Interview With The Walking Dead‘s Keith Harris
In this exclusive interview, MondayMonday sits down with actor Keith Harris, from The Walking Dead. Keith is best known as Maggie’s doctor on the series. Fans of the show recently saw Simon drag him off to the Sanctuary after Negan killed his brother in a past episode.
Keith tells MMN about what it’s like to work for the producers of The Walking Dead.
What’s it liking working a series that is so iconic and also so secretive?
Keith: It can be interesting. I have gotten used to it because, for instance, I am, at this time, sort of still a peripheral character.
The main characters get the entire script. The peripheral characters that are being introduced… I have not passed any sort of episode count threshold or whatever approval to get the entire script, so the only thing that I get, and this is part of the way they protect the series, the only thing that I get is pages that I’m in.
And from an acting standpoint, I’m a script analysis guy. I love script analysis, but what’s interesting is, what I’ve kind of come to embrace in the process with The Walking Dead is, technically, I wouldn’t know what everybody else is doing anyway.
So, it makes me go, “What is it in this moment that I can attach to and convey?” And, you know, it just makes you be more in the moment because, you know, how am I going to react and deal with this situation because, really, I can’t care and I don’t know how these other people are. So, that’s been kind of the biggest piece of the learning curve for me, yeah.
MMN: And the show’s obviously not exactly the same as the comic, but do most of the actors kind of read ahead and predict what they think’s going to happen with their characters?
Keith: I honestly don’t know. I know, there’s a buddy of mine, Brett Gentile… he won’t touch it. He doesn’t even watch the show. He’s like, “I don’t want to know. I don’t want to know about it. I don’t want to know about what’s going on with my character. I don’t want to know. I don’t want to watch the show.” And he just focuses on his work.
I have come to kind of a middle ground. I have not really sat down and gone page-by-page through the graphic novel, but I have read like every Wiki page about the character that I’m playing that is based out of the graphic novel, and kind of relationships, and just to try to figure out, who is this guy, so I can be honest to the source material.
Your character stayed pretty calm when he found out that Negan had killed his brother. What might he have been thinking?
Anytime family dies, there’s a wound. There was a lot going on at that moment…concern for his patients, anger because Gregory just threw him under the bus, and dealing with the transition to Negan’s compound. In my mind, he’s going into emergency mode. Plus doctors are trained to play all their emotions close to the chest. Don’t think he had a choice in the moment to grieve…