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Interviews from the Los Angeles Premiere of "Land of the Dead"

A Couple of Zombies Speak and an Original Romero Star Takes in Romero's Latest

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Interviews from the Los Angeles Premiere of

Eugene Clark and George Romero at the LA Premiere of "Land of the Dead"

© Rebecca Murray
Updated February 25, 2014
INTERVIEW WITH EUGENE A. CLARK ('Big Daddy'):

Eugene A Clark and George Romero greeted each other fondly at the Los Angeles Premiere of Romero's latest (and possibly his last) zombie movie, "Land of the Dead." The mutual admiration between the two was evident as both pointed to each other when asked who was the nicest guy to work with.

Eugene A Clark on Playing a Zombie: "It's great. I had to go to some dark places. I had to think of some not-so-nice thoughts. And I just let it go."

Clark on Working with George Romero: "He's wonderful. I’d work with him anytime. He’s a great, great lovable man. Very talented. He’s an artist and he knows what he wants and he gives you a chance in the experience. You can make it our own. I’d do it again – for George I would."

What Fans Can Expect from "Land of the Dead:" "They will be surprised, entertained, thrilled, scared a little bit. But they’ll really enjoy it. This will be a treat, indeed."

INTERVIEW WITH "NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD" STAR JUDITH O'DEA ('Barbara'):

Looking beautiful and happy as a clam (a phrase I've never really understood but have always wanted to somehow incorporate into an interview) to be strolling the red carpet at the LA premiere of George Romero's "Land of the Dead," "Night of the Living Dead" star Judith O'Dea confessed that back when they shot Romero's first zombie flick, neither the cast nor the director had any idea what they'd started.

Judith O'Dea on the First Time She Realized "Night of the Living Dead" was Something Special: "I think it was over a period of five to ten years. Actually maybe closer to one to five years when the film began playing all over the world and more and more people began to write in and to watch. That’s when it began to turn into a cult. None of us expected it, but all of us are truly amazed and awed by it."

O'Dea on the Ongoing Love for Romero's First Zombie Film: "It blows my mind. It totally changed my life. Notoriety, as you well know, can have a profound effect on someone’s life. One of the biggest things it did was allow people… People wanted to talk to me, just to share their ideas. It has enabled me to meet and talk to more people in this world than I ever, ever thought I would."

On Why Even With All the Other Scary Things in Our World, Zombies Still Creep Us Out: "I think because before they became zombies these were feeling, caring, loving human beings - for the most part. And to all of sudden to turn on their family, their fellow man, without any care and become so vicious is a frightening concept."

Why Audiences Gobble Up Horror Movies: "I think it's just like wanting to get on a roller coaster and be scared to death. I think it’s a part of the human psyche to get a rush, to get the endorphins going. I think so many of us need that. That’s a part of it. [Laughing] And being able to sit and watch other people die and go home and have a beer is nice!"

INTERVIEW WITH JENNIFER BAXTER ('Number Nine'):

Pretty Jennifer Baxter plays a zombie in Romero's "Land of the Dead," and while she could have done without the fake teeth, Baxter confessed she had a fantastic time on the set.

Jennifer Baxter on the Makeup Process: "When we first did the test it was over two hours for me. I didn’t actually have full prosthetics on my face. I just had a cheek part which you’ll see. So I actually was one of the lucky ones. It was soft – the actual material – so it wasn’t painful or anything like that. The teeth were really big in mine because they had to be on the outside of my cheek to make it look awesome. So just taking those out in between to eat was really my ordeal. Other than that, I loved it."

Baxter's First Reaction to Seeing Herself as a Zombie: "I loved it! When I had to eat lunch I’d sit in front of a mirror so I wouldn’t get any underneath in the little areas, so I would just be staring at my face – the gore of it all."

On Working with George Romero: "He is so sweet, so sweet. Like not scary in the least, I’m sorry to say. He was wonderful, actually. He’s sweet, he’s real, he’s down to earth. He just knows what he wants and he knows zombie movies."

Walking Around with Zombies All Day on the Set: "The funniest thing would be when 'action' would be called and we’d all have to start walking towards the camera. I would just see like a friend that I’d made beside me doing some crazy limp. And it just would kill me! We’re all supposed to be horrific and I’m like trying not to laugh because it was just so ridiculous."

Perfecting a Zombie Walk: "We weren’t even directed that way. It wasn’t like, ‘You’re going to do this. You’re going to have this kind of limp.’ We all just sort of doing it and brought our own thing in our walk. I just knew it was a slow walk."

Zombies as Movie Monsters: "It's the whole ‘dead’ thing. So it’s a ghost but not… It’s still human, I think, so I think that’s what’s so terrifying. It’s not a fake apparition."

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