Exclusive: Levi Meaden Talks Syfy’s ‘Aftermath’
“Aftermath” star Levi Meaden discusses his influences for his role.
There’s been television shows about the apocalypse but when it comes to SyFy’s “Aftermath,” it seems to encompass multiple apocalypses wrapped into one. From violent storms to earthquakes to plagues and even supernatural creatures, “Aftermath” star Levi Meaden must endure it all as Matt Copeland. We had the chance to speak with Levi about the show, his influences for his role, and where he’d like to go in his career. Check out the interview below.
The show has an interesting premise but I was curious about Levi’s perspective on “Aftermath.” As an integral part of the show, what was Levi’s take on the plot and the show’s direction?
“To me, it’s about a family who’s facing a bunch of catastrophic events as the world falls apart around them and they have to band together to survive. A family road trip where we encounter earthquakes, hurricanes, monsters, humans that are looking to get whatever they can get their hands on…a lot of guns.”
The “Aftermath” setting is clearly apocalyptic but the idea of multiple catastrophes had me digging a bit deeper into what the Copeland family had to endure thus far. I further questioned about this smorgasbord of chaos.
“Oh yeah, we’ve got everything. A lot of mythical beings coming at us…a lot of fun. The style of it is actually something I haven’t seen on TV. It kind of reminds me of independent sci-fi films that came out in the last 10 years. ‘Primer’, ‘Upstream Color’, ‘Moon’. It’s got a style more like that than anything else. As outlandish as everything may seem, it’s all very grounded which makes it a lot of fun to watch. “
Prior to being part of the experience himself, I was curious about what attracted Levi to the project. Despite his current intrigue, what was the selling point for him to take on this role of Matt Copeland?
“I love these kind of tales. Of things falling apart and trying to figure out how to survive and where morality lies. I just wanted to go and have fun and the chaos that was going to unfold onscreen, it seemed like a great place to live. Especially with summer months. It was going to be warm, we were going to shoot in some amazing locations in Vancouver and D.C. and I’ve been running and gunning and having a hell of a lot of fun.”
It definitely seems like a fun project to work on based on Levi’s response. I was curious if these types of adventure tales are what he seeks out in his career.
“It depends on where I am. I was definitely looking forward to something like this and have been for awhile. Something very action-oriented where I could get my ‘Die Hard’ game on and get to run around and shoot and create an action hero type character. The added bonus was the fact that it’s during the end of the world while everything’s falling apart and we’re facing it for the first time and…monsters, I think I found something that was just perfect. No holds barred.”
Levi has a lot of other credits to his name in addition to “Aftermath.” “Legends of Tomorrow,” “iZombie,” and “The 100” are just a few of his credits but they all share a sort of surreal reality. I was curious about his attraction to these types of surreal projects and if he fell into these roles or if he specifically sought them out. Did these roles set him on the path for his big role in “Aftermath?”
“I think I’m just a genre junkie. I grew up a comic book nerd, I’m a huge film geek. My favorite choice in the genre films are sci-fi, horror, and fantasy. So I think because me and my friends have always appreciated that a lot more than anything and those are the ones we rewatch; it’s something that I’ve always held really close to my heart. So that’s something I’ve always wanted to be more involved with just because I get the culture and I understand where the fans are coming from because I am one. 12 year old Levi, I want to make him happy and I think he would be with me being in these things.”
When Levi mentioned he was a comic book fan, I was curious about some of his influences and comics that he read growing up.
“I was a huge ‘Star Wars’ fan growing up so that’s always been a huge influence on me and pretty much everybody else in my generation. Comic books, I was huge into X-Men and mostly the Marvel side. As I get older actually I’ve come to appreciate a lot more of the DC stuff. I found the mythology that’s weaved there has become more interesting to me. As far as TV shows go, as a kid I loved ‘Star Trek The Next Generation’, ‘Stargate’, I used to watch ‘The Adventures of Lois and Clark’ a lot, ‘Xena’ and ‘Hercules’ obviously. Anything within that section is what I watched a lot of. “
With a steady recurring role in “Aftermath,” I was curious as to what challenges Levi faced going into the role and continuing to play the role. Expanding the character development of Matt and continuing with this ongoing story, there had to be some changes when to maintain this type of consistency.
“I’ve been looking for something long-term to do because it reminds me of a play because you get to work on a character for such a long period of time and you get all of these ins and outs. So it hasn’t been more difficult, it’s been more exciting to finally get to do that for 13 episodes. What’s difficult is making sure that with everything that happens, that it’s still grounded and something real and something that people can connect to. One of the big things with Matt is that he was a football star and his football career came to an end so he’s at that place where everything identity-wise that he grew up with is leaving and he has to reform his identity. I think it’s something a lot of people face especially in late teens and early 20s. With that in mind, I want to keep that at the forefront. As all of this is going on and all of these moral questions and situations are coming into play that will reform his identity and who he is and what type of person he wants to be. Trying to find that balance where I can connect to my own past or other people I’ve known and bring that into everything he does. [That is] what has excited me about playing him.”
With “Aftermath” building a role that Levi loves to play, where did he want to go after this role? What are his goals for the future?
“More feature films. I’d love to do more series. I’d love the chance to work for long periods of time on a character. ‘Aftermath’ is still playing. Matt is still fairly young and after that I think I’d like to switch over into more adult roles. Depending on if I can fill that [role] for people as my baby face sometimes prevents me from doing (laughs). I’d love to get into something police procedural or something of that matter or an espionage thriller. Something like that would be a lot of fun. “
You can currently find Levi Meaden on the SyFy network in the “Aftermath” series playing his recurring role of Matt Copeland. You can also follow Levi on Twitter at https://twitter.com/LeviMeaden and check out his IMDB page at http://www.imdb.com/name/nm3542193/.