This interview was held by Rick123Axel.
Keith Brooks portrayed Dan, one of the "Claimers"
What role/roles have you had in The Walking Dead?
I play a character named Dan.
How did you get your role?
Just auditioning. My agent got me the audition, which was originally a different part. They liked me, and the next thing I know...I was cast.
Was it uncomfortable filming such a disturbing scene with Chandler Riggs?
Uhm.....I mean something like that is definitely out of my comfort zone....so to an extent. But Chandler is a super cool kid, and we talked about it a lot before hand. Everyone on set is super nice and awesome....so they are sympathetic to what a weird situation this is, you know? At the end of the day, it was my job.
Are you allowed to reveal which character you originally auditioned to be?
Yeah. But to be honest I don't remember the name. It was one of the claimers. I'm not sure there was a name. It might have been kind of vague. But it was a scene where I killed a guy for taking something I had claimed.
Did your character have a backstory which was not shown/cut? If not, did you create one for yourself?
Not one that was shown/cut. But yeah...as an actor I sort of worked out a little bit of who this guy was, where he came from before the whole world ended basically, that sort of jazz.Could you reveal the backstory you made for Dan?
I'll probably keep the backstory I created to myself because I don't want to step on anybody at The Walking Dead's toes nor give the idea that this is canon...the story I came up with...was just something to help me to get there mentally. But I wil say Dan is like an attack dog. He's vicious. When pointed in a direction, he destroys anything in his path. Some of that is his malicious nature, some of it his sick deviance. But he exists in a world where people don't have to be human anymore. Where people can give in to their worst inclinations.
Did you watch the show or read the graphic novel prior to your role?
I didn't. I had casually read the first issue because I'm a comic nerd, but it had been years prior. The thing about The Walking Dead is they give you the scripts as you go along, not all at once. We were in the middle of shooting 15 when we got 16, etc. So it keeps you on your toes and your character study is always evolving. I knew the comic and show were seperate enough, that I tried to take my cues directly from the script and descriptions found there. Plus there's something about being in that garb, walking miles on railroad track littered with zombies, and carying an ak47 that just sort of...helps to transport you.
Who are your favorite characters?
My knowledge is limited to volume one of the books and what I've seen of the show which is sparse. But Rick is the man. He's a great character because you get to see how much it changes a man. And then show wise...Daryl's a badass.Was there anymore to the scenes that didn't make it past post-production with you in them?
There was. I mean, you shoot a lot of stuff. And they trim the fat to get closer and more concise with the story they're trying to tell. So there was some dialogue and actions, but nothing too extensive.
Do you have any interesting or funny stories from your time on the set?
Interesting stories....let me think.....Well the day of the actual "controversial" shoot was a bit interesting. It was actually on my birthday. And we're shooting outside, in the middle of winter. Everything's cold. Late night.
Wow I imagine that was a...strange birthday celebration?
I know, right? I actually got stung by a bee right on the temple while we were on set.So my head is beginning to swell, and the makeup team keeps rushing over to ice me down in between takes.So we're getting to the scene where I get stabbed.And all of the crew, cast, everyone are the nicest people ever.But we've done the "rape" scene already.So everyone's super intimidated by me...and complimenting how creepy I was.But in a friendly way, you know?Andy is getting ready to do the gutting me scene.And he's getting himself pumped up.He's getting really into character.The trick is he's supposed to drop the real knife as he comes to me, and just begin stabbing me with his hand.I have a tube going through my pants, to bring a blood effect up through my shirt. The idea is it i'll spray like a hose.And i have a mouthful of blood.The camera is just on us for a moment.And they call action.Andy charges at me....he drops the real knife....and basically starts punching me in the gut....pretending there's a knife in his hand....The tube going through my pants starts spraying out blood everywhere....and I start spitting blood into Andy's face.So we're both covered in blood while he punches me repeatedly, doing this death scene. And they yell cut.We're both covered in blood and Andy just hugs me, gently saying "I'm so sorry...." we both look over to see Norman Reedus eating a cheeseburger from god knows where, saying "You guys both look crazy." And that was my last day/experience in a nutshell.What is the best thing about working on The Walking Dead?
Puppies. They have this dog policy. where people can bring their dogs to set. so imagine a world of puppies and zombies intermingling together. It's the happiest place on earth. Also everyone there is so nice. Every single person is super cool. I made some really amazing friends on that set.
If a zombie apocalypse were to happen which character from the show do you think you would be most like?
I don't know. haven't seen a lot of the show. Probably the dog...Dooley...was that his name? Why am I so dog centric today?
When did you find out Dan was going to die?
In the middle of episode 15. they sent the script out at like 3 a.m. after a really long shoot. and i'm reading it, seeing what happens before the next day of work. "oh that's cool...that's interesting....that's neat....I DO WHAT?!" that was kind of my reaction.
In Dan's position would you have tried to track Lou's killers down?That's a tough one. Mostly because my psyche and Dans are so different. With Dan...I feel like he's found a society (the claimers) that enable his indulgences. That allow him to feed his power trips, his wants and desires, he has something that gives him purpose. Tracking down Lou's killer isn't actually the most important thing to him. That's the law of the society that allows him to exist the way he is. Uphold that law, he gets to continue being what he wants to be. Its like...attack dogs or mob muscle don't have a grudge against you....that's just their job. But as far as me...I don't have the same motivating factors. I don't really believe in revenge....and I think, placed into that apocalyptic situation....my biggest concern would be survival. You know?
In Rick's position would you have slaughtered Joe, Dan and the other claimers so brutally?
I mean in that position, you do what you have to do. He was trying to protect his child. So ultimately, I think he was justified.
After the controversial Carl scene is it true you have been getting hate mail? If so is their anything you would like to say to those reading who may have sent some?Ha. It is true. to be honest, it doesn't bother me that much. People get caught up in the excitement of it all and get flustered by how much they hated my character (I guess I did something right). Sometimes its hard for people to distinguish reality and fiction, I get that. But I'm not that character on tv. I'm solely the guy who acted it. The writers made some amazing character archs...I just portrayed something in it. So a lot of people write for me to kill myself. Harsh. I'm not gonna do it, clearly but they should go watch me in another movie...see I'm not that person. People can insult me all they want. Its fine. I'm strong enough to take it. Plus I have people writing me in equal amounts telling me how much they enjoyed my performance, the show, etc. I guess....that's what i'd have to say about it.
Are you currently working on anything interesting that you can reveal?
Yeah. I co own this company called Bean Dip Productions. You can look us up on Youtube. We're probably most popular for this fan film we did a couple of years back called Deadpool: A Typical Tuesday. But we do all sorts of stuff. A bunch of short films and etc. A few webseries'. I also write and direct. I'm directing a comedy (I didn't write it) (but it has a risque title) called DickBall. It's a fictional sport film...thing of...weirdness... And a couple of different scripts for potential acting roles are still being sorted through. So...some fun stuff on the horizon.
Thank you again on behalf of the entire wiki! We appreciate it very much!
No worries man, anytime.