I recently had the chance to talk with Vincent M. Ward, who is one of the newest cast members on The Walking Dead in the role of Oscar. Fans of the show are just starting to see more of his character, so I thought this would be a great opportunity to learn more about the man behind the Oscar and his experience filming the first episodes of Season 3. He also talks about what we can expect from Oscar in upcoming episodes:
How has your life as an actor changed since the premiere of The Walking Dead Season 3? Are you getting a lot more interview requests and hearing from fans of the show?
Vincent M. Ward: Yeah, it's been crazy. I had not seen the show before until the marathon and had already shot four episodes. To be getting the love and attention that I'm getting from people is crazy. They are really taking a liking to my character.
The TV show has an insane fanbase and the comic book series has been around for ten years, so you have all of those fans as well. I think Oscar is especially interesting because he's not based on a character from the comic book series, so no one knows what to expect from him.
Vincent M. Ward: Fans keep asking if I'm Dexter or Tyreese, but I tell them "no" [laughs].
How did you get involved with The Walking Dead? Being in the Atlanta area, were you just keeping an eye out for a casting call that interested you?
Vincent M. Ward: I auditioned like everyone else and the show is very secretive. When I auditioned, I had a fake character and fake lines. When I came to the set, I said "I'm mouse. How are you doing?" and the guy that played Big Tiny on the show said "Hey... I'm mouse" [laughs]. So they were just using those lines and names for the auditions and we found out our real characters later.
The best thing about being on the show without seeing it is that I really got to know the guys and ladies who work there. I didn't know them as Rick and Daryl. I knew them as Andy and Norman.
I remember we went out to dinner and Andy was talking. I said to myself "Why is Andy talking like this..?" I know I had a couple sips of wine, but I'm 6'4 and I didn't think a couple of sips would get me like that [laughs]. I never knew he was British because he always keeps the southern accent on the set [laughs]. It's like a family atmosphere on the set and I really enjoy it.
In the first four episodes you've killed plenty of zombies and a human. Did you expect to be thrown right into the action when you first joined the show?
Vincent M. Ward: I really didn't know what to expect and was just happy to be there. I've been in plays and movies where you have to shoot, but it's different when you have a crowbar or an axe. I never want to hurt anyone and if you whack someone hard enough, it could still hurt. I used to love watching the WWF and remembered that you have to pull punches and I have to pull my axe as well. It was crazy, but fun to be running in the dark and fighting. I'd do it fifteen hours a day, seven days a week.
Are we going to learn more about Oscar's backstory this season?
Vincent M. Ward: We talked about it a bit in the second episode and that's about it for my backstory. Oscar was basically a thief and sent to prison for breaking and entering. I had a wife and kids, and that's about it. Just because Oscar is in prison, doesn't mean he's a bad person. He just made some bad choices. He has a heart and a character, but you don't know if he's a good guy or a bad guy.
Nearly everyone on The Walking Dead has a limited lifespan. Whether you're on the show for multiple seasons or only a few episodes, you know that your character is likely to be killed off. Is that something that's always on your mind? Does it make you enjoy your time on set more because you know it won't last forever?
Vincent M. Ward: You try to enjoy the time that you're there. I felt like my fellow inmates who were only there for two episodes enjoyed their time. Once they were getting ready to go, they didn't want to go, but until you get that call you enjoy your time and try not to think about it. For instance, IronE got killed on a Tuesday and had to come back to work on Thursday and Friday. You know you're not coming back, but you still have to give it 100%.
With Season 3 wrapping up filming this week, I wanted to ask you about the convention scene. Many of The Walking Dead cast members line up convention appearances over the course of the year. Is this something you're interested in?
Vincent M. Ward: Man, I would love to do that. The biggest thing I have for me is my personality and being a people person. I'd never get tired of signing autographs and taking pictures, and I've been doing a lot of that this week. On Twitter, I've been getting a lot of love from people in different countries and I'm shocked that people are into my character like that. If someone said "come to our convention tonight," I'd be there with bells ringing and my axe swinging [laughs].
Can you give our readers a little hint at what they can expect from Oscar in the upcoming episodes?
Vincent M. Ward: We'll, I can say that you'll see Oscar finally take down his prison suit [laughs]. I get to show a little sexiness with Oscar and I get a gun. I also think you'll see a little of a mean streak, as well as being part of the team more.
We're not done yet with new Walking Dead coverage this weekend. Keep an eye out for new photos from episode 6 later today. Due to the amount of new material covered in the latest episodes, it has become increasingly difficult to post early reviews without covering spoilers, so we're going to change our format a bit and post impressions after the episode airs. We'll be expanding our post episode airing coverage and interviewing Norman Reedus next week to talk about "Hounded". To catch up on our recent coverage of The Walking Dead Season 3, visit the following articles: