Exclusive: Steven Ogg on ‘Westworld’, ‘The Walking Dead’, and Old Spice

Read our exclusive chat with Steven Ogg!

The Knockturnal: Can you tell us about your collaboration with Old Spice and how you two came together?

STEVEN OGG: Well, it started with the Bob Giovanni character. And having the opportunity to do those spots branched out into this whole mission behind the Old Spice campaign of “legendary status” and finding your own legendary status, in a sense. Having the confidence to know your voice, become who you are, and not worry about who you’re “supposed” to be. It’s about standing out in a crowd, because you’re gonna stand out if you know your voice and who you are. So it’s about that whole umbrella of ideologies, which is appealing to me, so I was happy to get involved.

Were you surprised by the Old Spice survey results?

I don’t know. I think everyone is always a bit quiet when it comes to people being unhappy with their jobs. I know my dad worked a job for years that he didn’t love, but he did it because he felt he had to. That’s what he did, to provide for the family. So I certainly think this is nothing new. I think a lot of people have to be working “the grind,” or this notion of doing things they HAVE to do, in order to survive. I wasn’t surprised by something like that. The challenge is, obviously, to try and to your best at what you do, and to enjoy what you do. Some people say “Oh, that’s easy if you’re an actor, because look at what you do, it’s easier.” And I’m like “well, not really.” People don’t see me curled up in the fetal position for six weeks. They just see the good stuff. There’s a lot of struggle involved in acting, it’s just different. Because it’s so public, people think it’s easier, or more rewarding, but everyone struggles, right? So I wasn’t surprised, because it’s all a struggle. Again, it’s about finding either what makes you happy, and doing that, or finding ways to be happy in what you do.

Your character (Simon) in THE WALKING DEAD is one of the primary soldiers for Negan. What was it like to be part of such a huge momentum change for the series?

I mean, it’s exciting. It’s such a great ensemble. Obviously, above and beyond being the cultural phenom that it is, it’s more about the amazing group of people that they’ve assembled. That’s what resonated most, because these people are so incredible. So that’s maybe more amazing, just being able to meet and work with these amazing people. It’s pretty awesome.

What makes characters like Simon and Negan so important in a world without a fine line of what evil is?

Well I think everyone has shades of grey, right? I don’t think anything’s black and white – certainly in that world. There’s sort of duplicitous actions in everything they do. Even a character like Simon, you’re not sure exactly sure where he stands at all times. Be it through his smaller actions, or within the bigger picture. Everyone’s playing each other, in a sense. You don’t know what they’re doing, or why they’re behaving the way they are. I think that’s what makes it really interesting. The key is not to glorify any evil, and I think these people are just doing what they have to for survival. This is just their method, how they chose to do it.

What do you think is the major appeal of the show?

I think because it’s not about zombies. There’s an appeal to it because it’s really about humanity, and dealing with other people, and what you would do to survive. It’s sort of like reading a Camus novel. We have a lot of very interesting and, at times, philosophical discussions about what it is to survive, and how you survive, and how would you change, and if you’d change.

What are you most excited for, moving into the eighth season of THE WALKING DEAD, and the “war” Negan promises?

The socks. Most comfortable socks ever. We get fresh socks and undies every day. I’m looking forward to those, that’s for sure. It sorta ties into grooming, and the Old Spice “smell good, feel good” – that’s just a new tag I came up with. Not sure if we have copyright or clearance on it, but we’re gonna pass that through quickly. I think it’s gonna be fun – I know it’s supposed to be “All-Out War,” so we should be having some fun. We get to play.

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