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Q and A with Ving Rhames of Syfy’s “Zombie Apocalypse”


Veteran actor Ving Rhames brings his talent to the new Syfy original movie, Zombie Apocalypse. With the success of AMC’s The Walking Dead, the zombie genre is here to stay. You really can’t keep the dead down. Rhames has appeared in over one hundred films including Pulp Fiction, Con Air and many more. He is multi-talented and often portrays a badass in his films. He is very smart and savvy when it comes to choosing great roles that fit his personality. Now Rhames takes on the undead for Syfy. Previously taking on the undead in the film Dawn of The Dead, he is no stranger to the world of zombies. He recently took part in a conference call to discuss his latest roll and his long career in film and television.

Rhames was born in New York City and studied at the Julliard School of Drama, then began his career in New York theatre. His first appearance was on Broadway in the play “The Winter Boys” in 1984. He hit the big time with his first TV role in Go Tell It On the Mountain, and his first film role being in Native Son. He won a Golden Globe winner for his work in the miniseries Don King: Only in America.

“Zombie Apocalypse” takes place after a zombie plague has wiped out ninety percent of the American population. A small group of survivors must fight their way cross-country to a possible refuge on the island of Catalina. Rhames didn’t want to disclose too much about the film or his character, but said there are a few people who do survive this massive catastrophe where Zombies have taken over. The story goes into the characters’ friendships and how they all work together to survive under such stressful circumstances

Rhames received a call from his agent regarding the project. After reading the script, he immediately said that he was in and wanted to do the film. He was attracted to the role because of his previous experience with Dawn of the Dead. He loved bonding with his fellow actors and appreciated that the film combined fantasy-fiction and fun. He felt it was all about chemistry and making a few new friends. He needed to be in sledgehammer-wielding shape, and prepared by working out four to five days a week. Not that he wasn’t already in good shape thanks to his martial arts training, being a black belt in karate.

There were several scenes that Rhames enjoyed filming, and one scene in particular that stood out for him was between him and Lesley-Ann Brandt. He shows a lot of compassion and protects her character throughout the entire film. There was great chemistry between the cast as they dealt with a lot of different conditions in the movie. It’s very different when the characters are humans and zombies.

Rhames has played a variety of diverse characters and over the years and has maintained a fascinating career by taking on different roles to show his versatility. His dream roles would be portraying Dr. Martin Luther King or Paul Robeson. He has battled everything from sharks to zombies, but his most difficult adversaries were piranhas. His character Henry in Zombie Apocalypse will not have to take on any piranhas, but will do some serious battling with the undead. He takes on the role of the protector and enforcer in the movie.

Rhames still applies what he has learned at Julliard to each one of his roles. His includes that in his advice to future actors. He feels it’s important to make sure they receive the proper training. He grew up watching Dustin Hoffman, Al Pacino and Robert DeNiro, and considers them to be the best.

Rhames appreciates his fans and works with a group called Developing Options, which helps with gang intervention. He believes he is doing what he is meant to be doing with his life. He continues to grow and studies his craft by working.

Catch Rhames take on the zombies of the world in Syfy’s original movie, Zombie Apocalypse, premiering October 29 at 9/8c.

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