Interview with Stephen Vining - The Walking Dead
Stephen Vining was born on April 8, 1981 in Augusta, Georgia, USA as Stephen Bentley Vining. He is known
for his work on The Grindhouse Radio (2015), Guardians of the Galaxy 2 and The Walking Dead
Thank you Stephen for your spontaneous commitment for the Fans of
- Stephen you played over the years so many Walker (Walker / Fence Walker / Carter's Walker / ...)
How did you get your role in the AMC Series The Walking Dead?
It was very random. I did background work on an AMC show called Halt & Catch Fire. The casting for that show also casts for TWD. As soon as they saw me they invited me to audition for the show. From there, I would get called in for specific walkers when casting felt I had the right look they were going for.
- Did you watch the show or read the graphic novel, prior to
your casting to The Walking Dead?
I didn’t watch the show before I was on it, but I did read the comics from the beginning. The comics were very different from the normal superhero stuff and I really enjoyed them. I binge watched the entire series as soon as I found out I would be working on it. I studied all the other walkers and took notes on what to do and not to do.
- When you watched TWD the first time do you ever think that you will be a part in this series some day?
I had many friends tell me I should try and be on the show back in season 1. I thought it was a pretty farfetched idea and never sought it out. A few years later, I decided to give acting a try and it just took off from there. There are times now where I will go back and watch certain episodes and I feel very privileged and proud to be a part of the experience.
- Working with Andrew Lincoln or one of the Maincast Members will be
a dream for every
TWD Fan, what can you say about working with some of this guys?
I have an immense amount of respect for Andrew Lincoln. I’ve worked with him several times and every time I am in awe of his craft. I love to act physically & each scene with him was something new and rewarding. Walkers are very lucky to work with the whole cast. They are an excellent group of people and if you are on set to learn, they are the best teachers. They have all been kind and very welcoming.
- How much has the series The Walking Dead influenced your life? Can you
go outside unrecognized ?
It has definitely changed my life. I’ve been on other shows and films and the fan base just isn’t there. With TWD, the fans are so loyal and supportive it actually can help our careers have a bit of momentum and push us onward to more opportunities. I can definitely go outside and no one knows who I am or what I do and I enjoy that. Being behind makeup provides a bit of anonymity. There are times when I go back to my hometown where it can be a little overwhelming.
- Team Negan or Team Rick in reallife?
Team Rick. He’s a conflicted character for sure, but the best ones are. Negan reminds me of an elementary school bully, I wouldn’t follow him anywhere.
- What was the best thing or the funniest moment about working on The
Walking Dead?Is there something special you can share with us?
I think the overall best thing is just the experience. I’ve learned a lot about myself the past few years being on the show. I’ve grown as a performer and a person because of it. I absolutely love the makeup and the crew. I’ve met some really cool people that I now call my friends and that’s unreal to me sometimes.
There are so many funny things that have happened over the years. One of my favorite memories is when on the first take of eating a horse in season 7, I went all in. When they called cut, Greg looked at my face and said “Stephen. You have blood all over your face. Maybe don’t go all in on the first take next time.” It was too late, but it was funny to me.
- Stephen you also had a part in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 as Ravager,thats right?
I did. I played an Easik Ravager. It was an awesome makeup, very reptilian. Kerrin Jackson & Matt Sprunger were the makeup artists and they did an amazing job with it. I loved doing it because it was my first makeup performance outside of being a walker and I was able to do something new and challenging. It was one of my favorite set experiences of my career.
- Over the years you had aslo little parts in movies like "Thor" , Spiderman and many more.
Are you currently working on anything interesting Movie or Series
outside "The Walking Dead" that you can reveal?
I was very fortunate to work on Thor & Spiderman. You will barely see me at all, but the experiences were definitely worth it. As for new projects, I have a few things that will be coming out this October. I filmed a short film in New York that should be out sometime this year. Matt Cochran directed a really cool short and I’m pretty proud to have been a part of it and can’t wait to share it with the world. He’s an excellent new director. I’ve also been working on my own short for some time and hopefully that will be released soon as well.
- Is there anything else you would like to let The Walking Dead Fans and
your fans know?
I just want to thank them for their support. As walkers, we wouldn’t be nearly as known without them and that’s what gets us the clout to move forward in this industry. So, keep watching the show and supporting the actors you love. It makes all the difference in the world.
Thank you very much for your time and all the best for the future and
maybe see you someday in Germany.
Thank you as well! I will definitely see you in Germany one day!