A wolf in sheep’s clothing, Hunter Doohan kills it in Netflix’s Wednesday. Who else saw the plot twist coming? Anyone? No? It isn’t difficult to see why Hunter Doohan was cast as Tyler in the Netflix smash series Wednesday — he is flawlessly charming, incredibly kind-hearted, and also makes the switch from the boy next door and adorable love interest to psychopath so easily it’s scary. When speaking with Hunter, you get the sense he is incredibly grateful and honoured to be given this shot. And let’s be honest here: he killed it. Having acted for 10 years in the film and television industry, he never dreamed that he would be a part of a blowout hit and he’s truly just getting started.
Renewed for its second season, we won’t have to wait too long to return to Nevermore and the fantastical world of Wednesday. Will Tyler break free? Is the part of him that isn’t hyde lost forever? Will he succumb to his baser instincts for good? So many questions just waiting to be answered, but one thing is for certain this isn’t the last we’ve seen of Hunter or Tyler.
While we’re speculating and theorizing about what comes next, Hunter is busy auditioning. The life of a working actor is never finished and Wednesday certainly helped put him on the map. He’s looking to stretch different creative muscles in a new role, something the complete opposite before he goes back to that hyde mentality. With the way things are going for him and the insatiable need to do more coupled with his ferocious talent, it won’t be long before you see him on a screen near you.
In conversation with Schön Magazine, Hunter discusses his hopes for Tyler in season two of Wednesday, advice he’d give to his younger self, his favourite scenes to film across his acting career, and much more.
Let’s start with Wednesday. What has it been like to be a part of this… sensation? It’s almost like lightning in a bottle?
Yeah, totally. It’s been crazy. I mean, I just never expected it to blow up the way that it did. I’ve been trying to act for 10 years. It’s basically been a lot of nobody, you know, caring at all, and then suddenly there’s this crazy response. Honestly, it’s been so much fun. I’ve been loving the ride.
Amazing! Were you at all prepared for how much it would resonate with audiences?
Not at all! I loved the scripts, and we had a great time making it. I guess we should have had an idea. But no, [laughs] I think you have to be a bit of an asshole to expect it to be this popular.
What was it like to watch it for yourself?
It was great. Because up until episode eight, Tyler’s just a normie. I was basically in the coffee shop a lot of the time. And you know, I didn’t really get to see any of the Nevermore stuff. And so, for me, it was fun to watch all my friends in this magical world that I really didn’t get to interact with while we were filming.
On a side note – I was rooting for Tyler. I actually wanted to start this interview with: how dare you?
[both laugh] That’s definitely a common sentiment in comments and messages I get since it premiered.
How much did you know about the Tyler going in? Did you know what his arc was going to be right away? Or did you get the scripts a little bit at a time?
I knew after I was cast. I had a suspicion during the final audition process. They didn’t want to spoil it, obviously, because I guess they didn’t know who they were going with yet. But I definitely tried to lean into a darker side with one of the final audition scenes. But it’s crazy because they didn’t want to spoil it. The turn for Tyler is so drastic, and the audition basically had none of that. So, I’m very grateful to Al [Gough], Miles [Millar], Tim (Burton) and the rest of the producers for believing in me. I got a call from the showrunners Al and Miles after getting cast. And we talked for an hour going through what the whole season was going to look like.
Well, pun totally intended, you killed it.
[laughs] That was a fun part; going through the scripts and marking down how many people were actually murdered throughout the season.
I think it’s seven.
Oh, wow. You didn’t make it to double digits?
Yeah, I know, because the first person you see is the hiker. Then when they’re cleaning his body, it’s like, oh, there were two more before this. And then I forget, all the other ones… it would have been eight but you know, Eugene survived.
Can’t get ‘em all [both laugh]. So, switching things up: what led you to be an actor? What was that journey like for you?
It was honestly getting involved in musical theatre in high school. I grew up in Arkansas, and there weren’t a ton of opportunities. I was really lucky that my high school had a theatre program. And then there was this local program, the Young Actors Guild run by Missy Gibson, and they would put on these amazing productions. And I fell in love with it there. It was kind of the first time I felt like I found what I really wanted to do. I was good in school but didn’t have any clear direction on what I was going to do after. Once I found theatre, I just ran with it.
Was there a particular production where you were like: ‘oh my God, this is what I want to do?’
Looking back, I’ve never watched the footage – I’m sure it was awful – but we did a production of a really short version of Hamlet. That was fun. And to me it felt like: acting, you know?
I love that! For any up-and-coming actors, what is a lesson or a piece of advice you’ve learned along the way?
Definitely. Be in class as much as you can. And find an acting coach that you really trust. I found that with Lisa Milillo here in LA. I love her and I work with her on pretty much everything.
And then, you have to make your own stuff. I made a ton of short films when no one was giving me any opportunities, just so I would have a reel and footage of me acting to show casting directors and agents.
Is there a movie franchise or a television show that you would like to be a part of other than Wednesday?
Oh, I don’t know about a specific one. Wednesday was my first time doing anything in a world that’s kind of larger than life. And as an actor, I found it really fun to be talking about monsters, seeing kids with powers, and trying to keep it real. I’m definitely interested in doing more genre stuff like that, anything in the superhero world, or Star Wars. I think that would be great.
Absolutely. Would love to see you like in a Marvel film, that would be amazing! Circling back to Wednesday, what is your hope for Tyler? And what is a piece of advice you’d give to him?
Stop murdering [both laugh]. In season two, I’m excited because I want to see Tyler for the first time without a master. Does a hyde need a master? Is someone else going to step into that role, or is he going to kind of be on the loose? I think it’d be really fun to play Tyler kind of being torn between who he really is and who the hyde inside him is.
I’m hoping that with the right kind of people around him, he’ll be able to have a somewhat normal life.
So, you’re part of the Tyler deserves a redemption arc?
Yes! He wasn’t completely at fault in my eyes. So, now that we’re more than one month into the year, what is a goal you’d like to manifest for yourself going forward?
Oh, my gosh. There are a couple of projects that I’m auditioning and reading scripts for. One major goal is just to play a character, that’s totally different from Tyler, before we go back to shoot season two, if we can find the time.
And how was that audition you mentioned?
Oh, there’s been several. I tried my best, but now I have to sit around and wait.
I feel like that would be torture.
It’s a life of rejection, but that’s okay.
Do you have a favourite scene in your filmography? Why did it resonate with you?
That’s a good question. You know, I think for Wednesday, my favourite scene was the one at the police station. Getting to do that turn felt like a once-in-a-lifetime chance. To have that big villain reveal monologue moment was really something special. And then there were a lot of moments that were really special to me while shooting Your Honor. I’m such a huge Bryan Cranston fan. I mean, the whole opening sequence of the crash was crazy and was just such a crazy experience to shoot. But I think the scene where I admit to Brian I had hit the kid on the motorcycle in that first episode was just a real pinch-me moment. To have this gigantic scene with one of my heroes was incredible.
I’ve watched that and it’s heartbreaking.
Yeah. It’s not an easy watch.
What’s next for you?
The only thing I can really talk about is season two of Wednesday, and I can’t really say that much about it.
I tried everyone [both laugh]. Lastly, as you look back on your acting journey, what are a few words of wisdom you’d impart on your younger self?
Just be patient and try not to freak out so much. So much good is coming. I think that would have saved me a lot of stress.
I think no matter what you do as a young person, you’re always freaking out about the future. You’re in such a hurry to grow up, there’s really no rush.
No, because then it starts happening. And then you’re like, Oh, shit.
Well, I just want to thank you so much for taking the time to speak with me today. This was a pleasure.
This was so much fun. You asked such interesting questions I haven’t gotten before, and it was great!
Awesome, I’m so glad to hear that! I can’t wait to see what’s next for you.
Thank you so much.
Wednesday is streaming now on Netflix.
photography. Elys Berroteran
fashion. Victor Lopez
talent. Hunter Doohan
make up. Story Falu
assistant. Sebas Gomez
words. Dana Reboe
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