Interview: Devon Bostick of George A. Romero's "Survival of the Dead"

4/27/2010 Posted by Admin


Devon Bostick

By our guest blogger, Joel Crabtree

At age 18, actor Devon Bostick's star is rising. Just within the past few years, he has starred in the successful horror franchise "Saw," worked with prolific Canadian writer-director Atom Egoyen, and gained a massive following of kids with his role as the evil older brother Rodrick in "Diary of a Wimpy Kid."

What more could an up-and-coming actor ask for? How about another chance to work with legendary filmmaker George Romero?

Bostick's latest film, "Survival of the Dead," is his second go-around with Romero (he had a small part in 2005's "Land of the Dead"). The Toronto native took a time-out out of his busy acting schedule--and from "doing some taxes"--to discuss his latest film, his career and his fart machines with Week in Rewind.

This is part one of a three-part interview.  Part two will appear Wednesday, and part three will appear Thursday.

Joel Crabtree: "Survival" marks your second time working with George Romero. What's it like working with such a legend in the industry?

Devon Bostick: It's awesome. Because you know you can trust your work in his hands. He's a very kind and open individual who takes in whichever ideas you give to him. It's a very collaborative process, but it's fun to just watch him work because he's done it so much. It's funny--he has the whole movie sort of story boarded out in his head already. So, sometimes we'll shoot--we did this a year ago, so it's kind of faded in my memory--we'll shoot half a scene from one angle and not even finish it and go to a different angle. Because he knows that we're not going to do that half of a scene from that shot. So, he has these interesting methods that you don't normally see, but they work for him. It's really cool to see him do this genre that he's been working on for decades.

JC: Were you familiar with his work before you were cast in "Land of the Dead"?

DB: Oh, for sure. I hadn't seen any of, like, "Night of the Living Dead," or any of those. But I knew about them, for sure. I think I was too young, actually, when I first got cast to have watched those. But I knew about him, and obviously that he was the zombie king. So, that was cool. That's why I was really interested. It was a small role in "Land," but just to work on something like that was exciting.

JC: How did your experience working on "Survival" differ from "Land"?

DB: Working on "Survival" was a lot better for me. Not only [did] I have more days, I had substance as a character and as an actor. I got to train--well, I was like twirling guns. It's a really cocky character, and I got to play around with him and bring some comedic aspect to it. So, it was a lot of fun doing that. And the cast and crew were just awesome, which was very important because we filmed from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. And it was totally different because I got to be more involved and that's really important. Because then you give a better performance when you're more involved, I feel.

It's cool because it's a Western, as well. It's quirky, but it also had the two different genres--zombie and Western--mixed together. And that was really fun, because I always wanted to do both. Or, you know, I never thought I'd do them together.

JC: I don't think too many people would. In the film, you play a character simply named Boy. Could you tell me a bit about him?

DB: Boy is a cocky teenager who gets picked up by Crocket's gang, his military gang--there's four of them.  I'm with some troubled people at the beginning, and they decide to just pick me up and let me go with them. I'm tech savvy, obviously, because I'm a teenager. And I tell them about the island in this YouTube video I found, and I say, "Let's go to the island." And eventually they listen to me, even though they don't really know who I am at this point.

We never hear my name--it's just Kid or Boy. I find it's interesting because you don't really know who this kid is or his background. And I think they wanted it that way also because I did "Land," and the zombie apocolypse takes place in the same world over different periods of time and different places. So, that's open for the imagination of whether I'm the same character or not. But I play it my own, new character.

He's also just really good with a gun. And he knows it, too. So, that was also really fun to play.

JC: Do you have any crazy on-set stories from the "Survival" shoot?

DB: One that just popped into my head right now. I don't really remember much. It was all shot over like midnight to 3 a.m., we were all just sitting around in a tent. One time, Ken Welsh [who plays Patrick O'Flynn], he brought a fart machine. You can't really buy [them] anymore. He got it shipped over a long time ago. So he brought a fart machine to the set. And he decided to put it underneath George Romero's chair ...

So that was fun. (Jokingly) That's my fondest memory of "Survival of the Dead"--the fart machine.

"Survival of the Dead" is available Friday, April 30, on Amazon, Xbox Live and Playstation 3 video on demand. The film hits theaters Friday, May 28. 

View the trailer for "Survival of the Dead" below.  Look for part two of this interview tomorrow.

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  1. Anthony Crabtree said...

    Really looking forward to Survival of the Dead! Glad to see this fine interview.

  2. Admin said...

    Joel's got it like that. And he's at the top of Google with it.