Interview: Tyler Lawrence Gray Joins the 'Wolf Pack', Paramount+'s 'Teen Wolf' Spinoff | Hype | LIVING LIFE FEARLESS

Interview: Tyler Lawrence Gray Joins the ‘Wolf Pack’, From the Creator of ‘Teen Wolf’

Interview: Tyler Lawrence Gray Joins the 'Wolf Pack', Paramount+'s 'Teen Wolf' Spinoff | Hype | LIVING LIFE FEARLESS
Interviewed by:
Francesca Escarraga
Interview date:
January 2023

* CORRECTION * While both Teen Wolf and Wolf Pack are created by Jeff Davis, Wolf Pack is not a spinoff for Teen Wolf.

What inspired you to be an actor? Can you tell us your background and how you developed a passion for the entertainment industry?

When I was younger, I had no interest in becoming an actor and didn’t think that it would ever be something I was capable of doing. The more films I watched and the more confident I became with myself lead me to growing an attraction towards it, until I eventually tried it. After trying it for the first time it was like unlocking a super power.

It was like finding a hobby that you realize you’re just naturally good at. Not only that but it became therapeutic for me in a way that I couldn’t process until it happened. My artistic vision started to grow and improve rapidly and I was able to see films and cinema in a different way. From there I knew that acting was a calling for me and that I should pursue it professionally and see how far I can go.

Congratulations on your upcoming show, Wolf Pack! Why did you want to be involved in this project?

I had already been a big fan of Teen Wolf before I even got the audition for Wolf Pack and have always been obsessed with the super natural genre. I felt that it was an opportunity that I simply could not shy away from. Seeing that Jeff was the creator I knew that the project was in good hands before even knowing that Sarah or Rodrigo was going to be casted. It was one of those times where I knew it was going to be a big commitment and that I would need to step up… but I was ready to.

Can you walk us through the process of auditioning for the role? What were the challenges and breakthroughs you’ve encountered along the way, and how did you overcome them?

I had actually auditioned for the Teen Wolf movie as well and I got called back for that along with Wolf Pack. This was very reassuring because it was a sign that Jeff along with casting was interested in my look and style of acting. I soon found out that Teen Wolf was not moving further but they were still interested in me for Wolf Pack. As I went through a few more rounds of call backs and tapes, I had a call with my rep and they asked me if I was ready to take on a role of this level. I had very little experience on set, never mind filling the shoes of this kind of character in this kind of production. As nervous as I was, I told them that I was willing to take on any role I needed too and I had a chemistry read with Chloe and we both later found out that we would be playing on-screen siblings.

Can you tell us more about your character? How did you bring the character to life? Were there particular circumstances or personal experiences that shaped the character?

Harlan is loyal and compassionate. He loves, he is hurt deep down and tries to mask it like a lot of deeply hurt people in this world. He runs from fear but is willing to give unconditional love to those he truly trusts. He also has a pretty good sense of humor. I love his ability to adapt and overcome obstacles even if it’s slowly. He has the will power to protect his family but he struggles with deep emotional emptiness from certain life circumstances.

Harlan represents me at some of my lowest and highest points in my life and I think that is how I was able to bring him to life. Even though he is a fictional character and we do not relate on every aspect of each other’s lives, he is relatable in his sense of valuing family over everything. There have been points in my life where I have felt so lost that I feel like nobody could understand that emptiness. Once I started embodying Harlan though, it really grounded me and I was able to understand that not only was Harlan struggling, but so many people are every day.

What makes this story different from others? How do you think this story will make an impact in today’s society?

I think that every story is different in its own unique way because it is being shown through the lenses of different people who have all experienced life in their own way. However, I do think that this project is especially impactful because it covers a lot of issues that are occurring in today’s world. It is relatable on so many levels and will be able to show a lot of people that you are most powerful when you surround yourself with the people you trust and love.

What was the dynamic like between you, your castmates, and film crew? How did they make you feel? Were there particular moments on set that you’ll always remember?

The dynamic was one of the most beautiful things I have ever experienced. Before filming I have had multiple people tell me to always respect people on set because there are going to be people sometimes that cause problems. However, there were no issues throughout the entire season because we were all so focused and passionate about what we were doing. We all worked in harmony every day with problems rarely occurring between the cast and crew. It got to the point that we were playing pranks on each other because we all reached that level of comfortability.

Can you give us a sneak peek of what we can expect from this show?

It’s going to be violent, suspenseful, emotional, and sexy. There are a lot of new actors, including myself, that showcase some really raw and natural performance.

What films or shows and which filmmakers have been the most inspiring or influential to you and why?

Films that inspire me are films like Good Will Hunting, not only performed by some of the greatest actors of all times but also written. It really inspires me a lot to push myself to not only embody a character in a story, but to create the entire story as well. Other films like Nine Days that really just teach you about life and how to survive in a world like ours. Films that are so underrated because maybe the media did not understand the deeper message one way or another. However, these are films to me that not only tell a beautiful story but have actors giving some of their most compelling performances.

There couldn’t be a more perfect time to celebrate strong, diverse, and authentic characters on screen. What were the life lessons, mistakes, and things you’ve learned in your acting career that you would like to share to aspiring or emerging actors, storytellers, and creatives in general?

Some of my biggest takeaways from my acting journey so far is that art has no limit. The only barrier you have is your mind which is so beautiful once you realize what kind of potential that has. I realized that everyone has to deal and cope with life and pain in different ways, but at the end of the day we all go through it. It’s all about what you can take away and learn from it and that’s what I think is so beautiful about story telling. It allows you to inspire and motivate people and make them feel different emotions so that they can relate, learn, and grow.

The pandemic has greatly affected the entertainment industry. How did it affect your side of things?

It taught me a lot about myself and what I really want to do with life. I graduated high school in 2020 when the pandemic first started. At first, I felt like it wasn’t fair because it had jeopardized certain things for me that seemed important to me at the time but weren’t. It helped me realize that acting was a calling to me and a gift that I could use in order to express and share my stories with people. The pandemic allowed me to really focus on acting and see what I am capable of when I really just focus.

What kind of roles do you want to take on in the future?

I want to take on roles of any stature. It’s not about the role, it’s about the message that the story is trying to convey. I feel that all characters in a project serve a purpose in different ways and once you can see that, you learn to appreciate each one for its own.

I really want to surround my work around the topic of mental health. I have experienced myself and seen so many people that have fallen into an abyss of feeling alone and it can be really hard to get out of most of the time, but it’s not impossible. I feel that everyone is capable of overcoming adversity as long as they are inspired in the right way by a certain story. Once I started to view acting like that, I started to really appreciate the art in itself.

What kind of legacy do you want to leave behind as an actor?

I want to be and inspiration and a role model for people who are struggling out there. Whether it’s inner personal struggles or an exterior force that is distracting someone from becoming the best version of themselves they can be. To me, it doesn’t matter about winning an Emmy or an Oscar or being on the front of People magazine. If people tell me online or in person that I changed or even saved their life, that’s what is most important to me. I want to show how passionate and obsessed I am with the art of acting, and hopefully through that I can touch the hearts of whoever is willing to watch these stories through my expression.

What’s your advice to actors who want to break into the entertainment industry?

Don’t ever try to become an actor if you want to become rich and famous, especially over night. You will realize very quickly that it takes a lot of time and effort and sacrifice. So many weekend nights I spent in my room practicing scenes or self-taping them because I was so passionate about the art. It became my main priority and I realize that I didn’t need to party or do something exhilarating to keep myself entertained.

I recommend taking extra good care of yourself and mental health because the industry can become discouraging. Don’t compare yourself to other people because you will never be them, you can only be you, unless you’re acting ;).

Last piece of advice I give is that you have to become egoless in the sense that sometimes you’re going to have to do things that are out of your comfort zone, but if you truly care about the art, you won’t even bat an eyelash.

Do you have other upcoming projects you want to share with us?

I have a feature film coming out called Feeling Randy where I portray a teen named Sampson who is a lot different than Harlan. It is a supporting role but he contributes a lot to the main character’s journey and development which is about finding yourself and accepting the struggles you have to overcome sometimes.

Wolf Pack starts streaming January 26th on Paramount+.
Damaged City Festival 2019 | Photos | LIVING LIFE FEARLESS

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