At the end of Season 4 of The Walking Dead, our merry little band of zombie-pocalypse survivors thought they had finally found the promised land at Terminus, the place of refuge they’d sought all season. Alas, all was not as it seems, i.e. the good folks of Terminus turned out to be mean ol’ blood-thirsty cannibals. Their leader? Andrew J. West (late of Greek), 27. In the wake of last week’s record-setting season 5 premiere that ensnared over 17 million viewers, we quizzed The Walking Dead’s handsomest Big Bad (sorry, Governor) about his love for his wee dog, his perfect date and the funniest thing he’s seen on the set of The Walking Dead.
My friends say that… the band-version of my personality would be The Velvet Underground. I took that as a high compliment, and have tried to adopt that view of myself ever since.
My greatest fear is… learning that the actual band-version of my personality is something far less cool than The Velvet Underground.
My worst habit is… talking to myself in public when I’m trying to learn lines for a job.
Guilty pleasure TV: I’ve been known to join my fiancée [Greek star Amber Stevens] for a little Real Housewives from time to time.
Favourite TV show: Tim and Eric’s Bedtime Stories. It’s so bizarre and wonderful. Episodes range from hysterical to totally creepy.
Greatest indulgence: Pecan pie. If there is one near, I will not say no.
Greatest weakness: My dog. I just can’t get mad at her when she does something bad.
What I miss most about my hometown is… the deep-seated sense of an origin of place. The familiarity you have with street corners, buildings, places in your hometown feels to be almost inseparable from who you are as a person. It’s nice to feel that from time to time.
Shoes: Worn boots or double monks.
Accessory: Watches. TW Steel or Tsovet
Favourite men’s designer: Steven Alan
The best meal I can cook is… seared scallops with risotto.
Worst thing about being an actor is… leading a self-directed life.
Best thing about being an actor is… leading a self-directed life.
I would like to see more of the human quality of… curiosity. It’s abundant for us as a species, but I don’t think a little more would hurt.
The one thing I can’t live without is… a good book.
House is on fire, I’m running back to get… my dog. She’s small, she can’t run fast on her own.
My worst ever included… telemarketing.
My best date includes… something adventurous that reveals something about a person’s character that can’t really be revealed through conversation alone.
The best qualities in a partner are… confidence and personal interests. People with interests tend to be interesting.
My definition of a cosmic joke would be… mosquitos.
Last great book I read: Man with a Blue Scarf: On Sitting for a Portrait by Lucian Freud, by Martin Gayford
My perfect-day playlist would include… a lot of Creedence Clearwater Revival.
Song that makes me dance like no is watching is… “Shout” by The Isley Brothers
My childhood superhero was… The Punisher. I always thought his pure toughness was more exciting than a superpower. I’d rather be tough.
Philip Seymour Hoffman inspires me because he never had a false moment.And a little bit about The Walking Dead…
What is the funniest thing that you’ve seen on set?
The funniest thing I’ve seen on The Walking Dead set is zombies standing around eating apples and smoking cigarettes during lunch.
What was the most technically challenging scene to film? Why?
The most technically challenging scene to shoot was the one in the finale of season 4 in which the Terminus residents first open fire on Rick and the group. Everyone’s timing had to be perfect to make sure that the shots fired looked like they were herding Rick and the group in the direction of the train car.
Who is your favourite The Walking Dead character/actor and why?
Carol is my favourite character. She’s so complicated and we see her evolve so much from season to season.
How do you sell the scene when there’s so much zombie craziness around you?
The craziness has become commonplace though, so it’s not as distracting as you might think.
How has the series grown you as an actor?
The show places you in a situation that is so far removed from anything you would ever experience in normal life that you’re forced to discover how you might behave around people when there really aren’t any rules. As an actor, it’s always great to tap into surprising things about the way you approach people in certain situations. It opens up more options for you in approaching scenes later on.