I recently got a chance to interview LOGAN HUFFMAN who plays Tyler Evans on ABC’s V, which returns on Tuesday, March 30th, at 10pm.
You might have previously seen Logan Huffman in the TV movie America and the movie Lymelife, but right now you should get ready to see a lot more of him on V. According to Logan Huffman, we’re going to learn a lot more about Tyler’s traumatic past in the upcoming episodes. During the interview, he also talked about Tyler’s relationship with his mother, his process as an actor, and much more. So enjoy the interview and don’t forget to watch V Tuesday, March 30th, at 10pm on ABC.
What originally attracted you to ‘V’?
Logan Huffman: It’s kind of funny. I actually worked with the director of the pilot in a Lifetime movie called ‘America’. My brother emailed me and he said, ‘You’ve got an audition tonight.’ It was like twelve o’clock when I actually read my email so I wasn’t being a very good actor. But my brother called me and he said, ‘Hey, man. You’ve got an audition. I think the guy that directed “America” is directing this next.’ So I emailed him and I said, ‘Hey, what’s up Yves [Simoneau]? Do you have any pointers for this audition? I think you’re going to be a part of it.’ He emailed me back and said what kind of character it was and then asked, ‘Have you changed any since I’ve seen you?’ In that show I had really long hair, an ungodly long mane. I said, ‘Yeah, I cut my hair.’ I went to all my neighbors in New York at three o’clock in the morning, knocking on their doors, and I don’t talk to people because I’m a bit of a recluse. So for them to first meet me going, ‘Can I use a camera and send it over the internet because I don’t know how to do this. Can you send it?’ I finally found somebody who did it for me. They sent it to the producers and the producers said, ‘Oh, yeah,’ and then I just had to prove myself in the room. It’s so cool because I remember when I first got out to New York, and I’d been trained for television and film and I’m a Meisner guy so I always thought that if I were going to do a TV show it would have to be something like ‘Lost’ or else I’d just not do it. I mean if I got something like another show that was more teenish, but this is more of a serious drama and gives me time to show my range. And it’s a brilliant show.
How is Tyler’s relationship with his mom going to change? He’s a part of the V now but she has no idea.
Logan Huffman: Well, it’s going to go in a lot of different directions. I’m really excited because initially it was terribly hard for me to find Tyler. I’m a big believer in all that acting is is a controlled schizophrenia and I’m nothing like him. I’m actually the furthest thing from Tyler that you could find. I’m a real cynic. I don’t have much faith in about anything. He was conflicting to me. It’s like how can you ride a motorcycle and go to a psychiatrist. To me that didn’t make any sense and the cool thing is that you’re going to start putting these pieces together. Tyler, I hate to say it but people probably look at him and say, ‘Why is he a loner? Why is all by himself? Why does he only have one best friend?’ He looks like a prep.
This is something that I’ve had trouble with my entire life. People have looked at me like that because I look like I might be one of the popular kids but it was quite the contrary. I was chubby and quite the loser, and actually kids thought that I was really disabled until the eighth grade, until the teachers gave me an IQ test and I got a 145. So it was quite funny, the whole school thought that. It’s just really that I have dyslexia and I don’t like to talk to people.
I talked to the writers when we were coming back from the four and I said, ‘Listen, he needs something extraordinarily dramatic that’s happened to him in his past to make someone like him be a bit more out there.’ You come to find out why he is what he is. His relationship with his mom, you’re going to see a lot of ups and downs because there’s going to be this huge reveal about what might make Tyler so special that the V’s could use it. There’s something very strange on earth about Tyler and there’s something very strange going on with the V’s and Tyler. So his relationships are going to move into a lot of different directions. I love it because you get to see why he’s actually quite a tormented person and that he had something very, very traumatic and something very physical happen to him in the past that kind of messed him up and caused, he believes, his parents to breakup. So it’s all his fault and basically all I can say is that he didn’t talk to anybody for six months. We’ll find out. I don’t want to say too much. I’m giving you a spoiler. You’re the first person I’ve said that to. I’ve been very loose. I think that a lot of people have had a lot of trouble with accepting Tyler. In a way that’s what I wanted because I played him like a whinny kid. Here’s the beautiful thing, once you get to know someone – this is where my ultimate goal I think with the character is, it’s to teach people not to judge a book by its cover. I almost love it that I had this time to get a break and then you come back and you start to find out these things. Hopefully I can teach some people some lessons, like, ‘Okay, this kid seems like one thing,’ but really he’s quite different. He’s a very passionate human being who only wants the best. I think kids from generation can connect with my character because we feel that we were left a crappy earth. For the first time in history our parents wanted to be better off than us. That’s why we’re in this crisis. That’s why everything has gone to hell in a hand basket. That’s what Tyler is. You get this amazing and beautiful ship showing up with all these wonderful answers and these beautiful people that are offering peace and love and generosity; how you cannot jump on that.
I thought his relationship with his mom was interesting because she didn’t say why she didn’t trust the V’s. Do you think the fact that Lisa is there and she’s so beautiful, is there a hope that she’s going to save earth? Is he blinded by her beauty?
Logan Huffman: The way that I’ve played it, I think initially that’s something. It’s just like anything else, first you lust and then you love. I think really in the pilot it was really that lust, like, ‘Ooh, wow. Look at this. She’s beautiful and stunning,’ and she’s got this cool message and is a part of something. It was very carnal at first. Then it was, ‘Look, she’s got a great message I can hold onto.’
To go back to Tyler and his mom, it’s going to be extraordinarily up and down. The new episodes are very quick and it’s very moving in a really interesting place. They tell a lot of information and have a lot of reveals and all the actors, we’ve done a great job of also piecing together the humanity in it. So it’ll be pretty fun. Lisa, I think it does have to do with some of that. She’s beautiful and stunning. But I think a lot of it also, the way that I’ve been playing it, is that I wanted to make sure that people know Tyler is a young man with a cause. There’s nothing more powerful than a young man with a cause. If you read Joseph Campbell, Tyler fits a lot of really special requirements. He’s leaving the mother. He’s going out into hell. Then he’s going to find a gift and bring it back for humanity and maybe he’ll make it a better place. That’s nothing true of the series so far but when it comes to the requirements of what Tyler must do as an archetype I’m pretty excited. That’s why I have no worries. I just feel like this is a brilliant show and that people need this. They need this escapism right now.
What about Anna and Tyler, how will that relationship develop? Are we going to see these two interacting more in the upcoming episodes?
Logan Huffman: Yes. I would say definitely. Of course he’s going to interact with her more. I can’t tell you what it’s about but she is showing him, like, ‘We want you to be a part of our family.’ That was established when they showed him the engine room. It’s about ‘come on over to our side.’ Tyler is manipulated by them but he’s really blindly manipulated by them. We only get a week by week script and I don’t know exactly but I’m going to tell you one thing, things get interesting between Anna and I. That’s about it.
Does that happen in the first couple of episodes?
Logan Huffman: I can’t tell you that. I’m sorry. I’m just saying those things are interesting and that could mean a lot of things. But it’s fun. I get to work with a lot of really powerful women as an actor and also as a character. I’m so lucky because I’m kind of an actor who admires actresses more than actors. I study actresses a lot. In order to make it in this industry as an actor you have to be damn good. In order to make it as an actress you have to be brilliant. That’s really the truth. For every one actor there are – what is it – four actresses trying [to make it] in this business. So I’m learning a lot.
Can you talk about how you prepared for the part since you had trouble finding him? What’s your process in carving out a character?
Logan Huffman: It’s a lot of different things and it can’t be pushed. The moment that you start pushing it the worse it gets. It’s really funny. I know I’ve only done small things but I wish that people would actually go out and see some of my past work because I played some really strange individuals. I usually play bad guys, masochists, guys like that. To play someone so genuine and so enamored by something has been really hard for me because I’m not like that. But Tyler is very interesting. In the beginning it was tough. Another thing, or well, I don’t know if I want to give away anymore of my secrets.
That’s up to you.
Logan Huffman: A guy in a business suit could listen to R&B and you’d never know it by the look of his clothes. So I’m a big believer in that I must find the song. I must find what this person listens to. Music is the most personal part of our lives. It’s what makes us move. It’s what compels us to do things, I think. So it took me forever to figure out his song. I’m not going to tell you his song.
I was going to ask that.
Logan Huffman: No. Secrets are powerful and they actually help because then you don’t have to think about it. He was very hard for me at the beginning. I have conversations with my characters all the time, even the ones from the past. Every one of them I try to get to know. I treat it like schizophrenia. I let them take over and let them have their needs, wants and desires and then I just sit at home and talk to them and they talk back, as insane as that sounds. But it’s very fun and it’s also a good way to not make anymore friends than I already have.
You mentioned having dyslexia. How does that come into play for you when you get a script and have to learn your lines?
Logan Huffman: Well, it’s been kind of an uphill battle in a lot of ways when I first got started. I’m not related to anybody. I’m not the son of a casting director. I’m just a stupid kid from Indiana who was passionate about something and who actually walked out of a cornfield and pursued something. At the beginning, it was about if they could trust me. I remember the first job that I had, I shouldn’t mention the name, but I was offered a big deal and then a two movie deal after that for scary movies. I was seventeen and I’d never had anything before and all my problems were solved. I’d be able to take care of myself and be happy. I went up there for two days and they gave me a script and they said, ‘Read it, read it out loud,’ at the table read and everything. I read out loud and I sounded like a country kid, just a complete bumbling cowboy. It was like the cowboys off the old westerns in the schoolhouse. It was very funny. But I read it and two days later the producers fired me because they couldn’t trust me. But I was very happy about that because I was never going to let that happen again. I’ve had a lot of things like that. It’s been really tough. I’ve always been driven so that people would know that I’m an intelligent person because people didn’t treat me like one for a really long time. I memorize things very well and so in school, to try to get by I would memorize things. I love history. I would memorize everything that I could. As a benefit though, if people don’t see me read, I can memorize anything if I read it seven times. Anything. I read Sigmund Freud and he said that if you do anything seven times it becomes habit. So that’s the way that I treat life. Lines are nothing but the movement of your mouth and memorizing the movement of your mouth and then just living in the moment and experiencing what you’re saying; you should never really focus on the lines. The lines are the truth of the moment and the truth of the scene. They’re the structure but then what’s going on underneath that is the most important thing and that can only come through something that’s natural. I’ve had an uphill battle when it comes to lines and learning. I know my lines. It’s just getting people to trust me. All my life I’ve been trying to get people to trust me. I remember I used to tryout for plays but I couldn’t read out loud as a child and they wouldn’t give me any parts. They just wouldn’t do it.
Look at you now on network TV.
Logan Huffman: Yes. I have to say it’s really funny for all the kids who made fun of me. All of them ask to be my friends on Facebook.
Do you have anything else coming up besides ‘V’?
Logan Huffman: I’m working on stuff right now. I can’t tell you anything but I’m working on trying to get something together but what actor isn’t. I definitely want to do something and I definitely want to do something more like my traditional route, creepier. The thing that I love about these next episodes is that I can actually show that I have some range. I’m not just some mild teen put in there to bumper stuff. You actually get to see me act as an actor and actually work. I think the writers have really pushed for that and they knew that I could go to far places when it comes to working as an actor. This is all I have. This is all I care about.
My whole life is devoted to trying to understand the way that we feel things and what moves us as people and also to be affected by this because life is a beautiful thing. It’s very long. Everyone says that it goes by so fast but no it doesn’t. If you live in the moment of every second of your life it always keeps on going. There are so many little beautiful things and that’s what I do, I just study the little beautiful things. There are thousands of little beautiful moments in every second that will make a good scene. That’s the most exciting and passionate thing in my life. I take what I do extraordinarily seriously. Nothing else comes before this. I just want to work and do something that I love. It’s all actor BS. I’m sorry.
If you could guest star on any other TV show, which one would it be?
Logan Huffman: ‘MonsterQuest’. I’m joking. That’s a History Channel show. I would love to be in a comedy, probably like ‘The Office’ or ‘Modern Family’. I would love to have a really strange and completely opposite kind of guy, something completely out there. I like to stretch things and so hopefully I can get some of these parts that I’m working on. The ones that I’m focusing on are really staunchly different from Tyler.
I’m looking forward to seeing the rest of ‘V’ and all things related to Tyler.
Logan Huffman: He’s moving in a really fun direction. I’m just happy because I think that people will actually get to see more range from me and maybe respect me a little more. I know I’m the young buck and you always have to go through a hazing process and nobody knows me and so therefore they can say anything that they want about me. So we’ll figure it out.