WARNER ROBINS -- Spending two hours putting on make-up and shuffling along Interstate 20 outside of Atlanta in 100-plus degree temperatures in the middle of summer doesnt sound like an ideal situation for most.
But for Michael Koske, it was all part of a days work as a zombie in the AMC series The Walking Dead.
Koske, a graduate of Warner Robins High School, has appeared as a zombie extra in three episodes and one webisode of The Walking Dead this season.
Dressing up as someone else isnt a new deal for Koske, 39. He also makes appearances as a Ghostbuster and a Star Wars Imperial Guard as part of Darth Vaders 501st Legion where he has participated in the annual Dragoncon Parade in downtown Atlanta.
Being a zombie wasnt the first choice for Koske. He isnt particularly fond of horror movies.
I am a fan by proxy, he said.
He owns a projection screen for his TV, and his friends wanted to watch The Walking Dead series last year at his house.
How he got to be an extra in the television series was also happenstance.
The casting company was looking for emaciated-looking zombies and a few friends of Koskes, who run the haunted house Netherworld in Norcross, told Koske he should try out.
I have quite a few friends who are jealous because they just wanted skinny zombies, Koske said.
Now he has people asking for his autograph. He even has photo shoots -- one recently with Macon photographer Robin Cook, who was doing a series about a day in the life of a zombie.
I sometimes feel its going to my head, Koske joked.
The film crew for The Walking Dead set up a zombie school, where the extras watched clips of old movies and had them do exercises on how to be a zombie. They also locked the zombies in a room and had them bust through a door.
Koske said filming for this season will continue through this month, but he hasnt heard if hell be called back. The third season of filming will start again in late spring, and he will submit his application again.
One of Koskes favorite memories was the time he had to fall to the ground as part of the shoot, and his prosthetic face stuck to the asphalt.
Some of the scenes were filmed at a school, and an ice cream truck brought them treats.
There were 40 zombies swarmed around an ice cream truck, Koske said.
Zombies were instructed to be quiet on the set, but Koske said that was the hardest thing to do.
If you are in zombie make-up, you cant help moaning, he said.
Featured zombies were pampered and just had to yell out for contact drops or more blood, and someone came running.
Black dye was swished around in their mouths for a special effect. The contacts for the extras eyes were designed to cover the entire eye. Koske said he could see light but not shapes or where he was going.
There is a scene where Koske didnt know the cameras were even there.
It gives me chills when I watch it, he said.
Contact writer Angela Woolen at 923-5650.