When The Walking Dead held open casting calls for zombies in Season 2, Michael Jaegers was one of the lucky ones selected. Not only has he appeared in multiple episodes of the TV series, but was a featured zombie in the episode "Triggerfinger" and we may see him pop up in the new season.

I thought readers would be interested in hearing about his experiences on the set, so I asked him a number of questions about the audition process, make-up application, and interacting with the main cast and crew: 

Thanks for taking the time to talk with Daily Dead. Can you introduce yourself to our readers and tell them a bit about your work on The Walking Dead?

Michael: Sure, it's my pleasure. My name is Michael Jaegers and I was a featured walker twice during the second half of S2. I've also done feature work on The Vampire Diaries and many other productions throughout ATL over the last few years.

How did you get picked to play a walker in The Walking Dead TV show?

Michael: Pure luck honestly. I had submitted my info to casting at least once a week during the first half of S2 to no avail, then one day I got a response and was living the dream as a walker the very next day!

Was there any kind of audition process to decide what kind of walker you would play?

Michael: Not really, I mean they get the number of walkers they need there first. We all arrive already labelled as one of the following, Hero walkers are the ones who get full prosthetics and are front and forward on camera, then there are mid walkers who get basically airbrushed and are in the foreground behind the heroes, then there are masked walkers who fill in the back. Sometimes there are even CGI walkers even further back if the scene calls for it. But then you'll see Greg Nicotero or Jake Weber walk into holding just looking around at everybody...It's very nerve wracking because you know they are looking for "hero" walkers.

I'm told that all of the walkers go through "zombie school". What was that process like? What have you learned is essential to sounding/moving like a walker from the world of The Walking Dead?

Michael: I unfortunately didn't attend zombie school because I started mid-season, but the most important thing Greg will tell you is NOT to wave your arms!

Which episodes in season 2 have you appeared in? What was your role in those episodes?

Michael: In the Triggerfinger episode I was one of the walkers coming down the alley to investigate Randall's screams from being impaled on the gate. I was later named a "Townie Walker" by Talking Dead. And then there was the season finale where I had to literally fall on top of Laurie Holden's character Andrea. That was so much fun because we had to practice w/ the stunt coordinator and I actually got direction from Greg Nicotero. It was surreal. And besides who WOULDN'T want to fall on Andrea??

Have you had much interaction with the main cast and crew? Do you have any interesting behind-the-scenes stories you can share?

Michael: I can't say enough about the passion and commitment of the cast and crew. There is a lot of respect for us walkers too. We usually get a round of applause when we are wrapped. During the filming of the finale the temp was close to freezing so in between takes the poor wardrobe girls would rush out into the field with Snuggies for us all. Also Andy Lincoln always meets the walkers he has to shoot so I got a hand shake and a thank you from him. There are other stories but I can't really share.

Were you a fan of the comic book series before joining the show?

Michael: Never read the comics and am not sure if I want to. While the stray from the comic a great deal, they still stick to a lot of what's in the comics and I like to be surprised.

Can you tell us about the makeup application process? What was the longest it's taken for them to prepare you for a scene? I know some of the featured zombies are worked on for 3+ hrs.

Michael: The longest I say in the makeup chair was around 1.5-2 hours for the finale. Being that it was the finale, Luis the FX guy who worked on me said he wanted to go big!

Aside from working on The Walking Dead, I understand that you launching a new horror podcast. Can you tell our readers more about it?

Michael: Yes, it's my baby. The Horror Hour is a horror podcast that is broadcasted through thevro.com. Me and my co-host Jamie Christlow talk horror, have guests and welcome callers. We just did a sneak peek episode last Tuesday that reached over 1,000 listeners and last I heard had over 3,000 downloads and we will build on that. We broadcast live so we can interact with the fans as much as possible and when we have guests they are sometimes able to call in. We are broadcasting our official debut episode 6/6@6 EST w/ our first very special guest Mr. Sid Haig who we all know as Captain Spaulding from Rob Zombie's House of 1,000 Corpses and The Devil's Rejects. He's with us the whole hour so we'll be covering a lot with him and taking a few calls as well. It's an awesome show and another dream of mine to be hosting it so listen in, it's only the beginning. We will be covering Fright Night Film Fest in Louisville, KY 6/29-7/1, San Diego ComicCon 7/12-7/15 and DragonCon in Atlanta, GA 8/31-9/3.

For readers who are interested in meeting up with you for the podcast or to talk The Walking Dead, will you be attending any upcoming conventions?

Michael: Yes, you can follow the show on Twitter @The_Horror_Hour. As far as my appearances I'll be attending Rocktopia in Staffordsville, KY. This is a benefit for tornado victims in eastern KY on 8/3-8/5. I'll also be attending Nashville Comic and Horror Festival in Nashville, TN on 10/7-10/9. I hope you guys can come out and talk some horror with me!


I want to thank Michael for taking the time to answer these questions for me. You can catch Michael on The Horror Hour at 6:00pm EST and hear him talk to their special guest Sid Haig. They will be talking about his long career in horror, including his upcoming appearance in The Lords of Salemhttp://www.blogtalkradio.com/vampradio/2012/06/06/sid-haig-interview