Steve Warren was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA as Stephen Craig Monheimer. After decades of work as an entertainment journalist, he took up acting as a "midlife crisis career." He is known for his work in Scarce (2008) and The Walking Dead (2010-11), as well as major roles in minor films and extra work in dozens of major films.
Thank you Steve Warren for your spontaneous commitment for the Fans of
- When you watched the AMC Series The Walking Dead the first time did you ever think that you would be a part of this series someday?
By the time the show was on the air I had already worked on several episodes of the first season. As an extra, I didn’t know how visible I’d be, if at all. Indeed, I was cut entirely from one big scene in which I’d had a closeup; and except for my arm, I wound up just outside the frame in the shot of Walkers eating a horse at the end of the first episode.
- How did you get your role in TWD as various Walkers?
I had worked as an extra in just about every major film and TV show shot in Atlanta for about a decade. Most of them were cast by Extras Casting Atlanta, an agency that had a lot less competition then than they do now. They had recently used me in the movie Zombieland (I was cut from that too, but can be seen in a DVD extra working on a video used to teach other extras how to play a zombie), so I was naturally one of the first people they thought of for The Walking Dead. I was in one of the first groups to audition and went to work soon afterward.
- Steve, did you read the graphic novel, prior to your casting in The Walking Dead?
No, and I kept promising myself to catch up – especially after meeting Robert Kirkman on the set – but I still haven’t read a single one. I haven’t missed an episode of the show though.
- Working with Andrew Lincoln or one of the main cast members will be
a dream for every TWD Fan, what can you say about working with some of these guys?
One of the first things an extra learns is not to talk to the actors unless they talk to you first. They may look like they’re not doing anything but they could be working on the next scene in their heads, reviewing lines or planning actions or thinking about things they want to ask the director.
Even so, there was a little more of a “family” feel to this production, considering how big and complex it was, during the first season. Assistant directors usually deal with the extras, but Frank Darabont actually spoke directly to me one day, and I had several conversations with Greg Nicotero.
As for cast members, Steven Yuen introduced himself when we worked on a scene together. When Andrew Lincoln and I shot the scene for the first episode of the second season where he splits my skull with a machete in a church, he introduced himself as “Andy Lincoln” and later told me not to worry about hurting him when I had him by the throat (something else that didn’t make the final edit). That day I had dinner with Chandler Riggs and his father. Still a preadolescent at the time, Chandler was very polite.
- How much has the series The Walking Dead influenced your life? Can you go outside unrecognized?
Maybe if I went out in Walker makeup someone would notice. When you work on the show they are very careful to remove every last bit of makeup before they release you, so you don’t call attention to yourself (and perhaps reveal some secret plot detail) on your way home.
But I’m often introduced as, “This is Steve. He was on The Walking Dead.” It’s ironic that of the many things I’ve done as an actor, this will be the one I’m most remembered for; and though I worked many days on the show, the 30-second scene in the church is the only one in which I was noticed.
- What was the best thing or the funniest moment about working on The
Walking Dead? Is there something special you can share with us?
When you’re filming you never know if anyone will see the end result. A TV series may not last more than one season. I worked on one that had such low ratings, the last two episodes never aired – and I had a closeup in one of them.
So it was a wonderful surprise when The Walking Dead turned out to be such a phenomenon!
It’s funny how some of the most annoying things – like running around in 95-degree (F) heat in heavy makeup – can become pleasant memories, as well as a bonding experience for those of us who suffered together.
- Steve, you also worked in many movies like Scarce, Zombieland and series like Drop Dead Diva and many many more. What was your personal highlight so far?
That has to be Scarce, my one starring role in a feature. Though it was a Canadian independent film that few people saw, it allowed me – technically, at least – to achieve my childhood dream of being a “movie star.”
It was also a wonderful experience, getting to know Canada and Canadians, even though I don’t like cold weather and we filmed during a record cold winter. (It helped that they gave the temperature in Celsius so I didn’t know exactly how cold it was.)
This was during the Bush years so when I traveled to other countries I had to introduce myself, as I do today, by saying, “I’m from America but I hate our president.”
Considering that most of the crew were in their 20s and had little experience, I was very pleased with the result. (There’s a German-language version available, with someone else’s voice dubbed in for mine.)
- In Scarce you played Ivan and, like in The Walking Dead, you eat people - but not as a Walker; you are alive. What can you tell us about this horror movie?
I’m sure people mean it as a compliment when they say I have “a face for horror.” I also played a zombie/cannibal in a fun horror comedy called Lynch Mob. I’m not a vegetarian in real life but I don’t eat people either, except – well, let’s just say when it’s consensual.
Though filmed in Canada, Scarce takes place in Pennsylvania, which happens to be where I was born. Three young men, returning from a vacation, get lost in a remote area in heavy snow and find shelter in a cabin belonging to two older men who seem to be very nice – until...! Or as I like to put it, two sweet guys find their home invaded by some young punks and have to defend themselves...
- In front of the Interview you told me that you not only play a German man (Werner Herzog) in The Ecstatic Truth, but your paternal grandparents came from Germany. Do you speak some German words?
My grandparents died when I was young so I didn’t really know them. Their name was Monheimer, so I assume they came from Mannheim and the immigration clerk couldn’t spell their original name (or even their “American” name) correctly.
When I travel I try not to be one of those Americans who insist everyone speak English to them. Before visiting Germany I’ve learned a few common words and phrases (danke, bitte, guten Tag). I’ve learned other German words from the titles of films (Das Boot, Der blaue Engel), songs (Morgen, Muss i den, 99 Luftballons) and Wagnerian operas (Das Rheingold, Die Walküre).
- Are you currently working on any interesting movies or series
outside The Walking Dead that you can reveal?
I’m living in Florida now, about 500 miles from Atlanta, where most of the filming takes place. I don’t mind driving up there if I can get a week’s worth of work at a time, but that doesn’t happen often. I would also make the trip to appear on The Walking Dead again. In fact, a friend started an online petition to get me back on the show (https://www.ipetitions.com/petition/bring-back-steve-warren) but it didn’t go as viral as we hoped it would.
In the meantime I work on occasional projects for local people, usually fun but not too exciting.
- Is there anything else you would like to let The Walking Dead Fans and your fans know?
Not really. I’ve said too much already. Danke schön, Bernd.
Thank you very much for your time and all the best for the future and
maybe see you someday back in Germany.
I hope so!