Michael offered up some major scoop on Tyler’s impending werewolf transformation, as well as much, much more. Read on for the deets on Tyler’s howl-raising turn in Episode 2.11, “By the Light of the Moon.” Then check back tomorrow for more from the TVD star!
WP: Crazy is good. And since we’re talking crazy, how do you think Ty would fare in a dog fight against Twilight’s Jacob?
MT: I don’t know. That would be a pretty good battle. But from what I can remember, their CGI werewolves had to be like 12 feet tall. They were abnormally large. Ours are more realistic. So I don’t think we can compare the two in a fight as far as wolves because they’re like in different worlds of the supernatural.
WP: Now that you’ve got werewolf changes to make, how much time do you have to spend in the makeup chair?
MT: Not very long. For the first transformation there was maybe only a couple of prosthetics that we had to use. So it wasn’t too long. You know with us it’s more about the performance than CGI effects and awesome prosthetics — even though we do have them. So we just shot a lot. I was really put through the ringer and I think it’s going to turn out beautifully.
WP: When you say “not long,” what do you mean? We want deets. How much time did it take you to get camera ready as Ty versus now?
MT: [laughs] We had to add on maybe 40 minutes. For me, everyday in hair and makeup: I can be in and out of there in 20 minutes — 30 tops. So for that scene we just tacked on 40 minutes extra. Nothing out of the norm.
WP: How long did it take to shoot your transformation?
MT: We shot it over the course of two days. Two back-to-back, 14-hour days. But, again, it’s multiple scenes that happen over a period of time. It’s not just one scene. And we have a different take on this transformation. I don’t want to give away too much but it’s something that sets us apart from everything else that’s out there right now having to do with werewolf culture.
WP: If you could combine any two existing transformations, how would you describe it? Is it Teen Wolf meets American Werewolf in Paris?
MT: I couldn’t compare it to anything. We’re in a league of our own with this one.
WP: Now we know a full moon activates it. But this is Vampire Diaries and nothing on that show happens at an opportune time. So what party or other social occasion is this transformation going to ruin for Tyler?
MT: Without giving away too much, Tyler is trying to… God how can I say this? Let’s see here. He kind of goes into this knowing that when he turns, he’s likely to hurt people. So Tyler’s trying to barricade himself up so that he won’t hurt anybody. He’s locking gates and bringing out chains. He wants to make sure that he’s held down because he’s not going to be able to control himself. So I don’t think he’s getting loose for his first transformation. He might. He might not.
WP: Come on, you gotta give us more. What’s his biggest challenge during the transformation — besides not exploding? Is it not eating Caroline?
MT: Aw, God. Just going through it. The whole thing is a challenge because it’s so new. Once one thing happens then he feels fine. And he’s okay. But then something else happens. And then there are these urges that just go through him during the transformation. Ugh! If it’s not one thing it’s another. And he can feel it coming inside of him. And they just happen sporadically. He starts losing his mind.
MT: Ours is not like that. I’m really proud of how we approach this transformation. Everything. I can’t say too much. But what I can say is that it isn’t anything like Twilight or True Blood. I don’t just morph into this werewolf in an instant. It is a long, painful process.
WP: So there’s snot and blood and tears.
MT: There’s a lot of everything. You’ll see Tyler just break down as a human being. It just crushes him, this curse. And it’s looong. And painful.
WP: Kevin Williamson has already been bragging on Twitter about the dailies you shot. How do you feel about that?
MT: I was scared to death before going in to shoot it. It’s serious. The curse is something you don’t want to go through. I had to dig really deep in the scenes to pull it off and make it believable. So, as far as Kevin’s tweet, it made me feel good. You’re talking about not only my executive producer, he’s somebody who’s been in this business for a while and who has created Dawson’s Creek and the “Scream” movies. So, for somebody of his caliber in this business to say that, it really does mean a lot to me.
Michael Trevino: I’m not necessarily talking about make up or any of the special effects stuff. I’m really just talking about the whole thing. The whole transformation and what you have to go through having the curse of the werewolf as opposed to being a vampire and having to vamp out.
WP: Do you mean because vampires have more control over what they do?
MT: I’m just saying that, in my opinion, a werewolf transformation would be a lot more painful. It’s just a lot more graphic and gruesome compared to the first time a vampire turns. Let’s say, for example, when Caroline first turned she had the scene in the restroom where her teeth were coming out and it’s painful because her fangs are coming in for the first time. I get that. But let’s multiply that by 100. It’s your whole body morphing. Bones breaking and everything. That’s what a werewolf has to go through.
WP: So did you practice different ways of convulsing and retching in pain?
MT: You know, there was a lot I had to do as part of my preparation. There was a lot of physicality to it. A lot. But, yeah, physically I rehearsed a couple of things and did some research and saw how one would react with their innards moving and bones breaking in every limb of their body.
WP: Where does one find such research?
MT: Well, you could go back to old movies. But also I think a lot of it also has to be just in your imagination because there’s no right or wrong there. I think what’s been written on the page and is in the script and how it’s descriptive about how certain body parts breaking and how they break. I just kept going over that script and realizing maybe this is how this should be. This is how it should go down.
WP: That’s less than an hour and a half. So does it take less time to make a wolf than it does to make a beautiful TVD woman?
MT: Absolutely. They’re in there for a while. But our ladies look gorgeous all the time.
WP: Good. Before we let you go, give us three good teaser bits about the transformation episode.
MT: Tyler handles his. And it’s really graphic — the visuals of what we’re trying to show in this episode. It’s not going to be easy at all. I think people are going to be surprised what we’re going to pull off here and what you’re going to see. His transformation is a long event. It doesn’t happen really quick and it’s going to be different from anything that’s out there right now in movies or on TV. Ultimately, as a whole this is totally different. And people are going to be surprised. At least I hope people are going to be shocked and surprised at what they see on December 9.
Michael Trevino: Rochell, Hi, this is Michael Trevino.
Wetpaint: Hey, look at you, all prompt.
MT: I am. And I’m driving. I mean I know it’s dangerous but we’ll be okay.
WP: The things you do for us! Are you at least on hands-free?
MT: [hesitation] Uh, yes. [Laughs] Let’s go with that.
WP: Yes, let’s. How are you doing?
MT: I’m alright. I’m good. I’m back in Los Angeles doing meetings here and there.
WP: Well, we have many questions for you. To give you a chance to pull over. We’ll start with an easy one: Is Trevino your real name?
MT: Absolutely. I mean, it’s technically pronounced Treviño because I’m full-blooded Mexican. But, yeah, Trevino is my last name.
WP: Some people think it sounds Italian.
MT: I get that a lot. I’m not blaming anybody for the mistake. It’s common. But no, it’s Mexican.