Colin Cunningham as Julian Slink
Colin Cunningham said that “Blood Drive’s” Julian Slink is the “most challenging role” he's ever had in his life. Syfy

“Blood Drive’s” Julian Slink is unlike any other character Colin Cunningham has played before.

In a recent interview with TVLine, Cunningham said that being cast in the role of Slink was “like winning the lottery.”

“It’s the absolutely most complex and most dynamic character I’ve ever been gifted,” Cunningham said of Slink, who is the mastermind of the titular death race in which the cars run on human blood. “It was also without a doubt the most challenging role I’ve ever had in my life, because he’s not one guy, he’s 100 guys. And those 100 guys are all different guys within a context. … He has a relationship with history with every character he interacts with. And then he’s got his own stuff on top of it all.”

Cunningham said that he has several inspirations for his portrayal of Slink. “Slink is an amalgamation of everything from Joel Grey to Tim Curry to Gene Wilder, the “Falling Skies” alum told Den of Geek. “Also, very much, a lot of Slink, at least in terms of the way he sounds, is a complete and total homage or rip-off of a great character actor of the ‘40s and ‘50s by the name of Frank Nelson.”

READ: Slink unleashes a demon from Heart Enterprises in “Blood Drive” Season 1, episode 7

Cunningham said that Nelson used to work with Jack Benny and his catchphrase was, “Why, yessssssss!” “Somebody would ask something like, ‘Are you the manager?’ and he would say ,“Why, yessssssss.” That was Frank Nelson,” Cunningham explained. “I’m a big fan of his work, so I went back and studied a lot of the stuff that he did.”

Cunningham said that Slink is also partially inspired by an actor out of Vancouver by the name of Hjeron O’sidhe. “He’s got a band, a very goth, steampunk band called The Vaudeville Vagabonds,” Cunningham said of Odeshay. “If you look them up, his character is Reverend Heathen StrangeFellow. Hjeron is just amazing, a wonderful artist in his own right. So I borrowed from a lot of people to pull this thing off.”

In last week’s Season 1, episode 6, Old Man Heart (Sean Cameron Michael), the head of Heart Enterprises, fired Slink from his job as the race master of “Blood Drive.” But because Heart Enterprises couldn’t kill him because of his “holding deal,” Slink remains an employee of the morally corrupt company.

“They take the ‘Blood Drive’ away from Slink, and he’s reduced to absolute bottom of the barrel; he becomes a janitor at Heart Enterprises,” Cunningham revealed. “He’s got to figure out a way of getting the ‘Blood Drive’ back, and it’s quite the hoot.”

“It’s one of my favorite episodes because there is so much going on,” the actor said of this week’s Season 1, episode 7. “It’s called ‘The Gentleman’s Agreement,’ and Andrew Hall (as The Gentleman) is fantastic in it, Darren Kent (The Scholar) has an awesome storyline, there’s a monster in it…. Its’ just absolutely … bonkers.”