Hailing from Sacramento, Keith Allan’s love for acting compelled him to attend the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in Los Angeles. From there, he went to Colorado in order to work in theater, where he was awarded the Drama Critics Circle award for his performance as an Emcee in the play “Cabaret.” In addition to theater, Allan also began snagging roles on various television shows. Some of his early credits include the shows Charmed, Will & Grace, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, CSI and Star Trek: Enterprise. As a filmmaker, he has produced, written and directed several short films, including the official Sundance film The Big Abandoned Refrigerator Adventure, which was a film festival favorite. In 2011, he co-wrote and directed his first feature 11/11/11 for The Asylum and has continued writing and acting in several features for Syfy and the Lifetime networks. It was in 2014 that he scored his first series regular role on television as the character Murphy on Syfy’s Z Nation. Talk Nerdy With Us was lucky enough to get the chance to chat with this immensely talented actor at the Walker Stalker Con in Atlanta, Georgia, where we asked with him about his character Murphy, what the upcoming episodes have in store and what brings out the “nerd” in him. Check it out below!
What do you enjoy most about playing Murphy?
Well, I’ll tell you. The thing I like most about the character is the variety of emotions that he gets to have. I mean, a lot of people think of him as an asshole, but I think he’s quite justified from my point-of-view in a lot of the ways he reacts to situations. He’s got such a snarky attitude, so I get to have a lot of funny one-liners, or give him a lot of attitude. But then at the same time, you’ll see him really get powerfully angry, and then you’ll get to see him really hurt, and you get to see his soft mushy side come out. That’s kind of a goal or a dream for an actor, to get to go and play all these different colors in one character.
What can you tease about the upcoming episodes?
One of the things that’s been prevalent in this season is that, since Citizen Z let the cat out of the bag, now we’ve got all of these bounty hunters after us. We wind up … You know the Zeros? The Zeros are the Mexican drug cartel that have sort of started creating a new government. We run into them for a little while, and that becomes a whole different world. We enter into their world, which is a whole different world that they’ve created.
I really liked the scenes between Murphy and the Collector this past episode. Do you have a favorite scene that you’ve shot so far?
I have a lot of favorite scenes, obviously, because I get to do a lot of fun stuff on the show. The Collector was actually, that’s a very good friend of mine, who I’ve known for like twenty years. His name is Tom Beyer, who, when I was reading the script, I’m like, “He’d be great for this.” So I asked the producers to check him out and he got the job, so that was great! You know, I had a lot of fun on that episode, but one of my very favorite episodes was from season one when I got to proclaim myself as the zombie messiah. That was really the first time that we’ve seen Murphy be a force to be reckoned with. We really see him stand his ground and become really the more powerful strong Murphy, as opposed to the flinching, cringy Murphy. It was nice for me to sort of like rip open my shirt and be powerfully strong, and do a whole different side of the character. That was one of my favorite scenes.
I thought it was so cool that George R.R. Martin was included in this episode, especially since in a way he’s added to the zombie lore with his White Walkers in “Game of Thrones.” What was it like working with George R.R. Martin in this episode?
I wish I knew. I did not get to work with him, sadly.
No. He came in and filmed that on a separate day, so when we shot our part of the scene, sadly we’re working in front of a green screen, so I’m acting to nothing pretty much. He came in and shot his stuff differently. Sadly I didn’t get to meet him, so I wish I knew.
Will we see Lucy in future episodes, and if so, do you think that she will be like Murphy?
I really don’t know. I’ll bet we do. I bet they’re going to bring her back, and I bet she ages really quickly. I’ll bet next time we see her she’s going to be twelve years old or something. But yeah, I’m sure they’re planning that scene so we see her again, but that’s all I know so far.
What’s your favorite part about doing fan conventions like Walker Stalker Con?
It’s meeting the fans. It really is! It’s sort of constant love. So many fans are excited about the show, and they just really appreciate the work that I’m doing, and they really appreciate what we’re doing with the show, and how we’re keeping it fun, and a little campy at times, and then we keep it gross and disgusting, and then we keep it really powerful and emotional. To sort of have that recognition that really means the fans are getting it. They’re getting what we’re trying to do with the show and they really, really appreciate it. I get love, I get love all day long!
Our site’s called Talk Nerdy With Us, so what kind of things do you nerd out about?
Oh, I love science fiction stuff. I love action superhero movies and all that jazz. Let’s see. I was always big on models. I would make models when I was a kid, and I do weird things like collect lunchboxes … I don’t know if this is really a nerdy thing, but I have probably about five hundred neckties. I’m a thrift store junkie. I love going to thrift stores and finding a bargain, in fact, this shirt [points to superhero shirt], I paid three dollars for it at a thrift store. I’m like, “That’s a great shirt.” That’s one of my nerd fetishes.