Ever pictured launching yourself off your couch and into your favourite TV series? Don’t lose hope — that’s kind of what happened to Ross Marquand.
Up until the American actor landed the role of Aaron on the ‘Walking Dead’ in season five, he had been a huge fan of the post-apocalyptic horror series, which will soon enter its 10th season.
Marquand is a man of many talents — he’s a voiceover artist (‘Family Guy’), celebrity impressionist and he made an appearance as Red Skull in ‘Avengers: Infinity War’.
As he heads to the Middle East Film and Comic Con in Dubai this weekend, he tells Gulf News tabloid! what it was like to join a well-established set — and why you should never impersonate your comedy idol to their face, especially if it’s Larry David.
Q: You were a big fan of the ‘Walking Dead’ and auditioned several times to get on. What were your feelings going onto set for the first time?
A: It was a genuinely surreal moment that I’ll never forget. Everyone was so kind and welcoming, but it was bizarre because I felt like I’d gotten to know these characters for several years on my couch and all of a sudden, I was interacting with them in person... such a strange feeling!
Q: You played Red Skull in ‘Avengers: Infinity War’. Can we expect to see more of you in ‘Endgame’?
A: Hopefully he’ll be back in the Marvel universe in some way, shape, or form but I really couldn’t say.
Q: Can you walk us through your time on set of ‘Avengers’, and what it took to make Red Skull come to life?
A: To be honest, that was probably the easiest day of filming in my life. After getting into the motion capture suit and once the head camera was configured, it was a lot like acting onstage. Since I didn’t have to worry about overall camera placement, I was free to move about the space and just sink into the character. Plus, it didn’t hurt being directed by the Russo Brothers — I’ve admired their work for years so it was a real honour to collaborate with them.
Q: In the world of CGI, how important do you think it is for actors to continue to breathe life into these fully costumed characters?
A: Oh, I think it’s absolutely essential. The advancements in CGI over the past 30 years have been truly remarkable but there will never be a computer program that can replace or emulate our complex range of human emotions. Without the actors who bring those roles to life, I think you’d find CGI avatars to be quite flat and uninteresting.
Q: You’ve also impersonated several celebrities over the years, from Harrison Ford to Brad Pitt — who’s your favourite famous person to impersonate and why?
A: Oooh, that’s a great question, but it’s so tough to answer... I’m currently having a lot of fun impersonating Jeff Bridges — I just love the timbre of his voice. But overall? Hm, I guess I’d have to say Matthew McConaughey or Michael Caine?
Q: Do you have any memorable moments of impersonating a celebrity to their face — or having someone react to your impersonations of them? If so, what was the experience like?
A: Yes! And it was a tough lesson for me, but I was asked to do an impression of Larry David (one of my comedic idols) in front of him, and let’s just say he wasn’t thoroughly impressed. Ever since then I’ve made it a policy not to impersonate anyone I’m working with.
Q: Finally, what’s next for you? Would you like to continue the comic book realm in TV and film?
A: I have several fun projects coming up but I’m afraid they’re all shrouded in secrecy. Recently, I’ve been doing a lot of voiceover work for Family Guy, American Dad, Robot Chicken and a couple video games but as a nerd myself, I’d love to stay in the comic book realm for as long as humanly possible.
Don’t miss it!
MEFCC runs from April 11-13 at the Dubai World Trade Centre. Various MEFCC ticket packages are available online now, starting with single-day passes at Dh115.