Fright Exclusive Interview With AFTERMATH/THE WIRE Star Andre Royo!

You can tell a lot about an actor by the roles they choose. While some are comfortable playing it easy and tackling the same kind of films repeatedly, Andre Royo definitely sets himself apart from that approach. Making waves as Reginald “Bubble” Cousins in by far one of the greatest shows of all time, THE WIRE, Royo showed viewers that he could tackle gritty. While a lot of people would ride that wave into the comfort zone, Royo has always pushed himself, with roles in varying types and genres of films, such as SUPER, THE COLLECTION, THE SPECTACULAR NOW and beginning July 18th, AFTERMATH. Royo was nice enough to talk to Icons of Fright regarding AFTERMATH, as well as various other things. Read on!

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AFTERMATH is such a great film, it’s very dark, gloomy, and scary,  how did your involvement come about?

We tried to do the film with the concept that humans are the scariest thing on the planet, we constantly have a fight within ourselves as individuals. You are either a good guy, or a bad guy, and you don’t know what will come out in any situation. I just find that so much more interesting. I’m not going to say anything bad about zombie movies, because they are entertaining as hell. WORLD WAR Z was dope. Also I just find that inside of a horror film, there’s certain things that people might look at and go “Oh my god, how did they do that?” and you see it all over the internet. So, to have a script, where the director and the writer tell a story without werewolves, zombies, and vampires, but just humans in situations where the truth comes out. And watching horror flicks, you always say in certain situations “Oh, I would do this or I would do that.” But in that situation, you would probably just sit there and pee your pants, but you don’t want to tell anybody that. So that was a challenge that I liked about the script. It came about in normal channels, the script came around, and the writer or director thought about me. My manager and agent were like “This is an independent film, there’s no money.” I said “You know what, I don’t care about money….sometimes.” I just wanted to tell the story, challenge myself, and to have fun and play a different type of character. It was like doing theatre being down in that basement with everyone for 28 days, it was like we were doing a 20 hour play.

Are you a fan of the horror genre? If so, what are some of your favorite films?

I’m a fan of the horror genre….when it is done right. It’s one of those things where horror is the easiest, and hardest at the same time. I’m an old school cat, I love THE OMEN, CARRIE, and CHRISTINE. Then later on, I thought THE RING was fantastic, and AUDITION. When it comes to the zombie world, 28 DAYS LATER did it really well, and WORLD WAR Z did extremely well for me at least. I liked THE ORPHAN, it had a crazy twist. I liked THE DESENT. THE DESENT, actually bummed me out because when I heard about five woman going into a cave, I thought it was a porn flick, so I was very excited about that. But there’s a lot, I really do love the horror genre, when it is done right. So you know, kudos to them.

 

You mentioned earlier that you like to take on challenging roles, and you have done so many different roles, like THE WIRE and THE SPECTACULAR NOW, which were both pretty serious dramatic role.  You’ve also dipped your toes in various genre films like THE COLLECTION, and now AFTERMATH. What excites you about choosing roles in varying films?

Just the idea of how I can make it new, and again, when you’re an actor, the best part about it, is you get to live in these different situations that realistically, I would never be in. One example would be playing a teacher, dealing with kids. I mean, I would never have a chance to be a teacher. It’s like storytelling, and jumping into characters that I’ve never done. I have a new one coming out right now on Amazon, called HAND OF GOD, with Ron Perlman. I play the Mayor. I’m the Mayor of this city, it’s like HOUSE OF CARDS meets AMERICAN HORROR STORY. So it has a real crazy tone, and I’m looking forward to people seeing it. I just like great stories, and I love great opportunities for me to get out of my comfort zone.

Do you kind of approach them all the same way?

I approach them all the same way, but they all play out different. I can’t begin to express my gratitude for being a part of THE WIRE. It just seemed like one of those things that everything lined up. Being in Baltimore on location, having all the actors on the same kind of level. There were no egos. When you’re a part of something that both inspires, and educates at the same time, that’s rare. So THE WIRE, was a part of me for five years, I really took the on the character. It was my first TV experience, I want to find another project that has that weight. And other than that, I want to make sure that before my time is done in front of that camera, I want to be a cowboy, I want to be a superhero, I want to be James Bond, and I want to do it all. And as long as people enjoy how I create these characters, I’m going to be there for them.

Did you ever think that THE WIRE it was going to be as big as it was?

Nope. (laughs) None of us thought it was going to be big, we were reminded that it wasn’t big because every award that came out, we never got nominated. We thought people hated us. We thought they didn’t like us. Because we never got a Golden Globe nomination, or an Emmy nomination. It wasn’t till it was all over, that we started hearing that it was one of the best shows ever. So were like “Well, where the hell was everybody when we were on air?!” So we didn’t know. We knew that we were doing something different. But we didn’t know the impact that it was going to have. And we really appreciate people digging it for what it was. You know, it was honest storytelling.

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