Actor Spotlight: Interview With Walking Dead’s Xander Berkeley Part 1

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Xander Berkeley in 1981’s ‘Mommy Dearest’- Courtesy of Paramount Pictures

SS: It’s so important to have the support of your family, especially your parents.

XB: He saying that made all the difference in the world. It offered me the opportunity to go to London to study or New York. I chose New York because I would be closer to home. They (Berkeley’s parents) lived in New Jersey. Also, being in New York would be straighter to getting work going. So I jumped into the theater scene in New York. Then I did a play, a very cinematic play and that got the attention of critics and agents. And one agent in particular got me to leave New York for LA with the William Morris agency, at the time. So that’s what led to ‘Mommy Dearest’. When I got to Hollywood, I just tried to convert what I had learned in the theater and apply it to film.

SS: That’s excellent. Going off my questions a bit, it’s amazing that you had such great support from your parents. A lot of people don’t have that. When your parents say the things your father said to you, it makes you feel like you can achieve your dreams.

XB: More than anything else, I credit that single moment. Because my father had such great taste. He was very critical and never threw flattery around casually. I remember watching PBS growing up and they would have a lot of the great movies of the ’60s on when I was growing up in the ’70s. They would show great foreign films at midnight. So after mom would go to bed, I would wait to hear if the TV was still on. I’d peek though, my father would wave me in, and he would give me a great education on cinema because he was a student of film.

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He was attracted to actors who could transform the most. So we’d watch the old Bogart movies and he’d point out the character actors that were in all these different movies. He prided himself on figuring that out. He really loved the craft of it. So, when I became an actor, part of me was out to do the same. And because he had supported me so much, that meant so much to me. I have the same sensibilities as he did. You know, so I also wanted to appeal to people with refined taste and saw nuance.

SS: Like Peter Sellers in Kubrick’s Dr. Strangelove. And how transformative he is. He’s in the film in two of three different roles. And when you watch the movie you think “That’s not the same guy is it!?” And speaking about your father not throwing flattery around, I’m the same way. So when he said that, I’m sure it really meant a lot. You knew he really meant what he said.

XB: That’s a confidence you can’t buy. So it puts it in your bones. That you can do this. Because he broke it down. He said “your face is interesting to watch on stage. Your physical type is compelling, you have humor, you are very funny, but you are very believable. You have a voice that I think is easy to listen to. I can’t imagine what anyone else would need to make a go at this.”


And there you have it horror heads, the humble beginnings of Mr. Berkeley. The man is one classy guy and I loved every minute we shared together. It was truly amazing to sit down and have a conversational interview with not only a seasoned actor, but one who is well spoken and intelligent. Someone who studies the craft and cares about his work and art.

Guys, this is only the beginning of our interview with Xander Berkeley. Not only will 1428 be bringing you more of the actor’s beginnings and his love of the craft, but we’ll also be diving into his work on the iconic Candyman. Also,The Walking Dead and his emerging role on the hit zombie show in a solo segment closer to The Walking Dead Season 7 premiere. Stay tuned, because the future info is incredible.

Also, keep with 1428 for all things The Walking Dead, Ash Vs. Evil Dead, and everything else in horror. On top of that, we have many other interviews in the works. You don’t want to miss those as well. Stay scary Sin Diego.

Next: ‘The Walking Dead’ Sneak Peek Guarantees This Person Lives

Check out a tribute to Mr. Xander Berkeley below, courtesy of Purelove:

Loving our part 1 interview with the legendary Xander Berkeley? Looking forward to seeing him in The Walking Dead Season 7?  Let the other walkers know what you think in the comment section below