EXCLUSIVE | Tyler Posey says isolating himself after 'Teen Wolf' fame helped him play Aidan in zombie movie 'Alone'
Aidan's arc in 'Alone' sees him go from joyously awaiting his family's arrival to being left stranded as a mysterious virus takes over and people start turning into zombies
Tyler Posey has always been a charmer. Be it as Jennifer Lopez's adorable little son in 'Maid in Manhattan' or coming of age as the boy-next-door turned alpha werewolf in MTV's 'Teen Wolf' – Posey has been a popular face on the screen. But gone are the days of him learning mythology and fighting packs of deadly werewolves. 2020, very fittingly, sees Posey take on yet another herd of creatures of the supernatural kind, and this time, he spends time meticulously quarantined amidst a disease outbreak, turning people into zombies in Matt Naylor film 'Alone'. We caught up with Posey ahead of the film's virtual theatre premiere, and funnily enough, his crucial mantra to get into the zone of the protagonist in 'Alone', was isolation.
Posey was still a teenager when 'Teen Wolf' had first premiered. Yet to turn 19 at the time, the actor reminisces how his immediate reaction to the incredible popularity the show soared to, helped him get into Aidan's zone. "When I first started getting kind of famous from Teen Wolf, I didn't really know how to deal with it, so I isolated myself. And I kind of used that when Aidan was quarantining himself and was alone," Posey tells MEA WorldWide (MEAWW) in an exclusive chat. "So I knew how he felt and how lonely it is to not be able to rely on anybody but yourself and that it creates some sort of insanity sometimes. You can become a little crazy, a little unstable when you're only relying on your side. So that's a headspace that I've been in before and it was really interesting to kind of bring myself to that point."
Aidan's arc sees Posey go from joyously awaiting his family's arrival to being left stranded as a mysterious virus takes over the planet and people start turning into zombies. But realistic as it might seem to others, for Posey, there were some heartbreaking parallels to be drawn too. "Aidan lost his family, and I have experience of losing a mother, and I brought that to my character. There's a bunch of stuff that I used in my own life, um, to get into Aidan's head a little bit more, you know?"
Having played the role of the teen hero, Posey shared how badly he would like to play adult roles, like a cop, or a drug addict, or even a normal doctor or a priest. It's all on his wishlist. But pivotal as the success of 'Teen Wolf' might have been, and as much as he loves the supernatural genre, Posey deems Aidan his first step into the world of mature roles. It's very different from what he has been famous as, for so long. "My character in teen Wolf kind of had things figured out when he became this hero. He knew what to do. He was methodical and he was athletically phenomenal. He knew how to do flips and he was a gymnast," Posey spills about Scott McCall – his 'Teen Wolf' persona.
"Aidan, on the other hand, had no idea what he was doing. He did what he did and ended up becoming a hero, but he was very clumsy getting to that spot, and I loved that difference between the two. Aidan is this real person who's thrust into an insane scenario and he's only human. It's so cool, so much fun to play that raw human who's kind of clumsy, and he's just learning how to do things."
Aidan's journey in quarantine amidst a full-blown zombie outbreak might sound familiar to anyone who's spent the majority of this year cooped up, trying to make some sense out of the disasters the planet has been showered with. "Aidan went through a lot of personal growth," Posey reflects on his character's arc. "He was really scared and a coward at first because he has never been alone before. And then he started to basically just survive without any direction. He became very depressed before he had this rebirth of realizing that he has something bigger than himself to live for and he becomes selfless," Posey explains before correlating Aidan's arc to his 'personal experience through quarantine'.
"I was almost selfish at first. Kind of living for just myself," Posey tells us. "And then I had my own regrowth or rebirth and I've grown a lot since the beginning of my quarantine and I'm living life. I'm not for myself anymore. I am super grateful that I realized there's something bigger than myself. And I'm very selfless at this point at this moment. When I'm not, I keep learning to be and keep striving to be selfless - something that a lot of people can try to be during these times because it's not just a 'me' situation. It's an us and a 'we' situation. I've realized that this planet is not just me. It's everybody involved and I just want to love everybody."
That said, heavy epiphanies aside, there are also other attractions that might pull one into 'Alone'. Posey tells us how the zombies in the movie are not entirely brain-dead; their last memory from their human days are still there, and even when they are turning into zombies, they keep insisting they are okay. There's still a human part of them that's still conscious, which "makes it harder to kill the zombies because they're still sort of human," Posey shares. "There's never been any remorse in killing zombies before, except for this movie and it's really disturbing, sad, messed up. But Aidan's also got this lighthearted approach to everything. There's a lot of comedy in the film but he also goes through the wringer. He gets to his rock bottom, he's at the lowest point in his life, and then he finds something to live for. There's just a lot of real-life human qualities within the movie, and it's kind of a sort of punk rock version of a zombie movie. These really cool elements that we throw into the movie that we haven't seen before, especially with zombies, is also very similar to how we're living life right now."
The other brilliant thing about 'Alone'? Working alongside his father John Posey, who plays Aidan's dad in the film. "I love working with my dad so much. And the part I love the most about it is that he really enjoys it too. I can't even imagine what it must be like being in his shoes, with his kid bringing him in projects that he's doing. I just think that's so cool and so much fun for me because he got me into acting when I was a kid and it's just a way to pay it back."
In the final moments of our chat, Posey addresses the one question pretty much every fan of his is begging to be answered. Is there a Teen Wolf spinoff coming? "I really hope so," Posey enthuses. "I think there's much more story to tell when it comes to Teen Wolf, I would love to tell them more. I would love to be in more. So I'm always, always, always available for more Teen Wolf. I love that show. The fans love that show and I would love to give back more, but I have no idea." Well, for now, Posey-fans can gush over his new avatar Aidan, so don't forget to catch 'Alone' when it drops this Friday, October 16, on virtual theatres worldwide.