David M. Silverman portrays Kent, one of the Alexandria residents. He stepped up and began to learn how to fight and defend his community after the Wolves invaded by attending Rosita’s machete training session…and seemed to be doing a lot better at it than Eugene.
Kent also was one of the Alexandrians who exited their safe hiding places when the walker hoard burst through the wall and overran the community, helping Rick fight, as seen in this video from Season 6 Episode 9 No Way Out.
He quietly goes about his way in Alexandria but he’s always involved in the community. He attended the meeting at the church when Rick was rallying the troops for the assault on Negan’s compound. He is sitting on the pew behind Michonne.
I love the look on Kent‘s face as he walks by Rick’s house and sees Negan sitting on the front porch with Judith in his arms. It’s like, “What the hell! What are we going to do now?!?”
Just keep looking for Kent and you’ll find him, maybe where you least expect to see him. David M. Silverman who portrays this gentle, humble character answered our baker’s dozen of questions about his life and acting and here they are.
Where were you born and where did you grow up?
I was born in Paterson, New Jersey. My mom was from New Jersey and my dad from Boston. They had enough of the snow and moved us to Miami when I was 6. So, I was raised in South Florida—Hollywood, ironically enough.
(Note: Hollywood, Florida, is where Norman Reedus was born! How’s that for irony?)
How did you get into acting?
In high school, I got involved with Debate and Forensics, traveling nearly every weekend competing in both humorous and dramatic interpretation. I enjoyed it and found I had a good deal of aptitude for the work. That’s really the first time I felt personal success in school. My brothers excelled academically, but for me, I shined on stage.
Did you always want to become an actor?
Music is my first love. I played the trumpet all through school, then the french horn. When I was in high school, I joined a rock band and we spent all our time writing and recording songs in my buddy’s garage. I thought for a minute I was going to be a rock star, but I suppose actor seemed more practical (and yes, I am joking). The lore in my family is I wanted to be a radiologist at the age of five or so. I was obsessed with the idea of seeing under people’s skin. I suppose that same fascination is what led me to acting, searching for the truth of people hiding underneath the surface.
What was your very first acting role?
My first role was as Macduff in a pretty cool production of Shakespeare’s Macbeth. We performed the play in the round and I recall having to make my entrance through the ring of seats, all in pitch black. I distinctly remember lurching into some poor woman’s lap in the dark, scaring the crap out of her (and me). I loved everything about that summer—working with actors, focusing on a well-written play, performing for the community. I was hooked.
How did you land the role of Kent?
My agent, Atlanta Models & Talent, do a great job of connecting me to all the great casting directors in the region. So, every week I am typically auditioning for something. Atlanta and the surrounding area has really exploded in the last few years. I auditioned for The Walking Dead Season One and then again for Season Five, taping myself reading a part of the script they sent me (called sides). I couldn’t believe I booked it and was even more excited to find out I was going to be on the show for more than one episode.
Were you a The Walking Dead fan before landing the role?
Yes! My brother is a huge fan and got me hooked after Season Two showed up on Netflix. It was a must-see show for me, so you can imagine my excitement getting on set the first time and seeing everybody. I felt a little silly, but I had to tell everybody I met how much I have enjoyed watching them and how much I loved the show. Everyone, as they always are on the set of The Walking Dead, was very gracious and sweet about it. It’s a great group of folks.
Did you do anything special to prepare for the role?
Honestly, no. Kent is just a regular guy who was lucky enough to be in Alexandria when the zombie stuff went down. Kent was extremely sheltered, which I can certainly identify with. My family weren’t exactly outdoors adventure types, so I grew up with very few survival skills. To play Kent, I simply tap into that comfortable, suburban reality and juxtapose it with the harsh new reality of needing to survive.
What has been your favorite acting role?
The Walking Dead, of course! It has been an honor working for The Walking Dead for three seasons, something I will never forget. I’ve had bigger roles on other shows, but I’ve never had an acting role on a bigger show. The Walking Dead is a special experience. First, the fans are unbelievably enthusiastic and loyal to the show, unlike any other group of fans. And second, because of the wonderful family atmosphere Scott Gimple, Greg Nicotero, and the entire production team have created. Truly unique!
Were there any funny or memorable behind the scene moments on the The Walking Dead set you can share with us?
My most memorable moment came from my work on Season 6, Episode 9. This was the first time Kent really got his hands dirty (bloody, more to the point). They brought a bunch of us Alexandrians onto a sound stage and had us walk through a gauntlet of scary-as-hell walkers, hacking and slashing all the way through. We had to hack and slash through about 20 walkers, covering a distance of twenty-five yards or so, while five cameras rolled on us. I guess I got pretty into it because when I got to the end of the line and Greg yelled cut, the entire crew burst into thunderous applause. It was shocking and cool and obviously made me feel great. It’s something I will never forget.
Do you have any new acting roles in your future you can discuss?
Yes, I am in the new CMT show, Sun Records, playing Bob Neal, Elvis’ first manager. That was a great experience working with director, Roland Joffe. Later this year, you’ll see me opposite Helen Mirren and Donald Sutherland in “The Leisure Seeker” and opposite Tom Cruise in “American Made.”
(Note: Sun Records also stars our very own Ann Mahoney, who portrayed Olivia, as Elvis’ mother, Gladys! And it is one of my new favorite shows.)
You have worked in the sound department, as a writer, editor, producer, director, and actor. Which is your favorite and why?
Acting certainly comes most naturally to me and I love the process. I also love editing because it is where the magic trick of movie making is performed. I love all the problem solving and creative choices involved in editing film, having an amazing amount of input on the final product. That said, I have enjoyed writing and directing my own pieces, too, attempting to bring a vision into reality. It’s very affirming to see something you dreamed up play in front of an audience and have an affect on them. Hearing people laugh, or moving them in some way, that’s an amazing thing to be a part of.
Do you have any special projects or hobbies?
I’m messing around with the ukelele these days. I hope to put together a small set of popular cover songs to play out sometime.
(I wonder if Tiny Tim playing Tiptoe Through the Tulips on Sam’s record player was the inspiration for ukelele lessons.)
Is there anything you can tell all us fans about yourself that we don’t know?
I teach Film Studies full time at a terrific school in Atlanta and have throughout my entire The Walking Dead experience. Working with high school students, helping them learn the craft of film production, screenwriting, film history, and more has been a real gift. I love being around young people and sharing what I know. It’s made me a better actor, I believe, and a better man for sure. I consider myself incredibly fortunate to have so many great people and opportunities in my life.
Wow, just Wow, David! I really enjoyed learning all about you. Since I work for our local school district, I can tell you that you’re probably safer with the walkers than the high school students! Ha (Just joking!) I’m hoping they expand the role of Kent even larger and we get to see more and more of him onscreen. Maybe they’ll let you play your ukelele! We wish you all the best in all your future endeavors and will be seeing you not only on The Walking Dead, but also, Sun Records. As I close out, I really loved this studio shot of you and want to share it with the fans.
Source: Tim Glover/IMDb