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Q&A – Jose Pablo Cantillo (Martinez)

Actor Jose Pablo Cantillo, who plays Martinez on AMC’s The Walking Dead, talks about the perils of getting eaten by walkers and shares some favorite moments from the set.

Q: Martinez got devoured by walkers this year. Tell us a little bit about filming that scene.

A: I was upside down and quite disoriented. At one point, one of the walkers actually took a clump of my hair out, during the stunt itself. So I think a piece of me was buried in that pit for real. It’s a little tribute there for the character. David Morrissey is holding onto a harness of mine, and he kind of just lifts me up. I look like I’m struggling, but really I’m just kind of crab-walking my way over to the pit. Which is really a mind-blow; you want to fight for your character and you want to survive, and at the same time, you have to crab walk over to your demise. There was one take where I did dig my heels in when we hit the grass and that’s actually one of the takes I use because David Morrissey stumbles and then he just drags me the last five or six feet. It was intense.

Q: Martinez starts out in a bit of a role reversal with The Governor. Have you ever been in a situation where you’ve found yourself the boss of someone who was formerly a superior? 

A: Not in the workplace, but I’d have to say with my big brother. I was two years younger than him but it kind of seemed like the tides turned in the late teens. I got bigger than him and I started studying martial arts, and then all of a sudden I could dictate what we were going to do this weekend.

Q: You’re currently in South Africa working on a Neill Blomkamp film. What are fans of The Walking Dead like there? 

A: There are billboards all over the place announcing Season 4. It’s quite comforting.

Q: Last year, you talked about how your Jeet Kune Do skills came in handy on set. Any other skills that you got to dust off this year? 

A: Screaming like a little girl, that helped tremendously in that last scene. Actually, I dusted off my golf game. I’m not a bad golfer and I’m not the best either. There was so much going on in that scene, the camera running around the crane, the RV that we’re on kind of sways a little bit, there’s a whiskey bottle and a lot of props. That scene was such a complex dance in terms of continuity that I decided not to think about it, and instead what I decided to do was try to hit one of the balls and see if I could get it to land in one of the pits with extras playing walkers in it. I came close.

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VIDEO: Inside The Walking Dead – Episode 407, “Dead Weight”

Q: What are some memories you cherish of your time on The Walking Dead

A: In Episode 13 of Season 3, it was a nice day with Norman Reedus. We’re having that kill-off episode, with who can kill the most zombies. It was a beautiful day; I remember it was November, the sun was nice, the lighting was beautiful and it was this really cool urban decay effect going on. We were literally just sharing a smoke, two guys just shooting the shit. You kind of felt like you didn’t have to act anything.

Q: Have you seen any fan tributes to Martinez that you’ve enjoyed? 

A: You know what made me laugh, somebody took a screencap of the Governor and Martinez, and they’ve got their backs up against a wall, and they made it like a Pinky and the Brain moment. “Hey Martinez what do you want to do tonight?” “What do we do every night, Pinky?” I’m assuming I’m Pinky in that situation, by the way.

Click here to read an interview with Scott Wilson, who plays Hershel Greene on AMC’s The Walking Dead.

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