Regular readers surely know by now that I dig Zombie Hunter. Nathan Greene is a cute-as-a-button redneck who also happens to be the finest zombie killer north (or south, for that matter) of the Mason-Dixon line. The new season just dropped, and it’s everything fans want it to be: bloody, hilarious, and emphatically NSFW. Zombie Hunter Season Two—why wouldn’t you subscribe?
ZZN spoke with writer/director Jesse Dedman where he laid out his vision for the show. Today we pick the brains of lead actor Elvis Quintero, and new cast member Natalie Hernandez.
WLF/ZZN: Hey, thanks for taking time to answer our Q’s. Let’s start with an easy one. What was it that led each of you to want to work in the zombie genre?
Elvis: Zombies are cool and trendy, they’ve been “in” for the last couple of years, with shows like The Walking Dead and games like Resident Evil and Dead Island picking up popularity zombies are where it’s at. But let’s face it, post-apocalyptic scenarios or what-if scenarios are always intriguing and generally attract an audience. I mean who doesn’t like playing Fallout or watching 28 Days Later. Different genres, but I say, different sides of the same coin, zombies just got more style.
Natalie: My favorite genre of movies is really guts and gory stuff so zombie films really fit my criteria.
WLF/ZZN: With that in mind, why would you want to play zombie killers rather than shambling, stumbling, cannibalistic undead?
Elvis: Zombie killers are thinkers, and I’m a philosopher, any simple person can be among the living, but a zombie killer is brass balls, he/she accepts their fate, and recognizes their own mortality. Only a few have the will to put down a loved one that’s been infected. Plus Jesse Dedman, Aaron Quintero and Kevin Hogan actually play the role of zombies and are pretty damn good at it. Lol!
Natalie: Playing a zombie killer gives you a more badass title to yourself. You get to adventure out more and have a better storyline than a shuffling zombie.
WLF/ZZN: The directors of Season Two of Zombie Hunter are Jesse Dedman and Jennifer Hernandez. What are they like to work with?
Elvis: They’re awesome, I’ve known Jesse for like 18 years so working with him is just like hanging out as friends. Jennifer has great input on camera angles or how a scene should go, she’s patient and doesn’t mind taking others input to kinda bounce ideas or try something different. I remember doing the drinking scene and we used real southern comfort and Jennifer was the only sober one filming Jesse Dedman and myself and she probably thought we were idiots using real alcohol taking shots doing scene after scene, but we wanted it to look believable.
Natalie: So working with the two was very easy and fun. I couldn’t help but laugh every 5 minutes for no reason. Sharing and interest in the whole zombie stuff was pretty cool because we could come up with cool ideas for the show and stuff.
WLF/ZZN: The character Tiff appears to be awfully young to be a professional zombie hunter. Natalie, can you assuage the fears of those who worry on her behalf? Also, how old is she?
Elvis: Tiff is not “professional” per se, that unofficial title comes from her relation to the boss Jimmy, however, she holds her own and is learning the ropes. Natalie is a young aspiring actress, and we take precaution to not exploit her since she is still a minor but she’s on board and enjoys being a part of Zombie hunter. Tiff likes being in the marauders too.
Natalie: Tiff is a 14 year old badass. Yes she is pretty young to be a zombie hunter and she does show fear sometimes. She’s just trying to be tough like all the others and possibly trying that she can be better than them.
WLF/ZZN: The rivalry between Nathan Greene and Billy Boone is damn heated. Should fans worry about what will happen if this continues to escalate?
Elvis: Nothing to worry about, redneck rivalry is all in good fun. Plus, rivalry ends when there is a common enemy.
Natalie: The rivalry between the two kind of keeps them on their “a” game. The two are always facing off in some sort of challenge and for them there has to be a winner. I think the rivalry helps better their hunting skills.
WLF/ZZN: The accents on the show are fantastic! Is there a dialect coach on set?
Elvis: Haha, hell no! We are as low budget as it gets. Living in Texas anyone can simply pull off an accent like that on command.
Natalie: There isn’t a dialect coach on scene but before every rehearsal Elvis always does a couple “Hi, I’m Nathan green” to get his voice warmed up.
WLF/ZZN: Elvis, writer/director Jesse Dedman has spoken about how your performance in Fields of Rot enhanced his development of Nathan Greene. What do you think you bring to Nathan Greene that isn’t apparent in the writing?
Elvis: Probably just myself playing some guy named Nathan Greene, lol! He’s a guy that has qualities of the image Jesse created and aspects of our dads, for example the way he responds to things or things he says or even words he uses. My doctor I work for has a sort of country quality to him and ill emulate that when I act Nathan. In fields of rot he was more deranged, but in zombie hunter his quirky wit and silly ballsy style is what seemed more appropriate. I didn’t want him to be a complete numbskull like Ernest scared stupid.
WLF/ZZN: At one point, Nathan proclaims that he will call Tiff “Ballbuster” in honor of a particularly well-placed shotgun blast. Natalie, how do you think Tiff feels about that moniker?
Natalie: I think Tiff appreciates the compliment; she finally feels a little bit of acceptance coming from Nathan.
Elvis: Tiff is ecstatic, completely enthralled to have earned that title. At least, she ought to be, It isn’t everyday that we give her respect. In fact, normally we give her those crappy, beat up, and unchecked handguns because she’s an ammo drain. She can’t shoot for shit.
WLF/ZZN: I was a little shocked to see Nathan give Billy Boone’s car what we call “The Christine Treatment.” Is Nathan hoping to start a trend?
Elvis: It’s possible, he’s quite the trendsetter. For Nathan, hell do anything that will create shock and awe in the timeliest manner that requires the least amount of effort but yet some how be just his style
WLF/ZZN: Does any of the firepower in come from your personal stash(es)?
Elvis: All the weapons are phony props that look close to the real thing. Muzzle flashes and explosions are all made possible by effects from Jesse Dedman.
WLF/ZZN: Do you enjoy any activities that don’t involve zombies?
Natalie: Mostly band, sports, artsy things…
Elvis: Sure, I like to run or swim when I have free time. I love going to the movies and I’m a big gamer. I like to watch good shows. I’m in to breaking bad right now.
WLF/ZZN: Please sum up your character’s defining characteristics in three words. Go!
Natalie: Sassy Determined Spitfire
Elvis: Witty ballsy fearless
WLF/ZZN: Where can we go to get more information about Zombie Hunter?
WLF/ZZN: Anything you’d like to say to your many fans?
Natalie: Its nice having an audience that has the same interest as you. To give them a performance that satisfies them is even better! I hope everyone enjoys the show; we’ve worked long and hard on it. And thanks for watching!
Elvis: Thanks for all the support!! keep watching zombie hunter, season 2 is gonna rock, oh and if you’re some kind of pansy fairy-loving gutless bitch, you might wanna watch somethin else.
WLF/ZZN: Thanks so much, Elvis and Natalie!