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Published on June 17th, 2011 | by simeon

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Adrian Kali Turner Talks Bad Teacher and Season Two Of The Walking Dead

Recently we got to speak with Adrian Kali Turner about his roles in “Bad Teacher” and The Walking Dead. I want to thank him for taking the time from his busy schedule to chat with us.

1What interested you the most about working on BAD TEACHER and “The Walking Dead” and how did you become involved with them?

They are unique in their own way. On both projects I worked with amazing people, who taught me so much about acting. I also had the time of my life on both. The way I got involved with BAD TEACHER is I originally auditioned for a different role in the film, but I got the role of Shawn. As we worked, the director started adding more and more scenes for Shawn. I am so glad that he added the Lebron v. Jordan scene.

With “The Walking Dead,” I received a call from my agent about the audition. I submitted a video and eventually travelled home to Atlanta to meet with the casting director and producer. I waited weeks before hearing anything. But, I was happy when I did. Since I had already read some of the comics from the Walking Dead series, I was absolutely ecstatic that I even had a chance to get in front of the casting director for the project. Also, just before I auditioned, I saw the movie, “The Green Mile” and really liked it. So, I was looking forward to working with such a great director.

Where did you draw inspiration from for the characters you are portraying?

Well, for Shawn I just acted like me. I was a middle school student at the time of filming. For the parts where I had to be afraid of Cameron Diaz’s character, I just thought of how my parents get mad at me sometimes and how I react. For “Duane,” I really had to work hard for that one. I watched a couple of zombie flicks and took a bit from each one. Duane was very emotional. He was sad about the loss of his mom; he was angry that the zombies took his mom; and he was scared about what could happen to him and his father. So, for each one of these emotions, I had to make them real by thinking about those things that made me sad, angry and scared.

What can you tell us about the show and film, any secrets or behind the scenes stories that you can share with us?

On the set of BAD TEACHER a friend and I went up to Justin Timberlake and did a little parody of a couple of his songs. He laughed and he enjoyed it. It was pretty cool. On the set of “The Walking Dead” during the shower scene I just did it the way I normally dance in the shower, and the whole cast and crew were cracking up while I was doing it. Since we were shooting, they had to be quiet. So it was like a silent laughter. It was pretty funny.

What do you look for from a director to help you give your best performance?

I like for the director to provide a general description of how he wants the character to be played. I also look for a director to give me some very constructive feedback on how I’m doing. I also like for the director to give me a little room to add my own touches to the character.

When you consider a script or a potential TV or film project, what elements tend to draw you in and make you want to work on that film?

I look for a challenge. By challenge, I mean that the character deals with some situation or some person that forces him to display a range of emotions. I don’t believe that a character should be one-way through the whole film. I also like to do films about things that that I can relate to. In addition, I like to do projects that involve some really good and respected actors, directors and producers.

What inspired you to choose a career in film; do you have any advice for people who are looking to get into the television and or film industry and what was your big break?

I loved performing from a very early age. In elementary school, I competed in poetry recitation competitions all over the state of Georgia. Then, I started to do plays and singing performances. One of my teachers referred me to a talent competition. I competed and landed both my manager and agent and started to book jobs.

I would advise anyone to start off small. Perform at your school and church to see if you like it. Then, become involved in community theatre. If you love it, just keep doing it and eventually someone will see your skills. Never give up!

Who is your favorite actor or actress who inspires you the most and why?

Will Smith really inspires me because he is not just an actor but he works on both sides of the camera. He is also an entrepreneur. He doesn’t wait for jobs, he creates them for himself and his family. I also love Tina Fey, Zooey Deschanel and Jason Sudekis. I love their humor.

Can you tell us about any future projects that you are currently working on that we can look forward to seeing you in?

BAD TEACHER of course, Season 2 of “The Walking Dead,” and a new series on ABC entitled “Apartment 23” with James Van Der Beek

What were some memorable moments from filming both projects.

On “The Walking Dead” it was coming to set every day and seeing the zombie actors before and after makeup. Also, working with Mr. Lennie James as my dad. He is such an amazing actor. I will always remember the times we shared together and the tips he gave me. For BAD TEACHER it was definitely the friendships I made. I made friends with a really good group of people. We all still hang out.

What do you like to do in your free time?

Read Comic books. I am a total comic book nerd. I even attend all of the Comic Con Conventions. I also like playing video games such as Black Ops, Bioshock and Halo. I volunteer at the Star Eco Station – an animal rescue center in Culver City. I love caring for and taking photos of the animals. I am also a member of the hip-hop dance team at Elevation Studio.

What can fans look forward to in the pending season of The Walking Dead?

Zombies, zombies and more zombies. Hahaah.

Jordan or James your take and why?

That’s a tough question. They both have their strengths and weaknesses. One is a great team player and the other is a better shooter. I mean Lebron is the new superstar of my generation. But, Jordan is definitely an icon – a legend. So, I’m going to say that BOTH are awesome basketball players. I wouldn’t want to play either one of them in a game of one-on-one.


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