'The Walking Dead': 5 things you didn't know about Jason Douglas

Victoria Leigh Miller
Jason Douglas as Tobin in The Walking Dead. (Photo: Gene Page/AMC)

To celebrate the Oct. 22 Season 8 premiere of  The Walking Dead — the series’ 100th episode — Yahoo TV will be posting a new TWD-related story every day through the season opener.

Fans of anime knew all about Jason Douglas before his construction crew character, Tobin, appeared on The Walking Dead in Season 5 and began slaying zombies and slaying it with Carol (Melissa McBride). This Valentine’s Day baby (born Feb. 14, 1973) came to town with a massive résumé, but even the most devout Walker Stalkers may not realize how much this prolific actor has done in his career. Here’s everything you need to know about the man who plays Tobin on TWD.

1. He is a prolific anime and video game voice actor.

Beerus and Whis in Dragon Ball Z Kai. (Photo: Fuji TV/Adult Swim)

Douglas’s TV and film credits include Nashville, Sin City, and the Oscar-winning film No Country for Old Men, but the bulk of his extensive résumé consists of his nearly 200 credits on anime series and video games. Douglas is best known as the voice of “Beerus” in the Dragon Ball Z films and games, and “Krieg the Psycho” in the video game Borderlands 2. In an interview posted by Geek and Sundry, Douglas said he knew little about the world of anime when he was first recruited into working with a Houston-based anime film company in the late 1990s.

2. He originally thought he was auditioning for a character named Travers on TWD.

Jason Douglas as Tobin on The Walking Dead. (Photo: Gene Page/AMC)

Douglas auditioned for several previous Walking Dead roles, including Merle Dixon (played by Michael Rooker) and Otis (Pruitt Taylor Vince). He didn’t get those parts, but in an interview posted on Walking Dead Wikia, he revealed that in 2014 he had the opportunity to read for a character named Travers, described as a construction supervisor, an “everyman, all-around good guy, well-meaning but ill-equipped leader with a blue-collar background.” Douglas couldn’t find any information on a “Travers” character from The Walking Dead universe, so he went into the audition “blindly” in a scene with no zombies involved, and no other TWD characters. “Within a week or so of auditioning, I was informed that I’d been cast, but that, for some reason, the character name had changed — to ‘Tobin,’” he said. “Of course, that was the role I’d been reading for all along.”

3. He decided to major in theater in college after taking a drama class as an elective in high school.

Douglas admits that he wasn’t the most motivated student in high school until a theater elective gave him direction. “In high school, during my senior year, I had one more elective to take, and I took a theater arts class. Before I knew it, I was onstage as Oberon in A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” he told Starrymag. Douglas soon realized he was doing something that he had the potential to be good at, so he went on to major in theater in college the following year.

4. He had LASIK eye surgery last year because he didn’t like wearing glasses and contact lenses on TWD set.

(Photo: YouTube)

Douglas began wearing contacts and glasses at age 12, but the actor decided to have LASIK surgery last year because the maintenance of contacts and glasses was cumbersome during his long days on TV and movie sets. Douglas had his procedure done in front of several fans at a live event at a Georgia LASIK center.

5. His favorite movie based on a comic book is Superman

While he stars in a TV show based on a comic book series, Douglas told Starrymag his favorite comic book movie adaption is a classic. “I know this may sound really old school, but I’m a huge fan of the original Superman movie with Christopher Reeve,” he revealed. “It’s got it all — a great screenplay by Mario Puzzo, a great John Williams score, a terrific cast — Brando, Beatty, Hackman… Instead of playing up the campy aspects of the comic, he took a very earnest approach to telling the story in a way that helps you believe, albeit in some alternative universe, that this could actually happen.“

The Walking Dead Season 8 premieres Oct. 22 at 9 p.m. on AMC.

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