Netflix’s Daybreak: Colin Ford On Being A Teen In A Post-Apocalyptic World [Exclusive Interview]

Survival is the key in the post-apocalyptic world.

Unless the post-apocalyptic world is run by teens, then it’s about survival and having fun.

Netflix’s Daybreak is a series about a group of teens trying to survive in the post-apocalyptic world, in which other teams have formed groups and territories with the bloodthirsty adults wandering the neighborhoods in the form of ghouls.

Here’s the official synopsis:

In this post-apocalyptic, genre-bending series, the city of Glendale, California is populated by marauding gangs of jocks, gamers, the 4-H Club, and other fearsome tribes who are kicking ass as they fight to survive in the wake of a nuclear blast (on the night of Homecoming). Following an eclectic group of survivors as they navigate this strange and treacherous world. Daybreak is part samurai saga, part endearing coming-of-age story, and part Battle Royale.

The series stars Matthew Broderick, Krysta Rodriguez, Colin Ford, Sophie Simnett, Austin Crute, Alyvia Alyn Lind, Cody Kearsley, Jeante Godlock and Gregory Kasyan. The executive producers are Aron Eli Coleite, Brad Peyton and Jeff Fierson.

LRM Online got the opportunity to speak with the main series actor Colin Ford last week. Ford plays the lead character Josh Wheeler, who starts off as a lone survivor and begins to make friends with other survivors as the story unfold.

Ford is best known as the young Sam Winchester in the popular cult television series Supernatural. He has appeared in several films such as We Bought a Zoo, Push, Extracurricular Activities and Captain Marvel.

Netflix’s Daybreak will start streaming tomorrow.

Read the LRM Online exclusive interview below.

LRM Online: I’ve checked out a few episodes of Daybreak. It’s very fun, quite amusing.

Colin Ford: Right on. I’m glad you liked it.

LRM Online: I was sad that they only gave me a half the episodes, but I guess I’ll have to watch the rest of it really soon.

Colin Ford: I hope you like the rest.

LRM Online: Tell us why you were attracted to a project like this.

Colin Ford: To be honest, I fought really hard to play this character. I love that Josh has two contrasting personalities. You first meet Josh in the pre-apocalypse, he’s a pretty average kid. He has his own insecurities. He didn’t have a good amount of friends. In the post-apocalyptic world, he’s able to flip the script a little bit. He’s strong, confident and a bit more athletic even.

I had a great time challenging myself and getting to represent both versions of Josh. It made me excited about the role. It’s pretty cool to have the opportunity to play two personalities within the same character.

LRM Online: Was it difficult to play two different personalities? How do you turn it on and off?

Colin Ford: I was able to identify with those versions. I went to a regular high school until my sophomore year, but as I got busy filming–I went to an online school for the last couple of years in high school. During and after this transition, I felt I didn’t really have a lot of friends my age. I was isolated and identified with the way that Josh felt when he went to Glendale High. After I got out of school, I was working in the industry and began to build more confidence in myself. Now at 23, I’m the best version of myself now, like Josh in the apocalypse. It was kind of easy to draw from life experience.

LRM Online: Your character has a lot of talking back to the camera. Was that something to get used to?

Colin Ford: It’s so funny that you say that. I had a good time telling everybody about one of my first interactions with Matthew Broderick on set. We were sitting in our cast chairs. He looked over at me and said, “So I hear you’ve been talking to the camera.” [Laughs] Yeah, I have. He asked, “What’s that like?” I said, “It’s been a little challenging getting used to it. One of the more challenging parts about it is the fact that you can see yourself in the reflection of the lens. It’s like a mirror.”

Before I could even finish that sentence, he goes, “The fact that you can see yourself looking back at you.” “Yes, that’s it!” I asked, “How do you know?” He told me he went through the same thing in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. It was something that you get used to and block out of your brain.

I thought it was ironic that we had a similar experience at first. I was appreciative of the fact that Matthew shared that with me. It made me feel normal to go through the same thing.

LRM Online: I do recall Matthew did a lot of that in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. That’s pretty awesome he gave you that advice.

Colin Ford: It was very helpful. I was very appreciative of the help from Matthew. I was a little bit intimidated at first. I’m a big fan of all of his films like Wargames, Election and Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. When I met him, he was super charismatic and nothing to be intimidated by.

LRM Online: You have some physical things you had to do on the show. One of the things that I’ve noticed is your skateboarding. Talk about that. It looks like you loved it.

Colin Ford: I grew up on the streets of Encino and Sherman Oaks skating with my buddies after school. That’s what we did at 13 years old before we all had our driver’s licenses. We skated every day after school. Skating was a big part of my life.

I was excited that Josh is a skater because it’s always exciting to bring your hobbies to the screen. I was never good enough to compete in any skating competitions, but it’s fun to get to skate around and do some tricks on camera. We’ve got a great skate double who made me look super, super cool. I appreciated him for making Josh look like a badass.

LRM Online: What about wielding a samurai sword? Was that something that you had to get used to or trained for?

Colin Ford: I did quite a bit of training. Josh’s skills get a little bit better too. He’s no samurai master…..yet. The skills are honed in over the course of a couple of seasons. [Laughs]

LRM Online: What do they have you swinging on the show? Was it a plastic sword then?

Colin Ford: We have all kinds of different swords. It depended on how physical the scene was. We had many real swords. They were dull, but they were all very metal and very real. [Laughs] We had more plastic, phony swords for takes and shots where we were very close to other actors. Some spaces were a little too dangerous to use the real deal.

LRM Online: Let’s talk about the setting. How did they manage to convert Albuquerque into Glendale?

Colin Ford: Man, don’t ask me how. [Laughs] We shot in Albuquerque. The city has a great post-apocalyptic feel. We were able to kind of manipulate some of the sites for the scenes there. It worked well for us. The people in the town of Albuquerque and their community were very hospitable. We’re really thankful. It’s great new film community that’s been sprouting up over the last couple years. We’re proud to be part of it.

LRM Online: Was it helpful that a lot of the scenes were shot at an indoor mall?

Colin Ford: We did shoot some scenes in an indoor mall, but we built that mall as well. We had an entire mall set that we built on stage from our head designer. He’s a wizard and he’s so remarkable. He built the school and built a mall all on stage that we used. We used a real mall sometimes, but our mall to scale is amazing.

LRM Online: Whoa. Both the school and the mall were all on stage? That fooled me.

Colin Ford: We had all of our classroom scenes on stage. Most of the mall stuff that you’ll see is on stage. The pre-apocalypse small stuff, I believe, is at a mall. Most of the things in the post-apocalypse are on stage.

LRM Online: How was working with the rest of the cast? You guys seem to grow with each other as the season goes on.

Colin Ford: We really became a family. I’m so excited for everybody to see the rest of the show and to see how we all shine in our own light. Everybody is so amazing with Krysta Rodriguez, Austin Crute, Alyvia Lind, Gregory Kasyan and Sophie Simnett. Oh, man. I’m forgetting others like Jeante Godlock and Cody Kearsley.

We became a family on and off the set. We’ve done a bunch of the escape rooms around Albuquerque and Los Angeles. There were team-building exercises like that. Some of us went to the movies together and we did ax throwing in Albuquerque sometimes, which was fun. There was a lot of fun stuff and we got to hang out as a little family.

LRM Online: Do you folks improv a lot?

Colin Ford: No, we try to stick to what Aron [Eli Coleite] is saying. Aaron gives us an opportunity to play around and mess around. He invites that to the set. We shot a lot of different versions of a lot of different things. We have a lot of fun on set. It’s a very open environment if we are willing to try something.

LRM Online: Is there a lot of CGI with this show? You said a lot of stuff was done on stage.

Colin Ford: We had planned a lot of practical effects and visual effects. All of our CGI, if we have it, is film quality. It’s amazing stuff and I think we’re super blessed to have the editing team that we do. I’ve only seen a few episodes myself. There’s not a whole lot of CGI in the first five episodes. There’s definitely some cool stuff brewing.

LRM Online: I’m going to ask you one more question and it’s a fun question. Out of all the tribes, what tribe do you think you belong to the most?

Colin Ford: Oh, man. That’s an easy question. I would be in the Daybreakers tribe. I fit in well with Josh is and I aligned with him pretty much right on. I’d stay where he is.

LRM Online: Awesome answer. Thank you very much, Colin. I can’t wait to do a check out the rest of Daybreak this week.

Colin Ford: I hope you really enjoy that and thanks for chatting.

Netflix’s Daybreak will start streaming tomorrow.

Source: LRM Online Exclusive

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Gig Patta

Gig Patta is a journalist and interviewer for LRM and Latino-Review since 2009. He was a writer for other entertainment sites in the past with Collider and He originally came from the world of print journalism with several years as a reporter with the San Diego Business Journal and California Review. He earned his MBA from the Keller Graduate School of Management and BA in Economics from UC San Diego. Follow him on Instagram @gigpatta or Facebook @officialgigpatta.

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