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BBCA.com got a chance to chat with the star of “In the Flesh,” Luke Newberry about how he prepared and handled his complex role as Kieren Walker.
“In the Flesh” is a new 3-part drama coming to BBC America in June. The series follows zombie teenager Kieren Walker (Luke Newberry) in the year 2015 as he becomes reintegrated back into both the local community and the heart of his family after his brutal suicide.
‘How do you portray a recovering zombie? What was your strategy?
“it was a massive challenge. I sort of approached it as some guy who’s had some kind of mental episode, who’s depressed, and grieving, and I just let the zombie element play out on its own. I (also) tried to remember a time that was weird, and unsettling and I just magnified it.”
“Here was a guy who wanted to escape from this life,” Newberry added. “It ended up being purely instinctive . The script was clear and gave me what I needed to know, so there wasn’t a lot of research on my end.”
‘What was the make-up process like?
“It was lengthy. I’d be in make-up all day. 2-3 hours of make-up in the morning, and the shoots were sometimes morning to night. I was constantly airbrushed throughout the day, (sometimes) altering between different looks. But I really liked it.”
What kind of contacts did you wear?
They were really expensive, hand painted contacts. They were absolutely massive and thick. I think they were really hard for me to get used to since I’d never worn contacts before. I had an optometrist on set giving me eye drops constantly.”
Did you gather any inspiration from past zombie films/TV shows? If so, where?
“I watched stuff like “Shaun of the Dead,” “The Walking Dead.” I grew up watching Tim Burton’s stuff, and films like “Death Becomes Her” were helpful to draw from.
Are you a fan of zombie culture? Why do you think it’s become so popular in the past few years?
Not particularly, no. The thing is, it’s not really about zombies. This (“In the Flesh”) just seemed so different. It felt real, like it could happen. By the end of filming, I think I believed that.”
“In the Flesh” airs as a special event on June 6, 7 and 8 at 10pm/9c on BBC America.