On the occasion of the series premiere for AMC’s new Walking Dead spinoff, Fear The Walking Dead, Yahoo TV sat down with Cliff Curtis, who plays Travis Manawa on the new show. Here are the highlights of what he revealed about the show, what he thinks of it, and how he approaches his work.
Cliff doesn’t care for zombies
“The genre, actually, I find it scary. I was introduced to the genre through this show. Both Kim [Dickens] and I were told by the studios and the creators that it wasn’t necessary for us to read the comics or watch the series, because the less we knew about this genre, the better, in terms of treating it realistically.”
Cliff was attracted to playing Travis due to the character’s “ordinaryness”
“Travis, he’s a fixer, he’s an idealist, and he’s an optimist. He loves fixing things; he is very grounded in his family life and his community. He’s a really good guy, and it’s a great way for me to explore the character who’s essentially good in a world that is chaotic, and how to hold onto the best of himself and believe in the best of humanity.”
Travis isn’t going to turn into Rick Grimes overnight
“I wanted to make sure that he was believable as an English literature teacher, that he didn’t suddenly start turning into a kick-ass action hero straightaway. I wanted to have some time for this guy to come to terms with what he has to do to protect his family.”
But Cliff loves action
“I love it. I love doing action. I think action is fun, and there’s plenty of action in this show. I wanted to do it from the point-of-view of an English literature teacher who’s spent his entire career trying to convince teenagers to be good citizens, and to believe in social order and good conduct, and to believe in the goodness of humanity. He’s devoted as a teacher. I wanted him to be somebody who was good at something, but not necessarily at being an action hero. “
Check out the full interview at Yahoo TV.