MTV's Teen Wolf Stars Tyler Posey and Crystal Reed: 'We Won't Ruin the Movie'
The pressure is on for the stars of MTV's Teen Wolf, the foggy, adrenaline-injected series version of the classic 1985 Michael J. Fox movie. For lead actors Tyler Posey (who plays Fox's character Scott) and Crystal Reed (who plays his comely love interest Allison Argent), the show is already a much-hyped event: The hour-long pilot premieres this Sunday after the MTV Movie Awards, which is a daunting timeslot for any show, old or new.
In the lead-up to the premiere, Movieline caught up with Posey and Reed to discuss the new series' ties to the original film, the Teen Wolf purists who hate their show already, and those pesky Twilight comparisons.
Do you ever think of the old movie while you're filming?
Tyler Posey: No, not at all! It's so different than the movie. So different. But there were elements of Michael J. Fox's character that I wanted to bring into the show, which were his innocence and how his innocence changes when he turns into a werewolf. So that's one of the things I got from the movie. Other than that, they're both so different; we just completely did our own thing.
Crystal Reed: And I'm not the Boof [Michael J. Fox's crush-suffering female friend in the movie]. But Stiles is also a huge name that's the same [as the original]. He's the only character that's kind of similar.
TP: Super wacky! Yeah.
CR: He does it in a different way, but he serves the same purpose as the original.
Have you heard from Teen Wolf purists? The fanatics of the original?
CR: Everybody hates the idea! They bash us. It's a cult movie though. People love it.
TP: It makes sense that people think it's going to be bad because -- and I don't want to shit-talk MTV -- but if you hear of a scripted show on MTV, you think, "What? They do reality."
CR: Yeah, "Where's the music?"
TP: At the same time though, it's like -- uh, just watch it. It's so good.
CR: A lot of people though, especially bloggers, don't like the idea. "Leave Teen Wolf alone! Why does everyone do remakes?" But I feel like you just need to watch the first episode and then they'll realize it's nothing like that. We're not going to ruin it.
TP: No, because MTV's known for -- what is it?
CR: Pushing the envelope.
TP: Pushing the envelope! And always doing new things. The fact that they're starting to do a scripted show is totally an MTV thing to do.
CR: I feel like every couple years MTV reinvents itself in some way, you know?
TP: They did it with reality!
Is there pressure in trying to make scripted TV a viable format for MTV?
CR: It's really great because we're their first hour-long drama. So they're really pushing for us. I wouldn't want to be on any other network because we're sort of the baby. We get to do things that I think other networks don't get to do. We get to think things a little scarier.
TP: MTV -- and TV -- has never had anything like this. And we get to go to the VMAs!
Right! Will you be at the Movie Awards in person promoting the show? Are you nervous?
TP: Oh, not at all. I've been doing this since I was six years old.
CR: I'll probably be starstruck. I wish we could present!
TP: Everyone wants to present except me for some reason. Well, I want to present, but it doesn't make sense. Our show isn't out yet, and it's the Movie Awards. We're a TV show.
But you have movie credibility!
CR: We could present "scariest" something?
TP: But next year? Hell yeah, man.
Tyler, the best part of your acting experience has to be that you played Jennifer Lopez's son in Maid in Manhattan. What can you say about that?
TP: Yeah, I was J-Lo's kid! Almost ten years ago! Bro! Last time I heard from her, I was 15 and shooting Smallville, and I couldn't go! That was the last I heard from her! Sorry, J-Lo, if you're listening!
Do you guys worry about Teen Wolf's comparisons to Twilight? Do you ever think about those similarities on set?
TP: Never! I never thought once when we were shooting that it ever felt completely Twilight. Maybe one, because I hadn't seen the Twilight series, and two, because we're not doing Twilight. It's dark like Twilight but still way different. But I like being compared to Twilight -- it's cool. The huge fame and success? They don't have to work again for the rest of their lives. It's so cool that they're known for what they do at such a huge level; I'm stoked to be in the same category as them.
CR: But I mean, our scary scenes are bloody.
TP: It's gory.
CR: There's drool, real drool.
TP: Well, KY Jelly. That's what they use. On Teen Wolf, that's what they use.
Talk about filming some of the action on the series. A lot of the action is added after you film it with CGI, sound effects, and lighting.
CR: We have to do a lot of scenes where we react to nothing, right? We have a director who will try to recreate things for us. His name's Russell Mulcahy. He's crazy and Australian -- crazy in a good way. I remember we did a scene where I was walking down a hallway, and it's scripted that I hear something and it scares me. First time I did it, he had a huge bullhorn -- and it scared the crap out of me. And I laughed! But I don't ever know that [Tyler] is a werewolf or see him, so most of my stuff is just reacting to creepy feelings. "I feel like there's something wrong." So that's a little easier.
TP: We do have a lot of CGI on the show, but a lot of the stuff we're reacting to is actually there. We don't use CGI werewolves. We use a huge, giant costumed werewolf that a guy who's 6'7" gets in. One time in the pilot I was trampled by deer, and that was fake. Somebody actually thought that was real. It came out really cool, but -- wasn't real. It's weird doing that physical acting and not knowing how it's going to turn out.
CR: You have to really wolf out.
TP: What I'm doing looks ridiculous; I'm flying around pounding the ground and screaming, doing weird arches. It looks crazy, but the crazy I go, the gnarlier it ends up looking.
MTV worked up some buzz with its last scripted show Skins. Will Teen Wolf be as racy?
TP: Skins is going for shock factor -- we're going for real. Ours brings a more real aspect.
CR: I think that we push the envelope in a different way, in the way of horror. We do have some pretty sexy scenes, but it's all real. It's nothing a real teenager wouldn't do.
Teen Wolf debuts on Sunday night, following the MTV Movie Awards.