Tom Walker is one of the sweetest folks we’ve ever interviewed at FangirlNation, which if you’ve only seen his character on Netflix’s Daredevil may seem surprising. He plays Francis, the hired hand of The Kingpin. In reality, Walker is a blonde strong type with a love for comic books and conventions. He is kind and legitimately excited to speak with fans. After perusing Artist’s Alley at New York Comic Con, Walker spent time with FangirlNation.com to discuss his work on Daredevil, his love of comics, and what roles he dreams of in the future.
FGN: Who are you favorite comic book artists you’ve been seeing at the show?
Tom Walker: Artists? I haven’t seen many here yet since I only got here a couple of hours ago. I’ve mostly been back issue shopping. [Mark] Silvestri who I saw in Long Beach, California a couple weeks ago, he’s one of my tops. Neil Adams who I’ve met a number of times. I didn’t meet him today. Neil is a nice guy. John Buscema; he’s a legend. Rosema Senior, no offense to Junior who is good. Those are probably the top ones off of my head. Jim Lee.
FGN: What do you read on a regular basis?
Tom Walker: Now? Not a lot. Marvel has really been dropping the ball for me. I’m going to try the new Amazing Doctor Strange, you know try some of the new stuff, see how it goes. Invincible Iron Man, I think that’s what it’s called. I’m into Secret Wars. DC is even worse. Have you read anything DC lately? It’s losing me. Image though. Chrononauts. Have you read that? Oh my god, Shaun Gordon Murphy. I was crushed it was just a miniseries though.
FGN: I hate when that happens. This is amazing, oh it’s only…
Tom Walker: …4 Issues. Mark Milar. It was really good. That could easily be a movie.
FGN: Is it a movie you’d like to be in?
Tom Walker: YES. Oh my god. The lead blonde guy, come on. He’s like a Sean Murphy version of me!
FGN: Going into you acting career, what is it like working on a huge Netflix show like Daredevil?
Tom Walker: It’s pretty cool. It’s like in Season One, that’s the majority of my involvmenet. I didn’t know how to process it because you’re in a small warehouse one day, a studio lot the next day. It doesn’t seem like it’s this massive thing. It seems like work. You’re going there to do some good work. And everybody is focused on the thing, and everyone’s ready to do the scene and do their job and the crew is really locked in. The cast is really locked in; dialed in. Ready to go, and you just don’t feel that in the beginning stages. I was thrust into it very quickly and I finished out the season and I’m like “this is where we’re at. Wow.” And then it came out and that’s when you kind of look back and go “holy crap” this became a massive thing. So, I look back on it with a lot more information about when I was there. It’s easier to look back and process it than when I was there. It was just happening so quickly. It was just fun and intense. It was fun and everybody was in good spirits there, even when they were tired. They were really into it.
FGN: What was the casting process like for you? When you were cast, how did they let you know?
Tom Walker: (laughs) Very quickly. I was holding for about a week. I didn’t know what was going to happen. They wanted to color my hair and there was some deliberation about me being so blonde, like “he’s so blonde, let’s color his hair” and I was at NYCC a year ago today. A year ago today. I think it was a Friday like the 12th or the 13th, dude. A year ago today is the anniversary of when I got the gig. That’s pretty cool. Pretty awesome. I got home from Comic Con, about this time actually. I got home from Comic Con, I put my comics and my little swag bag on the desk and I got the call saying I was in. I thought I was going to get it, but I wasn’t sure. That’s when it happened. This time last year! This is crazy.
FGN: As far as now being part of this Film Marvel Universe, does coming to conventions have a whole different meaning to you?
Tom Walker: At this one, a little bit. I’m going as a fan, I’m not appearing today in an official capacity. I guess I could have, in hindsight. I’ve got to talk to my booking agent about that, but it’s totally great. I’m coming back as a fan. I got a little hookup pass, I didn’t have to pay for a ticket this year which is really weird because I’ve always gladly paid for a pass. Usually, I paid for one day because I couldn’t afford it, that kind of thing. I’d go for one day and do my thing. Being at conventions as a guest is really a head trip. That’s fun. I’ve done two so far, I’ve got two more to go this year. This one [NYCC] is special. It’s in my hometown. I’ve been stopped a few times, which is mind blowing to me that they can pick me out from how different I look.
FGN: Have you seen anyone cosplay you yet?
Tom Walker: Not yet. I’d sh** a brick if I saw someone Cosplay as Francis. This is going to sound pompous, and I don’t mean for it to be, but I have this Fanclub on twitter called Tommycats. I’m going to put out a public address to the Tommycats for someone to Cosplay as Francis. That would be really fun. Someone might. They’re pretty cool people.
FGN: How did you come across them on Twitter? Did you address them?
Tom Walker: I addressed them. Kind of half joking, as I don’t ever presume that I’m worth it. They had a Toby Leonard Moore Fanpage and they followed me on Twitter. So, I checked it out. The gals who were running it seemed nice, I don’t know, cyber nice, and I said “if only there was a Francis or Tommy Walker Fanpage, one can dream” and the woman Joelle is like “I’ll do one” and she made one. And it became this thing. She’s really sweet and we’ve had a lot of fun doing that. Just completely random, but they’re amazing.
There’s a lot of fan art and drawings which is even more cool. I really appreciate that. They’re really great artists who are putting time into this. I save them all. I save every single one that they post.
FGN: Going back into dream roles, what is your dream role to play? What would you just adore playing.
Tom Walker: That’s a tough thing to answer. I’ve been asked that before, but I just never have an answer prepared or know how to answer that. I like playing villains now. I’d been wanting to play villains a lot and a lot of people saw me as the leading man or the athlete, you know? What I feel like I’m starting to make some ground with it and playing sicko stuff. Well, not sicko stuff, twisted stuff, where there’s a twist to it or somebody is just dangerous or scary. I really really like that because it’s such a separation. I like to think I’m a nice guy and I do a lot of comedy, so I feel like a dream role would be to play and ultimate villain. I don’t know which, but something people remember or get scared of. It would be such a separation.
Superhero? There’s a long list.
FGN: How do you prepare for your role as Francis on Daredevil?
Tom Walker: They didn’t give me much information. I sort of created it. We did a panel at Long Beach, “The Psychology of Daredevil,” and we talked about this there. I created a whole backstory. He’s ex-military with a chip on his shoulder with the United States, and maybe like was abandoned in a way when he got back, or maybe something really bad happened along with that. So, he kind of veered towards a place where he makes a lot of money but also does things that maybe the “normal mental state” wouldn’t feel comfortable with. Like “I’ll kill that guy” boom. You know what it means? If it means getting the money or protecting the Kingpin, he’s got that weird hair trigger like a scarred soldier. That’s where I went. His mission is just his own little world, and then it becomes protecting Vanessa.
I’m a fan of Daredevil, and I’m not just saying that. I’m very much looking forward to Season 2. When it premieres it’s going to be a whole different animal. It will explode, I assume and hope like Season One.
You can follow Tom Walker on Twitter at https://twitter.com/TommyWalker24