Dallas Robert gives insight to playing Milton on The Walking Dead

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Dallas Robert gives insight to playing Milton on The Walking Dead
By Wilson Morales

November 11, 2012

If you happened to be a fan of AMC’s The Walking Dead, watching the show can make your heart beat faster than you can imagine. Characters come in and grab your attention and before you know it, for some of them, their demise comes unexpected and heartbreak erupts.

For Dallas Roberts, who joined this season as The Governor’s aide, Milton, it has yet to be determined if his character is going to get under your skin for you to care. In his scenes thus far, we see that he’s loyal to The Governor but has an open mind and provides a voice of reason.

Roberts’s role is a recurring one, which gives the Houston native the flexibility to come back and appeared as Owen Cavanaugh, Alicia’s (played by Juliana Margulies) brother on ‘The Good Wife,’ which coincidentally airs opposite ‘The Walking Dead.’ He also appeared in the pilot episode of ‘Elementary’ and starred in AMC’s ‘Rubicon.’

In speaking with Blackfilm.com, Roberts give his insights to playing Milton on The Walking Dead.

How would you best describe Milton?

Dallas Robert: I would say that he’s better with numbers than with people. He’s funnier than he’s given credit for, and he’s an asset, but someone who will drive you crazy.

What drew you to do the series?

DR: ‘The Walking Dead’ came to me in an audition form. I had sent in a tape in mid-May, and by the end of May I had got the part and I was completely excited about it. I had been a fan of the graphic novel from before and I’m a fan of the show. After I got the part in May, by June I was in the ultra secret filming location filming the show.

Since you had the graphic novel prior to the show, if you had to pick a regular character to play, who would it be if not Milton?

DR: I’m just going to crossover and be jealous of Danai (Gurira)’s Michonne. That’s an amazing character. Glenn would be fun to play as well. Milton is never going to be as cool as Glenn, ever, but that that one guy with that particular set of skills has the ability to scale buildings and gain infantry into places and avoid walkers. He also has the inquisitive mind to focus.

Last week’s episode was pretty intense, and whether or not, you’re in one episode or more, have you been embraced by the cast as a member of the team?

DR: Yeah. People have been beautiful on the show thus far from the other actors who I work with and who I don’t. Milton lives in Woodbury and Andrea is over there. Merle is over there a little bit. In terms of being on The Walking Dead, the show is like a prison and Woodbury is kind of over here. That being said, everyone I’ve met, from the creative team to the actors has made it a really pleasant environment.

Does wearing a white suit give any indication to his background?

DR: I learned that doing serialized television that the worse you can do to yourself is give a character a background. Sam Waterson played a character on ‘Law & Order’ for 20 years. Over that time period, the character became whoever he was. If I start making up stuff about where Milton is from, and the writers put together something different, then it just throws a wrench in everything. So, I do myself a favor and check out the next page of the next episode and learn who is Milton is that way.

What do you think makes the show grown in audience with each episode?

DR: I think that the show is a beautiful idea. That’s a big concept. The plague has hit the planet in such that the undead occurs. That’s such a hard line, but easy to wrap around your head, idea. But then, you start to ask the big question, “Who are you?” when the chips are down. “What do you choose, honor or convenience?” “Who are you as person?” That’s what we ask ourselves. “Who would I be in that situation?” That question is never going to run out. Everyone wondered who would they be when the apocalypse started and the genius about the show is that it allows you to do that in such as crafty way that you are happy to show up to keep imagining.

You’ve also appeared on ‘The Good Wife,’ which airs at the same time as ‘The Walking Dead.’ Are you expected to be back anytime soon?

DR: Yes. I think I show up on ‘The Good Wife’ around Thanksgiving neighborhood or maybe the Sunday after it. I’m never too far away.

So, when you’re talking to people to watch both shows, which one do you say to watch and the other to DVR?

DR: Well, I’m a nerd entirely, so I will advise them to get a DVR that will tape both of them at the same time and then tune in to the ‘Dallas’ channel afterwards. I’m only kidding.

From playing Milton on ‘The Walking Dead’, Owen Cavanaugh on ‘The Good Wife,’ and other roles you’ve done in the past, what are the sort of characters you like that make you say yes to playing them?

DR: I like people who don’t display everything about them. I like mystery. I like allowing the audience to know a character the way you know a person, by spending a little bit more time with them every time. And, of course, good writing is also an attraction because that 90% percent of the work done for you.

Is there anything coming up on the big screen?

DR: There is a movie called ‘The Shadow People’ that I shot. It was recently picked up for distribution. I play a radio talk show host who deals in the supernatural and is presented by a phone call a new form of supernatural being that he had never heard of before. He doesn’t believe in it and as soon as he’s off the phone, it keeps growing larger and larger for him and chaos ensues. That will be a fun one to watch.

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