As fans of the Walking Dead know, Terminus is not a place one wants to visit. A place one hopes might be a sanctuary turned out to be a living nightmare of cannibalism, and one of the creepier characters in Terminus is Gareth, played by actor Andrew J West. West was recently at the Walker Stalker Fan Fest in San Diego during the 2015 San Diego Comic Con to talk to fans and answer questions on his scary alter-ego.
When West originally went in to audition for the show, he had no idea what role they were looking at him for. He knew the casting directors from other projects but he wasn’t told anything about the role. He was given a random monologue that wasn’t even actually from the show, but the material was very dark. He got the job and went in for wardrobe fittings but still had no idea who he was to play. Showrunner Scott Gimple called West into his office to tell him a little about the role but it was still a little vague. West went and read the comics and figured out his character was based on “Chris” in the books and he grinned from ear to ear, knowing what kinds of things he would be able to portray onscreen.
West says that the Termites weren’t always bad people. “Terminus started out as a peaceful community. They invited people in and let them come and go as they pleased. Then they (the termites) got overtaken and beaten down. The Church (in the Termius set) serves as a reminder to them that they tried to create a peaceful community and they can’t ever go back (to that)”.
West sees Gareth as an “unassuming guy who wasn’t a born leader. He would have preferred to defer to someone else. He wasn’t a born Sociopath. Gareth isn’t a full-blown Psychopath, he is a Sociopath. The trauma that he suffered led to a point where something switched in his mind. He feels that human beings aren’t as valuable as they once were. And that is the most disturbing thing about Gareth. Human life could never mean much to Gareth again.”
Fans were able to ask questions and one fan remarked that they had been told not to ask for hugs and West replied that he would hug the fan and the fan said he wouldn’t hug West. West quipped, “I already had lunch what are you worried about?” Another fan asked if Gareth had an Instagram what would be on it and West joked “food pics, artistic food pics”.
When asked what he had learned from portraying Gareth, West said he learned “some great seasoning techniques…..learned my way around a barbecue…..” He said that the role also made him “think a lot about how to survive in an apocalypse” and that “we would all be surprised by how we would act in extreme circumstances.”
One of the better questions was from a fan who wanted to know if Rick had spared Gareth’s life, would Gareth have been able to change. “No” says West. “They (the Termites) wouldn’t have gone out of their way to hunt Rick’s group down, but if they crossed paths again, they would kill Rick’s group. But they (the Termites) would keep doing things the same way that they had been, and Rick knew that. That’s why he did what he did.”
Clearly Andrew J West was a great guest and a fan favorite at the Walker Stalker Fan Fest.
Walker Stalker puts on some amazing conventions throughout the year, for more information on how you can attend, visit www.walkerstalkercon.com
Article and Photos Copyright Suzanne Philips