Matt Lasky Interview - Fear the Walking Dead
"Coop would be proud of how far I’ve come. :-) "
- Hello Matt Lasky and thank you for your time for the Fans.
- You startet your acting in 2006 in movies like "Lonely in Los Angeles" and "Secret History of Religion: Knights Templar". When was the time you know you want to be an actor?
I was raised by a single mother and found myself looking to some of my film and television idols as father figures and role models from a very early age. I wanted to escape from my own life into these fantasy worlds and quickly realized that being an actor would be the closest I could get. I had small roles in a few plays at the local Shakespeare in the Park during high school summer breaks which in turn gave me the courage to take my first drama class my senior year of high school. Though I didn’t have much experience yet, I was cast in the senior play as one of the leads which helped me to gain the confidence that I could make a living doing something that brought me so much joy.
- After spots in NCIS , Grimm , The Mentalist and many more you get the role as "Coop" in Fear the Walking Dead. Were you a fan of TWD Universe before you get cast?
I was a huge fan of all The Walking Dead properties. I would watch the shorts and read the articles and message boards and watch Talking Dead and would even read the some of the comic after a season or major moment to see what was the same and what was different. Although it is a cliché, I haven’t watched any of the shows since I worked on Fear the Walking Dead. I’m not any less of a fan but there is something about working on a show that makes watching it afterwards difficult. I don’t have a big hang up about watching myself on TV like some actors do, so it is not that. It is more that the illusion of the world has been destroyed once you’ve met the cast and been to the sets, etc.… specifically, with Fear, it is bittersweet to have been on a show I was such a big fan of. If I never worked on it, I would most definitely be completely caught up with the series, most likely having watched every episode more than once. It’s kind of poetic that, other than an occasional trailer and article headline, I don’t really know what has happened in that world since my character died.
- How many Matt is in Coop?
Coop was scripted as pretty basic big tough militia member/prepper but I was able to add in some softer moments and some funnier/goofier moments and other qualities that helped me to feel like he was more like me.… The writers took note and began writing towards that end as well. I often play tough guys that don’t leave a lot of room for me to be me but Coop was definitely closer to my authentic self that most of the gigs I get... and he rubbed off on me. Though I was a ‘casual prepper’ before FTWD, Playing a prepper in a zombie apocalypse show has definitely made me more interested in preparedness and self-sufficiency and other related skill sets. Coop would be proud of how far I’ve come. :)
- With a role in FTWD comes a Big Fan Community, what are your first The Walking Dead fan experiences?
I have been recognized from time to time from other projects as well as FTWD but receiving letters and pictures of my self to sign and return was unique to TWD fans and has been really quite special. People will write and share their personal stories and relationships with the show as well as their reasons for being fans and some younger fans have expressed their desire to have a film/tv careers themselves. I am just a regular working class actor but to be able to reply with pertinent information and advice to younger people who have made efforts to contact me has been very fulfilling and has helped me to feel better about my own journey and how far I have come. Trying to maintain a career as an actor is quite difficult and it is stuff like that that has kept me going. Even if work a dozen bigger roles on bigger shows, I will always have a special place in my heart for TWD fans.
- The end of Coop in FTWD after 9 episodes was Bitten by several walkers and Shot in the head by Alicia Clark.would you have liked to see more of Cooper or would you have liked another series death?
I was originally hired on for three episodes. Given the nature of the show, I knew that I would bite the dust sooner than later. The producers would add one episode at a time to my contract and it became a game of not knowing if or when I was going to die until the next episode’s script was released.… At one point, I was even convinced I might see Coop live into the next season. So, finally finding out That Coop was not long for the world was definitely a sad day for me.
The way it was written, however, was pretty amazing. Being afforded the opportunity to have such a well scripted death took the sting out of being killed off one of my favorite shows and kicked back to the land of the unemployed. I would’ve loved to have stayed on the show as long as they would’ve kept me but I couldn’t have asked for a better death. There are principal characters in the universe that I’ve lasted multiple seasons that get offed in much less heroic or glamorous ways.
It was an honor to have so many cool elements at play during my death sequence. I hope fans of the show regard it as highly as I do.
- 2020 you get a role in "Perry Mason" as Marcin Sarecki aka Black Hat. What can you tell us about?
Speaking of intense death scenes… spoiler alert. Ha ha.
Perry Mason was an amazing show that deserves all of the attention it is receiving. Matthew Rhys is as cool in real life as he is playing the titular role of Perry Mason. I got to play a pivotal role establishing the plot for the show and I was even featured as the very first shot of the first episode of the entire series. Again, for a regular working actor like me, I mark my successes in ways that don’t always add up to fame and/or fortune. So, to be able to play in the 1930s Los Angeles world with such an amazing cast was really a treat. Among the many amazing actors, John Lithgow has always been one of my idols. His ability to play both villains and goofballs (and everything in between) is definitely something I strive for in my own career. And considering I’m usually found playing modern bearded antagonists, it was also nice to have a little pencil mustache and a fedora as well.
Funny story: I had agreed to do rear nudity for a morgue scene that featured my corpse but there was a mixup in production and they had told the make up department to paint the wrong actor’s butt. So, they had to throw a sheet over the parts of me that weren’t painted to look dead. It might not be as funny of a story to Charles Baker, of Breaking Bad fame, as he is the one who had his backside worked on for a few hours… Only to then sit on it with nothing to show for it.
- Over the years You played in many series/movies like "2 Broke Girls", "The Equalizer" , "American Horror Story" and more. What’s your highlight so far?
Being killed by Denzel in The Equalizer is certainly near the top of the list for me. It’s hard for me to pick any singular highlight because I’ve been fortunate enough to have dozens of amazing experiences with some of Hollywood’s top players. A gig that nobody will ever see, however, is also near the top of that list. I filmed a pilot directed and created by Dean Devlin and starring Geena Davis. Dean Devlin has created some of my favorite films and television shows. So, working for him was pretty amazing but working with Geena Davis was … working with Geena Davis!!! The best part for me was her and I performing a chase scene that started in cars and led to a one on one fight scene in which neither of used stunt doubles. Obviously, she won. The pilot didn’t get picked up but working for a creator I adore and with an iconic actor I adore was about as good as it gets.
- Is there a role or series you would love to work on in the future or an actor/actress you would want to work with?
Some MCU love would be ideal. Before I even knew I wanted to be an actor I wanted to be Gambit from the X-Men. That eventually became playing Gambit if he were ever featured in a movie. I am a huge X-Men comic fan turned huge Marvel Cinematic Universe fan. I have legit seen every movie and television show at least 10 times each. I am hopeful that with the universe continuing to expand I will have a chance to play a role in it at some point. I’ve missed my chance to be Gambit, but I would certainly be happy with anything in the MCU. Other than that, I am a big sci-fi fan followed by fantasy and then westerns… A series regular role on a show that has one or more of those genres at play would be my dream job right now. One of the Star Wars shows, Star Trek shows, The Expanse, Westworld, or anything featuring cowboys … especially if it is helmed by Taylor Sheridan, who is creating his own genre these days.
- Are you currently working on any interesting movie or series that you can reveal to us?
Nothing too interesting that I can reveal. Anything that might be coming up, I am not allowed to speak about or am not 100% confirmed for. But in general, I spend my days auditioning and looking for my next gig. I recently did a few days on Bloodstock, an independent film written and directed by Dominic Bogart, another actor from my season of Fear the Walking Dead. Dominic plays the lead role as well in that film and is a testament to creating your own projects when there is less work about as the pandemic literally shut down the vast majority of film/tv productions. If anyone can steal some of Taylor Sheridan’s thunder, it might be Dom. Keep a lookout for that film and him!
- In closing, some words to your fans?
Speaking of the pandemic, This period of time has been one of the most trying and difficult times of my career… I know that I am not the only person that can say that. I would be surprised to find anyone that has not been negatively affected by this colossal mess. Personally, I feel like I’ve lost 10 years of career progress and a bit of my sanity. I have watched a lot of people in my industry leave town and/or give up their career dreams and personal goals. As I alluded to earlier, playing Coop, A militia member and prepper in the middle of a zombie apocalypse, left me with a greater focus on self-sufficiency and survival. Quality of survival is important. — Ie. being healthy, happy, and stimulated are paramount to living your best life. Whether your life has been negatively affected by the pandemic or not, I hope that you will not give up on your dreams and goals. Go after what you want in life no matter the obstacles. …No matter how difficult or unattainable it might seem, you can do it. Some of my career ambitions are much further away now than they were pre-COVID. But if I can climb that mountain once, I can do it again, no matter how much the path has changed. ..and If I can do it you can do it! Full stop.