Movies & TV / Columns

Adam Seybold On Starring In the New Zombie Film Deadsight

July 1, 2019 | Posted by Bryan Kristopowitz
Deadsight Adam Seybold

The 411 Interview: Adam Seybold


Adam Seybold is an actor and writer who has been making and appearing in movies and TV shows since at least 2006 (that’s what imdb page shows). He has appeared in such movies as The Chair, Exit Humanity, and Hellmouth and the TV shows Stock and Awe and Copper, and has written the screenplay for Let Her Out from Black Fawn Films. Seybold’s latest movie is the low budget zombie flick Deadsight, directed by Jesse Thomas Cook and starring Liv Collins (Collins also co-wrote the Deadsight screenplay with Kevin Revie) and set to hit DVD, digital, and Video on Demand on July 2nd, 2019. In Deadsight, Seybold plays Ben Neilson, a mysterious blind man who, after waking up in the back of an ambulance, finds out that the world has changed, and not in a good way. In this interview, Seybold talks with this writer about making Deadsight, his career, and more.



Bryan Kristopowitz: How did you get involved with Deadsight?

Adam Seybold: They say you don’t really know a person until you do a day’s work with them. Over the last decade I’ve worked on, geez, six movies? So we’ve had a lot of days and nights together, sometimes in less than ideal conditions. We’ve learned a lot about each other, and I’d like to think we’re more like family than like co-workers, because we’ve always been there together, sharing the experience. And in all the films we’d worked on, Jesse T. Cook (the director of Deadsight) would promise to put me in his next movie. But, for whatever reason, there just wasn’t a fit. Then, a couple years ago, I guess it was fall of 2017, Jesse sent me the script for Deadsight that Liv and Kevin had been working on. He asked me if I wanted could act as a visually impaired person and if I was willing to shave my head. Of course I said yes. Not immediately because winter was coming, but pretty quickly.

BK: How did you approach your character Ben Neilson? What sort of research, if any, did you have to do?

AS: For me, there’s not a lot of research that goes in to telling a story like this, the sort of end of the world, zombie outbreak movie. Because we’re going to be out there, in the elements, in early December in Northern Ontario. And, I’m essentially going to be blindfolded between “action” and “cut.” Actually, I tried to go a whole day with the blindfold on, to Daniel Day-Lewis the thing, but I gave up by lunch. For me, the important thing was to figure out who Ben was before the outbreak, and what he lost, and then just be in the moment trying to survive like anybody would if they were attacked by a zombie. The more crazy the world is, the more normal you have to be. Unless you’re Bruce Campbell. He can get away with pretty much anything.

BK: What was the hardest part of making Deadsight for you?

AS: Really, the worst day on set is better than the best day on a normal job. I’ve done both. And it’s not close. Even when it’s hard. Probably because it’s hard. But really, you’re just playing pretend with people you really enjoy being with. But in all seriousness, Deadsight had a bunch of days that were long, or arduous, or cold that take you to the edge, but it actually makes the acting easier because you’re not pretending. You don’t have to. You’re just in it. Over time, you forget about the hard stuff, you really do.

Although, I do remember, the day I came home, I got the rental van that we were using for equipment stuck in a culvert after the previous night’s blizzard. So it had to be towed out. Fun. Then, I finally make it back to the city, return the van and I’m going to pick my son, Hank, up early from school and his teacher took one look at me and I must’ve looked awful because she said, “What happened to you? I’m not sure if she thought I was fit to take my son home.

BK: Your character Ben wears a blindfold for the majority of the movie. Could you actually see through that blindfold or were you really reaching around/feeling around/trying to figure out your surroundings?

AS: Like I said, it’s really just squeezing your eyes shut and just playing the reality of that. Unless there’s a stunt or something like that, where I needed to be aware of my surroundings to keep other actors safe. They’ve got to play zombies so they don’t need some dude methoding all over the safety of their face and limbs. What was really difficult were the contacts I had to wear that gave my eyes (when they’re seen) a milky sheen. I normally wear contacts, so my blurred vision was even further compromised. Again, very little acting required.


BK: What was it like working with co-star Liv Collins?

AS: Liv’s actually great. One of my favorite people. She’s a real one. She’s actually one of the most hilarious actors I’ve ever worked with. She has a sense of humor about herself and the day-to-day of set life that makes it easier to come to work. She’s game for anything. We shot in the Collingwood Grain Terminals, which is a pretty forbidding environment, but Liv loves it. I truly think she’d shoot every movie there if she could. She’s a trooper. Especially when you add that she was extremely pregnant while we were shooting. If she complained about it, I didn’t hear it. Like I said, Liv loves the Terminals more than anyone. Please quote me on this.

BK: What was it like working with director Jesse Thomas Cook?

AS: As I mentioned, I’d known Jesse for a long time before we started Deadsight, so that actually made it really easy to give myself over to what he saw and what he was looking to find. I basically said, “I’m gonna just trust you to tell me when it sucks, otherwise I’m gonna just go for it.” It doesn’t get easier than that. Anytime you’re on set, you’ve got to just trust the people who have their eyes open while we’re shooting. I think, as an actor, because I’m a writer, I have a tendency to, shall we say, meddle in the process. But on this one, I was playing somebody visually impaired, and a big part of that was saying to Jesse, “It’s your baby. I’ll run the plays you call.” I had a blast working with him. I’d work with him in the Arctic anytime. With a full red beard.

BK: What was it like working with all of those zombies? Were they grosser in person than onscreen?

AS: Well, the zombies start with Shaun Hunter, who was a true artist when it came to creating different zombies with different ways the outbreak played on their face and body. It’s hilarious. We’re all packed into this tiny trailer. The zombies and the actors and the producers and it’s completely normal. The most normal thing. And then you realize, “That person’s jaw is off their skull. Weird.”

In truth, the thing about zombie movies, and I’ve worked on a few, the actors playing the zombies not only have it the toughest, they’re consistently and without exception the sweetest people on the set. Bar none. Any zombie movie in the history of zombie movies is only as good as the people who get all that shit all over them and throw themselves around at distinct physical peril. On this, they’re actually giving performances filled with character and stakes and emotion, the same as anyone with lines of dialogue. They’re not just grunting. All of them. Carrie Keeling, Jess Vano, Scott Weatherall, Justin Darmanin, and many, many more, if this movie works at all, it does so because of them. Imagine it, you’re giving your all with the knowledge that your face, your real face isn’t going to appear on screen. Not many actors would do that. So, to me, they’re the best part of Deadsight.

BK: You’re also a screenwriter, having written the story and screenplay for the excellent horror movie Let Her Out. Is screenwriting something you hope to do more of in the future?

AS: Ha. Well. That’s kind of you to say. Screenwriting is basically all I do. It’s my day job. There’s a few projects upcoming that I’m really excited about. We’re about to head into production with a script I wrote with Michael James Regan, called Under Duress, which is a sort of The Hangover meets Narcos kind of picture set in Mexico, that I’m really excited about. It’s really fun, really fast and really international. So look out for that one. What else? I’ve written a cool story with Nick Talon at Iron Moon Productions, which is a kind of Agatha Christie mystery set in the world of hip-hop. It’s a cool take on a character we’ve seen a bunch of times, but not like this. I’m writing a script for the fine folks at NorthCo Films which is a kind of environmental thriller about the pursuit of a revolutionary AI. Finally, there’s a script that I’m writing with Paul Ebejer which is inspired by the story of his own life and it’s one of the best stories I’ve ever heard. The life this guy’s lived, it’s amazing and it’s going to be truly inspirational for a lot of people. As always, Cody Calahan, and I, and the dudes at Black Fawn Films are cooking up some wicked shit.

BK: Any moviemaking heroes?

AS: If I’m honest, I could, like so many people, give you the queue of my Criterion Channel App, but lately my real heroes, as sentimental as it sounds (I’m Irish, okay?) it’s the people working in independent genre filmmaking here in Ontario, for almost no money, and no institutional support. They’re in the woods, in the elements, telling really interesting stories about where we live now and about the soul of this place that we’re living in, in 2019, at, what looks like, the end of civilization as we know it. They’re unfailing fun to be around and talented in a variety of ways, that, at any other job, would have made them VP’s of whatever company they were with. I love them. I really do.

BK: Should there be a Deadsight 2?

AS: I don’t want to spoil anything, but all I’ll say is, if there’s a Deadsight 2, I hope I’m in it.

BK: What was it like shooting that double barrel shotgun?

AS: Guns are a plague. In the world, and on set. The less said about them, the better.



A very special thanks to Adam Seybold for agreeing to participate in this interview and to Tatum Wan for setting it up.

Check out the official Deadsight Facebook page here and official Instagram page here

Check out the official Foresight Features website here

Purchase Deadsight here or here

All images courtesy of RLJE Films.