EXCLUSIVE: SciFi Mafia Talks with Daniel Roebuck About LOST, The Walking Dead Webisodes, and Monsters

Daniel Roebuck is happy to announce that he has become what he wanted to be: That Guy. That Guy whom people recognize, but they’re not sure from where. “‘Did we go to school together? Are you the guy on the news in Talahassee?'” He says gets recognized constantly; people just don’t know where they’ve seen him.

Of course, all Losties know who he is. He played the very annoying Dr. Arzt in our favorite show, and several of us own him in bobblehead form. Others may know him from his recent stint as the main non-zombie villain in the web series The Walking Dead: Cold Storage.

What you may not know is that he also loves to make documentaries, and has one in the works that is right up our dark alley: Dr Shocker’s Vault of Horror, a documentary all about monsters, monster toys, monster makeup, monster conventions, and other such monstery things that monster fans like us love.

SciFiMafia.com had the great good fortune to speak with Dr. Mr. Roebuck recently about our favorite roles and about the upcoming documentary. I asked him first about his work on The Walking Dead: Cold Storage, and how he became involved in it.

I’ve known the director of the webisodes, Greg Nicotero, for two decades. So when the time came and he needed someone to do that part… it was unfortunate that I knew that if I took the part on the webisode I was giving up my shot at being on the show. But I’ve learned that the dream isn’t worth stepping over something right in front of me. It’s a great part, and it would have been hard to give up under any circumstances.

He also had a great time working with effects master Nicotero, with whom he shares a love of classic horror.

Greg was wonderful because of the monster movie “shorthand” we had. He’d say, “Give me a little more Karloff in BLACK CAT on the next take!” And oddly, I’d know just what he meant.

The down side of the shoot was a result of the fact that he has been battling diverticulitis for some time, and shot his first two scenes of the webisodes in absolute agony. He has undergone surgeries since then, but “watching the webisodes is like watching my fat older brother.” He certainly has trimmed down, as you may have seen in the Wolf Man for President video we posted recently, that he made in support of his Dr. Shocker’s Vault of Horror documentary, which has recently begun a Kickstarter campaign:

“With the Dr. Shocker Vault of Horror I would say that the idea of Kickstarter is kind of so universal and I suppose that our prayer with it is that we make our goal with, not only the help of monster fans, but also with the help of people who just want to be part of something creative. ”

And don’t worry, horror fans with smaller horror fans in your family; Roebuck promises that “it will be family friendly but still silly fun… The Vault of Horror is going to be a potpourri for anybody who likes horror movies or horror memorabilia or old toys or old makeup or any of that stuff, we’re going to cover it all.”

Here’s a short clip that will be included in the completed documentary. It’s coverage of Monsterpalooza, and after watching it I made sure to put Monsterpalooza 2013 on my calendar.

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The documentary has undergone a name change since that portion was produced, and now the release date is in sight. They’re planning the premiere of Dr. Shocker’s Vault of Horror to coincide with Monsterpalooza in April 2013. If the videos above are any indication, it’s going to be a really well-produced, entertaining, fun documentary. Especially if they make that Kickstarter goal.

The man is a whirlwind of activity. He wrote, directed, and starred in the Wolf Man/Frankenstein for President videos in the week between being released from the hospital and the actual performance of the Wolf Man/Frankenstein “presidential debate”. Between his work on the documentary, the work in support of the documentary, his training program for fellow actors (TheAuditionIsTheJob.com), his acting gigs, and oh yeah, recovering from major surgery, he would be forgiven if he personified one or more of the nasty characters he portrays.

Fortunately, he is not, and was kind enough to answer a couple of this Lostie’s questions about the best show ever. For instance, how was working on Season 6?

Well it was weird, you really have the knowledge that it’s it, that’s that. I was pretty confident they wouldn’t include me in the last episode, just because its scope was bigger than Dr. Arzt. But I went back and got to do that thing and work with Michael Emerson – and that was really great because I hadn’t got to work with him at all, we both were fans of each other – and I kinda knew that was that. It was interesting to be able to play the guy not on the island but in the other situation.

But his favorite memory?

I will tell you what initially comes to mind when you ask me about Lost. The initial comraderie was really neat. You know, you were just sitting on the beach, getting to know people. I was the first guy they put on the island with them, that they hadn’t seen before, and everybody treated me so wonderfully.

I go to sets, sometimes I can barely stand to be there. One of the hardest things about being an actor is to know when not to speak. But there was none of that on Lost, not that first season, I think things got weird the second season with the additional cast members, but that first season, those people, that was a great time.

That first season, those people… yes, I couldn’t suppress the happy sigh.

Daniel Roebuck may often play, as he calls it, “a douchebag” – “I don’t think I’m a douchebag in real life, but for some reason when someone like Carlton Cuse says, ‘we need a douchebag! Hey! Roebuck!'” – but he was all kindness, grace and charm during our conversation. We here at SciFiMafia.com thank him with from the bottom of our Lostie Walking Dead horror-loving hearts for taking the time to chat, and for his outstanding work, and wish him all the best on Dr. Shocker’s Vault of Horror. We can’t wait!

Erin Willard
Written by Erin Willard

Erin is the Editor In Chief and West Coast Correspondent for SciFiMafia.com

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