Sam Wilson, a junior theatre major, takes his passion for acting to the big screen as an extra in “The Walking Dead,” “Necessary Roughness,” and “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire.”
COLONNADE : Where does your passion for acting and the arts come from?
WILSON : I’ve always been a creative person. It’s really hard to say. I’ve always just had this love of creative things and kind of putting myself into the shoes of another character. Even back in elementary school, I think I did one school play, and I really enjoyed it. So, it’s just something that I’ve always done.
COLONNADE : What roles have you taken on so far in your acting career?
WILSON : [At Georgia College], I’ve been in a few of the Directing [and Musical Theatre] Scenes, and last semester I was in the children’s show, “Miss Electricity.” Last year, I was in “Angels in the Froth.” I’ve done several things back in high school. I’ve done a lot of comedic type things, as well as some dramatic roles. I’ve done a couple student films. On TV, I’ve mainly just done extra work. In the upcoming season of “The Walking Dead,” I’m one of the zombies that you see back there. I was in a couple episodes of a show called, “Necessary Roughness” that films in Atlanta.
COLONNADE : Describe the feeling of being on camera for a popular television series?
WILSON : It’s pretty cool. The cool thing is being there with all the actors; I’m a big fan of “The Walking Dead,” and just seeing all the main actors who I know and I watch like every week when the show is on. It’s a really cool experience being on the set that I recognize when I watch the show. At first it’s kind of surreal. It’s a lot of fun to do it. Playing a zombie is just really fun.
COLONNADE : You took a class called “Acting For Film.” What did you learn from this class that translated into your performances?
WILSON : What I learned was how to express emotions on camera as opposed to on stage. There’s a subtlety to film as a medium that is different from stage work. When you’re on stage, you have to be bigger. It depends on how close the camera is because if the camera is really close and intense, there’s more of a subtlety there. It’s less about performing and more about being present and thinking the thoughts of the character, and it translates onto your face.
COLONNADE : What is the biggest difference between on-screen and stage performances?
WILSON : When you’re on stage, you have this entire stage to work with, but when you’re on screen, you have to work within a specific frame. You have to ask them, “What’s my frame? How close am I into the shot?” You have to know how big your gestures can be because if it’s really tight in on your face, in general you have to be really still and have all of the intensity be there. But if you’re in a wide-angle shot, you can have more freedom to move around, to have more gestures, to be a little bit bigger.
COLONNADE : Where do you see yourself and your career in the future?
WILSON : I would like to do film, and I’ve already done some extra work for TV and also for film. I’m also in [“The Hunger Games: Catching Fire”] that’s coming out. I’d like to go beyond just doing extra work; to actually play a character in something and then maybe go forward and have that be my career, hopefully.