I recently got the chance to talk to Ty Olsson about his role in ‘Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes’. Here, Ty talks about how he got involved in the project, what it was like working with James Franco and Brian Cox and his role in the new ‘Twilight’ instalment – ‘Breaking Dawn – Part 1’…
Hey Ty. Thanks for taking the time out to talk to me. ‘Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes’ will be coming out on DVD and Blu-Ray very soon.
How would you sum up the general plotline of the film?
The ingenuity, and intelligence of man coupled with our innate desire to overcome the natural order of things inevitably is our own downfall. OR animal testing goes horribly wrong and we create a superior race that will soon take over the world…
Tell us a bit about the character you play in the movie…
I play the character John Hamil. Hamil finds himself in the unenviable position of leading the effort to contain the escaping hoard of monkeys, chimps and gorillas. Hamil quickly finds himself over his head in this bizarre scenario but trudges on determined to do his duty and deal with the situation however he can.
How did you get involved in the project in the first place?
The old-fashioned way. I auditioned for the role. The funny thing is I went into the first audition with a bleach blond Mohawk. Casting wasn’t aware of my new cut and was pretty surprised to say the least. I didn’t get the role originally but a few weeks later I went in for another role, and had (by that time) cut my hair for another project. When the director saw me he had me read for Hamil again…this time I booked the role. Guess the Mohawk threw people off just a little haha.
Obviously, taking into account the previous franchise – which is your favourite ‘Planet Of The Apes’ movie?
In all honesty. I haven’t seen them recently so I couldn’t really tell you. I enjoyed all the originals. I haven’t seen ‘Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes’ yet but the script read wonderfully and the cast that leads this show is a talented group so I expect the fantastic reviews are well deserved.
How would you say this film tries to stand out and be unique to it’s previous instalments?
I just thought the re-imagining of the event that started the ‘Planet Of The Apes’ was so well thought out. The story really grabbed me as being a wholly plausible and possible situation. Once the ground work is laid out for the creation of this reality that is the ‘Planet Of The Apes’ as well as it has been, it makes the jump from being a sci-fi alternate reality to a scary realistic possibility…this scenario is totally conceivable with the science and medical exploration going on today. To me this is what makes this ‘Apes’ movie different.
The film stars the likes of Andy Serkis, James Franco, John Lithgow and Brian Cox – what was it like working with the cast and crew on-set?
The movie was shot in my home city of Vancouver so it’s always nice seeing crew that I’ve worked with before. I did have scenes with both James and Brian but given the short period of time we spent together there was limited time to get to know each other personally. However from a professional standpoint both Brian and James are just tremendous talents. It is always a joy to share a stage or screen with fellow actors of that caliber.
Let’s talk a bit about you Ty. What made you want to get into acting in the first place?
My Grade 7 drama teacher. She literally forced me to audition fo the school plays. Judy Cragg. A wonderful woman who recently retired from teaching and whom I have a great deal to thank her for.
If you could have a dinner with three historical guests, living or dead – who would they be and why?
This is gonna disappoint some people out there but as of right now….I’m a huge fan of MMA and would probably pick…Randy Couture, 5 time UFC champion, Dana White, President of the UFC, and Welterweight UFC Champion – (and my pound for pound top fighter in the world), Goerges Saint Pierre.
What has been the most interesting piece of local / national news you’ve heard in the last month?
All the news regarding the world economy. We are in such interesting times.
We should point out that you are in the new Twilight movies – ‘Breaking Dawn – Part 1‘ and ‘Breaking Dawn – Part 2‘ – how does it feel to be part of the franchise? What was it like working on-set with the likes of Robert Pattinson, Taylor Lautner and Kristen Stewart?
Anytime you get to be a part of movie making history it’s a privilege and an honour. It’s been my good fortune to be a part of a classic movie franchise like ‘Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes’ and a newer blockbuster franchise like ‘Twilight’. I’m a lucky guy. Working on ‘Twilight’ was interesting because the cast has been together for some time now. They’ve become a pretty tight group…for such a large cast. I was lucky to share some friendly moments with quite a few of the cast. A great group and a fun project to work on. The nicest surprise was what a great sense of humour Robert Pattinson had on set.
Who would win in a fight between an ape and a vampire?
I’m not sure but an ape infected with the vampire virus would be pretty much unstoppable – that I know for sure!!
What’s coming up for you in 2012?
I’ve just finished an original movie for Lifetime called ‘The Killing Game’ with Laura Prepon and directed by Bobby Roth. Two of my new favourite people to work with! I am presently doing a couple of episodes of AMC’s new show airing in November called ‘Hell On Wheels’. I’ve also just completed a pilot for Space called ‘Borealis’. It’s got an incredible cast, fantastic script and overall it was an unbelievable experience. Watch for it on Space in 2012!!
Thanks for the interview!