We interviewed Major Dodson to talk all things The Walking Dead. Find out how he got into acting, what he’s learned from his #TWD co-stars, and what he does for fun when he’s not on set.
CableTV.com: The first question I wanted to ask you is that, you have acted next to some amazing performers like Melissa McBride, Andrew Lincoln, John Carroll Lynch; that’s got to be super intimidating. Did they give you any acting advice?
Major Dodson: They’ve inspired me to work hard and keep doing what I’m doing because they’re just so dedicated with it, you know. It’s just inspired me never to give up on the acting. It’s something that I’m going to stick with.
CableTV.com: Cool. How did you get started acting?
Major Dodson: It’s kind of a funny story. You know that old Disney movie, Bolt?
Major Dodson: I watched that when I was about six-years-old. The parts where they’re filming a movie in L.A. I thought, “Okay, that’d be fun.” I constantly barraged my mom with the question, “Can I be an actor? Can I be an actor?” A month or two later, she finally said yes and I actually booked the role of Tiny Tim in A Christmas Carol. What I decided to do was to sing a song from Mama Mia and I said, “Okay, I only want to sing one word of it.”
CableTV.com: How did that go?
Major Dodson: It went great; that helped me book the role of Tiny Tim. It was probably because I was really cute.
Major Dodson: That kicked me off and after a while as Tiny Tim, I actually got into a couple small short film roles and I got into a little YMCA commercial. Then that actually got me out there a bit. A while after that I finally booked a big TV show. I was in Revolution, I was young Danny. The funny thing was, it was on the episode he died. That kind of kicked me off, and here I am.
CableTV.com: There you are. Well, you’ve moved up since then for sure, doing some pretty big roles now. What do you think your most fun moment on set has been so far?
Major Dodson: Well I would say the part in American Horror Story where Twisty pulls the head out of the bag. Speaking of that, actually my mom didn’t actually make me see what the head looked like, so I had no idea about it before the scene. We did it and she asked me, “Oh Major, are you okay?” I said, “Oh no, that was awesome, it was so detailed.” Never mind that, let’s talk about The Walking Dead funny moments. Everybody calls me “the baby whisperer.” I’m really good with little kids and babies alike. They actually always have two twins on the set of Walking Dead to play the role of Judith. They both have two different personalities; one’s more solemn, one’s more playful for the more happy scenes. They actually had me off screen during the scene where they’re walking into the actual room to have the party in the welcoming of Alexandria. They had me outside the door off screen keeping the baby happy.
CableTV.com: Do you have any siblings? How did you learn how to do that?
Major Dodson: Oh, yeah. I actually have a little brother named Cooper. He just turned nine. I never specifically learned how to be good with little babies but it’s just … It’s just something I’m good at.
CableTV.com: Awesome. That’s actually a good lead into another question I had. You have been in a lot of really scary shows. They scare me to death. I’m wondering how does your mom deal with that? Do they let you watch the shows after you make them? How do you prepare for it and what do you do to not be scared?
Major Dodson: In American Horror Story, I had only seen one episode of Asylum with a couple of kids. That was it before I booked the actual American Horror Story role; that was the extent of it. After I booked it, we might able to see some episodes, on and off, pause, play, fast forward. Once I get used to it, it’s very easy and it’s not as scary for me, but there’s always new things being come up with. That’s just what’s amazing about The Walking Dead. You never know what Scott Gimple has up his sleeve. There’s always something new, something old being brought back but in a whole new way.
A photo posted by Major_Dodson (@major_dodson) on
CableTV.com: If you could play another character in Walking Dead, which one would you pick? Which one is your favorite and why?
Major Dodson: Rick. I wouldn’t want to die too quickly. Rick knows about the entire apocalypse, he’s been through it. That’s why I’d want to be Rick. He has a huge understanding, he has good strategy, and he’s pretty good with a gun.
CableTV.com: He’s definitely a survivor.
Major Dodson: If the zombie apocalypse happened in real life, I’d probably survive for like a month, honestly. I’m not too good of a shot.
CableTV.com: How do you balance the responsibilities of your acting career with being a kid and having fun with your friends, that kind of stuff? Do you ever find it stressful or is it pretty easy for you? Is it just something that you enjoy?
Major Dodson: It’s more than something that I enjoy, it’s my life. The ability to maintain myself being a kid, it’s not all that hard because in my normal life I just play Rubik’s Cubes. I collect cameras. I play with my little brother. I play video games. Sure, sometimes it can be kind of stressful, slightly hard, but it’s not that bad.
CableTV.com: It sounds like you have a pretty supportive family.
Major Dodson: Yes. I think they’re probably the most supportive family in the world.
CableTV.com: Tell us a little bit about the new roles that you have coming up. What are you looking forward to? What are you excited about?
Major Dodson: I’m still Sam, actually. Even when I’m not on the show, we are always looking for the next big thing, the next big shebang.
CableTV.com: That shouldn’t be very hard for you at this point. It sounds like you’ve pretty much got it stacked up. I would love to know, what are some of your favorite TV shows that you guys watch at your house?
Major Dodson: For what we all watch, of course The Walking Dead. One of our other favorite sitcoms to watch … Okay, I quoted that like The Walking Dead’s a sitcom. That’d actually be a pretty funny show, like The Secret Life of Walkers.
CableTV.com: I like it.
Major Dodson: We like to watch that show Blackish on ABC; it’s really darn funny. We watch Modern Family. We like to watch The Middle. I honestly like to watch Top Gear on my own.
CableTV.com: You’re a little bit of a car slash techie nerd then. I guess the last question I have for you is, what do you think as far as your acting career, what do you think that you’ve learned by acting with so many amazing actors? I know you said sticking with it, that kind of stuff, but as far as technique goes, have they offered you any kind of awesome acting tips that other people your age could take to heart?
Major Dodson: Acting has made me a better person because it’s just made me more open to the world and what could happen, what couldn’t happen, what to expect. The tips for the actual acting itself, I’ve had so many of them it’s amazing. I have worked with so many amazing people too. For example, John, he’s taught me to think as the character, which I know sounds generic, but he’s taught me to do it in an entire new way. He’s taught me like, think of their life story from the bottom up, and then put yourself into that character’s mindset. Then just keep yourself there for, possibly, just days on end if you have to, to get yourself there.
It’s like I said, Walking Dead, acting has taught … Walking Dead has taught me a lot too … Acting has taught me a lot of things. It’s taught me how to be more social, how to be friends with people even better, it just taught me how to act which has just changed my life. It’s been a road that I never expected to be on.
CableTV.com: Is there anything else that you would like our audience to know about you? What kind of stuff you like to do in your private life, in your personal time. I know you said you like collecting cameras and things like that.
Major Dodson: A bit about me, I am a strange child. Like I said, my camera collection, I have 33 of them now. I don’t know why I like them.
CableTV.com: Are they all new or do you have older ones too?
Major Dodson: This kind of sums it up for me, my oldest one is from 1916.
CableTV.com: Oh, wow, nice.
Major Dodson: I guess that without my acting, I live a normal, casual life, which as I’ve told you is interrupted by quite a few interesting things. I like to draw and I’ve been drawing three dimensional drawings since I was about eight years old. It was from a cover of a book that I got interested from it in. I used to like to jump on my trampoline.
CableTV.com: I think we are actually out of time over here, but thank you so much for your time.
Major Dodson: Thank you for giving me your time.
CableTV.com: You are very welcome, and thanks for letting me ask you some questions about my favorite shows.
Major Dodson: No problem.