Cliff Curtis is a very accomplished actor. He has over 50 acting credits on his resumé and among them is the upcoming Walking Dead companion series, Fear The Walking Dead.
In Fear The Walking Dead, Curtis plays Travis, a divorced father trying to make things work with a new family just as the world is about to end. We had the chance to talk with Curtis exclusively about his character on Fear, and he tells us that he genuinely enjoys playing the role. "What I really like about my character is, he's a normal guy. He's got his own issues, he's got no dark heart," Curtis said about Travis, adding, "He's an optimist." This Travis character truly is a good person, from Curtis's description, "He gives time to people who most people don't give time to."
The zombie apocalypse may be looming in the not-so-distant future, but since it hasn't arrived yet, Travis is found dealing with issues many viewers will relate to. "He's got two new kids in his relationship, he's divorced and has another kid from his prior marriage," Curtis told us. He concluded, "The rest is a roller coaster ride."
It may come as a surprise that Curtis, unlike his fellow cast members Mercedes Mason and Lincoln Castellanos, was not a fan of the original The Walking Dead series. When we asked if Curtis watched his show's older sibling, he promptly responded, "I was not!" But that's not because he doesn't think the show is great, but rather because he "can't stomach watching it!"
"I was introduced to the show and thankfully they told us we didn't need to watch [The Walking Dead] and I said, 'Oh, thank goodness, because I'm a bit behind.' So, they said to just come into the show fresh," says Curtis.
Let's rewind for a moment. Can't stomach the violence? This is the guy who played Javier Acosta on Gang Related a couple years ago! And now he's jumping into The Walking Dead universe! Curtis explains the ability to perform in violent scenes despite not having a taste for watching them, saying, "It's not that I can't handle violence. I'm intimidated by it but I can handle it." It's a true attribution to his acting talent. His Fear co-star, Mercedes Mason, described Curtis as a soft-spoken man who plays chess between takes on set, and after speaking to him, that picture is more clear. The humble actor emits testaments to his talent, being so truly soft-spoken during a conversation but lashing out with dominance when needed to on screen.
So, has Curtis watched the Fear The Walking Dead premiere episode? "I kind of watched it at Comic Con," Curtis says, adding, "I'm really happy with it," after crediting the directors and writers. 2015 was his first Comic Con, by the way. "It's a very generous crowd. It's Comic Con fans that are like generations coming up. You see the whole family together. It was fun, I enjoyed it."
Speaking of the family coming together, what better way to bond than over some zombie drama? Lock the doors and prepare for the apocalypse. Fear The Walking Dead premieres August 23, on AMC.