|Born||Dallas Mark Roberts
May 10, 1970
Houston, Texas, United States
Like all kids who want to be in action movies, I want to jump out of a speeding car, shoot guns, slide out the side in slow motion like a John Woo movie.
The notion of being on a cop show was appealing, just because it's one of those tick boxes in a career.
When you get a job on 'The Walking Dead' you imagine you're going to be running through the woods with a lot of weaponry shouting, 'Look out!'
I find that with any good run on a show with good writers, they put something on paper, and you put something back on film, and that affects what they put on the paper the next time.
I've been a fan since I was a kid of that sort of bump-in-the-night stuff. I don't tend to go in too much for the slash-and-burn-'em or the walker kills on 'The Walking Dead.' That stuff's not necessarily the stuff that frightens me or gets me going. It's more the terror of waiting, the thriller aspects, that I find compelling.
I was the guy literally in the chess club who decided to wear a bow tie for the last two years of high school, so I obviously wasn't trying to get the ladies.
To try to create a character without a whole lot of information can be taxing. At the same time, it's fun to just stay on your toes and let the next bit of dialogue come in, and turn the page as you read the next script and see what they have in store for you next.
I remember walking out in front of that crowd, all the parents' faces and the applause, and folding my little self in half and thinking, 'I could get used to this.' And I just never stopped.
I like computers as a tool. I like them as an instrument. I think they're just pretty.
I was a crazy Pee-wee Herman fan when I was in my early teens. Before he had the kids' TV show, he had a nightclub show in L.A., and I had gotten a VHS copy of it. It was a kids' show, but onstage in a bar, so it's sort of poking fun at the kids' show. And I was obsessed with that, and then 'Pee-wee's Big Adventure.'
Yes, it's annoying that Hamlet doesn't kill his stepfather ten minutes into the play, but if he did kill his stepfather ten minutes into the play, there wouldn't be a play. He has to be annoying, if you will, and not do what would be the thing to do.
I never have been a coder, outside of when I was twelve or something, like on the Atari 1200 XP or whatever I had.
When my lady and I sit down and watch TV, I find she gets annoyed at characters because they don't do what she would do in the situation. I'm always like, 'Well, she has to do that because that's what the story is.'
If you're into a leather-jacketed crime fighter and his artificially intelligent robotic supercar, tune into 'The Good Wife.' If, on the other hand, you prefer the misadventures of a freelance itinerant trucker and his simian sidekick, check out 'The Walking Dead.' Or DVR them both and go talk to your family.
I find that on serialized television it's wiser to hit the ground and look forward, and take the cues from the writers and the events happening, otherwise you just tie yourself in knots.
In the acting community in New York we call 'Law & Order' 'grad school,' because everyone eventually does a 'Law & Order.' My first one was in 1995, which was a year after I got out of school. Matthew Blanchard was the character's name.
I still take way more jobs than I turn down, and the reason that I turn down a job is that I just can't find anything in it that charges me or excites me or challenges me about moving to the next phase of where I'm headed.
I'm from Houston. I think I was thirty-seven before I ever set foot in Dallas, and that was just in the airport. So I've never really been there. Dad grew up in Port Arthur, Texas and all I can ever get out of him is, 'I wanted my first son to be named Dallas.'
I enjoy playing someone who doesn't show up and say, 'This is what I am, and this is what I'm about,' but is someone who, four hours in, makes you go, 'Really? Is that what's going on?'
It's funny, my kids and I live together, and I have a lot of actor friends. So my kids think everyone is on television every now and again, since everyone they know pops up here, but there's a whole rap of things they won't watch until they're 16 or 17.
I came up in the theater, and I learned pretty quickly that reading a review, whether it's good or bad, can strangely affect the next performances, because you're reacting to something that's been said about you. So I tend to avoid that stuff pretty studiously.