I recently got the chance to talk to Tyler Kunkle about his role in ‘Quarantine 2: Terminal’. Here, Tyler talks about how he got involved in the project, what it was like working with the cast and crew on-set and how he got into acting in the first place…
Hey Tyler. Thanks for taking the time out to talk to me – ‘Quarantine 2: Terminal’ has just had it’s DVD premiere in the UK on 15th August 2011.
What’s the general plotline surrounding the film?
The movie takes place almost simultaneously or perhaps immediately after the first film which ended in the top floor hideout of a doomsday cult. With the virus in hand, the escaped member of the doomsday cult tries to leave town. The mysterious virus from the first movie is accidentally released on a plane and begins to affect passengers – turning them out of control. For safety, the plane is forced to make an emergency landing and the passengers try to band together to try to not get infected while they are being held in the terminal under quarantine.
Tell us a bit about the character you play in the movie…
In the movie I play Hvorst, a German tourist on vacation with my girlfriend Nicca. The two of us speak and understand little English so both of our characters are quite overwhelmed and confused due to the language barrier. I try to take care and protect Nicca through all of the insanity but when things start to climax my instincts take over and I am forced with a flee or fight decision.
How did you get involved in the project in the first place?
At the time I was currently living in Atlanta, GA, where the film community has been constantly growing over the last few years. My agent at The People Store got me the initial read with director John Pogue. The tricky part was that we had to audition in a German dialect with only a few days notice. John was super cool during the audition and really had me geared up during what was mostly an improvisational read. After three call backs of me screaming with fright in my new German accent, I received the phone call on my birthday from John saying that I had been casted as the passenger Hvorst. Definitely the best birthday present I could ever ask for!!!
I’ve seen the trailer – how would you say this film is different to other horror films? Obviously, it’s set on a plane….
The best part of the film is that unlike other horror films, ‘Quarantine 2: Terminal’ keeps the audience guessing. A lot of horror films are suspense based but the details behind the story are fairly obvious. During our movie the audience won’t know how the virus was released or who initially brought it on the plane. Another difference is that the infected really stay true to human nature. They AREN”T zombies…haha. While infected, the audience can really see the human characteristic still inside the infected. And yes, the first half of the movie takes place on a small puddle jumper airplane, but the action and excitement that takes place in those small quarters will blow you away. John Pogue absolutely did a fantastic job of creating a thrilling atmosphere with such a small set.
The film stars Mercedes Masohn, Josh Cooke, Mattie Liptak and Bre Blair – with John Pogue onboard as director – what was it like working with the cast and crew? I imagine it must have been pretty confined in places…
HOT HOT HOT haha. The film was shot in an old abandoned T-shirt factory in Griffin, GA, and the plane was actually brought inside the building to shoot, which put us all in a double metal hot box. With temperature reaching 100 degrees outside and upwards of 100% humidity things became very…..sweaty. The entire cast was fantastic though. It was super cool being on location in such a small town because it really gave us all a chance to get to know each other, become friends, and form natural chemistry on-screen. It was such a unique opportunity and everything just seemed to come together so naturally.
Let’s talk a bit about you Tyler. What made you want to get into acting in the first place?
Growing up I was always in school and church plays, but as I reached high school I started playing basketball, soccer and golf. I stopped acting for several years but once I got to college I quickly realized that my business major wasn’t going to cut it with my full speed outgoing personality. I love to entertain and set goals that are unique and challenging. Being an actor gives me the chance to live the lives of an unlimited number of people. I get to know what it feels like to be anything from a teacher to a German tourist. You tell me what other profession gives you the kind of opportunity to explore 50 different jobs and personalities in your lifetime?
What movies and actors/actresses have inspired you as an artist?
I will just say that I am a huge admirer of all people who have made it in this industry. If there is one job that can really humble you, it is this one. So I say congrats to people who have made it because it always takes hard work and persistence. On the other hand, I do have some favorites. Ryan Gosling has always been my favorite actor with Bradley Cooper coming in second. I enjoy looking up to people who portray characters that I can see myself playing one day. Ryan Gosling does a fantastic job of choosing roles that give him the chance to do something that no-one else has done. The thing that I love about him is that he gets his emotions across while staying natural. He very rarely overacts and if anything I think he keeps his feelings so internal that they become even clearer to the audience. If you haven’t seen ‘Half Nelson’, go rent it. Amazing! Bradley Cooper just has fantastic timing and what I like to call swagger. His confidence is so apparent whether he is on or off-screen. Also, comedy is probably the hardest thing to pull off as an actor and he does it effortlessly because he is a great listener.
If you could have a dinner with three historical guests, living or dead – who would they be and why?
Oh man, this is a tough one. I think the first person I would invite would be Alexander The Great. At one point in time he conquered more of the world than anyone ever had before and probably ever will. That’s an accomplishment that takes some serious skill. Second, I think I would invite Benjamin Franklin. He is one of our countries founding fathers and at the same time one of America’s greatest inventors and scientists. And you know he knows a few secrets or two about our countries history. Third for sure would be my grandpa, Anthony Hanna. He may not be historic to anyone else but he is to me. I live my life based on how he lived his; cool, calm, and collected. He was a really cool dude and I can only hope to be that awesome some day.
What is currently on your I-Pod right now?
I love country music. I was raised in North Carolina and love the story telling ability of country artists. I know a lot of people think it’s cheesy but I love it. My most played record right now would have to be Justin Moore. His song “If Heaven Wasn’t So Far Away” is incredible. I‟m also a huge Beatles fan. Their music is just so pure and natural. Between them and my country addiction I have all the music I need.
What is coming up for you in 2011?
I am looking forward to this year more than any other. I just moved to LA full-time and picked a great new manager and agent to kick my career into high gear. Right now I am practicing and studying as much as I can for pilot season. I also have a few guest star appearances coming out in spring on Cartoon Network and Lifetime. I feel great about the direction things are headed in, so keep a look out for me soon!!
Thanks for the interview!