PaleyFest 2015: Our Recap Of The Teen Wolf Panel

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Wednesday, March 11th (7:00pm)

Moderator: Jarett Wieselman (BuzzFeed)

Panelists: Tyler Posey, Dylan O’Brien, Holland Roden, Dylan Sprayberry, Shelley Hennig, Arden Cho, Crystal Reed, Jeff Davis (EP)

 Teen Wolf had the smallest audience of any of the Paley panels so far, but damn if it wasn’t also the most enthusiastic. There was a lot more screaming and audience back-and-forth than even the Scandal panel had, but the Teen Wolf cast must be old hat at that by now (tonight can hardly have been the first time that Dylan O’Brien faced a wall of women screaming for him to take his shirt off), so all in all it ended up more fun than awkward.

It was also a lot more informative, in terms of where the show is going, than any of the panels I’ve seen so far. (I know that Homeland dropped some big reveals, but I wasn’t there for that.) The big news, of course, is that starting in season five, original cast member Tyler Hoechlin will no longer be a series regular. (In case you were wondering: Yes, the audience flipped out.) Showrunner Jeff Davis said that Hoechlin approached him and said that an indie movie he was filming (possibly Linklater’s Boyhood follow-up That’s What I’m Talking About) had inspired him to want to “do other things that scare him.” But, Davis assures us, “We haven’t seen the last of Derek Hale.” Hoechlin will remain on the show in some capacity.

There were a few other, less bombshell reveals about season five, ranging from the specific to the thematic. We know that there will be a return to Eichen House (specifically, Lydia and Stiles will go there to interview an inmate). We know that Malia’s adoptive father is in a scene in the season premiere. We know that Lydia gets some sort of major cold open revolving around her, and Davis and Holland Roden strongly hinted at a romantic plotline for her. Thematically, Davis said that the fifth season will refocus on the “teen” part of Teen Wolf. “It’s all about senior year,” he said. “It’s about the fear of losing friends after graduation.” He promised — to audible audience approval — a strong focus on Scott and Stiles’ friendship.

Most of the panel, though, was devoted to the past. Departed series regular Crystal Reed made a surprise appearance, to everyone’s delight, so moderator Jarret Wieselman spent a lot of time discussing her character Allison’s death. Davis said that he still doesn’t like watching the scene. “It’s hard to see beloved characters die on screen.” Reed spoke about the process of shooting the death scene, which was filmed on her final day of shooting, separate from most of the set pieces and cast in the final scene. “I had researched how people die,” she said. “I really wanted it to look honest. Then I thought, ‘I’m just gonna do what I feel.'” Reed said it was at that moment that she felt the most grief over losing the character. “I do feel like I kind of lost a bit of myself.” Davis and Reed also mentioned that it was Reed’s decision, in the moment, to add the words “I love you” to Allison’s final dialogue. Reed thanked Tyler Posey for providing support throughout the process. (And in case there was any doubt, Posey assured us that he still plays Scott as deeply missing Allison.)

Davis and the cast also spent a lot of time reminiscing over their favorite moments of the show’s first four seasons. They spoke about the audition process for four original cast members present. “I was never so passionate about getting a role,” Posey said. Davis said that Reed was the first person to audition for Allison, and that after every subsequent woman, he would lean over to his fellow producers and say, “Not as good as Crystal.” One of the women who he passed over for the part was Holland Roden, who originally auditioned for Allison after being told that Lydia was a character “off the runways of Milan.” “I was sitting with a bunch of models, basically,” she said of the audition for Lydia. Roden approves of Lydia’s more open personality these days. As Lydia’s walls come down, Roden said, she’s able to relax. (Specifically, because Holland Roden is awesome, she said that Lydia had layers like the hatch on Lost, and that these days she’s not such of “a Tracy Flick-esque comparison.”) In contrast, Dylan O’Brien originally read the script for the role of Scott, but ended up auditioning for Stiles instead, because he loved the character. “He’s so boundless,” O’Brien said. “He doesn’t care what a single person thinks.”

Once the questions started coming in from Twitter and the audience, things got a little more… playful. Everyone was a lot more excited and casual than in previous panels; questions included “When will Stiles be shirtless?” and a request for everyone to sing Happy Birthday to the questioner’s friend. Not that the audience was alone in its casual tone: At one point, Posey screamed “WHO WANTS DYLAN TO GO TO THE BATHROOM?” and a few minutes later, O’Brien actually did leave the stage in the middle of a question for a bathroom break. Also, either Max or Charlie Carver (I have no idea which) showed up in the audience at one point. It’s Teen Wolf, man. The atmosphere is just different.

Even the in-depth questions had a playful quality. Asked which show they wanted their characters to crossover into, O’Brien and Posey said “Friends,” immediately and simultaneously. Roden said that “Lydia would sell blue meth with Bryan Cranston.” Shelley Hennig said, accurately, “I think [Malia] would be hysterical on Orange is the New Black.” Another survey question asked what each actor would change about their character. Eventually, the cast gave serious answers (most of which were along the lines of O’Brien’s “I wouldn’t change a damn thing about Stiles.”), but first Roden had to talk about her most oft-recurring complaint about Lydia: her shoes. “She would wear flats!” Roden said. “She would wear sneakers!” Davis, however, assured the audience that Lydia wears shoes at Roden’s request. “She should wear high heels!” Roden said. That’s the kind of person Lydia is — Roden just wishes she were a slightly different kind of person.

Things got a little more serious when Davis and the cast thought back on their favorite scenes from the past. (Though, it should be noted, this is the question where O’Brien got up to go to the bathroom.) Roden pointed to the season 3B scene in the huge white room in Stiles’ head — apparently, a real huge white room, not the result of special effects. O’Brien harkened back to the pilot, which was apparently a heady experience: “It was like I was blacking out all the time, but also retaining it.” (Davis mentioned that O’Brien blacked out literally once or twice, while hanging upside-down.) Davis and Posey both spoke about the season 3B scene between Scott and Stiles in the MRI. “Like a lot of writers, in high school, I was a very lonely kid,” Davis said. “That is the friendship I wanted for myself.”

Finally, some fan service questions for everyone to obsess over. Two separate audience members asked about characters (Isaac and Danny, specifically) possibly returning to the show. Davis was circumspect about both, but seemed generally much more encouraging about the idea of Isaac’s return; for that one, he said “I talked to Daniel [Sharman] the other day,” while in response to the question about Danny, he said, “I don’t like to make promises.” This seems kind of insane to me, since literally everyone likes Danny — I think my eardrums nearly burst with the screaming when his name was mentioned — but that’s Teen Wolf for you, I guess. More promisingly, Davis said that he does know Stiles’ real name, and may, eventually, in the series finale, reveal it. “It’s a real name,” he said. “I have to look at it to remember how to spell it.”

By  | Contributor

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