Up and coming star Levi Meaden, known best for his breakout role in the fourth and final season of Netflix’s acclaimed series “The Killing” is headed to Syfy for a starring role as Matt Copeland in the upcoming series “Aftermath.” The series follows the Copeland family as they battle for survival when civilization comes to an apocalyptic end, triggered by massive storms, meteor strikes, earthquakes, a plague – and the rise of supernatural creatures. The series also stars Anne Heche and James Tupper as Meaden’s parents.
Before “Aftermath,” Meaden had recurred in Syfy’s “Olympus,” and has also guest starred on various shows, including “iZombie” on the CW, FOX’s “Almost Human” and the CW’s “The 100.” He was the lead in the indie film “Alice In The Attic.”
Can you tell us a little bit about Aftermath and your character Matt Copeland?
Sure! So, Aftermath is a show about a family who basically have to face the end of the world, as it happens and falls apart around them, and it’s kind of like – we encounter a lot of mythical things, and a lot of monsters. It’s almost like a family road trip, and a kind of crumbling society filled with monsters.
I play Matt Copeland, the oldest of the kids. He’s an ex-football player who has been injured, and is trying to find a new direction in life when things start to fall apart and has to come of age in a whole new world.
And what would you say, so far, has been your favorite part of playing him (I guess without any spoilers!)?
Yeah. You know, I think there’s just something fun about finding the child-like traits he has and then the adult traits he has, and where those are starting to transition when he’s faced with some enormous questions of survival and kind of, family versus other people. And how those relate to everybody, how those can relate to anybody growing up and coming through those changes and becoming an adult, but with way bigger ramifications.
Great. And can you tell us a little bit about what the cast is like off-screen? I mean, you guys have a pretty awesome cast, with James (Tupper), Anne (Heche), Taylor (Hickson) and Julia (Sarah Stone).
I think we were lucky. We all bonded pretty instantaneously. We started acting like a family, especially me with the sisters, and James and Anne – as the parents, they’ve been such great guiding forces throughout the show, and we as the siblings have been kind of bratty with each other (laughs), and that naturally happened off-screen. We’re lucky, cause I think it’ll really translates into something cool on-screen, you’ll be able to get a real connection I think with the characters and the family.
So, this isn’t your first sci-fi sort of show – you’ve been on Olympus, and then you’ve had other shows that sort of deal with that same fictional aspect, like The 100, and iZombie and Almost Human – so, would you say that you’re a sci-fi fan, is that you’re favorite genre? Or does it just happen like that?
I mean, I’m a huge genre junkie, just kind of, in general, whether it’s horror or sci-fi or fantasy, I tend to skew towards those more fictional titles. I love sci-fi for sure, it’s one of my favorite genres, and horror. One of the things I love about Aftermath is that it combines those two elements, the aspects of horror with these monster of the week type episodes, and some great sci-fi elements. It’s right up my alley, genre-wise. I love doing it.
Branching off of that, what movies or shows or actors have influenced you the most, or would you recommend to other people? I guess – just, what are your favorites?
(laughs) That’s a big question. But, I mean, as far as sci-fi goes, my favorite is Blade Runner, I just watched it last week and fell in love with it, again. Blade Runner, Alien, 2001: Space Odyssey, and I’ve really come to enjoy – the last few years, this resurgence of independent sci-fi, which has been great. There’ve been movies like Primer, and Moon, that really kind of reinvented the sci-fi genre as a whole, that I’ve come to appreciate.
And Aftermath takes a visual style that’s similar to those, which I haven’t seen on TV, so I think that’s really cool to see.
As far as actors go, I go through actors in certain series, I guess. So, like, I love Brando in the 50’s, I think Mickey Ward in the 80’s is absolutely amazing and mind-boggling great. Tom Hanks in that kind of early 90’s the way he was reinventing himself, Montgomery Clift I think always gets forgotten about because he was in the shadow of Paul Newman, James Dean, and Marlon Brando, but I believe he’s something absolutely different from all of them and in many ways a lot better. I think everyone should be aware of Montgomery Clift. Bette Davis in the 50’s, and then when she got a little bit older – she’s, I think, my favorite actress. Anyways, I could go on about a bunch of these people. (laughs)
Yeah, it sounds like your tastes run wide, that’s awesome. What would you say has been your favorite role to play so far, and along with that, what would be your dream role?
I loved playing AJ in The Killing, because I was a huge fan of that show beforehand, so to get to play AJ for six episodes of The Killing was a pretty big deal to me, and I loved every second of it. The directors, the creator of the show, was great to work with; the writing was awesome. Matt, I think, is the most in-depth, it’s the longest period of time I’ve gotten to play around with a character, so I’ve come to appreciate and love that. It’s a whole new – having a new episode every week, and having 14 episodes, I mean that’s been a lot of fun, and I’d love to see where we go from here, as we’re winding down, and what happens after this season.
My dream role? That’s a good question. (laughs) I kind of – I have a list. I’d love to play an undercover cop, kind of like something from The Departed, or an operative in a John le Carré novel, something along the lines of Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy. Or if a Bladerunner sequel’s coming out, that would be great.
Do you want to tell us a little bit about how you got into acting? Did you always know it was something you wanted to do?
Not really. I was originally – when I was younger, I did it kind of in local productions back home in Calgary, and as I got older, I found myself more into writing and directing, as I became a bigger and bigger film nerd. So I actually ended up pursuing writing and directing for a couple of years.
And then I was going to school in the Czech Republic, and I had a teacher there who had gone to – I believe it was the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts, I can’t remember exactly which. But he opened up acting as a whole new world to me, and he kind of drove home some of the classics, and techniques, some of these old keystones of acting, and reignited my passion. It wasn’t until I got back to Canada and moved to Vancouver and I was working with a production company there that a director there, the owner of the production company, saw some of my short films that I’d acted in and said, I think you have something going on there, you should really think about pursuing it. That got me started, and I haven’t looked back since. I loved every minute of it.
Awesome. And I guess, for my last question, it’s something that we try to ask everyone. Because the name of our site is Talk Nerdy With Us, what is something that you are nerdy about or that you nerd out over?
Oh, obviously movies, genre films, especially old ones. Depending, I kind of – as a kid, I was a comic book collector, so every once in a while I fall back into that. And I nerd out I think probably most – other than film, I think I nerd out most over hip-hop. Which is not one that’s supposed to be nerdy?