Interview with Melissa Cowan

Melissa Cowan is known best for her role of the Bicycle Girl zombie in season one of “The Walking Dead”.  Melissa became the poster girl for season one and her zombie is put on the same shelf as the greats. Media Mikes had a chance to chat with Melissa about the role and what we can expect next.

Mike Gencarelli: How did you come to get the role of the Bicycle Girl zombie in “The Walking Dead”?
Melissa Cowan: I had been doing a lot of work for a casting company here in Atlanta.  They just randomly called me one day looking for pictures from me.  I sent the pics and two weeks later I got a called that Frank Darabont wanted me to come in and do an audition.  It pretty much took off from there.  At the time I didn’t know what it was for or what the role was about?

MG: Can you believe that with only one episode your character has had such an effect?
MC: It was something I wasn’t expecting but it is very exciting.  It is also somewhat of any honor that out of all the zombies on the show, they choose me.  The zombie that I did became the poster child for the show.  It became an iconic zombie and compared to Bill Heinzman from “Night of the Living Dead” and other classic zombies.  It is an honor and a blessing.

MG: Tell us about working with Greg Nicotero and Frank Darabont?
MC: I met Greg went I flew out to LA for the last casting process.  Greg is a good guy and he has a good vision.  He knows what he wants and knows how to do it.  I think the fact I got to work with Greg and Frank Darabont in the same project was mind blowing.  It was very cool.

MG: Tell us about the makeup process for that role?
MC: The actually day we filmed it took probably 4-4 1/2 hours and 2 1/2 to take it off.  I had a lot of people asking how did I sit there for that long?  You have anywhere from 2 to 7 people working on you, so we were just having fun with it.  It didn’t seem long at all.

MG: What did you think when you first saw yourself in full costume?
MC: I was like a child at Christmas when you got that giddy feeling.  It was like that.  I have this visual in my head of what I thought it was going to look like was nothing like it ended up.  You really can’t put words on it, you just stare and ask “Is that really me?”  That is when I realized that it was going to be more than just another role.

MG: How was it working on various episodes of “The Vampire Diaries”?
MC: I originally started doing full time extra work for the show.  Towards the end of the first season the casting director called and said we have some vampire roles coming up.  So I went in and did an audition and they hired me on the spot to be a vampire.  I was one of the tomb vampires and I was also another vampire later in the season when they go into the vampire house.  It was so dark and cloudy that you can’t really see me.  I am hopefully that when they are filming the third season that there is some opportunity for me to come back and have a bigger role.

MG: What else do you have planned upcoming?
MC: I got some other films I actually can’t talk about yet.  There are two guys from Orange County Choppers that are creating a clothing line called Rotten Layer and it is all zombie related.  I will be one of the head models for that.  That is pretty cool.

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