IN CONVERSATION WITH HUNTER DOOHAN
Interview by Jana Letonja
Hunter Doohan is an American actor, best known for his roles in the TV series ‘Your Honor’ and ‘Wednesday’. In ‘Wednesday’ he plays Tyler Galpin, where he has the big villain reveal in the final episode. ‘Wednesday’ premiered on 16 November and was released on Netflix on 23 November. Within three weeks of its release, it became the second-most watched English-language Netflix series.
Hunter, you star in the new Netflix’s hit series ‘Wednesday’ as Tyler Galpin, a barista at a local coffee shop and Sheriff Galpin’s son who has a romantic interest in Wednesday. In the final episode, your character had a big villain reveal. Were you surprised when you read the script and found out about the plot twist?
I actually knew from the beginning. Well, I didn’t know when I did my first audition, but then before my final chemistry read with Jenna and network tests I kept asking for more information about the character and finally, they said he has a big secret. And I was like “Is it THE secret? ” And they wouldn’t confirm, but I had a pretty good idea. I had two scenes in the final audition and one of them kind of had a little bit of a chance to show the darker side of Tyler.
‘Wednesday’ is a coming-of-age supernatural comedy horror series based on the character Wednesday Addams and it follows her learning to master her emerging psychic ability while solving mysteries that haunted her parents. How does in your opinion the series tie in with the original story about the Addams family?
I was a really big fan of the nineties movies and I think the entire Addams family really pays homage to that when you see them all together in episodes one and five and we get all those great family moments. But I know for me growing up, Wednesday was always kind of my favorite character. So I think what’s great about our show is that now she doesn’t just get the amazing witty one-liners. We get to spend all this time with her and see her in situations we’ve never seen her before and ones when she’s out on her own, which I think is really fun and I think people have really connected to it.
The series premiered in November and within three weeks of its release on Netflix, it became the second-most watched English-language Netflix series. How does it feel to be a part of one of the most popular shows at the moment so early in your career?
It’s really hard to wrap my head around those numbers to be honest. It’s crazy and I knew what we had made was really fun and I thought it was special, but that’s just not something you can predict. I feel really lucky to be a part of it and I hope we get to make more of it cause people seem to really like it.
How was it like working with Tim Burton?
Tim was amazing. He was so cool and collaborative. I’m such a big fan. I was so intimidated to work with him, just because of who he is as a filmmaker, but then we got over there and he was so nice and awesome. I can’t say enough nice things about him. I hope I get to work with him again. I loved it so much, it was like a dream come true.
With the series receiving two Golden Globe nominations, it is no question we’ll see more seasons in the future. How do you personally see the story continuing from the finale of Season 1?
If I knew a great answer to that I’d be in a different position on the show. I trust Alfred and Miles so much. I know they’re gonna come up with something great and especially with Tim’s involvement too. I don’t know what they have in store for everyone. I know for me personally, I’m excited that we get to start off season two with Tyler already having been revealed having this power. I always kind of joke around it’s like I played two different characters, but I got to play the second one for like three scenes. I’m excited to see Tyler in that way and also to find out what Tyler’s like when he doesn’t have a master behind the hide controlling him. I imagine this duality to him of both sides, the hide and the real Tyler kind of fight over, control over him basically.
With your career starting to grow, where do you see it going in the next decade?
I try not to plan out too much. The amazing things that have happened in my career that I’ve been lucky enough to play so far, like ‘Your Honor’ on Showtime and now ‘Wednesday’, are two opportunities I never could have dreamt up and they were so amazing. So I’m definitely just open to whatever’s next. Although, in the next few years I hope we get to continue ‘Wednesday’ for a few seasons. That would be a dream come true, to follow a character for that long. And then hopefully do some really cool films in between seasons. And I really hope to get back on stage someday too and do a play.
How did your interest for acting begin?
I did theater, kind of. That’s how I got into acting. I was growing up in a little town in Arkansas in the South here in the States and that was kind of the only outlet for it. I auditioned for a play when I was in high school and then just kept going and did several plays every year of high school. And then when I went out to Los Angeles for a summer internship, that was kind of the first time I had a chance to realize that there was even another opportunity to pursue film and TV. So yeah, I never did it professionally, but I’d like to get back to doing theater too.
So which moment made you realize acting is something you really are passionate about?
I just kind of fell in love with it in high school. I think it sounds kind of cheesy, but when we started studying a little bit of Shakespeare in my high school drama classes, I got to play Hamlet in my junior year and it was so much fun to dive into something like that. And again, it was me being 16 in Arkansas. I’m sure it was not very good, but I fell in love with it and have basically been pursuing it ever since.
Your dad is the Australian tennis player Peter Doohan. Has tennis ever been something you were also interested in?
I mean, I grew up being around tennis constantly with my dad working as a tennis pro. And my older brother John actually followed in tennis footsteps and he teaches tennis now. I think when I was little, I fought against it a little bit as I had to be there a lot. But I like to go out and play tennis now. I don’t do it super often and I should be better, but I like to go out and do it.
While studying acting and auditioning, you had quite a variety of day jobs, on which you must have encountered a lot of funny or weird moments. Tell us about one that you could describe as such.
I was a tour guide at Universal Studios. The audition process to become a Universal tour guide is kind of funny, because they make you really want it. You have to audition to do it and of course, it’s a bunch of actors and you can’t help but to all of a sudden feel a little bit of the competitive edge to get in there. I remember I auditioned and I didn’t even make it the first time. I auditioned to be a tour guide. I had to come back a second time and then they make you do it through several rounds. At the end of the day, it’s a cool day job, but it is a day job and you’re like “I fought really hard to be here”.
Then I was an extra for five years in the background of a bunch of films and TV shows. There’s a casting agency for that stuff called ‘Central Casting’ and I was actually fired from them and it wasn’t my fault. They got me mixed up with someone who said they were in a car crash and were late to work. And so I got this email saying I was fired. I was like “But I wasn’t in a car crash. That wasn’t me”. But they don’t let you fight back at all, cause there are so many actors in LA trying to make it that they don’t have to give you the time of day. They just didn’t want to hear any arguments and so I lost. To be fired as an extra was a low point in my career.
What are you most passionate about in life? We’ve talked about acting, but what other things really excite you?
I always struggle with this question. I mean, obviously, I have other little hobbies, but people are always quick to go like “Well besides acting, what do you like to do? ” I was saying in high school acting was like just a hobby basically and it’s always kind of been my passion, so I’m always quick to or always want to remind people that just because I’m able to do it professionally, doesn’t mean it’s not still my favorite hobby and favorite thing to do. And so I feel like really lucky to be able to do it. Last year we were in Romania shooting through the winter though, so I didn’t get to go snowboarding and I learned how to do that a few years ago. So I’m really hoping to get out and do that this winter.
After your role in ‘Wednesday’, what’s next on the horizon for you?
Nothing official yet that I can talk about, but ‘Wednesday’ has been amazing at opening some doors that otherwise I just wouldn’t have even gotten the opportunity for. There are a few things that I have a shot at right now that I’m really hopeful about. A few films I’m hoping to do before we go back to do a second season, knock on wood if that happens.
I’m trying to also write. That’s another thing I’m passionate about, writing my own scripts. And so hopefully in the next few years, I’ve done a few short films. I used to do them before anybody would hire me to have show proof. I’m hoping to do a feature-length film in the next few years. So that’s kind of like the dream.
Talent Hunter Doohan @hunterdoohan
Photographer Tyler Patrick Kenny @tylerpatrickkenny
Stylist Charlie Ward @charliewardstyles
Groomer Kennedy Trisler @kennedytrislerhair
Studio tech Reno Ronquillo @renoronq
Grooming assistant Kyle Brennan @elyknannerb
Editor Timi Letonja @timiletonjaCover design Arthur Roeloffzen @arthurroeloffzen