Tyler Posey, 14, Going on 26 Years Old.

by Kees Boer

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I had the privilege of interviewing both John and his son, Tyler Posey. Tyler Posey is the young actor, who plays the character of Raul on DOC and of Danny, the son of a terrorist in the Sue Thomas FBEye show.

This young actor actually has a very diverse acting resume, which would make most actors green with envy. As a young boy, he has ran through the woods with Arnold Schwarzenegger with bombs exploding all around him, been to New York City with Jennifer Lopez, Ralph Fiennes and Stanley Tucci and has ridden a horse in 20 degree below weather for the show "Into the West." In the midst of this, Tyler is a very down to earth friendly teenager, that has the maturity of someone almost twice his age.

Since Tyler's dad is in show business, Tyler grew up watching how shows were put together. John remembers some of those early days. "From the youngest age, I used to carry Tyler to the set with me, since he could barely walk. He had an innate sort of desire to ask odd questions about lighting and blocking, why are things set up this way or that way and was very fearless. He would walk into a room and talk to complete strangers and if you ask him to do something, he'd do it right away. So, there was a true understanding of what it took to do more than just read your lines."

John recalls how he taught Tyler how to act. "I always taught Tyler to first get the words out of the way and to get off the paper and then try to understand what you're saying and why you are saying it, so that there is the emotion. But more than anything else, try to find something unpredictable, a little bit different about the character, something that hopefully not everyone else's going to bring something predictable and be sure to listen what the other guy is saying. If you're really truly listening, like you're hearing it for the first time, your reaction will be an honest reaction, so Tyler sort of picked up on that. It was always interesting to watch him take his time. It appeared like he's really listening and when people watched his words, specifically like movies like "Maid in Manhattan," they always said it looked like he wasn't acting. He was fully listening, responding, taking his time, sort of creating things on the spot. He does a good job with that."

When Tyler was just a young boy, he was featured opposite Arnold Schwarzenegger in the film Collateral damage. Like most Arnold Schwarzenegger's film, the movie contained much action, such as running with Arnold through explosions in Mexico. He got to spend some time with the now Governor of California. His dad recalls: "I remember him playing chess with Arnold Schwarzenegger in his trailer, while nobody else could get in. Tyler could walk right by the bodyguards and nobody would do anything. He would sit in Arnold's trailer and play chess with him for an hour or two."

Tyler loved working on the DOC show. "It was weird, because there were always new directors, there wasn't just one. He would always give us some new material to work on. It was pretty fun, because Toronto was so much fun. It was sometimes really cool. I had a blast working on that show. That really brought me into the acting world, because that's really the first thing, I've ever done."

John mentioned how working with different directors was actually quite beneficial. "Different directors are giving you different approaches to the same character, that's acting 101. So, as a ten year old, he's got more knowledge than most kids coming into the business, because he's shot 40 some odd episodes of a TV series with 20 or 30 different directors with the same cast and different emotions, so it's quite a bit of training. Tyler still hasn't taken any acting classes. As a dad, I would say, that shouldn't become an issue till you're 14 or 15 years old. Once the world becomes a little bit more dramatic and conflicted, when the stakes are raised a little bit, it's probably a good idea to start getting into a workshop and understand why these emotions are happening. These emotions don't happen so much when you're ten. Now's the time, we're talking about doing that. Otherwise, I think, you might ruin a kid if you throw him into an acting class at the age of 8. There's not much they can teach him. There's much more purity, when they are young. What they think comes out anyway."

Tyler loved working with the DOC cast, especially Richard and Tracy. "They were fun. They were awesome. I loved Richard and Tracy. Tracy was cool. We stay in touch with Richard, because Richard recently had a baby, so he sends us new pictures of the baby once in a while."

John remembered how Tyler worked with the other cast members. "Tyler worked mostly with Richard. It was more peripheral, when they had their early scenes together. Cindy (Tyler's mother) was there a lot of the time. I was there early on. I think quite honestly, Billy was even learning from Tyler, because Tyler had more experience in front of the camera and they developed a rapport. I think, they had an equal respect for one another and they had fun. I think the set was always a fun set, because the material was always kind of lighthearted. I think Billy was able to learn from everybody, because he was kind of new to this. All the actors on the set were really Canadian. They were wonderful actors, so was Ruth, Paula, I noticed a lot of the Canadian actors, they all had great theatrical background. There is so much good theater there, like there is in England. It was always a fun set. The producer, Larry McClean was always fun to work with. They were always good to Tyler. They always kept it light. After the pilot, I wasn't there as often. Tyler and I got a chance to work together in a couple of episodes and that was fun. I always have on my demo reel, the Donnie and Raul piece that we did together. That was great. You had the directors and cast as friends. You're working with your 11 year old son, doing acting work. It doesn't get more fun than that."

In one of the episodes, the character of Raul was sitting on the dining room table with Nate and Beverly. They were talking about celebrities in New York City. Raul mentioned that Jennifer Lopez was in New York and you don't see her. This was actually a bit of an inside joke, because Tyler was shooting a movie called "Maid in Manhattan" with Jennifer Lopez at the time.

John mentioned how Tyler was getting recognized everywhere. "When he made "Maid in Manhattan," that was a 100 million dollar movie, he was recognized everywhere. He's ok with that. He doesn't get too caught up in the 'I'm famous, you're not.' In fact, sometimes, some of it kind of bothers him. He'd rather not deal with it, but most people are good about it."

Tyler did have a good time working with Jennifer Lopez on that movie. "She was fun. I actually don't remember too much. I just remember that she was really cool to me. I was invited to Jennifer Lopez' birthday party about a year ago. I couldn't go, because I was shooting a movie."

Outside of acting, Tyler loves playing his guitar in his new band. "I mostly just play Punk. I have a telecaster and I play with my friend; we're in a little band. I play base also. We don't really have a drummer yet." His dad had nothing but praise about how quick he learned the instrument. "He's got a little recording studio and he's playing really good guitar. He's picking it up quickly. He's selftaught."

John mentioned how unlike Raul, Tyler doesn't really get into trouble. "Tyler is a good kid; he never gets into trouble. He steers away from trouble. Tyler's world experience of working in Mexico, all over Canada, New York has taught him a lot. He's working with adults and he understands. He has a maturity about him. Cindy, my wife, and I we talked to him a bit on our level. He's 14 going on 26 years old. He's a good kid. You know, when you're thirteen and you suddenly want to bust out and get high and see what trouble you could get into and try to impress your peers, that doesn't exist with Tyler."

Richard Leacock agrees. "That's a good kid right there. He's going to be a big star, no matter, what he chooses to do. I know that he loves acting, and he loves music too, and I could see him doing his band thing and becoming really big in that too. He's a great kid! We visit him, whenever we go back to L.A. too. We always try to catch up."

John is looking forward to Tyler's future with great anticipation. "Tyler is looking for new avenues in acting now. I think the roles are going to become more complicated. He really is growing. He's almost as big as I am. His feet are bigger. His voice is as low as mine. He's a teenager now. It's a whole new thing now, where the roles, he's going to get are something that are in tune with his age, with what he's thinking about and I look forward to seeing the growth in Tyler and I think he's amazing musician and I think he'll have a career in music somewhere. He writes music, something that I've never been able to do. He writes lyrics. He gets along wonderfully with his brother. They are the two best friends, so we're just having a good time. And he knows that this career could disappear with child actors, but he also has told me that he wants to go to Cal Art, which is a university, right down the road from our house, which was developed by the Disney people many years ago as a art college. A lot of well known actors and producers have come out of Cal Art. It is short for Cal institute for the Arts. So, he pretty much has his head on screwed on right as he's looking at the future."