Nick Carter wanted to act, but opportunities weren’t coming his way — so he took his destiny into his own hands and wrote the screenplay for what’s now Dead 7, a zombie Western starring a gang of various boy band members that premieres on Syfy Friday.
“Whenever I got an audition or got a part, the question would always be, ‘Do you have time? ‘” Carter tells EW. “I’d be like, ‘No, I’m getting ready to do another album with the Backstreet Boys or go on tour.’ So I thought, if I’m going to continue to be a touring artist in the music industry, how can I do acting as well, which I love?”
The solution was to write some scripts himself, which he did with the help of co-writers and Final Draft. Dead 7 is the one that eventually stuck, and Carter took it to Asylum, the same production company responsible for Sharknado. “I liked the fact that they didn’t take themselves so seriously,” Carter says. And they liked the script, but had one big suggestion: Carter already wanted to sign on boy banders from his own group and maybe some from *NSYNC, but Asylum wanted to round up as many as possible.
Although not everyone said yes — fellow Backstreet Boys Brian Littrell and Kevin Richardson couldn’t do it for family-related reasons — a solid bunch did. Carter himself stars alongside bandmates Howie Dorough and A.J. McLean, *NSYNC’s Joey Fatone and Chris Kirkpatrick, the entirety of O-Town (original member Ashley Parker Angel is no longer in the group), and 98 Degrees’ Jeff Timmons.
“It was awesome because there are very few people that can relate to the things that we’ve been through,” Carter says. “We’ve been branded as musicians and boy banders and singers and dancers, but also, we’re talented enough in other areas as well. Especially acting, we love to act, but it’s so hard when you’ve been branded as a singer and stereotyped. It’s hard to break out of that mold.”
Carter says he knows he “might not be the greatest actor,” but isn’t looking for an Oscar with this movie anyway. “Sometimes, there’s those underground B-movies that are so special. When I grew up, there are certain movies that I loved that people don’t even remember, from Critters to House to Ghoulies. There are some B-movies that are mine. Maybe that’s what this movie could turn out to be,” he says. “It’s just a riot.”
See an exclusive clip from Dead 7 above, and watch the movie when it premieres on Syfy Friday at 8 p.m. ET.