Justin Chu Cary stars in the second season of Netflix’s zombie apocalypse thriller Black Summer!
“Black Summer” follows the dark, early days of a zombie apocalypse, where complete strangers band together to find the strength they need to survive and get back to loved ones. Debuting in 2019, the show was a sleeper hit on Netflix, developing a very dedicated fan base. Justin returns as the Co-lead of the show, Spears.
We got a chance to speak with Justin Chu Cary about filming the second season of “Black Summer”. Check it out below!
The Knockturnal: Can you talk about your experience shooting the second season of “Black Summer”?
Justin Chu Cary: COLD!! We shot in the mountains of Calgary, Canada. The same place they shot “The Revenant”, so that should give you an idea of the kind of weather we were facing. We’re talking below zero some days. I’m a Cali dude, born and raised, so I’m not really used to that kind of weather. However, it did really put you in the moment. This season is as much about surviving the great outdoors as it is surviving a zombie apocalypse. So to that extent, the weather really helped. No acting needed when you’re actually experiencing extreme climates. Other than the weather, we also were one of Netflix’s first shows to go back into production during the pandemic. So all of the Covid regulations – masks, gloves, different zones that people had to stay in, etc. – really changed the environment of the set. Usually, when filming a series or film, there’s an inherent playfulness that comes with it. An awareness that you’re playing make-believe and for the most part that’s a fun thing to do. But with all of the Covid regulations, and to some extent, fear of catching Covid, it was much more business-oriented. Like, “let’s get this done and get out of here!”
The Knockturnal: How has the experience of shooting the show changed since season 1?
Justin Chu Cary: Well, Covid of course. But again, the weather. The first season was shot in the middle of summer and we were running and sweating a lot. This season we were doing whatever we could to stay warm. Other than that, I think we know the characters better this season. Certainly, I felt like I had a better grasp on Spears. The first season, I booked the job and was on a set a couple of weeks later, so I was kind of finding him as I went along. But this season, I’ve had almost two years of thinking about Spears, who he is, and what he wants. So I got to set and was ready to go.
The Knockturnal: What were some of the challenges of shooting the show this season?
Justin Chu Cary: Covid and weather, of course. Also, the cast has really grown. Last season it was smaller and a bit more intimate. This season there are a lot more characters and storylines. Spears’ storyline leads him to kind of diverge from the rest of the characters and be on his own. So most of the time I was shooting on my own and had not a clue what other people were doing. I, of course, read all the episodes, but I never worked with most of the new actors/characters this season, so I had no idea how people were playing these new characters. The challenging aspect of that was not knowing how the whole thing was coming together. But now, I’ve seen bits of it and people did phenomenal jobs and it looks great!
The Knockturnal: What can we expect from your character, Spears, in the next season?
Justin Chu Cary: A journey! This season is really exciting for Spears. As I said earlier, Spears diverges from the group and kind of goes on his own personal journey – fighting the elements, his own demons, and zombies of course. This season Spears’ past catches up with him and he really has to come face to face with who he is and everything he’s done. The writers truly did an incredible job.
The Knockturnal: What is coming next for you?
Justin Chu Cary: Well, fingers crossed we get a season 3. Also, my brother, Nico Cary, and I created and are developing a series that we’ve sold to a studio and have an amazing team of Executive Producers and a brilliant show runner attached. That’s all I can really say about it at the moment, but we’re very excited. So between that, and a second child on the way, I imagine I’ll have my hands full for the foreseeable future.
Check out the second season of “Black Summer” on Netflix on June 17th!