What can you tell us about your upcoming film Christmas with the
Dead and the character you play in it?
I played the role of GM in Christmas with the
Dead. GM was a garbage collector before the
big "event" and simply continues on with his job except now he
picks up bodies instead of trash... "like the people who gathered
the dead during the black plague." GM is also known as
"Karen", but you'll have to see the movie to understand.
How would you describe your approach to your role?
GM is sort of an "everyman", but also a character who has
failed at life... marriage, raising his kids, financial security, etc.
How did you get involved with the project in the first
I teach in the film program at Stephen F. Austin
State University, a college in Texas - http://www.sfasu.edu/
-, and my responsibilities for the summer include teaching
the film students who crewed this production, securing locations for the
film and maintaining relationships between the school, the town, and
location owners. The producers, Joe Lansdale [Joe
R. Lansdale interview - click here]
and William Arscott asked me
to play the role of GM in this film.
To my information, Christmas with the
Dead was shot in the heat of a Texan June. Was this at all taxing on
you and your performance?
It's always hot in Texas in the
summer and this summer was no different... except hotter. It's a hot
sweaty zombie movie. I think we succeeded.
What can you tell us about
your director, Terrill Lee Lankford [Terrill
Lee Lankford interview - click here]?
I think our
respect for each other was mutual.
with the Dead is based on the story of the same name by Joe R. Lansdale [Joe
R. Lansdale interview - click here]. Were you at all familiar with
that story prior to filming, and what can you tell us about the good Mr
I just finished Joe's A Fine Dark
Line and I am a big fan of his writing and Joe as a human being. I
think Joe wrote a great story (Christmas with the
Dead). Keith Lansdale [Keith
Lansdale interview - click here] wrote one of the best
scripts I've certainly ever been a part of, and there's probably no one
that could interpret Joe's writing better than Keith. And while I'm at it,
Keith, Kasey [Kasey Lansdale
interview - click here], Adam, Karen, and the entire Lansdale clan are good down to
earth wonderful people. How's that for subtle?
Is the zombie genre a genre you can at all
relate to, and your genre favourites?
Christmas with the
Dead is a sweet
zombie movie with a message... and it's own dance (The Lansdale Stomp
written by Spence Peppard)... a new genre perhaps? I relate to that big
Let's go back to
the beginning of your career: What got you into acting in the first place,
and what can you tell us about your early acting experiences?
early career consisted of guest starring on Charlie's Angels,
Three's Company, The White Shadow, Too Close
For Comfort and lots of other television shows now seen on TV
Later on I was Ashlee Simpson's dad on 7th Heaven for three
might be best-known for your incredibly long run on the daytime soap General
Hospital. Now how did you get onto that show, and what can you tell us
about your years with General Hospital?
I sang Arthur's Theme from the Dudley Moore
on David Frost's American Music Awards Show when the song was
nominated for best song. Gloria Monty, the producer of General
Hospital, saw my performance and created the role of "Dr. Tony
Jones" which I then played for the next seventeen years. General
Hospital was a great part of my professional life. While on the show my
character was shot in the head and the heart, paralyzed, comatose,
impotent, blind, and had four brain surgeries... I don't just know zombies,
I was one.
working on stage differ from working on a daytime soap differ from working
on an independent horror film like Christmas with the
Dead, in your opinion?
There's very little difference. You meet some good people. You
meet some bad people. There were a lot of good people on this set.
During your career, you have also recorded quite a bit of
music, right? A few words about Brad Maule, the musician?
have two solo CDs/albums, Living It Up and Chameleon and a bunch of compilation and Christmas works that
are out there somewhere. My producer says to tell you, "My albums
have all sold well under a million."
are currently teaching acting at the Stephen F. Austin State University, right?
Would you like to elaborate on this?
The best part of dying
on General Hospital was that I "woke up" in
Nacogdoches where I teach cinematography (with my mentor William Arscott)
and acting for the camera for Stephen F. Austin State University. One of
the most important components of filming Christmas with the
Dead was the film students. This
film could not have been made without them and their absolute dedication
to the work. They get the least recognition and worked the hardest and I
am very very proud of each one of them.
Anything else you are dying to
mention and I have merely forgotten to ask?
I hope Christmas with the
Dead makes zillions of dollars and every single person that worked on it gets
an Oscar, but the truth is, "...anyone who can complete a film and
get it released deserves a medal of some kind."