Hanging in Suburbia with MTV’s ‘Teen Wolf’ Star Tyler Posey
For a teenager who claims to be largely oblivious to mainstream media, Tyler Posey has managed to surround himself with a coterie of pop culture icons. At age 11, the now 19-year-old actor appeared alongside his father John—who was cast as Danny Tanner, a part that eventually went to Bob Saget, in the original Full House pilot—and Arnold Schwarzenegger in Collateral Damage. Posey quickly replaced the Governator with Jenny from the Block, when, in 2002, he played Jennifer Lopez’s son in Maid in Manhattan. “I’m not very up-to-date with celebrity or TV,” he says. “I don’t really know what’s going on with vampires or anything like that, but who doesn’t know J-Lo and Ahnuld?”
It’s also worth noting that his first girlfriend was a pre-salvia Miley Cyrus. “We dated when we were 9,” he says. “I hadn’t seen her in a really long time, but I recently went to one of her shows and she was really excited to see me. She gave me her number but I lost it.”
This summer, Posey will trade basking in other celebrities’ auras for a recognizable role of his own, taking the lead in the MTV remake of the 1985 film Teen Wolf. But the California native is quick to admit he’s no Michael J. Fox—who played the lupine original, Scott Howard. “There are a lot of homages to the original,” he says. “My character, Scott McCall, plays sports, but he plays lacrosse instead of basketball. He still deals with feeling like an outsider.” Ties to the classic, however, end there. “This Teen Wolf is actually a lot darker,” he says. “All the guts and gore really freaked me out while we were filming. But at the same time, it has great comedy, romance, and drama—I still can’t believe I’m a part of it!”
When we met on a warm afternoon in late April, Posey was soaking up the sun in his native Santa Clarita, California, which he lovingly calls “suburbia.” When he’s not acting or playing gigs with his band, Lost in Kostko, he can be found scooting around in a bumper car at the local amusement park. “I know I’m technically a teenager,” he says with an impish grin, “but I’ve got a couple more years of little kid left in me.”
Mountasia Family Fun Center – 21516 Golden Triangle Road, 661-253-4386 I used to come here a lot when I was a little kid. They had this huge skating rink that they’ve since replaced with a giant arcade area. It was the first place I ever freaked out about feeling lost. I was around 4 years old, and I started bawling my eyes out because I thought I got separated from my dad, who was actually right behind me. So now this place is really ingrained in my memory. I recently hung out here with Dylan O’Brien, my costar from Teen Wolf. We became best friends when we were shooting the pilot, and we hang out all the time now, so I had to show him this place. We have a lot in common: we’re both in bands, and we’re the same age.
Wahoo’s Fish Taco – 24230 Valencia Boulevard, 661-255-5138 I don’t think you realize how much I love this place. I could come here every day and eat a Maui Bowl. It’s teriyaki steak on a pile of rice and beans, and it’s the best thing I’ve ever eaten. Plus, I’m pretty sure Travis Barker owns Wahoo’s [he opened a franchise in Norco, California], and Blink-182 has been my favorite band of all time since I was 7 years old.
Keyboard Galleria Music Center – 21515 Soledad Canyon Road, 661-259-5397 This place is just across the street from Mountasia, which is probably one of the only good things about living in suburbia. I take my guitars here to get tuned before I rehearse with Lost in Kostko. They have this awesome soundproof room that I just discovered. Bands can come and practice in it, so it’s a great place for us to escape. I’ve been jamming with the drummer, my best friend, for two or three years now, and we formed Lost in Kostko about a year ago. We just play gigs around town, but I want to tour so bad.
Skate Park – 20880 Centre Pointe Parkway Okay, again, this park is just around the corner from my house. It was rebuilt a few years ago, and it’s now insane. I’ve been told it’s one of the best skate parks in Southern California. They had a huge opening with a ton of professional skaters. People come from all over to skate this park—I met some kids from, well I forget where they were from, but it was, like, really far away. It’s where I first learned how to skate when I was 7 years old. I was so little, but whenever I’d fall I just bounced right back up. It hurts so much more when I fall now. I’m still a little kid though now, aren’t I?
Val Surf – 24140 Valencia Boulevard, 661-222-7288 My friend’s little sister used to work here and she gave me discounts, so I would come in all the time. Then they moved locations, and now my friend works here. It’s really a perfect situation for me because I wear a lot of skate clothes. I can stop by, pick up clothes and stuff for my skateboard, and I get to say hello—all at the same time. A new Val shop is moving right across the street from where I live now, so basically everything I love is, like, right around the corner from me.
Photography by Ben Cope.