hot GA sun for 18 hours a day, you're all getting rained on and trudging around in wet socks, you're all drinking gallons of water to stay hydrated...you just create this bond. It's a wonderful set to be on, with really fun material. I do love the stunts. I have been shot dozens of times, I have had my head bashed in with a baseball bat, I have had a crosbow bolt through my head, I have eaten several horses, I have watched my head explode. How can that not be the best job in the world?
Which character do you think you would be most like if a zombie apocalypse occurred?
That's a good question...I am really good at taking care of other people, so maybe one of the motherly types...but I also love ranged weapons, so maybe Daryl? I do like to get my hands dirty.
Are you currently working on anything interesting that you can reveal?
Sure! I actually just published my first book called Zombie Girl and Other Somewhat Grimm Poetry, which is available on Amazon.com . I also started anew project with the Stellar City Geeks. We do full length Dungeons and Dragons Campaigns that the public can view online every week, as well as geeky product reviews, recipes, geek crafting and more. As a little tidbit, I play a Tiefling Warlock. We just really got involved int he whole geek culture. Our first episode hits the website March 5th I believe. That website is www.StellarCityGeeks.com
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