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Lance Herota Interview - Crazy what one day can lead to.

Lance Herota is known for The Suicide Squad , Black Panther: Wakanda Forever , Cobra Kai and over 40 Episodes of The Walking Dead

- Hello Lance Herota and thank you for your time for the Fans.

Of course! You are more than welcome! Thank you for reaching out!

- Lance , When was the time you know you want to be an stuntman?

I grew up in Orlando, FL. I saw the "Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular “ at Disney World’s MGM Studios (now named Hollywood Studios) for the first time when I was probably around the age of 6-8. I can’t exactly remember. What I do remember, is the first time I saw that show I fell in love. My father was a firefighter/EMT and his part-time job was with Disney World so we were fortunate to have complimentary tickets every so often. I always made sure we watched that show. I have worked on shows in my career with people who used to work that show around the times I was going, so for all I know they were one of the live show stunt performers I saw when I was little. Crazy how things come full circle like that sometimes.

My friends and I would play “stuntman”. Jumping onto couches, jumping from low branches thinking we were amazing. The imagination is a wonderful thing. The intrigue with stunts never went away, even into my adulthood.

- Since 2016 you worked in one of my Favorite series. "The Walking Dead" How did you get cast ?

So for stunts we are hired by the Stunt Coordinator of that production. I was basically brand new in my career, only having a handful of credits under my belt. I was still working as an extra (aka “Background”). I was working on a movie called “Life of the Party” as an extra when Monty Simons, the stunt coordinator for “The Walking Dead”, texted me asking me to send him a roughly 15 second video of my best walker impression. I had previously “hustled” (what we call when we would drop by sets or production offices to try and meet with stunt coordinators and drop off our headshots and resumes) him previously while he was coordinating on “Thank You for Your Service”. He told me I was “perfect walker material” based on my sizes but I had not obtained my SAG-AFTRA (Screen Actors Guild) eligibility yet so getting hired without that was nearly impossible.

I finally got my SAG eligibility on “Spider-Man: Homecoming” thanks to George Cottle and I instantly joined SAG shortly after. Back to the video submission… he liked my walker walk and hired me for my first day on episode #713. I remember my first time meeting with the Special Effects Makeup Artists who were applying my nearly 4 hour makeup application. The first question they asked me was if I’ve ever worn contacts? The answer was no. The second question was had I ever been in prostechiscs? Also no. They looked at each other, then back at me, and said something along the lines of, “Well I guess we’re going all in then.”

When I got to set, Monty Simons told me that if I do a good job as a walker he would be able to hire me again in the future, but if I did a poor job then that day would be it for me. No pressure, right?

The day went well and he reached out shortly after again saying because I did well as a walker and the crew was happy with how I sat through the makeup application, tolerated the contacts and having someone else’s fingers in my eyes (lens technicians handle all the contacts, including putting them in for us and taking them out, and they are all rockstars and take care of our eyes and lenses throughout the entirety of the day), and my attitude that he would be able to hire me again. 41 episodes later… haha. Crazy what one day can lead to.

- You played over the years also in Fear The Walking Dead and TWD World Beyond. What was your personal favorite and why?

They were all fun. “Fear the Walking Dead” was a fun one because I got to travel to Austin, TX for each episode I worked on. I enjoy traveling, especially if it’s not my money haha. “TWD World Beyond" was only one episode but we had a great time in Richmond, VA. It’s hard to choose a favorite because every day is different and fun in its own way. I can’t really pick a favorite.

- What is the first what you remember when you look back on set from The Walking Dead?

The first thing I remember is seeing how incredible the makeup looked after it was done. Especially with he contacts in. My official name on the call sheet was “Icicle Walker”. Shirtless, giant chest piece, jaw broken in half and hanging down. I couldn’t believe it was me. And every show, every makeup person, always blew my mind with what they create.

- With a role in TWD Universe comes a Big Fan Community, what are your first The Walking Dead fan experiences?
My first fan experiences were at “Nic and Norman’s” just up the street from the studio. It is the bar restaurant owned by Greg Nicotero and Norman Reedus. Just socializing at the bar with people and story telling was my first introduction to Walking Dead fans. After that I have been doing convention appearances now. I have appeared at “The Camp” multiple times in Peachtree City, GA. I actually have my next convention appearance with them May 24-26 in Peachtree City again.

I also had an appearance at a convention in Paragould, Arkansas called the Hiyah Nation Paranormal Horror Show” presented by Scared City. They have their next convention in Paragould the weekend of July 13th.

I am trying to get into more conventions. I would LOOOOOOOVE to be brought out to any in Germany!

I am definitely a story teller, and with fans I don’t just sign autographs and take selfies, usually there is some great conversation, time allowing. I try to engage with everyone that wants to talk. So fun!

- There are so many series and movies you worked in ( TWD , Cobra Kai, The Vampire Diaries , Suicide Squad , Black Panther.....) What was your personal series/movie highlight so far?

That is a hard question to answer. Every single show, day even, has its own highlights. It’s kind of like asking a parent to pick their favorite kid haha. For instance, I got my SAG card on Spider-Man: Homecoming. First time on a big-budget movie set and it was as a stunt performer. I was blown away. The Suicide Squad was my first time on a core stunt team for a feature film. Cobra Kai was crazy to me because I remember watching the Karate Kid movies when I was little. Never in a million years would I have thought that one day I’d be working on a spin-off so many years later. TWD of course has been my busiest show by far, so that will always stand out as well. Too many more to go into!

- I growed up with Karate Kid so i must ask you. You work as stuntman in Cobra Kai for  Ralph Macchio. How was it working with Ralph?

Cobra Kai was a fun one. My normal actor was Gianni DeCenzo (“Demetri”). I had the opportunity to double Ralph Macchio for one gag. The gag was being pushed into a desk of sorts and it knocked over trophy and broke it. I was there in case Mr. Macchio needed me. He was able to perform the gag himself multiple times and I was not needed to perform the gag. Everyone on that show was incredible. From cast to crew. Such nice people.

- What will we see next from you? Any projects/movies/series?

Everything is a maybe until you actually have a contract signed. I am waiting to hear back on a couple things currently so time will tell!

- Is there any dream role or actor/actress you would loved to work in the future?
Another toughy. Each new experience is incredibly fun. Anyone and everyone!

- Is there anything else you would like to let TWD Fans and your fans know?

The fact I even have fans is crazy to me. To do what I love and then have people also enjoy that is just icing on the cake. So thank you to everyone who supports me, my work, and I am so grateful to each and every one of you!  Without fans, there would be no movies, TV shows, no anything! You are all amazing! And of course, follow your dreams!

- Thank you being my guest Lance Herota and best wishes for the future. I hope to see you one day in Germany.

Thank you for having me! I hope to see you in Germany as well! Like I said, I would love to to appear at contvetions out there! It would be so incredible.

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