I'm a title. Click here to edit me
Interview with Robert W.C. Kennedy
Zombie Frat House
You play the role of Esteban the Security Guard in ZOMBIE FRAT HOUSE. How is this role different from others you have previously played?
Well, here’s an Esteban fun fact for you: it is not the first time I have played this character. He’s actually a carry-over of a cameo I did in another film (THE BAD GIRL). He didn’t have a name in that film and he only appeared in one scene, reacting to some breasts on a video monitor and spitting up coffee in his security office all alone, but it was a tour de force performance, and Ross knew he needed a little of that cinema magic in ZOMBIE FRAT HOUSE. Other than that, Esteban is a lot shorter than other characters I have played on stage or on film.
Do you identify with this character in any way?
I suppose, perhaps in that Esteban tends to be a little, how should we say, “Misunderstood.” Outside of that, hell no. While I don’t want to give away the riveting narrative arc of the character, let’s just say that Esteban is less than useful in his role during the crisis that arises. In a real zombie apocalypse, I am precisely the guy you want on your team. I have nothing to lose. Seriously, head straight for my place. I am tooled up with a collection of edged weapons from two-handed Scottish claymore swords to Japanese katanas to high-end Wustoff cutlery. No guns. Because blades don’t need reloading. I have a thoughtful assortment of IPA’s in the refrigerator and elegant selection of Irish whiskeys. Plus, my brains would poison anyone who ate them.
How did you prepare for this film?
Well, I clearly didn’t spend much time in the gym doing sit-ups. My process primarily involved online shopping from security apparel and accessories wholesalers. And, I read some of my scenes. Once. I had already read Max Brooks’ “The Zombie Survival Guide,” many years earlier, before zombies were in fashion.
If you had written ZOMBIE FRAT HOUSE, what direction would your character’s path have taken that differs from the film?
He would have gotten laid a lot more. Like, constantly. And, with ladies. And, I probably would have had him maybe, I don’t know, kill a zombie. That might have been fun. And, he would have gotten a promotion to lieutenant. And, learned the true nature of friendship.
By the way, what do you think of Ross Bigley, the Director? a**hole, right?
Yes, a**hole. But, no one will every question his ambition. I have worked on a number of projects with Ross over the years, ranging in size and scope, but this is the first time I have every shown up on set to find so many crew members and extras working on so many different aspects of a project. Ross does not think small. Sure, why not shoot a makeup-and-effects-heavy-horror-comedy with 40 principles and 80 extras over the course of a few months with next-to-no budget? But, I suppose Ross gave me more license with this character than ever before, so a ‘thank you’ is probably in order. Thank you, Ross. Audiences will hate me. A**hole.
Is this, like, your greatest acting moment?
I’m telling you, every time I heard the words “ZOMBIE FRAT HOUSE, Scene X, Take blah, blah….,” I got a lump in my throat. I knew that nothing that had preceded that moment, and certainly nothing that might come after, would ever matter as much.
Tell us about some of your other work? What’s next for you?
I have been primarily a stage actor for the past 20-some years, working for numerous former and existing companies in Milwaukee, but also performing in Madison, Chicago, New York, and Toronto. Then, last year, I had the opportunity to take a show to Ireland and perform for the Lord Mayor of Dublin, followed up by a well-received portrayal of the President of the United States during that contentious 2012 election season. So, having decided that I got what I came for, I decided I would take 2013 off from the madness of the live experience. It’s probably a good this this project came along or I’d be in jail. I’m not good with free time.Next: I recently finished principle photography on a short film by an award-winning creative team out of Chicago and Madison, so look for me on the festival circuit next year. And, I plan to crawl back up on stage in 2014 as well.
What are your thoughts about the following statement: “Whoever has the most toys when they die wins.” Discuss?
What kind of bullsh*t is that? At the risk of compromising my reputation as the biggest a**hole in the cast, that is no way to live. Collect memories, not things. Your legacy will be a result of your actions and accomplishments, not your airplane factories and exotic motor car collections. I plan to see both before I die. (Aww… who ever accused the hard boy of not having a sensitive side?) That said, yeah, I’m pretty much f*cked either way.”
Ross mentioned to me that you just returned from herding buffalo out in the Dakotas. Really? What was THAT experience like?
Just to clarify: I was an observer only. I do not have the skills, experience or connections to participate. There are 60 of some of the best riders in the country, risking life and limb to herd 1,300 wild bison on the open plain. I have penned cattle on horseback at a range outside of Tucson (I was on horseback; not the cattle), but in the interest of full disclosure, I’m pretty sure my horse was doing most, if not all, of the work on that one. I love tatanka and tatanka-related activities. From a distance.”
What can audiences expect from ZOMBIE FRAT HOUSE?
There will be blood. And gore. And various internal organs and exposed skeletal features. And, there are certainly some character types never before unleashed on film. Hopefully, there will be a few laughs. Probably some cringes. Me, I’m looking forward to the boobies. And, in the end, maybe we all learn something about what it means to be an American. Probably not.”hot blondes with accents. And this is his potential downfall.