NYCC Interview: Jeanté Godlock and Gregory Kasyan Discuss ‘Daybreak’
Nerds and Beyond is excited to bring you our fourth Daybreak roundtable interview from New York Comic Con 2019! We sat down with Jeanté Godlock and Gregory Kasyan to discuss this new Netflix post-apocalyptic series!
You can read the transcript of the roundtable interview below!
NYCC Press: What’s been your favorite part of filming so far?
Kasyan: Favorite part of filming, this might (laughs) I really like the crafty, the food. We had some really great days of lunch. Our people are amazing. When I’m down, I just go bite on something so I’m good (laughs).
Godlock: I would say, you know, just experiencing the world that we are in. I would remember showing up to set, there’s huge cranes everywhere–
Kasyan: Oh yeah!
Godlock: There’s people everywhere. I’m like, this is insane that I’m a part of this, you know? Even like, it’s really fun to see how they set up the effects, the special effects, and stuff like that. It’s just like, “that’s how you do it?!” It’s so cool!
Kasyan: Yeah, for sure!
Godlock: So, I never got to experience anything like that so it was really fun to step into Daybreak where there’s a ton of everything, and you get to be a part of it.
Kasyan: I agree with that. I mean as funny as this might sound, it looked like a movie (laughs).
Godlock: Yeah, yeah!
Kasyan: I mean because it pretty much was!
Godlock: For real!
NYCC Press: Can you talk a little bit about your characters?
Godlock: I play Mona Lisa. She is a badass. She’s the only girl on the football team, and so our show really goes pre and post. Pre-apocalypse, she’s kind of just there. She’s with the boys, she’s with her teammates, and everything like that. Then the bomb goes off, and it’s the end of the world. And now she is running things, you know what I mean? So, I feel like for Mona Lisa, she really kind of just represents that strong female presence in our show. Well actually, all the female characters but–
Kasyan: Yeah, all the female characters are so strong.
Godlock: But within her tribe, because she was with the football players, and now she’s kind of telling them what to do. She’s that character, she’s like, when she says jump, you say?
Kasyan: How high!
Godlock: Yeah, that’s Mona Lisa!
Kasyan: That’s her. I play Eli Cardashyan. Eli, before the bombs exploded, he was bullied in high school because he was never able to afford any of the cool stuff. His parents came from a different country. So instead of Nike’s, he’s always had knock-offs, like Pike’s, and pretty much what happens is, after the bombs exploded, he takes over the mall. The mall is the best place with all these stores, and he gets all these cool kicks and clothes and everything that he’s pretty much ever dreamed of, and he’s with his girlfriend, Mavis. Pretty much whatever happens in the show, the people that he meets within the show that were bullying him before the apocalypse, it turns on them. I start doing everything that I want because it’s the apocalypse. I got all these weapons, I got all this cool stuff, and I know the ins and outs of the mall, so it’s pretty much him getting revenge, but he does get super vulnerable towards the end of the season, and you guys will see that. There’s a lot of deeper layers into Eli, and it kind of goes into that as well.
Nerds and Beyond: What can zombie enthusiasts look forward to with this show?
Kasyan: Ohhh, a lot!
Godlock: We call them ghoulies, so they’re brain-dead, but not quite, so they’re not zombies. But it’s kind of like, you know, when kids think they know it all and your parents know nothing. So that’s kind of like when the end of the world happens, that’s what happens to them. They just become kind of like “we don’t listen,” but they’re deadly. So zombie enthusiast, I would say, it’s really kind of scary because we are all afraid of the ghoulies, but what makes it so funny is that they just say the last stupid thing that they were thinking on repeat (laughing).
Kasyan: It’s hilarious!
Godlock: Just like why. I just love it! So that’s what I would say.
Kasyan: Yeah, there’s just like this crazy bio, I mean is that the word? Biological effect? Right? I’m trying to sound smart!
Godlock: (Jokingly) What? Biological?
Kasyan: Yep, biological?
Godlock: (Laughing) Sure, let’s–
Kasyan: Yeah, let’s just stick with that!
Godlock: Where’re you going with it?!
Kasyan: I’m trying to say like the nuke, right, had a biological effect and affected all the adults.
Godlock: Right, biology. Just wanted to make sure.
Kasyan: (Laughing) And they all turn into ghoulies, and I think what I can really compare it to, I mean what she said is totally true about how they say the last stupid thing on their mind, and I think it’s super funny, and zombie enthusiasts can expect something like Zombieland. It’s super gory. I mean outside of even just them, we call them ghoulies, outside of the ghoulies, it’s just super gory, and it really does hit me like Zombieland, for sure. If that’s what zombie enthusiasts want to compare it to.
Godlock: Also, (laughing).
Godlock: I don’t watch a lot of zombie shows, but our ghoulies are like the adults, so some of them are like old-old. They move so quickly though! I’m like–
Kasyan: Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah!
Godlock: How are you 70, moving this quick? I’m like, what?! (Laughing).
Kasyan: They’re like… Have you seen Santa Clarita Diet?
Kasyan: Okay, it’s like Julia, I forgot her character’s name! Drew Barrymore! I said Julia. why’d I call her Julia?!
Godlock: I was like!
Kasyan: Forgive me! It’s almost like Drew Barrymore in Santa Clarita Diet but of course they’re brain dead, so it’s almost kind of like that concept, but just on a whole other level of scary. So yeah, that’s what kind of reminded me a bit of it.
NYCC Press: Is there anything about your characters that surprised you at the start of filming it?
Godlock: I would say, so you know, her name is Mona Lisa. She’s nicknamed that because she never smiles, so I thought it was interesting, even going in to act and not smile ever one time. It was really interesting, and as we get kind of further into the season, it’s cool to see different layers to her. She still doesn’t smile, but you do see a lot more intention, you know, why she does the things she does. So that was really surprising to me, because I was like “Oh, okay, it’s true she doesn’t smile but you know what, there’s a lot going on here.” She’s kind of complex, you know? But yeah, that’s what surprised me the most was like she really does have things going on, and it’s cool to explore that a little bit.
Kasyan: Yeah, I think with mine was, I mean in the show he’s kind of like the funny guy. He’s like the comedic relief in the show, Eli. I think what was surprising was towards the end of the season, like I said how he gets kind of super vulnerable, is you really start realizing like whoa, maybe this is why he kind of has these kind of funny outbursts, but there’s deeper layers to that, and you kind of go into that, and I think that was the most surprising and interesting thing to me about discovering this character and building into that.
NYCC Press: What has your character taught you about surviving the eventual apocalypse?
Kasyan: Definitely go to the mall! Go to the mall, and get a weapon, and you’ll be good (laughing)!
Godlock: I would say you don’t have to have it all figured out, but there can come a point in time where it is time to step up, and Mona really teaches me that, you know, even with being part of a group filled of boys, she can lead and it can be okay. She can be respected. Women can be in charge, and it can be okay.
Kasyan: You pretty much control the boys. You’re the leader of the boys. The boys listen to her.
Godlock: Well, Turbo’s the leader but you know, really, she’s the queen. So I think Mona really is kind of that like, wow, like there’s a group full of boys but you know, they’re afraid of her, and she means business, and they know it, you know what I mean?
Kasyan: She’s about it, she’s about it. (Laughing)
NYCC Press: What would you say the most fun scene to film was?
Kasyan: Hmm. OHHH I definitely got mine! There’s this scene where I’m eating. I’m not going to say what’s going on in the scene, but there’s a scene where I’m eating, and I had some really good food, and I was just having the time of my life. They kept bringing it in fresh, and I just kept eating and eating and eating. And I think that was definitely my favorite scene to ever shoot. It was amazing!
Godlock: They [NYCC Press] know you like to eat, the first thing you said was going to crafty! It’s like, okay, Greg! For me, most fun, I had a lot of fun moments.[Mona’s] very aggressive. I’m not that aggressive, so putting people in their place like all the time. I do get to ride on the top of a truck–
Kasyan: That was sick!
Godlock: While it’s moving very fast and that just is like an adrenaline rush to me, so that’s where I had the most fun.
NYCC Press: What was your audition process like?
Kasyan: I didn’t even test for this one. I originally got the breakdown. My agent sent it to me, and I read the breakdown, and I kind of did a double-take, you know? Then I went in and told my parents. I’m like, “can you believe this?” It correlates so well to my life because I’m born and raised in Glendale and everything, and I went to the rival high school of Glendale High School, so it was like insane! I was like, “what’s going on here?!” lAre my agents trying to get me all excited, like “naw, we’re kidding” or something? So I went in and I read and I did a great job, I think. Well, I mean yeah I got the part so (laughing). Then I got the call, like 30 days passed by, and it was killing me. It was killing me–
Godlock: You counted that 30 days!
Kasyan: I straight up did, like every day I was counting, I was like how have I not gotten a call back. I’m so perfect for this role like, I’ll actually be like wow, this is terrible. Did I do a terrible job or something? I’m too perfect for this not to happen! And then the callback came, and it was such a big relief. I went in, I did it, a week passed by, and I’m just sitting there waiting, you know, like looking at my watch even though I don’t have a watch. Then I was driving on my way home with my cousin, and I told my cousin about it earlier, and he’s like [in a deep voice] “oh, what happened to your role, huh? You said you were going to book this new role, it’s perfect, you’re going to book this Netflix show.” Then, I get a phone call from my agent, and they told me, and I just started freaking out, like I was hyperventilating. It was crazy!
Godlock: So I was actually in Vancouver when I got the initial audition for this, on vacay. I told my reps, I was like, “hey, you know what, I can self-tape while I’m there.” The first day I got there, I had just landed. Maybe three hours later they were like, “hey, so we have this audition for you for this Netflix show. Umm, it’s due tomorrow.” I was like, “I just landed, like oh, you were serious?” So, that night I put myself on tape, and I knocked it out, which was great! And then I didn’t hear anything for a while, and then I got a call back and here we are!
Kasyan: Boom! We’re right here now!
Check back soon for our fifth and final NYCC 2019 Daybreak roundtable interview with the executive producers!