Hello everyone and welcome to another AcChat, I’m am pleased to say that I’m Joined by Michael McKiddy who plays Mike Kellerman. Being a fan of this film, I can officially say Michael, is the only male actor that made me sob at the end of Deadheads, just thought I throw that in there ;). Enjoy this Interview…
MG: Hi there, thanks for taking the time to fill out this Q and A.
MM: I was promised there would be punch and pie if I did, soooo…you’re welcome??? P.S. Where is the punch and pie???
MG: First of all, can you tell us your name and who you play in Deadheads?
MM : My name is Michael McKiddy and I play the hopeless romantic (and “giant dork,” as one review out there calls him) Mike Kellerman in “DeadHeads”.
MG: So how did it come to be that you would appear in Deadheads?
MM:I met Brett and Drew Pierce back in 2004 in MI on a movie called “Secrets of Fenville” (I almost didn’t go to the audition for it, something pushed me to go last minute though). Then Brett mentioned to me in 2006 he was writing a buddy comedy zombie movie with Drew and that I’d be “good for the lead.” Ever since meeting those guys I wanted to work with them, so without even reading the script I would’ve said yes to anything they’d asked me to do. Then two years slowly went by and I’d keep bugging Brett “so…do I have the part?” and he’d always go “we’ll see…,” and after auditioning a million times and not thinking I was going to end up getting it, I was lucky enough to be cast as Mike.
MG: Can you tell us how long you were on set as characters?
MM:I was on set in make-up for about two and a half months almost every single day. Shoots were long and tough, I don’t think I’ve ever been so exhausted physically and mentally, having to keep up the energy and focus was challenging (we all ironically became addicted to Monster energy drinks!). Getting the make-up put on every morning was a great time though, and driving through a McDonald’s drive-thru at 7am with Ross and Markus in full zombie make-up was well worth it all (imagine Mike, Brent, and Cheese pulling up and ordering Egg McMuffins…cause it happened, and it was awesome).
MG: Is there one part of the character that reminds you of yourself?
MM:There are some similarities for sure, especially in the campfire scene, that was where I got to be more like myself. Other than that I’m way more laid back than Kellerman, I have much more of a “go with the flow” mindset like Brent (Ross is a lot like the Brent character, which is why I think we get along so great in real life – we really bonded on this film, I was even a groomsman at his wedding last year). Where Mike is the guy who would freak out about a car breaking down, I’d see it as an opportunity to hang outside and talk about ghosts for a few hours.
MG: Can you tell us about the production of the film and what moment really stood out for you?
MM: It really was the best time of my life; making a feature film that I was truly excited about with amazing friends back in our hometown of Michigan, it’s a memory I’ll always treasure. Every day had a moment that stood out to me – it would be impossible to pick just one – but I’ll always remember standing in full zombie make-up with Ross at 3am (after we’d already been shooting for 14 hours), drinking coffee, dressed as zombies and covered in fake blood, and just talking about life and the meaning of it all (and every other topic you can imagine, and then some). It was just one of those rare moments in time where we both didn’t know where our lives were headed, but here we were on set living our dream we had since we were kids, feeling so optimistic about this little movie we were making and so grateful to be there.
MG: What was it like to work with the cast and crew on set?
MM:I know everyone’s said it and it sounds cliche, but we really became a family. We didn’t have a studio helping us, hell, we didn’t even have much of a budget, it was just a group of broke people who love movies with a dream to make something they were proud of. And we did it. I was with my best friends, laughing every second and just taking the experience in and embracing every minute of it. I sincerely love every single person that worked on “DeadHeads,” they will always be family to me, and I can’t wait for the day we all get to work together again. MG: After your experiences on Deadheads, what is next for you?
MM I’ve been staying busy thankfully, have a few lines in a Colin Ferrell movie coming out in 2013 called “Dead Man Down”; then just did a fun guest star role in a new as-yet-to-be-named Sony series directed by Ben Ketai (“30 Days of Night: Dark Days”), where I play a heroin addict and have a meaty scene with Milo Ventimiglia. Played a large supporting character in the upcoming feature “Pennhurst” too, which was directed by Michael Rooker (“The Walking Dead”), I hear that’s supposed to come out next year now. Also have a great recurring role on an amazing series written by Mandy Steckelberg and being produced by Lisa Kudrow and Jane Lynch called “Dropping the Soap,” there’s deals being worked out right now as to how that’s going to be distributed, but it’ll definitely get out there by next year; it’s insanely funny, very excited for people to see it and so proud to be a part of it. Got a few scripts I’m working on getting into production right now as well, one I’d been prepping for over a year just fell through which sucks, but I won’t stop till it gets made. Just never sleeping and trying to always stay busy, it’s all you can do in this crazy ass town. I also write music and am finishing up an LP with my band Right On Wagner that’ll be out later this year (my song “Say Hi” is on the album and you can hear it a lot towards the end of “DeadHeads,” which I’m super happy about). And hopefully we’ll get around to making a “DeadHeads 2” one day, I’d seriously love to see that happen more than anything…
A Huge Thank you to Michael McKiddy for this amazing interview.. Join us again for another AcChat…