GREG KASYAN [DAYBREAK]
WORDS: IRVIN RIVERA
Newcomer Greg Kasyan stars as Eli Cardashyan in the new Netflix series DAYBREAK, set in a post-apocalyptic Glendale, California where adults were transformed by some biological cause into zombie-like creatures called Ghoulies.
Being someone who grew-up in Glendale the show hits close to home for Kasyan. The show offers a lot of promise as Kasyan describes it “like a Ferris Bueller’s Day Off meets Zombieland meets Mad Max.”
In this exclusive interview, we asked the the Daybreak star about the show, why it is different from all the other existing post-apocalyptic shows, why the mall is the best place to be, why a sword is a better weapon than a gun, and the characters that he wish to play in the future.
What would you do in a post-apocalyptic world?
If I was in a post-apocalyptic world, the first thing that I would do is to go to a Big 5, and get a nice weapon- a bat or a machete and then go to a mall; take over the mall and get some clothes, armor and everything. Then I will go to a grocery store like Costco and stack up on supplies and food. That’s what I would do.
Where will you hide?
Probably in the mall or Costco.
I will make a barrier of protein shakes around me. You know those tents hanging on top of the racks? I will probably hang out there and get a crossbow or something like that.
“What’s interesting in this take on the apocalypse is that it’s a more positive take on the end of the world.”
If you can have a special skill during that time what would it be?
I will learn how to use a sword. Because swords got range and you can keep your distance away from ghoulies or zombies. Most people get guns but how much ammo can you have? You can run out of ammo. With a sword, I can just dodge whatever and slash away.
Let’s talk about Daybreak. What makes the show different from all the other shows that looks like it?
Unlike most post-apocalyptic shows, we do break the 4th wall. It’s like a Ferris Bueller’s Day Off meets Zombieland meets Mad Max kind of vibe. We have zombie-like creatures called Ghoulies, which are adults transformed by a biological cause. The teens are the only ones left as regular humans.
Everyone from highschool are all the same. They are all in the same kind of groups, cliques, gangs with their territories. What’s interesting in this take on the apocalypse is that it’s a more positive take on the end of the world. We got everything we can ever want. We got this, we got that. But there are some things that are missing and everyone seems to be searching for something. That’s kind of what it is. The attitude and the whole theme are more positive and uplifting.
How did you book your character?
It’s funny because the show is based in Glendale and Glendale Highschool. I was born and raised in Glendale. When I got the breakdown and read the character and everything else I was like, What? This is so identical to me! Where did this come from? I guess casting saw me embody the character so well, and I was the only one who seems fit for this role. It’s super cool.
Tell us about your character, Eli Cardashyan.
Eli is one of a kind. He’s not your average dude. He’s basically changed in his own way after the bombs exploded and months of living in the apocalypse. Eli was bullied in highschool before the bombs exploded. His parents weren’t able to afford Nikes so instead he have Pikes. He had all knockoffs, and he got bullied for that. After the bombs exploded, he took over the mall and got everything he wanted.
What’s the best part about playing his character?
The best part about playing his character is his humor. Though his humor could offend some people, and that side of him is what I don’t agree with sometimes as I don’t ever want to offend anyone, but he also have a really funny explicit humor that’s sexual and funny. You have to really see the show to know what I’m talking about. A lot of the time, the directors and writers get to say “do whatever you want” and they always end up using that take instead.
Do you have a favorite moment while filming the show?
Me and Austin Crute (who plays Wesley) were always dancing. Me and Colin Ford (who plays Josh), we would flick each other on set as our way of communication and saying I love you to each other. And then there’s this one time when Colin told the costume and wardrobe that I pissed my self so they brought new pants and underwear for me and I was like, I did not piss myself! And that became a big joke on set. But overall, it’s meeting everyone, and all of my cast mates, we created such a strong bond and chemistry that’s really unbreakable.
In the future, which characters/role do you wish to play?
One of my favorite films ever is A Bronx Tale. I wanna play a lead in A Bronx Tale if that could be in a series or in a film. I really liked The Wolf of Wall Street, A Streetcar named Desire. I really want to play Ponyboy in The Outsiders. I think I can definitely pull it off. There’s tons. I would love to have a career path like that of Marlon Brando and Leonardo Di Caprio.
If you were a book, what book would you be and why?
I would be The Outsiders. That’s the book I would be. I grew up in a tough environment. It was survival of the fittest for me. I read the book, I watched the film and I was just blown away. And it really spoke to me and I would love to portray that someday.
Catch Greg Kasyan as Eli Cardashyan in the Netflix series DAYBREAK streaming October 24, 2019