‘Teen Wolf’s Tyler Posey Reflects on the 10th Anniversary of the Pilot
Ten years ago in “Wolf Moon,” Scott McCall (Tyler Posey) ventured into the forests of Beacon Hills with an inhaler and his best friend in search of a mysterious body in the woods… and he walked out bitten by a werewolf.
Thus began a series of supernatural adventures that would enrapture millions throughout Teen Wolf’s six seasons on MTV, as the titular teens battled other werewolves, evil spirits, dark druids, and perhaps the most frightening foes of all: high school and heartbreak.
We chatted with series star Posey about the show’s 10th anniversary, his fondest memories of filming the pilot, and why he thinks Teen Wolf has stood the test of time.
So, first of all — can you believe it’s been 10 years?
Tyler Posey: I was texting my girlfriend this morning and she asked what I was doing. And I said I had an interview for the 10-year anniversary of Teen Wolf. I was like, “Whoa.” That was the first time I’d said it out loud, even through texting, and it felt pretty intense. It’s quite the landmark.
There are still new fans of this show discovering it all the time. What do you think gave it such staying power?
I think it’s authentic. As much as that genre — you know, Twilight, Vampire Diaries, True Blood — kind of vibe is appealing, I think what our show has that the others don’t is an authentic heart. I hadn’t been to the other sets, but I know ours was a family. I’ve been acting for 24 years now, and I’ve never seen anything like it. It was great that the show lasted for so long, and we got to build this bond with each other. But even that early on, it was a bond and we felt like we were creating art. It really felt like we were doing something special and everyone was on each other’s side.
Also, I think Scott and Stiles (Dylan O’Brien) plays a big part in it because that dude and I are still best friends. I kick it with him all the time. He is the love of my life. And that was since day one, since the day we met in the audition process. It was like we were meant to be, or we had met each other in a different life. We were both 18 years old, both wearing skateboard brand T-shirts, and I looked at him and I felt like I knew him. And he felt the same way. That’s only gotten stronger over the years. I’m getting emotional, right now! [Laughs] Our relationship has only gotten stronger, the respect and the love. I think that played a big part in why the show is fun to watch because that relationship is the most authentic thing on TV. I compare it to Supernatural, because those guys are great buddies, too, and people love that show. I think that makes a big difference.
In those early days of the show, did you have any sense of how huge it would become?
I did. One thing weird about me is that I’ve had this foresight of my life since I was a kid. I don’t know if it’s a spiritual connection to the universe, or what! But as soon as we booked the show, I remember Dylan and I were sitting in his car and he said, “How long do you think this show is going to go for, realistically? A couple of months?” And I said, “I don’t know, homie. I think this show could go until we’re 25 years old.” At that point, we were 18 — and that’s when the show wrapped. We were 25 or 26.
With that, I felt that this was going to be big. It’s not the biggest show in the world, but there’s this cult following and this loyalty and fellowship, this family vibe. I’ve met fans all over the world, and they all say they met their best friends through this show. There’s something about this show that is big and powerful and important. I knew it was going to be special. I really did.
What do you remember most about your first days on set? Does anything stand out to you about that time?
Me and Dylan. We shot a pilot presentation, which was half of the pilot, and then we went back and filmed the rest of the pilot months later. So, me, Dylan, Crystal [Reed], [Tyler] Hoechlin, Colton [Haynes], and Holland [Roden] all went to Atlanta. We were there for about nine days of filming, which is crazy for a half-hour. We were in a hotel, and Dylan and I hung out the entire time. We didn’t leave each other’s rooms. I remember being in the cold and none of us complaining, just being so happy to be there and grateful and stoked, but the biggest thing was me and Dylan just laughing until seven in the morning in his hotel room. It was like I was hanging out with a soulmate I hadn’t seen in five lifetimes. It was the greatest. It was me and Dylan all the way — that’s what I remember the most.
One thing that stood out to me on rewatch was the music. People are always saying the Twilight soundtracks have held up well, but I think Teen Wolf’s soundtrack has held up well, too.
You’re so right! I just watched the first season with my girlfriend for the first time in forever, and we’re like, “Yeah, I remember this song!” They killed it. They really, really, really did a good job on the soundtrack. Our music supervisor for the first couple seasons was just the greatest. You’re so right. Everything came together in this perfect storm, and it was so cool.
And you know, the show was so progressive and ahead of its time. Sexuality, women empowerment — I was like, whoa, dude! Who were we? I was so proud of what we did.
The first time I watched it I was pleasantly surprised by the inclusion of LGBTQ characters because at the time the show was first airing, that wasn’t so common. It feels like it would’ve been more at home airing today than it was back then.
You’re so right. In the last episode or the second-to-last episode, I’m hiding from Coach at the dance, and I grab Danny [Keahu Kahuanui] and I’m dancing with Danny. Coach didn’t want me to be at the dance, but everyone looks at him because they think he’s mad that I’m dancing with a man. And he’s like, “It’s OK, keep dancing! Keep dancing.” It’s so good. We did a cool job of that. And the ethnicity in [the show], too. We were ahead of our time.
If you could go back and tell your younger self something before you started on Teen Wolf’s six-year journey, what would it be?
I actually wrote a song about this. My life, from Teen Wolf until now, has been the craziest learning and growth experience. [I would say] just have fun, and pay attention. Don’t miss anything. The good, the bad, just take it all in. I wouldn’t change anything or how I approached anything. I almost don’t want to tell [my younger self] anything, because I don’t want to affect his trajectory or his path! I just want to watch, like a fly on the wall. I want to watch him soak it all in. So, I’d say, “Pay attention, dude, and just keep doing what you’re doing. Keep your eyes open, kid.” And that’s the lyric: “Keep your eyes open, kid, there’s a lot you don’t want to miss.”
I know you reunited with some of the cast last year, virtually. Are you still in touch with anyone from those Season 1 days?
Yeah, sure. When Holland’s not traveling the world, I’m keeping up with her. Crystal, I hear from maybe once every 20 years! [Laughs] [Showrunner] Jeff [Davis] I hear from, Tyler, we’ll always call each other on each other’s birthdays. Colton, I haven’t talked to in a little bit but we try to stay in touch. A lot of the crew members I keep in touch with, too. It’s a big cast, and we’ve all done our own thing over the years and gone our separate ways, [but] when we connect it’s like no time has passed. It’s all good.
As with plenty of popular shows today, fans are calling for a revival. You’ve said you’d be down for it, and I know some other cast members have agreed. Any chance we’ll see it happen, or we see a Season 7 eventually?
Well, that’s the confusing thing. I don’t know why people want a Season 7, because the show is over! That storyline wrapped. If we shoot a Season 7, will they want a Season 8? So, I don’t understand the allure of a Season 7. But I think people want more. Of course, I’m down. My vision for the show when I was 18 was that the show went five seasons, and we ended with a movie. I would love that — a four or five-hour movie where people are falling asleep in the theater. That’s what I want.
Did you ever think about what that could be? I’d read in some of your past interviews that you pitched ideas to Jeff Davis or thought about what continuing that story could be, potentially.
One was kind of a spoof. So, here’s the idea: Scott McCall moves away from Beacon Hills, and he finds that werewolves and supernatural creatures are abundant throughout the entire world, not just Beacon Hills, but Beacon Hills sucked at maintaining anonymity and keeping the madness under control. So Beacon Hills was kind of on the map as far as people being like, “Oh my God, you guys suck. All the s**t that happened to you guys, how did you even survive? Why did this happen?” Scott’s like, “Oh, this is everywhere, and you guys have it way more under control than we did!” So it’s a spoof, kind of a thing.
There was another one — or maybe it was part of that same idea — where Scott leaves Beacon Hills, but he’s not a superhero or anything, he’s just a werewolf in the real world. I don’t know. These were just random ideas I had at like 2 a.m. that I’d send voice messages to Jeff. But the tone of the show was always badass, heartfelt, funny, sexy, and epic. I’d want to maintain that with whatever we do, if we’d bring it back. I’d just want it to be Teen Wolf, 10 years later.