As Bite Me's good-natured nerd Greg, Justin Giddings has to play someone who deals with something far worse than zombies – his own insecurities. I recently chatted with the actor about his character and what to expect from the show's second season (now airing on FEARnet). Read what Giddings had to say after the jump.
How would you describe Greg?
Greg is a Harvard grad who has social anxieties. Just does not interact socially well with anyone. He's a very sweet and gentle guy, but he's a hardcore gamer. He knows his zombie mythology. He's definitely the encyclopedia of the group. But if you put him in a room with even one girl, he pretty much freezes up like a deer in the headlights.
Bite Me is obviously a show made by horror fans. Were you too a horror geek?
It's funny. I've become more of a fan since I did Bite Me. I felt like I needed to do my research, and so I watched the zombie films. I like the kind of horror that has a little tongue in cheek in the zombie genre. Obviously, Shaun of the Dead. I love when there's a little wink to the audience to let everyone know that we're all having a grand old time as bodies are being dismembered. [Laughs.]
A lot of horror comedy does age especially well when compared to the straight stuff… Being a fan of stuff like Shaun of the Dead, how would you say Bite Me differs from most zombie comedies?
The thing that I think makes Bite Me unique is the chemistry between the three leads. Even with Shaun of the Dead, it was very much the comedic duo against the zombies. And in way Bite Me is a zombie comedy where zombies are supporting characters to the interaction between the main guys. So it's awesome. We get a true interaction between real people, with the backdrop of "Holy Hell! The zombie apocalypse has occurred!"
Then we still have awesome zombies. Awesome zombie scenes, awesome zombie battles. So we stay true to the genre and we mix it up a little bit with making the zombies something to support the actual drama and the conflicts. That's why I think the show is so popular amongst YouTube users, and the audience in general – they can relate to real people, and everyone gets to feel cool when they're a real person kicking ass during the zombie apocalypse.
What can you say about season 2?
I can say it's gonna be epic. Season 1 was great. But honestly when I go back and watch season 1 in the context of knowing what season 2 is gonna hold, I'm like, "Oh my God. These people have no idea what they're in for." It's gonna make season 1 look like the practice run. And season 1 was awesome, so you can only imagine how awesome season 2 is gonna be.
Can you say what's in store for your character?
Yeah. Greg develops a lot more as a character. I think he becomes a lot more complex, and there are different sides to him that we see. I also think that's true for all the characters. We get away from sort of… I wouldn't say one-noted, but they definitely become a lot more multi-dimensional, just as characters. And the world expands a lot. So instead of being one location dealing with one thing, we have multiple locations. The story kind of exponentially grew in its epic qualities, rather than linearly, if that makes sense.
What's next for you?
It's pilot season, and it's been great so far. The other thing is I started writing. And I'm writing a web series with one of the other stars of Bite Me, Ryan Welsh, the guy that plays Mike. We're super excited about it, and we think it's gonna be a great addition to some of the networks we're hoping to pitch it to. It's my foray into writing, but I'm finding it really inspirational and really exciting. I think it's gonna be an awesome project.
In real life what's your greatest fear?
My greatest fear would probably be spiders. The amount of car accidents I've almost gotten into because I see a spider crawling somewhere… It doesn't matter what size. Either it's dying or I'm gonna die. One of us is dying that day. Zombies are a close second. Honestly zombies scare the crap out of me and I did not sleep the entire time of shooting season 1. I couldn't go to bed. [Laughs.]
Hopefully season 2 is going more smoothly for you.
I'm at least sleeping. [Laughs.]
Thanks for your time, Justin.
Thank you, Joe. Take care.