WIU alumni show off talents on Fox’s “Freakylinks

Jennifer Maddox

Two WIU alumni, Darren Mangler (formerly Moores) and Matthew Senko made their network debut on the Fox TV show “Freakylinks” Friday.Mangler, who graduated in 1994 with a bachelor’s degree in theatre, and Senko, who received his bachelor’s in broadcasting in 1995, played thrill-seekers who had to prove that a rapper named XL was really a zombie.

Mangler liked the fact that his and Senko’s roles “bring the catalyst of the episode. Our characters are important enough to catapult the story,” Mangler said, according to a press release.

Senko added that it was “great to be working on a bigger budget with friends, and spooky working on location.”

The filming for the episode was done in an actual mortuary.

Freakylinks, which airs at 9 p.m. Fridays, first aired in October and is a science-fiction series about a young man named Derek who decides to devote himself to tracking the paranormal in order to find the truth about his brother’s mysterious death.

Derek, along with his brother’s ex-fiance, Chloe, go through a series of scary adventures dealing with unexplained phenomena.

Since graduating from WIU, Senko has appeared in commercials for Surge and KFC.

Mangler has appeared in a commercial for Toyota and currently is in a McDonald’s advertisement that is running in the Chicago area.

WIU professor and broadcasting division director Sharon Evans worked with Senko when he was a news anchor for WWIR News station.

“(Senko) was a very nice and hard-working young man,” Evans said. “He was talented in front of the camera.

“I knew he had the talent and the drive and determination to make it,” Evans added.

Mangler starred in several shows at the two venues on campus while he attended WIU.

“It’s not fair to say (Mangler) stood out because all of my students stand out,” Sonny Bell, WIU professor and head of acting, said. “But he was a great guy.”

In February of 1999, Mangler and Senko, along with Chicago native Mike Walsh and WIU graduate Bill Koenig, came together to form Adudathuda Studios.

This California-based enterprise produces independent films that are showcased at an annual festival.