Exclusive interview with Steve Talley

Foto: Steve Talley - Copyright: Jeff Nicholson
Steve Talley
© Jeff Nicholson

March 18, 2015 | No new "The 100" or "Hindsight" in the US today, but as both season finales suggested, we may keep our fingers crossed for a lot more Steve Talley on our screens next season because not only are both his characters Kyle Wick and Kevin guys to swoon over, both seem to be on course for promising storylines when the shows return. Steve Talley kindly made time to answer our questions and boy, did he sweep us off our feet being all adorable and playful, while at the same time offering fascinating insights into his work and his thoughts about the characters he plays. Last but not least in this interview you'll find out if Steve would like to do what his "Pretty Little Liars" character Zack does for a living.

German translation of the interview.

Hinweis: © myFanbase 2015 - The interview is exclusive to myFanbase and may not be published on other websites or the like. You may share the first two questions (up to 180 words) if you link back to this site. Translations other than English and German may be posted with full credit including the link to this site.

1) I read you are a big movie nerd and you got into acting because you wanted to do all those different things you saw in the movies. So did the acting job turn out to be how you pictured it?

The actual "acting" part is more or less what I envisioned, but the rest of it is a total pain in the balls. "Acting" is fun, but "being an actor" is 90% mental and emotional torture. That said, being on set can be a great experience and I feel lucky to get to work. Sometimes it's a ton of fun, sometimes it's a little arduous. Not every gig is a total blast, but nobody loves everything about their job.

2) Kyle Wick is an engineer on "The 100" and a crucial player in the endgame of season 2. Would you tell us a little bit about how you got to be back for a bigger arc in season 2?

As far as my involvement in The 100, that started out as just another audition. Barb Fiorentino and Danielle Aufiero cast the show and they're old friends of mine. They just called me in and the job had a possibility to be a recurring thing. I got the gig and had a great time working with Henry Ian Cusick, the stuff we got felt good. The whole "coming back" thing was really all Jason Rothenberg and Kim Shumway. Kim's been great about writing stuff for me and Jason's obviously really well-versed in what works within that universe, so it worked out that Wick got to come back into the mix and give Raven someone to develop with. And lust over, of course.

Foto: The 100, Promo-Plakat zur zweiten Staffel auf The CW - Copyright: 2013 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.
The 100, Promo-Plakat zur zweiten Staffel auf The CW
© 2013 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.

3) With his lightness and humor Wick is like the missing piece of the puzzle in "The 100". What do you admire about your character? And how much do you love your "technobabble" scenes?

Wick really isn't all that different from me. I'm not one of these actors who "TRANSFORMS" into "ROLES" or whatever. I think it's plausible that, if someone were in a harrowing situation, they'd be cracking jokes. I know for a fact I would be because that's just my personality. Good casting and good writing make it easy for me to just slip into these gigs, I don't have to alter who I really am all that much. However, the technobabble stuff is BRUTAL, man. I feel for the CSI dudes and anyone who has to regurgitate such bizarre terminology all the time. It can get rough. I'm completely in the dark on what most of it means and I'm fine with that. I trust that the writers are doing their due diligence and making me sound smart. But it would be kind of funny to have it all be total jibberish like "Raven, the polyethylene fart flamingo is activated."

4) Wick is the kinda guy who carries the girl home. Given what we know about Raven's quirks, do you see a romantic future for the two of them in which they might complement each other as well as they do in their working relationship?

Before I go any further, let me just say that that scene where I'm carrying Lindsey Morgan was a feat of pure brute strength. We started so far back from the Camp Jaha gates and it was all supposed to be one long shot. Everyone is supposed to be worn out from the battle and everything, right? So we're all walking SUPER SLOW. Lindsey isn't that heavy, but she's all muscle, so after the 7th or 8th take I pulled our 1st AD Ian aside and was like, "Yo, I don't wanna sound like a wimp but I have a finite number of these in me." He laughed and told me to man up. No sympathy whatsoever. After a few more takes we were done, but it was quite a workout. Sorry, that was a long tangent. As for Raven and Wick, here's the thing; great relationships often require a willingness to butt heads. You don't want the woman being too subservient and you don't want the guy to be a doormat. Raven and Wick have a good back and forth and a respect for each other's ideas and opinions even when they don't see eye to eye. I can see a future for any two people who have natural chemistry and a clear enough idea about who they are as individuals to be able to hear the truth, and see it as such, even when that's not easy or convenient. Boom, suck it Dr. Phil.

5) Growing up, did you have a favorite young adult or dystopia novel or movie you can recommend?

I'm too old to have grown up with YA. I guess the Narnia books were the closest thing I had. I wasn't much of what you'd call a "reader," either. I guess that makes me some kind of unenlightened hillbilly, which is fine. I did get pretty into those Goosebumps books R.L. Stine wrote when I was a kid and I went through a Stephen King phase. Beyond that, not a lot of reading until I got older. Nowadays it's mostly non-fiction stuff. I read "Going Clear," that crazy expose' of Scientology which is a real treat. Also, I'd recommend every teenager read Hunter Thompson's stuff. It's dystopian in a way. The American Dream is dead, kids!

6) You also play Kevin on VH-1's "Hindsight". Given how much he loves Becca, how will Kevin feel if Becca tells him she does really know him from "the future"?

I've wondered how our old pal Kevin might react to that nugget of information. Kevin and Becca's relationship is one of those weird "meant to be" kind of things, so I guess maybe once he came to terms with the science-fiction nature of Becca's situation he'd be accepting. He's the one who was talking about starting over and second chances, so I think he could empathize with Becca's mission to correct her mistakes and keep Lolly in her life. Or maybe Kevin doesn't buy it and he and Sebastian get married and run the video store together. Maybe I'll pitch that.

7) "Hindsight" is a huge love letter to the 90s and most of all 90s music. What did you listen to as a teen in the 90s?

I was born in '81. Obviously most people, at least before like 12 or 13, just kind of listen to what's on the radio and what their parents listen to. My folks didn't listen to a lot of music, soft rock type stuff mostly, so I was into Bryan Adams and all that monster ballad stuff, which I still love unironically. Once I got into my early teens I started to plug in with Beastie Boys, Nirvana, the mainstream alt rock stuff. I also discovered my love of classic rock like The Beatles, Dylan, Tom Petty (my first concert), Pink Floyd, and my all time favorite LORD GOD ALMIGHTY BRUCE FREDERICK JOSEPH SPRINGSTEEN.

Foto: Steve Talley - Copyright: Jeff Nicholson
Steve Talley
© Jeff Nicholson

8) Where would your flux capacitator take you?

My flux capacitor would take me to right now, at this exact point in time, because I LIVE IN THE MOMENT, BRO. Haha. JK, the ladder match between Shawn Michaels and Razor Ramon at Wrestlemania X in Madison Square Garden.

9) If you were to choose one of your characters' jobs for a year, what would you most and least like to do and why? Be a pastry chef in Vienna (PLL), an engineer in the future (The 100) or a fisherman in Alaska (Hindsight)?

If I HAD to choose (none of these sound particularly good), I think I'd do Alaska first. The solitude sounds nice and I've always wanted to see Alaska. Engineering in the future sounds sucky, I hate math.

10) Are your recent roles on teen or young adult shows the matter of some debate at home with your teenage daughter, e.g. when your "Pretty Little Liars" character Zack, Ella's fiancé, turned jerk by making a move on Hanna?

My daughter doesn't really care, I don't think. She watched PLL and I think she sorta got a kick out of seeing me show up, but she knows I love the villainous stuff the most, so she thinks it's fun when I'm the bad guy. I did a Criminal Minds episode years ago and at the end I get shot in slow motion. We enjoy watching that as a family. As for my other stuff, she doesn't even watch it. You'd have to pay her to watch the old man work. I get it. I wouldn't want to watch me either.

11) There's this quote from you that you sometimes feel funny playing make believe as a grown man. Is that something that varys with how much you can identify with a character or how long you work with the same actors?

To an extent, yeah, and I feel funny about it predominately from a social standpoint.You can't really get too embarrassed and still do this job, so my hang-up is that I feel stupid talking about it. Shooting the American Pie movies I had to do all this outrageous stuff that's not at all my real personality. Plenty of stuff I've done is straightforward enough that it doesn't cross my mind.

12) On the movie "Deadline" you were also co-producer. Is that something you'd like to pursue, producing or maybe writing (you did some writing in high school, right?)?

Whoa, that's a deep cut. Yeah, that was a situation where I just auditioned and got the job, then part of the negotiation after the fact was the co-producer credit. But yeah, the reason for that was that I wanted that on my resume. This all falls under the category of "I feel kinda stupid talking about it," but the writing and producing stuff is certainly where I see myself being happier.

13) Since myFanbase is an online magazine about tv shows, we would like to know what your favorite shows are?

I'm not a huge TV watcher, which I'm told is a really ignorant move since I'm supposed to be keeping track of what's popular, but I just can't keep up anymore. I'll probably get murdered in the street for saying this but I haven't seen Breaking Bad, House of Cards, or Transparent. I'm sure it's all great, but when I hunker down to watch some TV it's either a Laker game, HGTV, or Food Network. I watch a lot of Family Feud. I like to keep it kinda mindless. My fiance and I do watch Game of Thrones, but I just jumped in last season. I'm digging Last Man on Earth. Watching a lot of Letterman, he's a hero of mine and he's about to retire. Also, the local news in LA is just about the funniest thing you can watch, it's fascinating.

Thank you so much for making time for us, Steve, we wish you all the best for your future!

Nicole Oebel - myFanbase