Interview: Dan Fogler Talks Acting, Comics at Toronto ComiconMarch 22, 2019
Recently, we had the chance to be part of a media roundtable to chat with Dan Fogler while he was attending Toronto Comicon March 15th to 17th at the Metro Toronto Convention Center. He talked about his acting career, which includes the blockbuster franchise Fantastic Beasts and the TV series The Walking Dead, as well as his new comics.
The GCE: How did you enjoy working on Hannibal, which was coincidently filmed here in Toronto?
Dan: Yeah, I really had a good time, I like Toronto a lot. I’ve only been here a few times but every time has been cool. I was only in three episodes but that character hit home with a lot of people, those cheese folk! (Laughs) That was cool man, I really liked working with everybody, there isn’t a clinker in the bunch. The writing, directing was a blast, I wish I wasn’t killed so quick, I would have really liked to continue on. I thought it was really cool that Franklin’s head ends up being found in Silence of the Lambs, it’s a piece of history right there.
Media: A lot of the characters you’ve portrayed over the years have leaned towards the geek or nerd fandom. Is there a draw to those characters for you?
Dan: I’m drawn to those parts because I am just that, I grew up with all this stuff, I mean I’m here with my comic book. I feel like Jacob is more from the streets, he’s more cuddly, I love those characters.
Media: So do you search those parts out, because obviously, something like Hannibal is a lot darker.
Dan: Yeah, they said hey, do you want to come and do this role and I was like hell yeah, even though I didn’t know what the hell it was. This was an odd duck, I always try and find the comedy in stuff but Franklin, man, he was fun. I’m a character actor, I love playing characters and I feel like his knowledge of cheese was so far beyond anything I could fathom. It’s cool playing characters who have higher IQ’s than yours.
Media: What’s it like to be able to connect with fans at an event like this?
Dan: It’s cool. I enjoy the cosplay, I’m impressed with how large the swords get, the helmets, I mean how do they keep their heads up? I saw a kid, I don’t even know what it was, I think from a video game, it looked like a giant emoji on their head, it was bigger than their whole body. The hand was sticking out perfectly to hold the head because you know if it wasn’t there they just would have fallen over. The parents are so proud, it’s hysterical.
You are such a fan, is there anyone you would like to see at a Comic-con?
Dan: You see, right over here, Ron Perlman… I did a movie with him, got to be in a scene with him and I’m still like, oh my god it’s Ron Perlman. I’ve been watching him since the beginning of his career. It would be cool to meet Franz Oz, that’s someone who has covered so many different genres for me.
Media: What is your favorite franchise and if you could be a part of one, which one would you pick?
Dan: I love Star Wars, that’s what I grew up watching, the first three. I would love to be some kind of smuggler with Han Solo, that would be really fun. Empire is my favorite, I think it’s a lot of peoples favorite, but between that and Raiders of the Lost Ark, that covers a lot of my childhood playing outside.
Media: In the Fantastic Beasts franchise you’re Jacob, he’s a muggle, and he’s thrust quickly into all of this danger. How do you think that will affect Jacob going forward?
Dan: Yeah, I don’t know. He’s got that tie to Queenie, I hope they eventually get back together, that would be nice. I’m definitely signed on for the next couple of movies, I think there’s five of them, and I’m pretty sure I’m in the third one but yeah, I don’t know what they have in store.
Media: I’m a child of the ‘80’s so one of my favorite shows out there is The Goldbergs and I love when you come on as Uncle Marvin. What is it like doing that show and do you have a favorite Uncle Marvin moment?
Dan: I love doing that show, I wish I could do it year round but I guess with such a big ensemble there is only so much money to go around, so they bring me around for the holidays, which is great. I just did a Die Hard one, jumping off a roof, fire, are you kidding me, I get to do the coolest stuff. If I had to narrow it down, my favorite one was where I stole the Kit car and I wear that crazy security guard outfit, I love that one, that’s my favorite I think.
Media: What is it like not only being on The Walking Dead but learning sign language as well?
Dan: That was great. We had to act like we were a team for ten years, so that was really bonding, learning all the sign language, making up names for each other. It’s like learning a new language, learning a new skill and it’s very intimate and focused. I love doing the show, I’ve always wanted to do a western and a zombie movie so this was like that, like chocolate and peanut butter.
Media: This year marks the tenth anniversary of Fanboys. How does that feel for you, that it’s ten years old now?
Dan: That’s crazy, it makes me feel old, actually. (Laughs) That was one of the first movies I did, that’s really cool. I love the legacy, people really love that movie. I love it when people dress up as Hutch, it’s great.
The GCE: What was your experience like making Balls of Fury?
Dan: I had a blast, although I don’t know if they could make that movie now. (Laughs) The other movie they made alongside that was Blades of Glory, it was kind of like a two for one deal. It was in the vein of Airplane, Naked Gun and those kinds of movies come and go but they are also in the same vein of one of my favorite movies, Young Frankenstein. That was one of the original versions of that sort of movie, where you take a film and spoof it. Balls of Fury was so cool, I was hanging out with Christopher Walken, such a blast. For a young actor, getting to star in this ridiculous movie, that’s based on Enter the Dragon, I get to do ping pong and although I didn’t like the sideburns I got to hang out with Christopher Walken. I mean, that fact that he was in it, I would have signed on to it anyways.
Media: So what are you working on next?
Dan: I’ve got the run on The Walking Dead, I’ve got my comic books that I’m selling here, Moon Lake and Brooklyn Gladiator, I’m working on a couple of different movies leading up to this summer when we start up again with the third Fantastic Beasts…I’m having fun.
Media: Any plans on turning the comics into movies?
Dan: Yeah, I hope so, there’s always talk about that. Moon Lake we’re trying to turn into a TV show and Brooklyn Gladiator, I would love that to be a giant dystopian anime. If I could be involved I’d love to be the narrator of Moon Lake, he’s like Hitchcock on acid and Brooklyn Gladiator, to voice any of those characters would be pretty cool.
Media: Were you a big comic reader growing up and are you still now?
Dan: I collected growing up, that’s how I learned how to read, my grandmother would just buy us comic books. I actually collected all through college but then it was damn, I have to pay rent, I don’t have enough money for comic books. I then had to sell off comic books when I got out of college to pay rent. When I did Fanboys and got some money in my pocket my collecting was rekindled, so I collect all the time now, every Wednesday.
I want to thank Dan for taking the time to talk with us