This is the third interview for our new Tribe Cast Interviews series. In this series, we have a brief interview with each of the primary cast members from the upcoming show, Tribe of the Wild. Don’t forget to check out our previous interviews with Jared and Nisalda.
Today’s interview is with Andrew Hellenthal, who plays the role of Alex Russell. Follow Andrew on Twitter at @DrewHellenthal.
Interview with Andrew Hellenthal
Have you watched any of Shuki Levy’s previous works?
I grew up watching “Power Rangers” and I went as one a few times for Halloween. I’m a 90′s kid. I remember watching them before school in the mornings and after school as well. Shuki’s also a fantastic composer. I watched some of the shows he composed growing up like “Inspector Gadget” and “Dragon Ball Z.” I have always been, and will always be, a nerd.
What was the audition process like?
From the moment I read the breakdown I wanted to be a part of TotW. I’d love to say it was a breeze but, I was a bundle of nerves. I really had to focus and just think about the work I had to do. Katy Wallin and everyone at Mystic is really great about making you feel at home and encouraging you to be yourself. No one does you, better than you do. I was excited about the character I ended up auditioning for, and the whole concept of the show.
What the most exciting/scary part of auditioning for Tribe was?
The scariest part about the audition was the waiting that came after the first round. I would see the breakdown go back out for the same role I had just auditioned for, and I felt a little defeated. Then the excitement came when the callback came, and the excitement progressed when I was invited back to the chemistry read. The night after the chemistry read Mystic called to offer me the role of Alex, and all the excitement burst out of me in that moment. The whole process was pretty exciting, I’d have to say.
Did you audition for any other roles?
Katy’s casting department first brought me in for Gabriel, the football player. Then one of Katy’s associates, Sammy, took one look at me and knew which role I was right for. She gave me the sides for Alex and told me about his interests in aliens and physics, and that he was a bit of a nerd. My eyes probably lit up with excitement. I knew that this was the right role for me.
What are your thoughts on your character?
I was very excited to play Alex. I really connected with him because he’s hungry for knowledge. Growing up, my Dad made it clear to me that education was very important, because it can never be taken from you. Alex’s interest in aliens, physics, and in the general unknown made him a dream role to play. I saw me in Alex, and I’m glad the Tribe team saw Alex in me.
Do you have any martial arts background?
I studied Wing Chun for 6 months to help me get over a girl once, but then I didn’t have time to take the classes anymore. It helped me regain my center at the time, and helped with focus and balance. I’m not a Kung Fu master by any means, but it’s something I’ve always wanted to get back into when I have the time.
Is there anything that you can share about the show or your characters?
At the beginning of the pilot episode my character, Alex, is writing a blog about the Maury Island incident. It’s one of the first documented UFO encounters in the United States. Then history kind of repeats itself, and we’re swept up in this crazy colorful alien adventure. There is always something happening, you never know what’s coming next. I’m excited for the story to continue.
Based on Shuki’s previous works, the Tribe already has a fandom that is excited to see the new show. What are your thoughts on having fans support you during the audition process and the cast announcement?
It’s really comforting having support and knowing there are people out there that want you to succeed. It also makes me want to work hard to give them a good show… something they can not only enjoy, but also relate to.
How was the experience filming the pilot episode?
It was a surreal experience. Two years ago I never would have imagined I would have gotten such a fantastic opportunity. The hours were long and some of the experiences pushed our limits, but I got to do what I love to do. the production team put together an amazing cast, we had great chemistry and a lot fun shooting together. Hopefully we will get to shoot together for many more years to come.
Do you have any fond moments while filming the episode?
I had a great time with the whole shoot, but a few moments stand out. One of my favorites is when our lovely EP and writer, Tori Avey, would make sure we got our daily dose of vitamin C after filming the cold and rainy scenes. Also the first day of filming is always fun, because everyone is working together for the first time, getting connected, and the on set “family” begins to develop. All the running, jumping, sliding and action in general was super fun. The part of me that will always be a kid had a blast!
What were your thoughts after watching the pilot?
I’m not sure if I can tell you my exact thoughts after seeing the pilot, because it might give too much away, but to say the least I was really excited. We spent a large part of the shoot on blue screen, so we had to imagine our surroundings. It was great to see all the things we had imagined come to life on screen. I had a really fun time watching it, not just because I was in it. I had been wanting to see it go from page to screen since I first read the script. Seeing the whole thing come together was a really special experience, they really did create a fantastically fun show. I feel very lucky to be a part of it.
Special thanks to the great team from Tribe of the Wild for providing the exclusive photos.
Stay tuned for more information on Tribe of the Wild through the following official links.
Official Site | Facebook | PInterest | Instagram
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