A Portrait of the Artist as a Creepy Old Man

Alex Gross--Xander BerkeleyIn a bittersweet turn of events, it appears that we have reached the end of the line for our long-running hashtag game: #XanderBerkeleyFriday

For me, this relationship with recognizable character actor Xander Berkeley ended just about the time Donald Trump became president; but the online community that Sailor Twift had created surrounding the actor was still growing. Our hashtag games on Twitter paired with the revelation of his small role in AMC’s The Walking Dead (as “Gregory”) truly grew the actor’s fandom (or STANdom) on social media.

The most relevant bit of information here is that a vast majority of these new social media fans seemed to be women.

If you don’t know who Xander Berkeley is, we understand. He’s more of a face than a name. He was the non-Gary Oldman villain in Air Force One; John Connor’s step-father in Terminator 2: Judgement Day; and appeared in various television programs from 24 to Being Human to The Walking Dead.

My relationship with him began as part of our #XanderBerkeleyFriday hashtag games. We would create and share funny and esoteric images/gifs from his various films and appearances and he would, on occasion, chime in with a comment or an interesting fact about filming a particular scene. It was all in good fun…until it became personal.

Berkeley, since adding me as a “friend” on social media, began getting into intense derisive, angsty, and hate-fueled debates with me on Twitter. I say “debates” but it was more like abusively chastising me about my tempered (at the time) support for then-candidate Donald Trump. He seemed disgusted by any positivity toward Trump in the form of unadulterated rage; a personality trait that seems to be all-too-common in supporters of Bernie Sanders these days.

He made many bold and untrue claims about my character, which he appears to be continuing to this day (from what I’ve heard). Eventually I stopped arguing or caring what he had to say. It became clear that it wasn’t moving the needle for me to care what some elitist, practically unknown actor had to say.

Had he not blocked me on all social media directly after the election of Donald Trump, I may have been able to obtain some explanation from him other than the screen shots I was sent. I still have saved Twitter convos with the man, regardless, but it would seem like overkill (not to mention time-consuming) to post them here today.

But–this particular #XanderBerkeleyFriday, I awoke to news that he had allegedly been courting and sweet-talking some of his young lady fans. All of this information came to me via the female fans that had been his most eager audience over the past year (or so).

Friday, a Twitter user by the name of @CarlGallaghr dropped this video bombshell allegedly outlining her long conversational and controversial history with married-guy, Xander Berkeley:

https://twitter.com/carlgaIlaghr/status/883097015969861632

The “video proof” was used to absolve the user of any accusations that they (She? Supposedly a 19 y/o woman) were making up the events and the screen shots below:

Possibly the most crude/hilarious aspects of this alleged conversation involve Xander Berkeley being suave and poetic, and then turning right around and saying things like this:

Photo Jul 07, 9 24 18 AM

#DatBodaciousness. I would later hear from another source (who I’ll keep Anonymous) that he allegedly felt a deep sense of jealousy(?) and concern over his fellow actor Jeffrey Dean Morgan (who plays the villainous, but cool, Negan on The Walking Dead). In the message below, Berkeley allegedly explains out his frustration with the character, ire toward President Donald Trump, and financial concerns:

“I must confess that I am feeling extremely vulnerable about the JDM comparisons and it’s bringin up a whole lotta stuff for me. Everybody on the show is cleaning up at these cons making boat loads of dough JDM probably made 70k this past weekend and I barely cleared 5. Nobody wants Gregory’s autograph bc he’s a douche. They’ll elect one for president but they don want one on TWD. AMC pays shit knowing people make so much at the cons. But here I am because I willingly sacrifice my vanity to play an uncool character and hence am the only one with no lines. And the idea of making a brutal thug killer all sexy and cool and hip is disgusting and reprehensible to me on top of it. I honestly believe it actively encourages bullying and could easily end up incentivizing copycat violence and murder. So I have strong feelings. Ring demoralized at the cons (London by far my best) all meet and greets no paid signings no respect or interest in my past body of work, and the worst year for me financially in 17 years since joining the #1 rated show in the world. So if I distance myself from team Negan people or leave twitter bc if put downs from people who can’t distinguish between me and my character I want you to understand where it comes from.”

And, thus, we have what would appear to be an intriguingly cringe portrait of an actor as an old man.

EDIT: As of the time of this writing, there is no information, nor speculation, of any criminal acts committed by Mr. Berkeley; and no comment about his future with The Walking Dead.

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Talking Nerdy, Ep. 219: A Suitcase Full of Fantastic

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Evan McMullin’s Halloween Nightmare / The big Walking Dead re-up / Dan Mansplains #Supernatural Tweets From Girls on TwitterWWE Hell in a Cell is coming up / Netflix‘s Black Mirror is the TV equivalent of a punch to the gut / What’s the deal with David S. Pumpkins? And why is he the same person as Kevin Roberts? / TommyNC2010 goes swimmin’ and joke tellin’ / An amazing Q & A with human member-berry, Verne Troyer.

DOWNLOAD THE LATEST EPISODE HERE!!

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–Follow today’s crew:  @NerdyPodcast ,  @Dan_SuperDPS@JoeyHAHAs, & SuperDudeDavey

Who is Lucille and Why is She So Thirsty?

This may be a ludicrous question for those millions of you who are in-the-know about The Walking Deadbut it must be discussed if we’re going to continue on in the aftermath of the brutal Season 7 premiere.

(Editor’s Note: Yes, I was wrong. Darryl remains alive. But I’m glad they did what they did. Killing off Glenn & Abraham was the only logical decision for the show to make to get back on track.)

In The Walking Dead comic series, specifically the Here’s Negan addendum series, Lucille appears as the wife of Coach Negan. Yes, that’s right. Negan was an aggressive and competitive high school Gym Coach in Virginia. As many people would expect without explicitly being told, Negan was an asshole before the Apocalypse as well. He cursed out kids, insisting he was trying to build character, and would routinely get complaints from parents.

2He was also a serial philanderer, cheating on his wife (Lucille) any chance he got. It was something that she seemed to just accept in her life, especially when the revelation came that she had cancer.

Negan began regretting his behavior and returning to his wife’s bed as her condition worsened. Her eventual death would correspond with the zombie outbreak…and his newfound devotion to his wife would lead him to construct the barbed-wire-wrapped baseball bat, and to name it “Lucille.”

The rest, of course, is history.

Knowing AMC’The Walking Dead, I fully expect them to go into at least a bit of Negan‘s backstory, whether through exposition or flashbacks, or whatever. The way they build Negan as a character will depend wholly on how long and far they plan to take the series.

The popularity of Negan in the comic books enabled a vast story arc for the character which continues to this day. However, in the show, Negan could easily just be used as a one-and-done villain spanning a single, or possibly two, seasons.

1There are several elements of Negan’s character, however, which I hope they keep in tact. He is over-the-top in violence and rhetoric, but there are a few things he refuses to do: rape (though this could be contested due to his propensity towards “taking wives”) and murder children.

Negan is currently the most hated character in The Walking Dead television series (with the possibly exceptions of Lori and Andrea), but I wonder how long that will last. Part of what makes his character great are his charm and honesty.

He comes along at a time when Rick and his fellow survivors are in total survival mode and serves to mirror the brutal dictator that Rick could potentially become. Until Negan comes along, Rick Grimes kills without hesitation and will go through any length to protect what he’s gained.

It’s this vision of his future that eventually causes Rick to spare Negan’s life and attempt to start a future where murder isn’t the norm.

Let’s see if the show takes the same approach. I’ve been waiting years for Negan to arrive…and it’ll be an exciting war.

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