Interview Done By Mike Wilkerson
MW: Please introduce yourself?
JM: Hey everyone! My name is Jilian McLendon and I am an actress and model based in Atlanta, GA.
MW: How would fans of The Walking Dead TV show on AMC know you?
JM: Fans of The Walking Dead will recognize me from the first two episodes of the fourth season! In the first episode, I was featured as a survivor at the prison. You can see me along the fence line taking out zombies with my spear. In the second episode, I am featured dead on the top of the staircase in the cell block; my neck is ripped open from a zombie attack.
MW: How did you get cast as a new member of the prison on The Walking Dead?
JM: Upon receiving word from my agent that a select group of young individuals was needed for the show, I was immediately submitted. After talks with my agent and ECA, I was officially booked as one of four people to be featured prison survivors in the premiere episode with recurring film days!
MW: What did you think when you got cast to be on The Walking Dead?
JM: When I found out that I was cast on the most watched television show, I was so excited! I’m pretty sure I did a happy dance especially when I found out that The role I was cast as would be recurring!
MW: Tell me about your first days on the set?
JM: My first day on set was fantastic! It was my first time at the studio in Senoia, GA so I made sure to enjoy the whole process and take note of even the simplest of details. My select group had a late call time (which was quite nice) and we quickly got through hair, make up, and wardrobe. The rest of the day we stayed along the fence line starting with wides and establishing shots and then coming in for close ups as the day progressed. The Walking Dead’s team is extraordinary. All day, I was all around fx makeup artists, and trained by stunt coordinators and around the best of the best in television. It was seriously the most wonderful experience I have had thus far as an actor. And I have to give mad props to all the featured zombies I worked with; they are truly amazing and so talented. It was a great pleasure to be working along side them through the process.
My second day on set, most of my morning was spent in the special effects trailer. My neck and chest got a complete zombie bite revamp which involved a few hours of prosthetic application and fx makeup by top notch artists! We entered the prison set, blocked, rehearsed, and then braced for movie magic!
MW: Did you know what you were getting yourself into?
JM: To be honest, I was so excited to be booked as a survivor on The Walking Dead, that the initial details were a blur. Once I arrived to set and was told what would be happening for the day it did all start to sink in pertaining to my role in the episodes to come. Though my excitement never ceased, the reality of what needed to be done to get each shot was apparent. Working with such a professional group of people helped keep things on track and effective at knocking out shots. It was such a great experience!
MW: Have you only been on season 4?
JM: Yes, season four was my first time ever on set of The Walking Dead.
MW: Do you plan to still watch the show?
JM: Before my booking, I was a complete novice to the character and storyline of the show. Luckily, most of my friends and family are huge fans and they helped me along the way to answer my questions and character backgrounds. I am definitely more interested in the show having worked on it and plan to watch how season four unfolds.
MW: Would you come back in season 5 as another character or a walker if asked?
JM: Since my demise on the show, it would be great to come back in a future season as a full out walker!
MW: Who is your favorite character?
JM: I honestly can’t choose just one character to name my favorite. Each one brings out something vital to the success of the show and story.
MW: How can fans reach out to you?
JM: My fans can reach out to me in a number of ways! I have an active and growing IMDb page (http://www.IMDb.me/jilianmclendon) You can find me on Twitter @JilianMcLendon My YouTube channel (JilianEMcLendon) where I post update videos on my current and future projects, Behind-The-Scenes photos and more and they can also check out my website! (http://www.jilianmclendon.wix.com/profile)
MW: Do you plan to do conventions as a guest?
JM: Conventions are a completely new sub culture to me, but I am incredibly interested in attending- especially as a guest!!
MW: If you could do a convention which one would it be?
JM: After appearing in the Season 4 Comic Con trailer for The Walker Dead, I would have to choose that one. It seems like that would be a great venue to be apart of with a huge TWD following.
MW: Who is the coolest actor on The Walking Dead to work with?
JM: My experience with the cast of The Walking Dead was so incredible! My first day on set, I had a blast with Melissa Ponzio. She is one of the nicest women I have ever met and was extremely welcoming! My second day on set, I got to meet Normal Reedus which was awesome! He is a great, funny, down to earth guy that makes you feel right at home. I remember upon meeting him he kept commenting on my life-like neck wound.
MW: What else have you been in or are doing in the future?
JM: I mostly work on local indie feature films, shorts, PSAs and commercials. Some of the past projects I have worked on include DormtainmentTV’s “Relationship Screams” http://youtu.be/TirLaImX91g and WonderPony Productions’ film “The First” http://youtu.be/DyPppnRnPOw
One of my latest feature films (Love My County, 2014) is currently in post-production. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2821862/?mode=desktop I am also cast as April O’Neil in a live action Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Fan Film starting Principle Photography in the coming months. Other than that, LA pilot season is in full force and I am consistently auditioning for another chance at the big screen!
MW: What would you like to say in closing?
JM: First and foremost, I would love to say a huge “thank you” to Mike Wilkerson at blastzone Online for this amazing opportunity to share my on set experience in The Walking Dead! Of course I want to thank the talented Greg Nicotero for allowing me the chance of a lifetime to work one-on-one with him on his set. To all the cast and my fellow prison survivors/walker killers thank you for a great few unforgettable days! Thank you to all the special effects teams, cinematographers, stunt coordinators, hair, fx makeup, and wardrobe crews; we can’t do it without you! To all the walkers on the show, you guys are amazing and so talented!! And I have to give a gigantic “thank you” to my friends, family, and fans that have been supporting me all these years! Your faith in me has been the driving force to my success as an actor and I wouldn’t be where I am without you! May this be the start of an amazing journey to the big time!