Interview with Walkaway Joe star Julian Feder

Julian Feder. Image Courtesy Stephen Busken
Julian Feder. Image Courtesy Stephen Busken /

Walkaway Joe is a film starring Julian Feder, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, and David Strathairn.

Walkaway Joe hit streaming platforms recently, and fans of The Walking Dead have been waiting to see Jeffrey Dean Morgan in yet another project. Also starring with Morgan is David Strathairn and Julian Feder. The film follows Dallas (Feder) as he is searching out his pool hustler father Cal (Morgan) while he is on his quest to find his father he encounters wanderer Joe (Strathairn). Undead Walking had a chance to talk with Feder about his experience making the movie and working with Morgan.

Feder is a young man who started his career as a child model and branched out into acting. He was born in Tokyo and raised in Singapore until the age of 10 when he moved to Los Angeles.  He played a 6th-grade boy with autism in A Boy Called Po and has also starred in Wiener Dog Nationals and Wiener Dog Internationals. He also starred in an episode of Netflix’s Community series.

He took time out of his busy schedule to talk with us about his newest film Walkaway Joe. 

First off, did you know how to play pool before the film?

No, I had played at friends’ houses or a restaurant that would have a pool table. After I got the part I started training with a coach in LA and purchased a pool table so I could practice. I would play multiple hours at a time. When I went to Louisiana for preproduction, I started coaching with Joey Aguzin the pool consultant for the movie. People don’t realize how much physical and mentally demanding pool is. It’s really an incredible sport. The cool thing about all the training is I was able to do all my own shots for the film.

Who is better at playing pool you or JDM?

We played quite a few times together, and he’s pretty good.

So that our readers can get to know you better, what are some things you do in your spare time?

I exercise a lot, play a lot of tennis, I also glass blow, and I build skateboards, and I am currently attempting to build a motorcycle.

Tell me about those sweet looking skateboards I saw on your Instagram?

Yes, I make those. I buy the wood, and I cut, shape them and sand them down, then add the trucks and wheels. It’s a fun little hobby to keep myself entertained during this whole quarantine thing.

I read that you have been acting for the majority of your life. What is your favorite part about acting?

I like playing characters, you know, you get to immerse yourself into a movie when you do it. You become that person; I think that is a lot of fun. That is what really drew me to acting when I was younger. I like being different people and getting a little different taste of life.

In Walkaway Joe, what scene was the most difficult to film, and why?  

The big emotional scenes were difficult. There is a scene where I am in a motel with my father (Jeffrey Dean Morgan), I am supposed to be crying, and that was a difficult scene. Whenever you have to be emotional, that is always difficult or angry. I feel I am always taught you have to get really angry.

How was it working with two greats like JDM and David Straithairn?

It was great; they were both super helpful throughout the whole process. They gave me advice, especially David, as we filmed a lot together. We just had a fun time, and being able to watch them act was extremely helpful.

Morgan plays Negan in The Walking Dead. Have you seen him in this role?

Yes, I have seen a few episodes. I just don’t do that well with horror type stuff.

Do you think his character Cal is anything like Negan?

I probably haven’t seen enough to make an educated comparison between the two, but from what I have seen, I can tell they are both tough characters.

Any fun BTS moments you could share? 

Oh, yes, we all had a lot of fun. With Jeffrey, where I was in a scene in a pickup truck, it was a big truck, and I had to drive it, and I was 14 at the time. Jeffrey and I get in the truck, and he asks me, “You know how to drive this thing, right kid?” And, I point the gas and say, “yes, that is the break, right?” And, he just freaked out, his face just dropped, his reaction was really funny.

With David, he was always on the lookout for snakes. And we filmed in Louisiana where there are a lot of swampy areas and was on the search for a cottonmouth. 

We had to do a hospital scene, and I have to start crying, and David is supposed to be on the bed. I walk into the hospital room, and I look around, and no one is there. David isn’t in the bed the director isn’t there, everyone is gone. So, I am like, the camera is still there, so what am I supposed to do? I do the whole scene, my lines, I cry, I just do the whole thing. As I finish the scene and start to walk out of the room, I hear CUT. Someone screamed CUT. I turn around and think, did that come from the bathroom? And, I kid you not, ten people pile out of this tiny little hospital bathroom, the director, David, the sound guys, and the camera operator. David thought it would be funny to see what I would do if everyone disappeared. So, that was a fun little moment. 

I saw you have a new film called Doorman. Can you share about that? 

Yes, it is really cool. It is with Ruby Rose and Jean Reno. It is an action movie, my first action movie, which was a lot of fun. It was filmed in Romania, and I had never been there. It was a great opportunity, and this movie was a lot of fun. There is all sorts of action and blowing stuff up. Lots of stunts, getting punched and strangled, and whatnot.

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We want to thank Julian Feder for taking the time out of his busy schedule to talk with us. It was great to learn more about his role in Walkaway Joe as well as his newest project, Doorman, which doesn’t have a release date yet.