I love meeting people and I love interviewing them. A good friend and fellow writer, Uriah Young, who knows that I’m the zombie queen at Biff Bam Pop, ask me if I would like to interview an actor who had a part in season four of “The Walking Dead.” Was I interested my little zombie snacks? Hell yes! I was! Join me now as I introduce a very talented actor, Brandon Fobbs.
Marie Gilbert: “Brandon, why don’t we start the interview with you telling me a little bit about yourself and what got you started in your acting career?”
Brandon Fobbs: “I was rather young when I discovered that I wanted to act. I was watching Pulp Fiction at the theatre with my friend. It was during the apartment scene with Samuel Jackson and John Travolta when my friend and I were laughing so hard and that’s when it struck me. I said, “That’s what I want to do.” I said those exact words. I was thirteen at the time, but from there I got into a high school play in my senior year called “Dogs.” I realized I loved acting. But when I went to college at Hampton University, I couldn’t major in theater because my parents would not allow that. I had to go for a business major. But, I would always go to theatre classes and the theatre when they were doing plays. The director of the plays at the time, Paul Patton, took kindly to me and started teaching me acting. And in my later years, I became the Vice-President of the Campus Acting organization known as the Hampton Players.”
Marie Gilbert: “So your parents were not looking for you to be an actor, wanting you to have more of a business background?”
Brandon Fobbs: “Yeah, because I’m from the Washington D.C. area and in that area it’s more of a political nature. It’s not that they wanted me to be in politics or nothing like that, but they definitely were used to a lifestyle of work, you know, like a nine to five job where you get paid for your time.”
Marie Gilbert: “Now that you’re a well-known actor, have your parents changed their mind about acting?”
Brandon Fobbs: “Oh yeah. Now they are behind me, but they still want me to be back home on the East coast. They’ll drop hints like, “You better get back here if you want some blue crabs,” and stuff like that. But they are excited about the work I do. My father told me I should get on this show called “The Wire” around the year 2001, and I said, “Sure dad, I’ll just go and tell the Casting Director to put me on.” It’s funny because later on in 2004, that’s when I eventually ended up getting cast on the show.”
Marie Gilbert: “Was that your first acting job on TV?”
Brandon Fobbs: “That was my first professional speaking role, but when I was in college I did the Discovery Channel “F.B.I Crime Files” and “Prosecutor Files,” which were reenactment shows where the actors never speak.”
Marie Gilbert: “You were on “The Wire” for several seasons, right?”
Brandon Fobbs: “Yeah, I was on “The Wire” for two seasons.”
Marie Gilbert: “What was your part on “The Wire”?
Brandon Fobbs: “My character was Fruit. I was one of Marlo’s lieutenants and the funny thing is when I came from playing parts on the “F.B.I. Crime Files” to The Wire I thought, “Oh here I go playing another drug dealer,” because I hadn’t realized at that time I was on one of the best shows on TV”
Marie Gilbert: “I’m glad it all worked out. Before I talk to you about your part on “The Walking Dead,” I wanted to know if you’ve done any films.”
Brandon Fobbs: “Yes, I was in a film called Pride, with Terrance Howard and the late Bernie Mac. And this was actually my first leading role in a featured film shown all over the country. It came out in 2007. I also did a film called This Christmas, Tunnel Rats and The Devil’s Tomb.
Marie Gilbert: You’ve been in several films but, Which TV show was your favorite?”
Brandon Fobbs: “I’ve done some guest parts and recurring roles on shows. “The Wire” and that was one of my favorites as a recurring guest star, but overall my favorite part on was either “Detroit 1-8-7” or “Without a Trace” and I think I’ll pick “Detroit 1-8-7” because I got to do some active fighting stuff on that and I really had a good time with the cast and the Director, and I felt myself coming into another place in my acting.”
Marie Gilbert: “Detroit 1-8-7 was a TV show?”
Brandon Fobbs: “Yes, that was on ABC.”
Brandon Fobbs: “No, I played one episode on “Southland,” but that was fun, too. If you see my part in “Southland” my character comes in the middle of a sentence so at the audition I had to improvise and make up more dialogue so that my character made sense to me. The writers and the director really enjoyed that I took some liberty on that.”
Marie Gilbert: “The Walking Dead” is such a cult series I wanted to know if you approached them about playing on the show or did they approach you because of you’re a talented actor?”
Brandon Fobbs: “I would have to say that I sought them out big time, because I auditioned for the casting director, Sharon Bialy, once before for a movie starring Kevin Costner. When I auditioned for that movie I think I did a pretty darn good job, and even she was really excited about it, but they didn’t end up casting me. But in that audition, she told me congratulations on another movie I was in, a sci-fi movie called Channeling. I said to her, “Oh you saw that?” She said that she has to watch those kinds of movies because she casts for “The Walking Dead.” Right then and there, I was like “Oh really! Well since “The Walking Dead” happens to be one of my favorite shows, if you ever see something that would fit me, let me know.”
Later on when I saw the trailer for season four of TWD coming out, I wrote Sharon a letter. I said that I liked the trailer and that she did a great job on the casting for the fourth season, and not to forget that “The Walking Dead” is my favorite show. Later on when they had an opportunity for me to have a role that fit my description, they called me in, and I made sure that I would do the best job I could to get that role.”
We’ll stop here with Biff Bam Pop’s interview of Brandon Fobbs, but I’ll be back with part two when Brandon tells us what it’s like working with the cast of “The Walking Dead.”