In their first official podcast interview, The Walking Dead Enthusiasts sat down with Vincent M. Ward, aka Oscar, to discuss his role on AMC’s hit television series The Walking Dead. In this exclusive interview, the fans get to know the man behind “Oscar”; a loyal yet misunderstood character who was first introduced during Episode 1 of Season 3 as part of a small group of prisoners who found solace in a prison cafeteria after the start of the zombie outbreak.
What many people don’t know is that Vincent is no stranger to the world of entertainment. Appearing in such shows as CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, True Blood and Everybody Hates Chris, Vincent’s acting capabilities go far beyond film and television. Vincent’s interest in acting started in 1999, when he just so happened to stumble across his first play. He says, “In 1999 I just so happened to be walking down the street, went into some theatre and I saw my very first play. I was like “Wow, I like this. I can do this.” So a couple weeks later they had auditions for the same play company and I went in there, auditioned and got a part!”
When asked what he enjoys doing the most – movies, television or plays – Vincent responded with a surprising, “Plays, actually. It’s that interaction with the crowd. They’re right there in your face. You hear the “ohhs” and “ahhs” and everything. The money is in movies and TV, but I never do anything because of money, I do it because of love.”
After scoring a roll in the movie Traffic with Michael Douglas, Vincent realized that his love of acting would be better suited for a town other than Columbus, Ohio. With that, Vincent moved half way across the country to Los Angeles. It was at that time Vincent’s friend suggested he try out for The Walking Dead. In response Vincent said, “I never even knew about The Walking Dead to be honest with you, until a friend of mine said you should try out for this show about zombies. And I said, “Why would I want to be on a show about zombies!?” Even when I was hired for the position I still hadn’t seen the show.”
Even with no knowledge of The Walking Dead, Vincent was cast as “Oscar,” the tough but loveable prisoner who proved his trustworthiness by killing his prison-mate Andrew in order to protect Rick in Episode 4 – Killers Within. When questioned about Oscar’s loyalty to Rick, Vincent responded, “Some of the stuff was cut out, so you couldn’t tell if we were with Andrew and Tomas, but we (Oscar and Axel) definitely weren’t.”
When asked if it was hard to get in the post-apocalyptic mindset, Vincent responded, “Oscars not too far off from how I am in real life. I have had a gun pulled on me and I basically said you’re gonna do what you’re gonna do. And I do have kids, and I have been married, so it wasn’t a tough part to play especially when you have great actors around you.”
Eventually the unavoidable subject of Oscar’s death had to be discussed. Vincent recalls his untimely death, “When I got killed I can’t sit here and say I was happy about it. I was very disappointed about it because I felt like I was just now joining the group. Why’d I have to get killed by hallucination Shane? How many times is this guy gonna come back? And to just get shot and it be like…well, he’s dead.”
The Walking Dead Enthusiasts allowed Vincent the opportunity to “rewrite” his death scene, when a viewer tweeted asking what his “ideal death scene” would be. “I’d have to say like T-Dog, or let me get shot like Scarface! Let me get shot like Denzel Washington at the end of Training Day when it’s just a whole bunch of bullets. If you’re gonna say I went out like a hero, let me go out like a hero.”
With the death of Oscar and the introduction of Tyreese – a relatively similar character – rumors circled around the show’s inability to keep more than one black male cast member on the show at a time. Mr. Ward took a moment to address the speculations head on:
“You have this whole thing about the show being racist. It’s not racist. It just happened that way. Would I have liked for Tyreese to come February 10th? Yes. To me that would make sense so it wouldn’t look that bad – oh, look its Tyreese, let’s get rid of Oscar. But I never felt it was anything racist with the show. Everybody treated me like a professional, everybody treated me like family and I respect the writers, producers, cast and everyone from A-Z. I never felt that way with the show.”
Switching to a less controversial topic, a listener called in and asked Vincent to predict who he thought was going to die during the remainder of Season 3. “I already know the answer, so I can’t give you one. But somebody is going to die. It might be a couple somebodies before the end of the season. I know one for sure, but it’s The Walking Dead! Somebody is going to die, somebody has to die. It’s going to start with a bang February 10th, and it’s going to end with one!”
With the popularity of the show, and his new found fame, it’s not surprising that Vincent will soon start making the rounds at horror-related Cons throughout the United States – his first official one being Monster-Mania Con 24 in Cherry Hill, NJ from March 8-10th. Excitedly, Vincent expressed his gratitude: “I’m so grateful. It’s like, “Wow, you enjoyed me? Thank you very much!” I didn’t even know these events were so huge. I’m excited about it, I can’t wait.”
Before wrapping up the interview, Vincent provided some words of wisdom when asked about his future: “I always say Rise and Grind. Every day you have to get up and doing something positive to better your life, your families, or the life of someone you don’t even know.” That being said, we wish Vincent the best of luck in his rising career, as he begins to make an even bigger name for himself in the industry.
For more on The Walking Dead Enthusiasts Podcast interview with Vincent M. Ward, check out the full length interview available for download on iTunes and on our website. For more news on The Walking Dead, check out www.fandomfound.com.