Zack Snyder’s Army of the Dead is streaming on Netflix starting today. One of the many highlights in the zombie flick is the unlikely bromance between Omari Hardwick’s tough, zombie-killing badass Vanderohe and Matthias Schweighöfer’s Dieter, a safecracker that isn’t used to combat. ComingSoon.net Managing Editor Tyler Treese got the chance to talk to both actors about their respective roles.
Check out our video interview or read a full transcript below:
Tyler Treese: Matthias, your character is kind of the everyman in the film in a lot of regards. He’s not really like a zombie-killing badass like everybody else. So what was it like to play the comic relief when you’re surrounded by Omari and Dave Battista?
Matthias Schweighöfer: That’s a great question. First of all, it’s such a compliment that you say you’re the comic relief because that was the coolest thing ever. This guy is really funny and he can scream like woman. His scream is like his weapon. He could scream like zombies to death, you know? It was every day being surrounded by Omari and Dave, that was fantastic. Even to use the kind of weirdness of the safecracker in that fantastic surrounding with these great colleagues, that was fantastic, and it was like fun every day.
Omari, your character’s bromance with Dieter is a real highlight. Can you speak to why you think those characters got along so well?
Omari Hardwick: We always say the adage goes as such, “oil and water don’t mix.” So these two can’t be any more different and that is always a great thing to see opposing forces. Of course, Dieter doesn’t know he’s a force, and so there’s that. So you immediately have empathy for, for both. I should say maybe I haven’t answered it like this before, and perhaps you just helped me find this portion of the answer, but there is a built-in innate empathy for both. People feel sorry for Dieter because he seems like a fish out of water. He doesn’t know what he’s doing.
Now all the sudden Dave’s character, and of course, Dave being as imposing as he is with the voice that he carries and the talent that he brings to the table instilled or inserted in Scott, then asking Vanderohe, “Hey, I’m kind of asking, but I’m not asking. You’re in charge of this guy.” Then all of a sudden you feel equally bad for me. So I think it’s the building innate empathy that you feel for both in both having come to the table as far apart from each other as you can possibly be. All of a sudden you’re rooting for them to get to that point. So you always got to impart the space and the allowance for fans to do the rooting and during the watching or process of this odd couple becoming a bromance but really almost one bro out of two, there becomes that opportunity for the fans to go, “I want to see it,” and another person watching going, “I don’t think they fit.” The other person going, “Oh, I think they fit.” So I think that’s probably the reason that innately you kind of go, “Okay, I want to see them together,” and ultimately you do. You see us together.
Matthias your character is the safe cracker, and not that you’d actually need to have these skills, but did you do any reading on safe cracking to prepare for the role? I always love hearing about prep work.
Matthias: Oh yeah. That was pretty easy. There’s a thing called YouTube and I just typed in like, “safe cracking champion.” Yeah. To be honest, there is a safe cracking champion and he’s so fast and cracking safes with his fingers and his ear. He could hear and feel a feather… Oh, what’s the right word. Like, there’s the tumbler and the mechanism on the lock. That’s so weird. So I prepped with that. I was so inspired by this guy and he’s the champion.
Omari: I never got to ask Matthias this. Is he living? Is this guy alive?
Matthias: Oh yeah. He’s living. He’s still alive and he’s still cracking safes.