Q: Is“Teen Wolf” the most recent project you’ve been working on?
A: “Teen Wolf” is the most recent project that I’ve been working on. We finished up the season in early May and I’m just kind of taking it easy right now. I’m not really even actively looking for work, which is a nice place to be. I feel incredibly unmotivated. Normally I’m like a maniac. You know that thing where you think, where you know okay, we’re picked up for next season, it’s hiatus, and then you find out how lazy you really are.
Q: For those people who maybe are not familiar with your character or what’s going on so far this season, what can you tell us about it?
A: Well, my character is Sheriff Stilinsky. I don’t have a first name, which is kind of fun. My son doesn’t have a first name, he’s Stiles, which is short for Stilinsky and I’m Stilinsky. Jeff Davis has great fun with that, like you’ve got a first name, but we’ll never know what it is. Same thing with Stiles. So this season people are being killed, you know? As the Sheriff I’m investigating these crimes, and then Stiles and Scott, Dylan O’Brien and Tyler Posey, they know something different. Everybody else knows sort of a different angle. I’m the one that’s sort of in the dark about what’s going on, looking at it as a police investigation, and these guys are looking at it as a supernatural investigation. Stiles can’t tell me what’s going on, and I know he’s holding something back, and as a father of kids that’s incredibly disappointing and incredibly worrisome as well because we worry about our kids. We worry that they’re getting in trouble and they don’t feel like they can talk about it. So that’s really the sort of dynamic that we’re dealing with this year is, for me, the father/son relationship on top of a police investigation.
Q: Is there anything about the role that you find challenging?
A: I always find it a great luxury to have good writing, and I do, so the challenge is always to sort of rise to the level of the material as opposed to having to kill yourself and work to make the material work. This material is good on its own, so I just have to come and be present and the rest of it takes care of itself.
Q: What do you think it is about the show that really continues to draw in so many viewers?
A: I think what it is, is just the writing is really good. I think the writing is good, I think the cast is good, and I think the entire production is incredibly deep. I’ve done a lot of series in my life and this one is a family, and that starts from the top down. That starts from Jeff Davis and then from Tyler (Posey) and Dylan and Crystal and Holland and Tyler (Hoechlin) and Colton, and it almost feels like everybody leaves their ego at home. They come to work and we have a great time. What makes it different, what makes it good is it’s about werewolves, I suppose, but below that it’s about coming of age, it’s about relationships, and it’s about things that we all know and can relate to and care about. It’s filled with characters that you can root for, and it’s done intelligently. It’s not simple issues. I think that is sort of what sets it a bit apart. I’ve got to tell you, when I first was presented with the project and I thought, “Teen Wolf” and I thought of the Michael J. Fox film, which was a great film at the time, but a totally different piece of film making. This has so little to do with that, and that’s what’s great about it, and I think that’s really what sets it apart, is the relationships and the people that you care about and investing in these characters.
Q: Exactly, and I think MTV has a great spin on it that's unlike “Vampire Diaries” and other occult shows like “Secret Circle."
A: Well I can’t say anything bad about “Vampire Diaries” because Susan, my wife, is on that. I think it’s great. I love “Vampire Diaries” and I like Kevin and all the people there. But I think that MTV is behind this program, “Teen Wolf”, in such a great way. The team at MTV is much like the production team involved on the program in that there’s an openness, and there’s a transparency. There is, for lack of a better word, an honesty, a goodness, and it’s so refreshing. I mean these people are such a pleasure to work for, and I guess work with, because sometimes that’s what it feels like. They create an environment of collaboration which is what any great element comes from. It is such a collaborative effort, and anyone who thinks differently, tell them to give me a call.
Q: What is it about the project itself that really drew you to wanting to be a part of it?
A: I live in Atlanta and this project was coming down here to shoot and they approached me about it and I actually went on tape and read for it and then I couldn’t get there for the callback, I don’t know what I was doing, I was doing something else and Jeff Davis was like that’s okay, we know Linden, we know… he doesn’t have to come back. He cast me, and like I said, I read the script and was… not to sound harsh, but I was so surprised. It was really, really good. This character, I love playing a dad. I am a dad. I just really… you asked me what are the challenges… and I suppose the reality is that Stilinsky is probably a whole lot more patient than I would be. He approaches it, through Jeff, more probably level-headedly than I would. I would probably blow up and then have to come back and apologize and mend bridges and mend relationships and be angry at myself for being an idiot. Stilinsky seems to… he’s got a temper, you know, he gets frustrated, but what I really like about it is there’s so much love there between these two characters, between father and son, and that is such an easy thing to play and such a nice thing to play. I love Dylan, and to have him play my son is a treat. He’s such a great guy. It’s fun being interviewed because all I feel like I’m doing is just gushing about this project, but it’s actually the way that I feel. It’s truly the way I feel. I mean, I hang out with these guys, and they’re young. They’re my daughter’s age. We go out, I’ll go out with them and my kids, and it’s sort of like, I feel a connection to these guys that makes what I’m doing at work really easy.
Q: Do they have you doing any particular stunt work or have you been having to practice with any of the…
A: No, I haven’t done any stunt work and I kind of miss that. I’m getting a little older, but I still work out, still use the bag, still train a little bit and I keep waiting to read in the script that Stilinsky gets into somebody and we can dip into my bag of tricks. Their stunt coordinator this year was great and I, I watched him work with Crystal, doing some nice work. He knows all the guys that I know back in L.A. in the martial arts world and it was a real pleasure watching him work. He’s just such a good teacher, and he’s so patient. I was amazed with her as to how quickly she picked this stuff up, and it’s not easy. Once you start working with sticks, you start working with a staff, you start working with swords, knife… the moves are similar… nunchucks, you name it. The moves are similar, the patterns are similar, but it’s scary. I mean, it’s a pointy knife and she was so comfortable with it and picked it up so quickly, and I was like, what in the world… where did you get this ability that I didn’t know about? She was so gung-ho, she was such a trooper, just jumped right in and started doing this stuff. Like I said, I watched them work in the park, I watched them work on the stage, and I don’t want to speak badly about anyone, but the level of expertise and experience that he brings this year is, in my opinion, head and shoulders above what was there last year. I think the fight sequences will bear that out. The fights were great. Then you’ve got Tyler Hoechlin, who… I don’t even know if his stuntman worked this year, because Hoechlin just jumped in there, bringing his whole body with him to Hokey-Pokey land. He jumped in with both feet and hit the ground, get out, do it again, learning to run up the wall and flip, and fight, and kick and do… and he did, maybe half-way, to start with. I think living in Atlanta and he was a little bored and he just jumped into the fight world like a champ. I think he brought his years of competitive athletics to the party and it was fun to watch. I was like, damn Hoechlin! Let your stunt guy make his paycheck. It was fun to watch. We’d hang out and ride motorcycles together, and we got to be pretty good friends and he’s a good egg. A real good egg.
Q: Is there a place online, are you on Twitter? Is there any social networking site where we can get to connect with you?
A: You know, I think… truthfully, I do have a Twitter account, but I haven’t been on it in probably three or four years. I wanted to be like, really, I’m supposed to write about what I’m doing or what I’m thinking? I don’t even know what I’m thinking half the time. A good friend of mine summed up my feelings perfectly, it’s like if Big Brother is watching me, he’s bored. I pretty much don’t know that I would have the time to share that I would want to share with a lot of people. But yeah, definitely I’ve got a Twitter account. Maybe I should tweet something at some point in my life, huh?
Q: We give you this platform, and you don’t…
A: Right! Susan just walked in the room, she said she would follow me.
Q: Let’s hope so. She’s supposed to be following you wherever you go, regardless, right? In sickness and in health, right?
A: I follow her, she follows me, we walk at the same pace.
Q: Well, we’ve got to get you back on the platform. Got to get you to…
A: I know. Are you a Twitterer?
Q: I sure am. These days, if you’re not on any kind of social networking site and you’re a journalist or in the media of some sort, you’re missing out on a whole new audience of sorts, so I say why not?
A: I find the field of journalism fascinating right now because, you know, you live it. The media perception is, you know, paper is going away, oh god, what are we going to do? It almost seems like there’s more work now. I don’t know if it’s paying the same, but there’s certainly no shortage of outlets.
A: Interesting times that we live in. As far as Twitter, oh my G-d – Colton? I think he tweets if he butters his toast differently in the morning. Buttered it differently. Wow. Like… Jesus Christ… really? He’s so funny. He embraces the entire, that entire… I guess it’s a business aspect these days. The entire, what is it called? You just said the word…
Q: Social networking?
A: Social networking aspect. You know what, I’ve got a Facebook account, and I look at it like once a month. I used to get all the emails whenever anyone would message or… I’ve got all that turned off. I mean, I’ll peak at it once a month and go oh look, hey, somebody’s doing this… I look at the messages and go oh yeah, somebody wants to message, whatever, and if it’s somebody I know I write back, but otherwise I kind of go okay, good. Good, good, good. I don’t know, I guess I’m an analog kind of guy.
Q: We’ll get you back on the saddle, don’t worry. We’ll have to get you back in here.
A: I know, I know. I’m an analog man living in a digital world. I even like turn tables better than CDs.
Q: One of those nice CD compact discs, huge players.
A: I’m vinyl guy! I’m old school.