Exclusive Interview with Brains’ Marshall Taylor Thurman

Photo Credit: Ronnie Nelson Photography
Photo Credit: Ronnie Nelson Photography

Damian Phillips is just your average college student, attempting to learn piano for his art credit and fighting zombies on the side. Portrayed by actor Marshall Taylor Thurman in the web series Brains, Damian is the leader of a ragtag group of college students fending off the undead while attempting to maintain as normal of a life as possible.

I had the opportunity to interview Marshall about his portrayal of Damian, season 2 of Brains, and whether or not he thinks he’d be able to survive an actual zombie apocalypse.

Damian was keeping a pretty big secret. Is there a chance that he’ll be exposed in season 2?

I don’t want to give away too much, but much of the first season was spent with Alison trying to get Damian to open up. As Damian becomes more open with more people, the risk gets higher that they’ll learn his secret. In season two, Damian definitely learns the dangers of exposing certain parts of yourself.

Damian is using himself as a lab rat in an attempt to find a cure. Do you think he’ll be successful?

Finding a cure is one of Damian’s top priorities, and given the time and research, I think Damian could definitely make some breakthroughs. That being said, in college, especially after a zombie apocalypse, priorities can shift at the drop of a hat… (laughs).

Is there still a possibility for a romance to develop between Alison and Damian?

There is definitely a connection between the two of them. Al has broken through Damian’s tough exterior and helped to draw him out of his shell. Any person that can do that remains a part of your life, for better and for worse.

When Damian is first introduced, he’s very much the popular kid on campus who everyone wants to be associated with; he’s popular, which at times can make him seem a little less human. As season one goes on, however, he seems a little more personable and completely human. Is this something that we’ll see more of in season 2?

Season two shows us more of who Damian is beyond his role as leader of campus security. Spoiler alert: I get to wear pants that aren’t camo and shirts that aren’t black! (laughs). That being said, as you get to know a person and they become more three-dimensional, you see their strengths and their depths, but you also see their flaws and their insecurities.

Will Damian still be taking piano lessons from Alison in season 2? Have his piano skills improved at all?

The art credit may take a back seat plot-wise, but don’t be fooled, Damian still sucks at piano. For sure. (laughs).

What would you miss most if there were a zombie apocalypse?

Guilty pleasures. With the high stakes of the apocalypse, everything takes on a higher significance. No one can judge you for eating an entire bag of Cheetos in one sitting. That might be all you eat that day! Sharknado and Troll 2 are no longer garbage “so-bad-they’re-good” movies, they become artifacts from pre-apocalyptic civilization.

Do you think that you’d be able to survive a zombie apocalypse?

I think I’m wily enough to survive the initial outbreak and the first few years of rebuilding a new life, but then I would just get bored and whiny, like “We’re building another wall? I just want Netflix back!”

Our website is called Talk Nerdy With Us, so what is something nerdy about you?

I have seen every episode of the Adult Swim series The Venture Bros. Multiple times, AND I have watched every episode with the creators’ commentary on. I also have both my library card numbers memorized (New York Public Library and my hometown’s).


Catch up with season 1 of Brains before season 2 is released in September!  And don’t forget to visit their website to learn more about the web series. Watch a preview of season 2 below.

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