Axel-In-Charge: Extending "Secret Wars," Excitement for a "Totally Awesome Hulk"
Waiting in line for the Teen Wolf panel at Chicago Comic & Entertainment Expo, young women and young men alike shared with each other what the hit MTV drama meant to them, and what questions they hoped to ask stars Tyler Posey and Crystal Reed. Once the doors opened, their excitement reached a fever pitch, with the MC at one point leading the audience in a group howl. It’s no surprise, then, that when actors walked on stage the crowd went wild.
The series, prepping for its fourth season, stars Posey as the heartthrob Beacon Hills high school student-turned-werewolf Scott McCall, who struggles to manage his double life. Reed appeared on the show for the first three seasons as Allison Argent, his primary love interest.
Once the applause died down, Posey and Reed began the panel by relating by recalling their experiences being cast on Teen Wolf. Posey was 18 at the time, and had been acting since age 6. After his initial auditions, the crew called him in to read opposite Crystal and other potential actresses, and the two tested well. But it wasn’t until Posey hit it off with Dylan O’Brien, who plays Scott’s best friend Stiles, that it became a done deal. The two also became best friends off camera.
Read, on the other had, had her first read with Posey. “I think we made comments about each other’s gorgeous dimples,” she said. When she received the call, she knew her life would change.
When it comes to their routines for watching the series, Reed said the cast usually gets together on Mondays at the house of a producer or actor, usually that of showrunner Jeff Davis. They have food, catch up on each other’s lives outside of work and occasionally have a few drinks. Posey interjected to recall one instance where he had maybe a little too much to drink; when he woke up later, everyone had left. “It was the weirdest thing,” he said. “I missed out on a lot of weird stuff, like the cast jacuzzi party.”
Without missing a beat, the moderator moved on to ask the two stars whether they have an idea of where their characters are headed. Reed, whose role has been written out of the show, said they were given a general idea of where their characters were heading. Posey, on the other hand, said he doesn’t know where it’s going. In fact, previous cast members like Adam Fristoe, who played chemistry teacher Adrian R. Harris, didn’t know their characters were going to be written out until the day they received the script.
Posey did little research on the mythology surrounding werewolves. Although he received a few books for Christmas before shooting, he neglected to read them. “People who don’t live under a rock have enough knowledge … wolfsbane, silver bullet … grow hair … plus, the characters themselves are not aficionados,” he said. “It’s in character not to do research.”
When asked which episode has been their favorite, both the two agreed on the pilot. “It’s so cool, iconic and legendary,” Posey said. “We were in a good state of mind, so young and new to everything. It captures the show perfectly.”
It wouldn’t be a Teen Wolf panel without some mention of Twilight, which was at the top of the supernatural-romance food chain when the series premiered in 2011. To Posey and Reed, the comparisons are superficial at best. And while some viewers drew early comparisons between Scott McCall and Taylor Lautner’s Jacob Black, Posey said “everyone knows which werewolf is best.”
Audience questions ranged from from Tyler’s very real six-pack abs to Posey’s upcoming real-life wedding, with one fan wanting to know what sparked the actors’ interests in roles.
Reed said she gets bored when she reads characters too similar to her own personality, so she looks for a completely different identity. Now that she’s established herself a little more as an actor, she also looks at producers and directors she’s interested in working with. Posey echoed her answer, adding that he’d really like to play a drug addict some day.
Reed also related her feelings about leaving the series, saying that although she requested to be written out, it didn’t really hit her that the end was near until she saw her final script and the words, “She’s gone.” Reed was with a friend, who couldn’t figure out why she was so emotional, as Allison isn’t real. “Oh, but she is,” Reed replied. “She is to me.”
The duo also spoke briefly about fan interaction, with Posey saying he doesn’t think they’re crazy. “I’m crazy myself!” he said. “Their energy matches mine!” Reed mentioned that she loves the passion and emotion of the fans, but thinks what’s truly crazy is when people say nasty things on Twitter and Instagram about her or her family. “There are people out there who aren’t very happy,” she said. “I wish it was different.”
The actors agreed that while fight scenes took the longest to film — especially ensemble fight scenes –they’re also the most fun. “Unless you get punched in the nuts,” Posey joked. Emotional scenes are the most difficult. “I hate going to that place,” he said. “But the only way I can do it is thinking of bad things.”
When it came to Teen Wolf canon, one fan wanted to know whether Scott had come to view Derek as his alpha. “Scott views everyone as an equal unless they’re an jerk,” Posey said. “Like Peter Hale. He’s a jerk.”
Reed was asked how she felt about the female characters on Teen Wolf. “There aren’t many strong female characters on TV, and if they are, their feminine side is taken away from them,” she said. “But in Teen Wolf, Jeff doesn’t take away the fact that they’re women, you don’t have to take that away to give a woman power, control and a sense of self.”
She also fielded a question from a fan who asked about several prominent women and people of color who have died on the series. “I think a lot of times there are correlations drawn that aren’t necessary, and there are no race or gender reasons for these things. Jeff’s … gotten a lot of negative press about that, and that’s why he left social media. We should stay positive about the show and stop looking for the negative.”
“I just didn’t notice,” Posey added. “It’s just not relevant. We don’t talk about it. There’s no conspiracy, that’s not the way it is.”
As the panel came to an end, one fan wanted to know what sorts of storylines the actors would like to see written for their characters. Reed bowed out of the question, saying she wasn’t very good at creating plotlines. Posey, on the other hand, wants to see Scott go evil in a permanent, drastic and devastating way.
“Boom!” he said.
Teen Wolf returns Monday, June 23 at 10 p.m. ET/PT on MTV.