Dan Fogler Interview: The Walking Dead, Whisperers & Fantastic Beasts

The Walking Dead Luke Dan Fogler

You've come into The Walking Dead during this big transitional period, with Andrew Lincoln leaving and the major time jump, along with the fact it's been running for 9 seasons - has that made it easier or harder for you to settle into the show?

Right? I mean, I guess that all depends on the audience. You hope that you're in the hands of the writers and directors, and they'll mould the performance so that it integrates with everything. It's ballsy. You take the hero off, and then all the anti-heroes are scrambling to figure out who the hell the hero is, and then you've integrated this new clan. It's shaking up a lot, and introduced a new enemy, so there's a lot going on that has to work. It has to be a perfect storm, and I feel like they've been doing this for so long that they're masters at it, and Angela Kang is superb. She's really moulding the series in a great, exciting new way. So I'm excited to come on board during this moment, because it's a really great moment for the show.

Totally, and it's exciting for the fans too. The Walking Dead has this huge, rabid fandom which you've been thrust into - has being a part of the Wizarding World helped prepare you for that?

Yeah, definitely. That is a high watermark of global franchise insanity [laughs]. Just in terms of how in awe I am at how massive it is. So walking onto The Walking Dead, which is, you know, equally global, it's a little bit easier having done Fantastic Beasts for sure.

So you're playing Luke, who's been in a few episodes so far. We've learned snippets of Luke so far - his love of music especially - but it's still early days, so what can we expect from him going forward?

He's like a kindred spirit. We have a very similar philosophy about life. He gets to do a little bit of everything over this season. He gets to play a little music, which is cool, kill some zombies, and ride some horses. All the characters get tested.

Luke seems very trusting, very kind-hearted - is that going to come back to bite him in this world? Or should there always be room for such qualities?

Yeah, right? I find it interesting the idea of being able to maintain hope. But as you said, I think we're catching him at a moment where his philosophy doesn't work. Like in that first scene, he considers himself a reader and a teacher, however, he can't operate outside of a community. And when it's a high-pressure situation, his philosophy could get negative [laughs]. He has to rely on other people to get him out of it. I think that luckily the hope that he has is infectious and it makes people want to keep him around, because it gives them hope.

Luke's obviously very passionate about music, stopping to pick up instruments despite how dangerous it is, because of how highly he values art - is that a view you share?

Yeah, absolutely man. Everything is so fabricated in our business, so I always think it's good to remember where the storytelling came from. The storytelling chain that permeates our culture. Where did that come from? So my philosophy is very similar to Luke's about how art is a thing that connects us all. Everyone watching the glowing television and then talking about the story they just heard, and being inspired to tell it to their family, it's just like when we were cavemen sitting around a fire and looking at the glow in the dark, and how that inspired us to share our stories, and the magic of it all. [Laughing] It's very similar man. When you compare the sight of absorbing the neanderthal into our species with love, and music and art, it's the same damn thing.

Just to finish off then: you've battled walkers, Whisperers, and Grindelwald - which one is the scariest?

Which one is scarier? Wow. They're all scary in their own right. I think the idea of the Whisperers really chills me. Anyone that would wear a zombie's face on purpose freaks me out. It's like a slasher, like Mike Myers or something. That sends chills down my spine. But Grindelwald, he's super scary because that guy is capable of ending the world. And then the walkers themselves, man you get a bunch of them on top of you, that is horrifying! [Laughs] They're all horrifying.

Ha. Thank you very much Dan.

Thank you!


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NCTJ-qualified journalist. Most definitely not a racing driver. Drink too much tea; eat too much peanut butter; watch too much TV. Sadly only the latter paying off so far. A mix of wise-old man in a young man's body with a child-like wonder about him and a great otherworldly sensibility.