Tyler Posey on Timely Pandemic Thriller 'Alone,' 'Teen Wolf' Revival
This interview includes spoilers on the ending of Alone. Do not proceed if you have not watched the movie.
Tyler Posey filmed his new zombie pandemic thriller, Alone, last summer. But it’s more relevant now than ever.
In the movie, Posey plays Aidan, a lonely 20-something surfer who wakes up to find that suddenly a global pandemic has turned most of humanity into zombies, forcing himself to quarantine inside in his modest apartment. Just as he’s about to give up hope, Aidan discovers that he’s not alone — and teams up with his neighbor, Eva (Summer Spiro). The pair find themselves battling life-or-death stakes, and a mysterious neighbor (played by Donald Sutherland), as they try to outlast and outlive the deadly zombie outbreak together.
Stripping away the zombie apocalypse of it all, Alone is quite prescient for today’s world, and the ups and downs Posey’s character goes through are all emotions he’s felt since lockdown began in March. “So many people are going to connect to this,” Posey, 28, told ET over the phone. “Your home becomes your entire town at this point… It just becomes your entire living existence. I think a lot of people will relate to that too.”
In a candid conversation with ET, Posey discusses the timeliness of Alone, how quarantine has shifted his approach on life, the most difficult scene for him to film, why a Teen Wolf revival will likely never happen and how his OnlyFans experience has been going.
ET: How have you been handling this surreal time that we’re all managing?
Tyler Posey: It’s actually been an adventure for me. I luckily am very busy. I still have music, which I am in the middle of recording an album right now, so that’s been really great. I’m lucky enough to film a movie right now, I have one last day. I’ve been filming a movie [Brut Force], and it’s very COVID compliant. We get tested every single day, everyone has their masks on until they say “action,” and it’s a wonderful set. I got to record a cartoon [Netflix’s Fast & Furious: Spy Racers] in the comfort of my own home because of COVID, and then I’ve been able to talk about my movie Alone. I’ve been luckily very, very, very busy and mental health busy too. I’ve been taking care of my mental health, doing some podcasts that talk about mental health and the importance of that and reaching out and all of that kind of stuff.
How have you shifted your mindset during this time, as a result of the circumstances?
I’ve completely shifted my mindset and it’s a complete result of the circumstances that’s going on here. To fill my time during COVID, which I’m sure a lot of people have done, I started partying a lot and drinking and kind of letting myself down. I’m now sober and completely working on myself. There are so many tools that I have now at my disposal when anxiety happens, when depression happens; usually, before I got sober, I would numb myself with alcohol or smoking, and numbing away the anxiety and the depression also numbed away all the good stuff. So I was clogging my mind and not being able to appreciate things or be grateful for anything. Especially myself, I didn’t appreciate myself. I hated myself for a long time, and priorities sort of get confused there. Now I wake up every single morning, I meditate, I pray. To no one specifically; I’m not religious, but I believe in a higher power, whatever that is. I have a gratitude list, I wake up and there’s, like, 15 guys that I send my gratitude list for what I’m grateful for the day. I have all these people that I reach out to in case I’m having questions about life or my position. And I have a huge support system around me — I didn’t know that before. I was pretty self-deprecating, I felt like I was bothering people or burdening people with my problems when I needed help. That’s not the case anymore. Doing all this stuff, I love myself now — and not in a cocky way. Everybody deserves to love themselves, and I’m just a completely different person. I’ve been taking more care of my mental health and my physical health this quarantine. But physical health is coming soon, I just have to put the pizza down. I can’t seem to stop eating pizza.
Giving up pizza is difficult.
It’s so hard. Pizza is delicious.
Watching your new film, Alone, which is set during a global pandemic, in context of what we’re going through now, it feels timely and relevant. We see your character going through the different stages of grief as he’s trying to survive. What you want to say about the movie coming out at a time when people can draw on a lot of similarities, minus the zombie stuff?
The zombies are really the only difference in the movie compared to real life. We did shoot it well before the pandemic was even a thing. We shot it last summer, over a year ago and the similarities that my character goes through are so connected to what I have gone through during this pandemic, what everyone else is going through this pandemic. He has to quarantine, or follow the rules, or else he’s going to get infected and die. We’ve seen plenty of people who haven’t once followed the rules and then get infected, and unfortunately bad stuff happens to them. My character, like you said, has this emotional downfall because he is alone and it’s the first time he’s ever been alone. He’s always had his parents’ help or somebody to help him navigate through life. I feel like so many people were doing that. There were leaning on people whenever there were anxieties, depression or something they couldn’t tackle on their own. This quarantine forced them to be alone and be with their inner turmoil and all the stuff they didn’t like about themselves, and come to terms with it. My character did that. He realized for the first time when he was alone that he’s a coward, that he can’t really do much on his own. But then he has this rebirth where he finds something bigger than himself to live for. A lot of people are still missing that during our pandemic. The world is bigger than us, literally and metaphysically. We are just a part of this beautiful machine and some people put themselves first, which is appropriate because if you don’t handle your own problems, then you won’t be able to handle anyone else’s. But once we realize that there’s something bigger to live for, then we can overcome everything that’s going on inside of our lives and prioritize things in a better way.
You’re in basically every scene in this entire movie, which is a feat for any actor to accomplish. Was there a scene that was the most emotionally draining for you because of the weight of it?
Yeah, definitely. I mean, my character goes through a lot of emotional things and there’s a lot of crying. It’s really fun [to cry]. It’s really rewarding. But I think the most emotional one for me and the hardest one was when I got the voicemail from my parents, and you can kind of hear them die on the phone. Because he’s gone through the movie still not really knowing what his parents were going through, he kind of distracts himself with trying to survive on his own. Then, finally, a week into this pandemic, he has some reception. And he’s started to live life like a different person. He hears this this message that brings him back to square one, and he just loses all hope. Whatever glimmer of hope he had that was there just completely goes out the window and he breaks down, and it’s because of the news that his parents are dead. That is such an emotional journey because he was on the up-and-up and he was learning how to survive. He pushed his refrigerator up against his door. He’s had interactions with zombies, but he was learning how to survive. This killed all of his hope because his parents were the only thing he was surviving for. That was a really hard scene for me to do, but it was so rewarding and the crew was so great and forgiving and I really, really, really enjoyed it and I’m super proud of the way that it came out.
You and your co-star Summer Spiro have great chemistry, and at the end of the movie, it doesn’t resolve itself. I think we’re led to believe that you guys are going to be OK and eventually get out of this situation, possibly. What do you make of the ending and where they left the story?
Yeah, it is really interesting. We actually had three different alternate endings and this is the one they used. We’ve got a couple alternate endings that we were juggling with, and they’re all cool. But this one leaves the most open for potentially sequels or also the audience to figure it out on their own, which I’ve always loved. Art is such a subjective standpoint and people can put the pieces together in their own head and play the fate how they want it to be. But it also leaves it open for us to do a lot more. The other endings that we had kind of had a definitive answer for the movie, and so this just leaves it open. Maybe we’ll have the alternate endings on some sort of DVD release. That could be kind of cool too so that everyone can see where our mindset was at for the actual ending.
In March when lockdown happened, I started doing tally marks of how many days we’ve been in quarantine, so when your character does the same, it was cool to see that, “Hey, I’m not the only one doing this.”
Whoa, that’s crazy. Yeah, so many people are going to connect to this. I hope nobody put their refrigerator against their front door. Your home becomes your entire town at this point. And Aidan, he moved furniture around and threw his mattress off of the balcony. It just becomes your entire living existence. I think a lot of people will relate to that too.
At the start of quarantine, you had expressed interest in possibly reviving Teen Wolf and coming back for it. Is there any movement on that? How hopeful are you that that actually will come to fruition at some point?
Well, I’m always hopeful. Always. I love Teen Wolf, and during the lockdown, I actually rewatched the entire thing and I fell in love with it even more. It’s so good. It’s so good. I’m so proud and impressed. We were so young and I’m just like, “I’m really impressed with what we did.” I got together the cast to do a Zoom reunion, and so far that’s the culmination of my efforts to try and get Teen Wolf back. There’s no talk in expanding the series. I did, one night, have an idea of Scott McCall going to college and just being a normal werewolf inside of the world. I recorded a three-minute-long voicemail and sent it to [executive producer] Jeff Davis and he thought it was hilarious, but it’s a completely different idea. It’s not serious, it’s pretty funny. My idea was that that in Beacon Hills, there’s a lot of supernatural stuff going on, but there’s a lot of supernatural stuff going on in the entire world — and we didn’t really know that. We were just contained to Beacon Hills, and Beacon Hills was kind of like a novice at containing the supernatural. So when Scott goes out to the real world, he sees how everybody else handles supernatural stuff and how much better of a job they did than Beacon Hills. And Los Angeles is like, “Oh yeah, we’ve got supernatural stuff going on all the time.” And Scott is just like, “I don’t know what the hell you guys were doing.” It would be more of a comedic thing, but I don’t think that’s going to happen.
You also recently joined OnlyFans. How has the experience been for you? What kind of response have you gotten so far?
The response has been great. My fans are super loyal and they love me, and that’s why I wanted to do it. I feel like I have to hold myself back a little bit on Instagram, just because I’m very goofy and I like to be free and whatever. I feel like OnlyFans is the perfect place that I can do that, while also being creative and exercising my creative juices. But I do know that it’s tied to sex work a lot, and I don’t want to take anything away from the people who make a living by doing that, because I really respect what they do. And so, I’m not doing anything like that, it’s all creative, it’s all fun and it’s just stuff that I couldn’t really feel like I could show on Instagram or any other social platforms. So I signed on to this and the response has been really great. I’ve been in connection with my fans a lot more and it’s just really fun.
What else can we expect from you down the line?
I’ve got a cartoon TV show on Netflix right now, the second season just premiered, Fast and Furious: Spy Racers. I’ve got a movie that I’m filming right now called Brute Force. I’ve got a bunch of other things in the works — movies that haven’t started yet but will hopefully start soon. I’m writing, I’m directing and hopefully I’m going to pitch something to Netflix soon, and hopefully I can get that going. I really want to start getting on the creative side of starting projects, so hopefully you can see more of that of me.
When can we expect the album you’re working on?
I think the album will be released in January. My band is called Five North, but I think I’m going to go solo [for it]. My same band, but I think it’s just going to be called Tyler Posey. More people know the name Tyler Posey than they know Five North, unless they talk about the freeway. But it’ll give me and my friends a little bit more exposure.
Alone is available On Demand and on Digital now, before arriving on DVD and Blu-ray on Tuesday, Oct. 20.
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