Tuesday, December 20, 2016

It's over and we (the fanbase) are coming back to everyday reality.

 Nice interview to phase out .  .  .

Pop-Culturalist Chats with Tyler Young

Eyewitness Questions

P-C: What attracted you to the project?
Tyler: I read the character breakdown my manager sent to me for Philip Shea (at the time it was Philip O’Brien) and there was something in the way it was worded that sparked my imagination about who this character was and could become. It was descriptive, yet open-ended enough for me to implement my own mark on it with plenty of space for discovery and interpretation. I then read the script and was instantly hooked to the story and wanted to know more about the characters and how their relationships would further develop. I only got to read the first episode before auditioning (and before shooting for that matter) but I instantly wanted to know more, which was a good indication that there was a compelling story being told. I had to be a part of it.
P-C: Your character has many layers. He’s a foster child, who’s adjusting to life in a small town with a new family. He’s also coming to terms with his sexuality. How did you prepare for the role?
Tyler: Yes, Philip was an exciting challenge to play because I see him first and foremost as a kid who doesn’t know much about himself yet but is starting to become more introspective and question the world around him. To play someone experiencing their most formative years requires looking at what his life has been like prior to his move to Tivoli and before all this murder business has taken over. Many of these backstory elements were left up to me to decide so I read real-life accounts of people who’ve been through the foster care system and those of the LGBTQ youth to shape Philip’s perspective and give him as much authenticity as possible and so those who have lived those experiences could hopefully be able to relate, if even just a tiny bit. Even though all these elements weren’t necessarily directly addressed in the show, they helped inform all my choices and analysis of the script from episode to episode. All these complicated elements eventually fused together and then for good measure I added a sprinkling of my own personality to really make Philip come alive.
P-C: Eyewitness is the first crime thriller on national television to center around two gay characters. It’s a groundbreaking moment for the LGBTQ community. Did you feel any added pressure while filming or afterwards?
Tyler: Well, I actually wasn’t aware while shooting that we were the first crime thriller with an LGBTQ storyline but that’s pretty incredible to know. Honestly, we never sat around and discussed how we were going to be the first to do this, and instead we simply approached it like we were just going to make the best damn crime thriller/character study/love story we could and that two of the leads just happened to be gay and dealing with these issues that intertwined with the chaos of the thriller elements seamlessly. I’m so honored to know that I have been a part of a groundbreaking moment for the LGBTQ community in media and hope that this will be a major catalyst for other series to start incorporating dynamic LGBTQ narratives into the forefront of their mainstream storytelling.
P-C: Eyewitness tells two very different coming out stories, what’s the response been like?
Tyler: There have been many people able to relate more with Lukas’ story and many who have able to relate more to Philip’s and I’ve received thousands of messages from fans who deeply identified with both of their struggles (minus the whole murder aspect…). I think it’s incredible to see two very different coming out experiences juxtaposed on the same show because the reality is that everyone has their own journey with coming out and it’s not cookie-cutter or one size fits all. There is no right way and no wrong way but as exemplified on our show there can be serious consequences to not being honest with oneself and those around them.
P-C: How did you and James build your chemistry/friendship? And, what was your first impression of him? 
Tyler: It started at Catherine Hardwicke’s house in Venice Beach when we did our first chemistry read together. Catherine doesn’t mess around and forced us to get comfortable with each other very, very quickly… as in, she wanted James on top of me and picking me up in less than five minutes after meeting him. I think when you break down those walls from the very beginning and you have people sticking you with someone else that you know you might have to work with for a long time after, you want to get a real feel for the type of person they are and the type of actor they are. I learned that barriers are broken fast when physical contact is required. After we both had the roles, James and I established our relationship in L.A. in advance of getting to set so that we could bring that familiarity and trust to the characters. We hung out a few times and spent almost every waking moment together on and off set while shooting. In fact, we still see each other weekly and are neighbors in L.A. We just can’t quit each other.
My first impression of James was that he was nothing like I had pictured Lukas to be. Yet, he brought a true vulnerability to the character that felt effortless. He walked in dressed all indie boy with this long yellow and black dyed hair and a rock ‘n’ roll persona after I had read with many giant guys with shaved heads and Hulk-like muscles. James left the chemistry read and Catherine and I were both just like, “Wow, that was something different than we’ve seen, but did he really have yellow and black skunk hair?” Needless to say, his hair was dyed blonde before he came back to do a final screen test and I looked at him with blonde hair and it finally made sense both physically and internally.
P-C: What was your favorite off-set moment?Tyler: We spent the summer at a Canadian golf resort on a gorgeous secluded lake so there was plenty of time for peaceful reflection and general shenanigans on our days off. It felt a lot like a really luxurious summer camp. I mean, there was a water trampoline and a blob so… hard to beat that. Also, one of my fondest off-set memories was when Julianne, Gil, James, and I took a weekend road trip to Toronto and the four of us dined at some of city’s finest establishments. It was a much-needed break from the very rural Canadian wilderness we were shooting in and the four of us bonded that weekend in a way that I’ll never forget. They’re like a second family to me now. I love them all deeply and uniquely.

Career Questions

P-C: Where can fans see you next?
Tyler: Guest starring on the first episode of ABC’s When We Rise and guest starring on episode 13 of CBS’s Code Black.
P-C: What’s your dream role?
Tyler: Incredible new roles are always being written so I’ll leave this one open-ended for now.
P-C: Who would you love to work with in the future?
Tyler: Actors, directors, and producers who are passionate about the work and the storytelling—first and foremost.

Pop-Culturalist Speed Round

P-C: Guilty pleasure TV show?
Tyler: The first round of any reality singing competition.
P-C: Guilty pleasure movie?
The Parent Trap
P-C: Favorite play or musical?
Spring Awakening
P-C: Favorite book?
A Little Life
P-C: Favorite social media platform? 
Tyler: Twitter
P-C: Hidden talent?
Tyler: I can do a realistic dog bark.
Make sure to follow Tyler on TwitterInstagram, and Facebook.
The season finale of Eyewitness airs on December 18. And, if you’re a fan of binge-watching, you can watch the series on AmazoniTunes, or USA Network.
Photo Credit: Paul Smith Photography

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