More Than a Character Actor
(Multi-Cover Issue May-June 2018 Edition Mode Lifestyle Magazine)
Story By: Terry Check
Editor: Sarah Curtis
Photography: Terry Check
Image Editing: Kate Retouch Smirnova
Design: MODE Studio
“Whether filming scenes for his latest movie or sitting aside sketching people along the way, Xander is always creating”
Xander Berkeley – MODE Cover, May-June 2018
The viewing public may not recognize the actor’s name, Xander Berkeley, but his characters like Gregory on AMC’s hit series, The Walking Dead, George Mason on the political thriller series “24”, and his latest award-winning movie, The Maestro, playing the lead as Mario Castelnuevo-Tedesco, have become familiar to viewers of all ages. With more than 230 television and film credits, Mr. Berkeley received the prestigious 2017 Carney Award as an inductee into the Character Actor Hall of Fame.
Xander Berkeley – MODE May-June 2018 Spread Page 20-21
During the filming of the final episodes of season 8 of The Walking Dead, the cast and crew enjoyed a public art exhibition at the Westside Cultural Art Center in Atlanta featuring Berkeley’s artwork. For the past 30 years while traveling to locations or working between acting scenes, Xander would observe and sketch people’s mannerism, gestures and behavior, often giving his subjects the sketches or later painting the sketches with water and oil-based mediums in his studio. His work is less realism and more expressionism rendering the artist’s subjective emotions and responses of the people he paints. As you view his work his artistic signature becomes apparent; it’s all about the eyes expressing unfiltered emotions like sadness, happiness or apathy.
Of the many extraordinary pieces at the solo exhibition, two really stood out. Mr. Berkeley painted a bigger than life self-portrait with piercing blue eyes, chiseled features and a manicured beard, a reflection of his character, Gregory, in The Walking Dead. The second piece titled “The Ogg”, is a depiction of his good friend and co-star in The Walking Dead.
Xander would observe
and sketch people’s mannerism,
gestures and behavior
The artist said, “I tried to capture (his) pain and struggle, while not losing the sense of humor and force of personality that carries him through daily life.”
What’s next for Xander Berkeley? Certainly, more distinctive acting roles (he does not want to be typecast as a specific character), working as a film director bringing together talented people (so many are his friends), creating extraordinary work, and of course, growing as a visual artist painting for his love of art, allowing others to appreciate his work.
© 2018 Mode Lifestyle Magazine
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