Howdy folks! Barbarella here with another conversation I’ve had recently, this time with Trey Tucker. He plays John Smith, the too-good-to-be-true love interest of Liberty’s mother in WHAT LIES BELOW. The thriller came out today On Demand and Digital. After Trey jokes that he only asked how I was to be polite, I delve into some questions for the actor.
How did you first get into acting?
“I was a coder. I wrote software for several years, and then I finally just decided that I hated doing that, at least on its own. I had enough people telling me, “You should give the modeling and the acting stuff a go.” I loved performing as a kid. I grew up doing church plays and school plays and the whole bit, and it just kind of came back into interest. I decided it was something I would love to really give a solid go. And here we are.”
And here we are. What appealed to you most about the character in WHAT LIES BELOW?
“Well, I certainly don't want to give much away, but there is a very wide variety of things to play with on a performance level, and I was thrilled to get to try all of that. The title of the movie is WHAT LIES BELOW, so for all three people, there are certainly motivations and thoughts and drivers and motors that are going, but are not necessarily expressed in the words. And that is always, as a performer, a super fun exercise to do or way to play. That would be my initial thing, and then to get the chance to work with Mena and Ema, and then I was so impressed with Braden Duemmler as an independent writer. I was super impressed with his script and his vision for the whole thing. And so, yeah, altogether I was in right away.”
Yeah, it's a cool movie. As John, you shift seemingly so effortlessly between charming and creepy. Is that easy or difficult for you to make those transitions?
“No, that's kind of how I am in life, honestly. (He laughs.) No, here's the thing. I think your job as a performer, as an actor, is not necessarily to try to play something a certain way or to come off a certain way. People are charming, or they are creepy, or they are sweet or encouraging or whatever because of what's going on inside of them and how they are intending to interact with you. I think, working with Brad, it was really great because we were able to talk about all of that under-the-surface stuff, and then when you go into the scene, everything you need is kind of there for you. You could just sort of do the things that your person is doing in that moment, and it works, and that's kind of our job.
“It was really helpful to have Brad. He's a director that I think strikes a really lucky and skilled balance of someone you can trust to kind of keep you on the right path but also give you an incredible liberty to play and explore and figure it out. It was all that together, I think, that made possible all the different sort of layers and things that you see.”
If you could snap your fingers and magically be instantly better at something, and it could be anything, what would you want it to be?
“My fantasy is to be a theoretical physicist, so probably that. I intend to go back to school for that. I'm in the middle of shooting a show called HEELS for Starz right now. Depending on how that schedule continues to go, that's on the docket. But if I could go ahead and have that done just by snapping my fingers, I sure as hell would.”
That was not the answer I was expecting. What assumptions do you think people make about you that aren't true?
“They kind of put me in this movie as someone who's sort of a physically impressive being, I guess, and I don't think of myself that way at all. I think of myself more as a brainy person than anything. I was that kid that got really good scores on my testing. I never did the homework because I didn't see the point. If I got a perfect score on the test, why do I need to do the homework? I understand it. I loved math, loved the sciences, and that is still a very deep passion. I sort of live in my head, and [I’m] quite mathematically oriented and maybe even a little bit awkward in that way.”
If you could relive any moment in your life, which would you want to relive?
“Oh man. There's lots of them. I think that's the hard part; there's plenty. I loved getting to do this movie. I would probably do that over and over. I have loved getting to do the show that I'm on now. I have loved lots of one-on-one, wonderful times that I've had with friends. I enjoy intimate moments of friendship and thought and conversation. I would say there's lots of those that I would repeat. Those kinds of things, any experiences that are rich with meaning and satisfaction, deep satisfaction in work or thought, I'd be happy to relive anything like that. I don't think I could distill it down to one in the short time that we have in this interview.”
What did you love most about working on WHAT LIES BELOW?
“I think I already said it, but working with Mena and Ema, who always showed up ready to work hard, ready to put in the effort to make something like this work well. And then working with Brad who, again, created a really nice space to keep us inside of the guardrails, but within that realm, we had incredible freedom. That's a rare thing, and it was a real joy.”
How do you like to spend your time when you're not working?
“I enjoy reading books and watching videos on physics, quantum mechanics, these sorts of things, and then watching videos or playing with my nephew. That's pretty much it for me, so that's what I enjoy.”
I also enjoy reading books, although I find I spend far more time watching movies than doing any reading these days. Luckily, I enjoy movies too, and one movie I enjoy that’s currently out is WHAT LIES BELOW, and you can watch it on Digital and On Demand, too.
Check out the trailer below.
Until next time, Barbarella out!