Colman Domingo Talks ‘Fear the Walking Dead’ Reunion on His At-Home Series
There’s been plenty of at-home shows popping up during quarantine, but how many of these new additions to the entertainment landscape also provide killer cocktail ideas and important heart-to-hearts?
Fear the Walking Dead star Colman Domingo hosts his own web series on AMC.com called Bottomless Brunch at Colman’s that does just that. Four episodes launched earlier this year, and now, the second batch of six additional 20-minute digital brunch chats have been ordered, starting back up on August 23 (you can watch it right here). Earlier talks featured Niecy Nash (Claws) and Common, and there are some exciting guests to come, including a Fear reunion that is to die for.
“I’m really excited about this second cycle of episodes,” Domingo says. “I think there are some necessary conversations that are going to happen, which can only happen over a nice cocktail,” he adds with a laugh.
In honor of more Bottomless Brunch, we started a conversation with the conversation starter.
First off, congratulations on the additional episode order! This is such a fun at-home series. When did the idea to do this first come to you?
Colman Domingo: You know, it’s funny because I had been developing a show called Cocktails With Colman, exploring cocktail culture around the world. I was a bartender for 15 years of my life and I’ve always loved exploring cocktail culture. And so I thought, you know, it was a nice little offshoot. I approached AMC and said, ‘I want to do something at home,’ just so we can bring people together. I’m always bringing my friends together because I want them to meet each other and eventually become friends. So, I said, ‘Why don’t we have this virtual brunch, where I can be the instigator of conversation.’ I like to recede a little bit and let them get to talking and see where the conversation goes, you know? It’s structured, but in the middle of it, I like it to be a little loose, so we really do sort of have a conversation and let it go where it’s supposed to go and not try to dictate too much. I want it to be like a good 20 minutes of laughter, and inspiration, a sort of knowing of the artists that come on the show. Nobody’s really publicizing anything right now, so that’s a bit of a unique feature, and these are all people out of my phonebook. These are all friends and comrades and people that I know in some shape or way, many of them have been to my house, but many haven’t met each other. I liked the idea of letting them get to know each other in sort of like a big old social experiment.
[Also], I love the idea of watching people make a cocktail. Things become a little messy, a little fun. And you also get a little insight into people at home, especially now, it’s a great opportunity to really get to know these artists and get a little glimpse into their home, and to their kitchen, to what makes them special and interesting and unique. Not just, sit on a couch, promote a film, talk to the host, leave. You know what I mean?
On the show you’ve mentioned gardening, you’re obviously skilled at cooking, and you have a lot going on career-wise, so, what does your day-to-day life in quarantine look like?
I try to do something for the mind, body and spirit, truly. I get up in the morning and go for a run. I try to have something healthy that’s going to help my body operate at 50-years-old. And then after my run, I usually finish it off with a dance workout. Not like, ballet or jazz. Just like, dancing. I miss going out to clubs, so I’ll put on some good soul music, or hip hop, or disco, and I’ll just dance for a good twenty minutes. And then I’m in my office working. I have a production company, and I’ve been developing a lot of television work there. I’m in the office about six, seven hours a day, working. And then I always make sure I hop in the pool around five o’clock, as like a wind-down. Usually, right before that though, I’ll watch some news. Just catch up on what’s going on for a good half hour, but I had to control it, to be honest. So, I’ll take in some news for about a good half hour, process it, and then hop in the pool and relax in it. Then I’ll make a good meal. I cook pretty much every night. I’ve cooked pretty much every meal except for four in the last five and a half months. I love to cook. I think of myself as somebody who, I like to work and be creative and be outdoors, but I’ve learned about this whole other part of myself which is pretty domestic, actually, and it surprises me. Like with gardening, and interior decorating and architecture, and all those other things that you don’t really usually get time for because you’re always working.
Can you tease who we’re going to see coming up on the show? I know there’s a Fear the Walking Dead reunion right out the gate.
Yeah, we get a Fear the Walking Dead reunion with Kim Dickens and Alycia Debnam-Carey, and they’re paired with Brett Gelman, because I think he’s a great instigator in a great way. He’s hilarious. It’s just a wild time. We have Barry Jenkins and his girlfriend Lulu Wang, so I have my directors’ shit down, and that’s a fun and wild show, watching them just create, it’s really great. We also have Julia Stiles and Daveed Diggs together, and that was a blast. They’re both interesting and creative and funny. The conversations always steer all over the map. I’m always trying to make sure it’s light and funny and weird, and then drops into something deep: race, gender, pay parity, Black Lives Matter, you name it. Whatever’s on people’s minds, that’s where it goes.
If you get even more episodes down the line because no one knows what’s happening in the world right now and you might be filming this at-home series for a long time, is there anyone else that you wanted to have on that you didn’t get a chance to this time around?
I would love to have Oprah on. I know her in a way that a lot of other people don’t know her. Again, no one’s promoting anything, so just to get to know them in an additional way. Maybe Ava DuVernay, I’ve been trying to get my friend Regina King on, Liev Schreiber—I would love to pair like Liev with Regina King. Everyone knows him as a serious guy, we did a show together years ago, and he’s so funny and silly and I just get a kick out of him. I’d like to show that side of him. Oh, and let me just say—Michelle Obama. She’s not in my phonebook, but we have met. My whole mandate is, we have to have had an experience together.
What would you say is your favorite cocktail right now?
I think I’m very classic [with cocktail choices]. My cocktail, when I’m ready to have one, is a black manhattan.
That’s the one we’re going to see in this first episode back, right?
Absolutely. I sort of fell in love with it. Someone made it for me one day and I was just a manhattan drinker. I love bourbon and rye, I love a rye manhattan, and this bartender turned me on to a black manhattan, and the joys of amaro, which is a delicious liquor.
Now, I wanted to talk about Fear for a second. We’re going to see your character Strand stuck in this new location, essentially as a prisoner. With Strand’s scheming personality, can we expect him to be looking for a way out from the get-go?
We’re going to see that Strand is going to make some decisions that he has to now. I think that the past few seasons, he’s sort of embraced Morgan’s [Lennie James] philosophy of helping others, looking at the kinder parts of yourself. And I think Strand realizes that he’s hitting a wall with that. You’ll see some elements of Season 1 and 2 versions of Strand. He will do what he needs to to win. When he realizes he’s hit a wall with this lovely hopeful ideology, he’s like ‘I can’t do that anymore.’ It’s about survival. It’s not about being popular, it’s about doing what’s right. He’s somebody that I love because he’s not afraid of being disliked, and that’s okay, as long as he believes he’s doing the right thing for everyone.
Is there anything that you wanted to say about your upcoming role in the film Candyman, which is also coming out in October?
I’m just super excited about it. I just finished up ADR on it, and you know, honestly, you never know how a film is going to come together, but when I tell you, I am so proud of what [director] Nia DaCosta has brought to this—she has such vision. She’s a young, female director that has such vision, and I’m excited to see it in its fullness. But I know that people are going to see a part of me that, I think is going to be very unexpected.
And finally, what are you binging while at home? What would be your must-watch recs right now?
I May Destroy You. I’ve actually started rewatching the show Getting On on HBO with Niecy Nash and Laurie Metcalf. I’m revisiting some old shows now. I’m seeing a lot of movies from the seventies like Network and anything with Karen Black. I’ve been going to that place. I live in the seventies for films. That’s where I find there’s great story. It’s kind of small—it’s really about character and story. I think that’s what I’m attracted to.
Check out an exclusive clip from Bottomless Brunch at Colman’s below.
Bottomless Brunch at Colman’s releases Sundays at 2/1c on AMC.com
Fear the Walking Dead, Season 6 Premiere, Sunday, October 11, 9/8c, AMC