Posted: February 6, 2012
How many of you recognize the name Sonya Thompson? Well, I didn’t at first either but then I realized I had seen her in both The Walking Dead and Zombieland which happens to be my favorite TV series and one of my favorite Zombie movies. Still doesn’t ring a bell? Well check out the photo to the right, the Zombie to the right of Rick is Sonya. She was featured a lot in the promotion for season 1 of the series and she is also seen in several of the episodes.
Well, I wanted to know what it was like to play a Zombie and Sonya was kind enough to tell me. Here is what she had to say.
Lilja: Please tell me a bit about yourself and how you became and actresses.
Sonya Thompson: I have always been an entertainer. Whether it was performing in the church choir, or acting in a play at school. I modeled some in school and in my twenties, but gave up all of that to raise my daughter. When she reached her senior year of high school, I got back involved with Acting and modeling, but this time did film work. So I have been professional acting for about 6 years now.
Lilja: Your website’s address is professionalzombie.com, what is a professional Zombie?
Sonya Thompson: Well, I felt though I was getting type cast as a zombie or dead person, so at first it started out as a joke that I was the professional zombie, but decided to use it as my website when I saw that it was available. My first zombie movie was Night of the Jackals, the next was a factory zombie in the movie Ben 10: Alien Swarm, Zombieland and then two seasons of The Walking Dead. I was a ghost in the TV show Past Life and a dead nurse in Rob Zombies H2.
Lilja: Is this something you do full time?
Sonya Thompson: Yes but I do side jobs in between gigs. I am an artist and do sketch work. I design websites and do guest speaking.
Lilja: I imagine that you like Zombies a lot, what is it about them that you like?
Sonya Thompson: Well to be honest, I was always a vampire type of gal. I didn't become a zombie fan, until I played one so many times. Zombies are misunderstood, so I am glad that I had the opportunity to get to know and understand them better. Zombies can roam about and do as they want, so that would be what I like. They don't have to think about things, they just meander about.
Lilja: You have done Zombies in both The Walking Dead and Zombieland how did you get those parts?
Sonya Thompson: I auditioned for the role in Zombieland and the same casting agency knew of my performance in that one and called me back when The Walking Dead came about. I auditioned for the core group of walkers and was chosen to be one of them and also for promotional photos.
Lilja: You appear in numerous episodes of The Walking Dead. Do you play the same Zombie or are they changing your makeup to look like you’re a different Zombie in each scene?
Sonya Thompson: In Season one I was the same walker all season. Season 2 they have made me to look like three different walkers.
Lilja: Take me through a day on the set of The Walking Dead.
Sonya Thompson: Call time around 3 or 4 am, then to wardrobe, then to make up(close to 2 hours), then eye contacts in, then to set, then about 16 hours later.......it ends.
Lilja: Do you know the plot of the episode you’re in or do you just know the scenes you’re in?
Sonya Thompson: Most of the time I only know the scene that I am working on.
Lilja: Do the extras stay in one corner and the “stars” in another during the shooting or how does that work?
Sonya Thompson: The main cast usually are in their trailers. The back ground actors are divided out in groups. The core walkers, mid-ground walkers and then the background walkers.
Lilja: Do you get recognized as one of the Zombie on The Walking Dead?
Sonya Thompson: Yes. In the grocery store, I have been approached. I was at a party the other day and a person kept telling me that I looked familiar and finally came back up to me and said, your that zombie lady aren't you? I was on set last year and a gentleman kept looking at me and then told me that he thought he might have used my image for a sculpture, and when I showed him the photo, he was like yep sure did use your image. Its pretty cool to be recognized in my human form, laughs
Lilja: What’s up next? Will you be back in season 3 of The Walking Dead?
Sonya Thompson: I worked on 3 movies last year and have already filmed and completed one this year. I have three more that I am currently filming on now. I am writing a script and also co producing another movie. The films are: This Old Machine, Encenturate, All Hallows Evil: Lord of the Harvest, The Runner, Sick People, Prosper, and Learning to live again.
I do not know if I will be on Season 3 of TWD
My next appearance will be at Con Nooga in Chattanooga, TN. Feb 17-19
Lilja: Thank you so much for taking the time to talk to me and good luck with everything.
So, there you have it. I don’t know about you but I’d sure like to trade places with Sonya for a day…