Seth Gilliam Talks Acting, The Walking Dead at Toronto Comic ConMarch 22, 2018
Most of us know actor Seth Gilliam from his work on The Walking Dead as Father Gabriel Stokes but his excellent work in front of the camera began long before then. He garnered rave reviews for his work on the prison series Oz, then the highly acclaimed crime drama The Wire, where he played Ellis Carver. He also was part of Teen Wolf, in the recurring role of Dr. Alan Deaton, as well as guest roles on such shows as CSI: Miami, Law & Order, Person of Interest, Homeland and Criminal Minds.
When Father Gabriel first walked on screen in The Walking Dead, I wasn’t sure what to make of him. Was he really a true man of the cloth, a coward who was hiding behind his collar or just another human casualty in the chaotic zombie and human wasteland that now existed? I guess the best compliment I can pay to Seth Gilliam, his character and the writers is I am still not sure just who he is. We have seen so many ups and downs in Father Gabriel’s persona that it’s hard to get a read on just where his true loyalties lie, even if he claims to be on a righteous path.
Recently, we had a chance to talk with Seth during a very busy press day at Toronto Comic Con.
Media: You’ve starred in a lot of shows that have gone on to be fan favorites, such as Oz, The Wire and now The Walking Dead. What is it like for you to jump between so many successful genres during your career?
Seth: For me it’s exciting, a promise that I made to myself as a kid, when I had no idea how the business worked, that I never wanted to play the same character twice. I think I’ve been pretty successful in not really having to do that, I’ve been very lucky and very fortunate where I’ve been able to build a career and play different character types and be believable enough to have people want to see more of them.
The GCE: I love how Father Gabriel says he is following a path so to speak, yet at the same time this said path has moved all over the place. As an actor, how much fun is it to play a character like that?
Seth: It’s a lot of fun playing the changes and complexities of Father Gabriel. I thought that he was not going to survive two or three episodes when we first met him, I thought if ever there was walker bait it was Father Gabriel, he was not long for that world. Saying that, everything that has come since has been a bonus for me and it’s been huge, talking about a man who has lost his way, then thinks he’s found his way, his barriers come up. As you say, he’s got one sense of what his path should be but the path is always something other than what we see it to be so yeah, it’s been a lot of fun to play.
I want to thank Seth for taking the time to talk with us