Tyler Posey is ready to howl on MTV's 'Teen Wolf' series
Ken Woroner, TNT
HOLLYWOOD — All of his life actor Tyler Posey has been hyperactive. He thinks that's one reason he was able to work nine-hour days as a 9-year old kid and still squeeze in the required schooling on the set.
All that excessive energy is going to come in handy as Posey assumes the role of Scott McCall in "Teen Wolf," MTV's slick new thriller series that airs on Monday nights at 11 p.m. MDT.
Posey, 19, has been acting since he was 6. He entered the business because of his dad, John Posey, a journeyman actor. It may be the wisdom of his dad that makes Tyler so comfortable in a business fraught with disappointment.
"I don't really get deterred," he says sitting on the edge of a couch in a hotel room here. "I go on so many auditions and get maybe 1 percent of the things I go in on. It's insane, but that's the business. It's all I've known for the past 14 years of my life."
He says he never becomes so discouraged that he wants to stop. "I don't think of it like that. I did my best work. I know I'm a good actor and everything happens for a reason. I didn't get the project for a reason. I don't know, I guess it's OK with me, unless it's a project I really, really wanted. Then it's 'OK, that really (stinks).' If I didn't get 'Teen Wolf' I would've been bummed, but there would've been something else that would've caught my eye."
Posey's ADHD was a problem in school. "I wasn't a bad kid, never been in a fight. I wasn't the best in school. I think I was in school just to hang out with my friends. I didn't care about the curriculum. I didn't care about any of that. Which is bad," he pauses, and speaking louder, he says, "Kids, stay in school, PLEASE.'
"When I say I didn't try, there was a point when I did try. It just didn't click with me. I think I'm ADD, that's why. I would really try and just get these bad grades and I remember I would go home and be so bummed I would cry sometimes ... I just don't get it. And even though I had a lot of fun in high school you grow up, it's hard being a teenager. It's hard, you know?"
There was a time when his fascination with acting dimmed.
"When I got into high school I started getting out of acting a little bit and wanted to be more with my friends. I was going through a rebellious stage. I was a young teenager and really just wanted to focus mostly on my friends. So I had this moment where I stepped out of acting for a while and really got to look at what a great thing it really is. Ever since then I renewed my passion for it, and it's just 110 percent now, so it's all I want to do, but I also have a band which is another thing I want to do."
As a kid he was shy about his avocation. "I didn't want my friends to know what I did. I didn't want my friends talking about it. I hated being recognized on the street. When anyone would recognize me, I'd say, 'No, it's not me. I just look like that kid.' "
It's different now.
"I own up to everything. I don't know what it was, I was immature. I was pretty shy. I grew up on the set and hung out with adults, so I matured a lot quicker than the other kids. I was shy around my friends. It was weird. I think I was more mature than them and they were just kind of annoying I thought. I grew out of that when I was a junior."
The audition for "Teen Wolf" was the first lead role he'd ever tried out for. He mustered through two auditions when he was called for a third.
"The whole MTV was in the room. The audition process was six hours long, but it was awesome," he says.
"It was definitely the longest, definitely the most fun ... That same day I was almost late to the airport because I had to go shoot a movie in Louisiana. On the way to the airport I got a call from my agent. She said, 'Tyler, oh, I'm sorry ... you got it!' 'Yeeess," he shakes his fists.
"Teen Wolf," which is rated TV-PG, is not just a spooky adventure, it's also a romance. Posey admits he's performed many onscreen kisses.
"My first one was right when I got back into acting, at 17, I was on a TV show called 'Lincoln Heights' and played Rhyon Brown's boyfriend. ... I wasn't embarrassed at all. I thought, 'Am I cool? Now all these people can watch me kiss.' Now I'm proud of everything I do, before I was so ashamed and that's completely gone. I just feel so good and it's almost like a rebirth ... It's a perfect example: if you have a dream, go do it."
In "Teen Wolf" Posey plays Crystal Reed's boyfriend. Counting the scenes that had to be reshot, Posey figures they've kissed more than 200 times. "It's definitely good practice," he laughs.
Jada Pinkett Smith will be back on June 13 in "HawthoRNe" on TNT. The wife of Will Smith and mother of two admits she's a bit of a perfectionist. "It has gotten me in trouble more with myself than anybody else. Just because it creates a certain amount of anxiety within you that's so unnecessary in just realizing there are certain things you don't have any control over. You gotta learn how to let go," she says.
"It's just internal work. You realize those anxieties are coming up and you just really evaluate the situation for what it is. You really have to be very clear and have an understanding of what it is you can change. The only thing you can ever change is yourself."
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