Teen Wolf star Tyler Hoechlin: The staying power of the supernatural genre

Nathalie Tomada - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines - Werewolves, vampires and other supernatural creatures are still making a killing in the TV ratings and box-office. What is it about this genre that continues to hold audiences captive?

For Tyler Hoechlin, who stars in the returning MTV series Teen Wolf (now on its third run and re-airs in the Philippines via beTV on June 7, 9:20 p.m.), he doesn’t see the genre disappearing from TV screens anytime soon. The STAR had a phone chat with the 25-year-old American actor who portrays Derek Hale on the series, a campus werewolf by virtue of his family line. He’s the Alpha werewolf and proud to be so. Despite the arrogant streak, Derek is capable of looking out for others such as the main protagonist Scott McCall (played by Tyler Posey), a werewolf himself after being bitten by one.

Derek tries to keep Scott and his friends out of danger. He, however, frowns on Scott’s forbidden romance with Allison Argent (played by Crystal Reed) because the latter belongs to an illustrious family of werewolf-hunters. In Season 3, Derek will court danger as deadly, troublesome Alpha werewolves recruit him into their fold.

Tyler, who scored his first big break as the son of Tom Hanks in the 2002 movie Road to Perdition and who turned down another supernatural role prior to Teen Wolf (as Emmett in the Twilight saga), teases in our phone interview what awaits his character in the upcoming season. Teen Wolf creator and producer Jeff Davis was quoted in reports as saying that more will be revealed about Derek Hale in the new season.

On being back on the series for the third time:

“It feels good. It’s exciting. Definitely feels a little bit different this year coming in to 24 episodes instead of 12 (in the previous seasons). We feel like it’s going to be the best season so far…the most action-filled.

“You know, it’s kind of unintentional. I was talking to the writers and it wasn’t their intention for it to be that way but it just kind of ended up happening in that way — with the story line, the characters and the way they were introduced this year. It just kind of led to a lot of conflict that you know most of the time resulted to physical conflict.

“We have introduced a lot of characters this season — the alpha pack being just some of those. So, there’s going to be a lot more surprises this year. A lot more things going out just because of the amount of characters that we have in learning who they are and their true motives and why they are there. There’s a lot of twists in this season and finding out who’s on whose side, how good the good guys are, and how bad the bad guys are. So we have a very interesting season that people could kind of follow as it develops.”

On how his character Derek Hale will develop in Season 3:

“In Season 3, the character development is different from Season 2 and Season 1. This year, Derek is humbled a little bit. A lot of last season was Derek coming into his own and feeling like he was this confident new Alpha wolf. This year is kind of him fixing his mess that he’s created. So, it’s not a matter of him coming in and feeling like he’s the big guy on campus. He’s kind of feels like he’s made a mess of things and it is his responsibility to clean them up.”

On the toughest scenes to shoot:

“Personally, the toughest to shoot from an actor’s standpoint, are the scenes that border the line of reality and not reality. I think it is those scenes that we’re acknowledging that there are supernatural creatures. So, when we get past that idea, I think the scenes where you have to find that line of something that is so outrageous and unbelievable, because of the world that we’re living in and playing in on the show. So bringing honesty to those scenes, a genuine human element to those scenes, I think is the toughest. I feel like everyone on the show is doing a good job of that, and that is why people who have watched the show and have become fans of the show are so loyal to it.

“Physically, toughest scene, for me …I’m not a big fan of scenes with a lot of water. In the water, when you see them together on TV, it lasts for maybe a minute or two, but in shooting that, really, we’re shooting in water for two to three days. It’s tough work for the crew, moving the equipment about and making sure they don’t get wet being in water for whole days, doing your scenes and all the action and talk. It’s a little taxing.

“And I say that because Derek and I are very, very different. It’s such a specific character and especially the genre that I feel that there’s something about it that I connect to as far as the things that are important to him — having people that he cares about, looking after them and make sure they are okay. That search for peace and being able to have a connection with people. A lot of things that he (Derek) goes through are things I think we will never have to go through; or at least hopefully, we don’t have to go through. You just really kind of search to make your character your own and (with) an element of understanding that might not necessarily apply to your life.”

On the fascination with the genre:

“I think there’s such an element of romance not only in our show but I think in a lot of supernatural shows. Usually at the core of them there are these love stories. I think when you put this at this kind of a world where the stakes are higher and life and death is kind of always around you, I think it makes it that much more passionate. So I think that is why a lot of people are drawn to about it.”

On the staying power of the supernatural theme on TV and even in the movies:

“I don’t think that it will go way. I know when we started the show, it was kind of at the time where Twilight was at its peak and it was the succession. I think there were a lot of people who were trying to capitalize on that by quickly putting out any kind of product that just had to do with the genre of vampires or werewolves. I think that’s what kind of gave it like a bad name as people would just put something out there because they felt it was a quick way to make the money on a movie because of the popular topic or a popular genre.

“Well, personally, when I first read Teen Wolf script that wasn’t what it was to me. It was a great story. It was very well-written. I think that’s what allowed the show to be successful for this long. It’s not about the fact that we have werewolves on our show. It could be a completely different creature. It could be a completely different setting. I think it’s the characters and the story line and the relationships that really keep the show going. If you could make a good show and a good film with characters that people can relate to and can attach themselves to, then I think they will be drawn to it regardless of the genre or the popularity of the genre.”











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