Santa Barbara
70° F
Clear
Clear
Santa Maria
53° F
Clear
Clear
San Luis Obispo
53° F
Clear
Clear
Ventura
58° F
Clear
Clear

Walking Dead' star loves to contemplate character's uncertainties

Published On: Mar 28 2013 01:50:27 PM CDT
Updated On: Mar 28 2013 03:39:47 PM CDT
Dallas Roberts The Walking Dead

AMC-TV

Dallas Roberts in "The Walking Dead."

Strolling into the hotly anticipated Season 3 finale of "The Walking Dead" Sunday, perhaps the most moronic question any journalist could ask a cast or crew member of the hit AMC series is what's going to happen next. That's because if the show has proved anything, anybody can unceremoniously get killed off at any given moment, and the network has gone to great lengths to protect vital plot details.

The lid is kept so tight on "The Walking Dead" in fact, that cast members like Dallas Roberts, who plays the pivotal role of Milton Mamet, is kept in the dark. Even the shocking death and zombie transformation of Merle (Michael Rooker) came as a complete surprise to him.

"They keep the lid so tight that, since I wasn't in the last night's episode, I wasn't sent the script," Roberts told me in an interview Monday. "I eventually figured what had happened when I found pictures in the makeup trailer of Merle. That's how I found out about it. I was like, 'What?' They know how to keep secrets over there."

Roberts, 42, joined the cast of the show this season as Milton, an introverted scientist who conducts experiments on the walking dead for the Governor, a charismatic, Jim Jones-type leader of Woodbury -- a makeshift town that's guarded by barriers and guns from the "biters" (the survivor group led by Rick, played by Andrew Lincoln, refers to the zombies as "walkers").

The actor is thrilled that audiences have embraced the newest cast members this year, as the show's core cast has grown -- and consequently thinned out -- considerably from Season 1 to Season 3.

"It's one of the amazing things about the big concept of the show, as you huddle together with as many people can find early on to try to determine what to do next. It would be terrible if the show were like 'Friends' in the zombie apocalypse, where you follow six people for 12 years," Roberts said, laughing. "Plus, the introduction of Woodbury and a different set of survivors -- that sort of dynamic has given the writers more latitude in terms of the kinds of stories they can tell. I'm never surprised when they do a smart thing. They're good at what they do."

Anybody who follows the show knows very well that Milton's fate in hanging in the balance, as it didn't look good for him in the eyes -- make that eye -- of the Governor (David Morrissey) nearly the conclusion of the episode before last. But teetering on the brink isn't something new for Milton, Roberts said, given the storyline's unpredictable nature.

"I receive the information about Milton episode by episode, the way the audience does," said Roberts, who previously starred on CBS' "The Good Wife." "There was never a clear map from 'here to there.' It was like, 'In the next episode he does this and the next episode he does that.' It's like you're building a house, brick by brick."

While Milton started the season firmly believing in the intentions of the Governor, the character has undoubtedly grown more wary of his boss and become more of a protagonist in the ensuing episodes as the embattled leader has reared his ugly head.

That's not to say Milton was ever an antagonist, however. He was merely a person who thought he was contributing to a greater good, especially as a scientist who thought he could somehow reverse the biter metamorphosis after members of the town died.

"Once they got the walls up in Woodbury and got the supplies, got the water running and solar panels, it was a place where we were going to build society back from that base," explained Roberts, a Houston native. "I think Milton dedicated himself to that idea, and was allowed a laboratory, although with crude equipment. Plus, he's got some razors to keep himself shaved and fabric softener to keep himself clean."

The turning point, of course, came when the Governor's intentions were ferreted out by Michonne (Danai Gurira) and Andrea (Laurie Holden) -- formerly of Rick's survivor group -- sending his thinly-veiled dictatorship into a tailspin.

Still with only one perspective, Roberts said, Woodbury residents like Milton really understood one thing and really couldn't be held accountable for their actions.

"It's been great to watch Morrissey play the Governor, and watch that sort of slow creep-in of madness," Roberts said. "From our perspective on the Woodbury side, somebody from the outside came in, unprovoked and stabbed him in the eye and killed his kid (a biter he kept in a controlled environment) in front of him. So, from our perspective, they're the bad guys."

Perhaps the most interesting thing about Milton in the show is that, due to his extremely vulnerable nature, almost appears to be in fear more of the living – particularly the Governor -- instead of the walking dead. It's that particular wrinkle in his character that makes Milton such of an interesting character to play.

"I think it's safe to say that Milton fears human interaction more than the walkers," Roberts observed. "He's just not a guy who's not comfortable with himself in terms of relationships with other people. At the beginning of the season, it was very clear that he was like, 'Keep your head down. Do what the Governor says and advise him.' The role was really clear. But then Andrea comes and forces Milton to deal with her, and conversely, himself. It's been a fun journey to take."

Comments

The views expressed are not those of this company or its affiliated companies. Please note by clicking on "Post" you acknowledge that you have read the Terms Of Service and the comment you are posting is in compliance with such terms. 
blog comments powered by Disqus
  • fatal_accident_investigation

    Extensive Investigation into Triple Fatal Accident

    An extensive investigation is underway to determine the cause of death in a triple fatal rollover accident Monday morning in Santa Barbara.

  • Triple Fatal Auto Accident on Highway

    3 Dead In Early Morning Accident, Driver Arrested For DUI

    The 101 southbound through Santa Barbara reopened just before 12:30 Monday afternoon as authorities investigate what they say was a deadly two car DUI accident.

  • fuzion_store_business_santa_barbara

    UCSB Group Boycotts Business For Promoting Deltopia

    A UCSB student group is boycotting a local business for creating the Deltopia Facebook page, which they said brought in thousands of outsiders to the small college town.

  • girl_child_coughing_sick_whooping_cough

    Contagious Diseases Making a Comeback in California

    Deadly diseases that were a thing of the past are making a comeback in California.

  • Witnesses to Fatal Crash

    Eyewitnesses See Triple Fatal Crash from Roadside Camp

    A homeless couple watching the freeway from their campsite in Santa Barbara this morning, witnessed the triple fatal accident that took the lives of two teens and a young man.

  • Triple Fatal Auto Accident on Highway

    DUI Driver in Fatal Early Morning Accident Ordered to Detox Program in 1995

    The Santa Barbara woman arrested for DUI in the early morning accident that left three people dead early Monday morning has a lengthy court record out of Ventura County. Kimberly Kreis, 52, was ordered to serve 30 days in a detox program as far back as 1995.

    The car that Kreis was driving crashed into a disabled Mazda near the Castillo off-ramp of the southbound 101 freeway in Santa Barbara. Two 17 year old North Torrance High School students were killed in the accident- Jessica Leffew and Danielle Murillo. 20 year old Brian Lopez also died in the wreck. The driver of the Mazda, Eric August, is hospitalized in critical condition.

    A NewsChannel 3 investigation found records out of Ventrua County that appear to show that Greis has at least one prior conviction involving drugs and or alcohol, and in 1995 she was ordered to serve 30 days in a Cottage Hospital detox program.

    CHP investigators are still trying to piece together why the Mazda veered right into a guardrail, causing it to flip onto it's roof before coming to rest in the middle of the southbound freeway, which set into motion the deadly accident.

    CHP Officer Jonathan Guiterrez, said "A lot of things could have happened, He could have fallen asleep. We just don't know at this point."

  • Parents of Mallory Dies Sue Congresswoman, Her Former Aide, and U.S. Government

    The parents of a young Santa Barbara woman killed in a high profile, DUI case are suing Congresswoman Lois Capps, her former aide Raymond Morua, and the U-S government in federal court.

  • Larry Lee Cal Poly Coach

    Cal Poly Baseball Earns No. 1 National Ranking

    The Mustangs achieved the school's second No. 1 national ranking in Division I as Collegiate Baseball Newspaper has placed Cal Poly atop its Top 30.

  • Lupita Nyong'o

    REUTERS/Danny Moloshok

    People's 'World's Most Beautiful' list 2014

    People magazine recently named Lupita Nyong'o its "World's Most Beautiful" for 2014. See which other ladies earned a coveted spot on the annual list.

  • Slideshow: Extensive Investigation into Triple Fatal Accident

    An extensive investigation is underway to determine the cause of death in a triple fatal rollover accident Monday morning in Santa Barbara.