He used to play the drug dealer, Durango Dynamite, on Days of Our Lives. He also played a concerned father in Grey’s Anatomy and worked on Brooklyn Nine-Nine.
How about now? Recognize this face? Yep, it’s Martinez who plays Davey, one of Negan’s Saviors and right-hand men.
Remember this scene?
Source: YouTube via AMC
He even creeped me out! I don’t know how poor Enid stood her ground! Now, on to our questions.
Where were you born and where did you grow up?
Born in Miami, Florida, and grew up in Jacksonville.
How did you get into acting?
My freshman year in pre-law at Stetson University, I auditioned for the school play on a $20 bet and the experience of that show sealed my fate. I ended up studying acting at Boston University then bounced around the regional markets in Florida and Arizona before landing in Los Angeles.
Was it always your dream to become an actor?
No, my dream was to play football for the University of Miami, which is kind of funny because I never had any desire to play in the NFL, just strictly for the University, and then retire and become a lawyer.
What was your very first acting role?
The class clown! I was so awful in class! God, I feel sorry for all my teachers. I’m sure I caused quite a few gray hairs and aneurysms.
How did you land the role of Davey?
I worked on Rectify, which in Atlanta is cast by the Fincannons. They also cast The Walking Dead, so they were already familiar with my work. I auditioned for one role in Los Angeles, didn’t get it, but then 2 weeks later got the call from my agent saying there were offering me the Davey role and I said, “HELLZ YES!”
Were you a The Walking Dead fan before landing the role?
OMG yes! I am a HUGE fan of the show. It’s one of the few shows that I actually watch consistently.
What has been your favorite acting role?
Hands down working on The Walking Dead is my favorite experience of ALL time.
Who are your heroes, your inspirations?
Pope Francis is pretty rad! I’m also a huge fan of the great orators, MLK and Barry O.
Is it hard for a nice guy like you to play a mean, creepy Savior?
Who lied to you and said I was a nice guy? No, it’s so much fun! It’s like Westworld; you can be whoever you want, and I personally believe everyone has the spirit of Good and Evil in them. We just have to choose who to listen to. It’s so entrenched in our mythos. The devil and the angel both sit on opposite shoulders.
Did you do anything special to prepare for the role?
I did a lot of sense memory work to prep for this role, which I don’t usually do, and I really gave myself permission to dive into some really dark places, without placing any judgments on myself. I think, in general, people can be in the habit of going with their normal routine due to the fear of what others will think. I believe you just need to trust yourself and your instincts and go with the flow.
Was there any funny or memorable behind the scene moments you experienced?
(Laughs) Well, when we were filming episode 708, on the second take for my scene with Andy Lincoln (who I just have to say is one my favorite actors to work with), our Director Michael Satrazemis was like, “Alright, so when you walk up to Andy, I want you to really get in his face and just give it to him!” I responded with, “Okay, I can do that!” So he calls action and we’re in the scene and I just SMACK Andy across the face! After that, Mikey yells, “CUT!” and he walks up to me and is like, “So…you can’t slap Rick Grimes, because he would kill you!” And I just started laughing! I was really surprised when that ended up being the take they ended up using. I belong to a very exclusive club on The Walking Dead. Who else slaps Rick Grimes and lives to tell about it?
(If you want to check out that infamous smack across Rick’s face, it is about 38 minutes into Season 7, Episode 8, Hearts Still Beating. It happens so fast that I missed seeing it the first time. It’s nothing like “the slap heard around the world” when Olivia slapped Negan! Ha)
Do you have any new acting roles in your future?
Yes! I am working on a really cool comic book called Dead Exit. (You should check it out at www.DeadExit.net) It’s a really awesome story about Hollywood, politics and murder. The creator, Doug Shiloh, and one of the other actors, Rich Graff (Lucky Luciano from AMC’s Making of the Mob), are working hard to get it turned into a series. They have done such a great job on the polishing of the script that I can’t wait to get started on that project. I’m also taking on the role of writer! I have an amazing Sci-Fi show that I’m currently developing. We finished the Series’ Bible and are now writing the first 4 episodes! I’m also writing an independent romantic comedy with my sister and wife, which is really cool. My sister has such a great voice for film characters and I can’t wait to finish the revisions on it!
Is there anything you can tell all us fans about yourself that we don’t know, but are dying to?
I’m a die-hard Miami Hurricanes fan, a Gemini, an avid wrestling viewer, and when I’m not acting, I love to teach it. I’ve been really blessed to be able to teach in Los Angeles for a few years and I have been having a blast bringing my knowledge of Hollywood and the business to students in Atlanta! To learn more about the programs, feel free to follow me on Twitter @ActorMartinez.
Now for THE SUGAR ON TOP!
How long have you been in entertainment and acting?
Oh wow…I started the summer/fall of 1996, but didn’t start doing it professionally until I moved out to Los Angeles about 2002.
How do you define the role of an actor?
(Laughs) The M.C.: The Mirror and Collaborator. Many years ago, before I even moved to Los Angeles, I had the distinct pleasure of meeting legendary casting director Michael Fenton and he said something that changed my life, which I’ve made my mantra over the years. He stated, “The actor is the mirror of Beauty and Truth.” For me, the main role as an actor is to deliver the truth, but film and television is such a collaborative process where you always have to be flexible and open. You can’t ever be married to your ideas because the director has his vision, the writer has his vision, and the producers have their vision. Oh, and by the way, they are the ones signing your paycheck (laughs). It’s a very polyamorous relationship. You have to invest a lot of love and trust into each of them to make sure, that as an actor, you can weave together all the different visions into one connected moment of spontaneous truth…on cue.
Of the projects you’ve worked on to date, could you please tell us which projects were highlights for you?
Oh man, I’ve been so blessed to work on so many amazing projects over the years, and each of them is special for a million different reasons. So many great relationships built on Days of Our Lives, so many wonderful lessons and experiences on Grey’s Anatomy, and sooooo much fun on Brooklyn 99. But I’ll have to say, the best experience thus far is my role in The Walking Dead. It’s an unlikely story because when it first came out, I wasn’t into it. I totally wrote it off, but my sister in-law, Lindsay, was completely addicted to the show and kept insisting that I watch it. Finally she was like, “I’m leaving you the first season and you need to watch it!” As soon as I saw the first episode, I was blown away. I became completely hooked and it soon became my favorite show on TV. So to have the opportunity to work on the show is a dream come true on a whole new level. But all “geeking out” aside, from an acting and professional level, the lessons I’ve learned on the set are unquantifiable. To be able to work with and watch what I believe is the best ensemble of talent on television and see how all these amazing actors prepare and rehearse together is surreal. Watching Andrew Lincoln and Jeffrey Dean Morgan go back and forth all day, getting to pick Josh McDermitt’s brain about acting technique, and working with old friends and acquaintances is truly amazing.
What are some of your favorite films of all time and why?
In no particular order, my top movies of all time are Mary Poppins, Patton, Gandhi, Fight Club, The Devil’s Advocate, and Who Framed Roger Rabbit. The messages in Mary Poppins and Gandhi are some of the most important and profound in life to know. Patton was the first GREAT movie I had ever seen and changed the way I viewed movies. The Devil’s Advocate came out while I was studying acting at Boston University and is deeply connected with one of the most impactful moments of my life. Fight Club is what I believe to be the greatest guilty pleasure of all time, and I just think Who Framed Roger Rabbit is the best written comedy ever.
Thank you, Martinez, for all the wonderful information about the man who plays one of our Saviors that we love to hate. I’ll just leave a couple new photos that are H-O-T! right here for all the fans!
The Walking Dead returns to AMC on Sunday, February 12, 9/8C. Tune in and see what Davey does next. Will he slap Rick again and live to tell it? Will he turn over a new leaf and become a good guy? Will he continue to be one of Negan’s Saviors? Will he become a walker? I can’t wait to find out! Tune in with me and let me know what you think on Twitter @sassypoo.