Interview Done By Mike Wilkerson
MW: Please Introduce Yourself?
SC: Santiago Cirilo. I’m a United States Army Infantry Veteran, Black Belt in Tae Kwon Do. I’m 40 years old, born in Fajardo Puerto Rico and raised in Lorain Ohio. I currently live in my farm in Pleasant View TN.
MW: How would fans of The Walking Dead TV show on AMC know you?
SC: I am a Mysterious character in the C Block, Character behind Tyreese on the fence, and I took a bullet for Glen and Maggie as they were escaping I laid out cover and fire. I flipped the picnic table up and took some shots at the Governor’s men.
MW: How did you get cast as Julio on The Walking Dead?
SC: My wonderful agent Atlanta Model & Talent in Atlanta Georgia.
MW: What did you think when you got cast to be on the Walking Dead?
SC: I know this is going to tick a lot of people off, but I had never seen the show. I only watch the shows my wife records on the DVR. I travel and audition a lot. When I’m a home, I work out of my office. Just to make you laugh some, here is the story how I got the call. I was traveling and my agent calls. Agent “Santiago, Santiago, did you check your email?? You are on The Walking Dead!” Me “ what?….Is that …that the Zombie show?” Agent “ oh my God!!! Your crazy!! Check your email, it’s the number 1 show on the planet” Me “ ahhh ok, is it a good role?” Agent “ Check your email and confirm”.
MW: Tell me about life on the set?
SC: Everyone on set from the Guard at the gate , crew, staff, and cast all treated me like family.
MW: Did you know what you were getting yourself into?
SC: NO and HECKS NO! I met people that flew in just to be a Walker on the show. Not even guaranteed to be on camera. They just love this show!
MW: Tell me about working with Andrew, Norman, Chandler, Chad, Emily, and Lauren?
SC: Amazing, as I mentioned before, they treat you like family. Before every scene, they get hyped up and it hypes everyone around, helps bring out the Character.
MW: What did you think when you so the screen shot promo and you were in it?
SC: WHAT!!!! I was shocked, didn’t expect it. I remember the photographer following us every where all day.
MW: Was it a little odd?
SC: No, I’ve been on TV before and been on big sets. I believe that me not being a fan (AT THAT TIME) helped a lot to keep my cool and give a good performance. Not to over act.
MW: How was that day of shooting?
SC: RUSH, I swear I felt like I could pick up a car and throw it. The scene with me flipping the table was crazy. TWO Cameras on me, 70 people or less watching me, after that scene I was cheered on, it sounded like I just scored the winning touchdown. Production taking pictures of me, main cast giving me high fives and hugs. Word got to my agent of my performance. THAT SCENE MEANS A LOT TO ME.
MW: Do you wish you had gotten more screen time?
SC: Of course, but I got the update on Julio character and what he was about beforehand.
MW: Would you come back in season 5 as another character or another walker if asked?
SC: Can’t come back as another character unless Julio has a twin, then I would have to be paid for two roles. Can’t do a Walker unless its certain I’m dead.
MW: Who is your favorite character?
SC: Chandler’s character, because we celebrated his birthday on set. His cake was in a shape of a Machine Gun. He cut and served it to everyone. How cool was that? Other than that, all the character are great, even The Governor.
MW: Do many fans try to reach out to you?
SC: Yes, it’s insane. I never had fans. I got a call from my Tennessee agent, telling me that a fan sent a letter with an envelope with my picture in it from episode 5. I was on there for about a half second? My email and face book was slowly adding, but it was mostly old friends and friends of my family who are fans. When my face was on the poster and the ad, man it got crazy. I got messages and tweets asking who I am?. After the mid-season finale, I had a thousand fans on fb in less than a week.
MW: Have you done any conventions as a guest yet?
SC: No, but I’ve been told by TWD how it works and that I will probably be ask to attend.
MW: What new conventions in 2014 will you be at?
SC: None at this time.
MW: Who is the coolest actor on The Walking Dead to work with?
SC: All but if I have to pick one out, it would be Lauren Cohen. We had some good talk and she always gave me love (hugs) after scenes. She has a great heart.
MW: What else are you doing other then The Walking Dead?
SC: Working on a few films next year, also one of my scripts was picked up for production with a major production company. I have a few films coming out in 2014 that I co-starred in. I will be working with Horror Man Mr. George Demick. George is a friend of Mr. Nicetero and like him, he loves zombies and Horror. Last few months I’ve been doing some amazing auditions for some big roles
on hit shows like Vampire Diaries, The Originals, Sleepy Hollow, and Revolution.
MW: What would you like to say in closing?
SC: I know that my Julio character was short, but do you ever get to think why he had a name on the script? I know ! Remember what you see on the screen is made for the audience. What production and Santiago spoke about behind the camera is another story. Julio can move on in the season, maybe season 5, or the spin off in 2015, how about an introduction on the web series? Who knows? Julio can just be DEAD!