“Oh cool. Wow. That’s so cool! Oh my god, that’s so sweet! No way holy s–t! That’s so cool.”
That’s how Tyler Posey might react if you tell him you watched this week’s episode of Teen Wolf, because it wasn’t just any episode of Teen Wolf. It was an episode directed by Posey himself—his directing debut.
And if you couldn’t tell by his reaction to just knowing that someone watched it—not even whether or not they liked it—he was excited. He’s been starring on the show as the titular teen wolf for six seasons, which is obviously a dream job, but after a while he realized he wanted to do more.
“Acting is cool, but I don’t get enough out of it,” Posey tells E! News. “I always feel like I need to be doing more. So whenever I’m on a set I’m always just talking to everybody and asking questions and learning, so by the time I got to direct, I really had a strong vision for what I wanted to do with my episode.”
Posey says he spent most of his life making movies with friends without even putting two and two together.
“I would always direct them. I would always do the camera operating. I would even film skate videos for me and my friends, so I always had aspirations to do that, and I didn’t forget, I just didn’t realize,” he says. “Like as I got older, I was like, oh wait, this is directing.”
He’s also spent the past six years observing Teen Wolf’s many directors, noticing what worked and what didn’t.
“I didn’t want it to be over the top. I just kind of wanted it to be just perfect. I’ve worked with directors who sometimes go a little too over the top, and it can have a reverse effect,” he explains. “Sometimes I don’t think it’s that good, like you’ve got to find a really good balance between being artistic and getting your vision across in a timely manner, because we’re a TV show and we’re on a strict deadline.”
Tonight’s episode was also a pretty big one. Aside from featuring some emotionally teasy moments between Scott (Posey) and his potential new girlfriend Malia (Shelley Hennig), it established the start of the war for Beacon Hills, the humans vs. the supernatural creatures, and featured a lot of Michael Hogan, who has returned to hunt down Scott’s pack as Gerard Argent.
Despite Hogan’s veteran actor status, Posey says directing him was the “easiest part” of the gig.
“I just pointed the camera at him and he did his thing,” he says. “He’s just all about the project. He loves working, he loves acting, he loves collaborating. He was really sweet on the show to direct. We’ve always had this great rapport, but he really respected me, and I think that was one of the things that I wasn’t expecting that happened.”
Posey says he was “a little” worried about that respect factor when taking on this new role, especially since he’s been working with this group of crew members and actors for years—many since the beginning of the series.
“I knew my position,” he says. “I know people who are twice my age who have been doing it three times as long as I’ve been alive. I knew they were going to not take me too seriously, you know? So I had that in my head and I knew that was going to happen, and so I tried my best to do everything to make them comfortable, to let them know that like, we’re here for each other, this is a collaborative effort.”
Part of that quest for collaboration came from feeling that something was “missing” as an actor.
“I didn’t get much say in storylines or my character,” he explains. I mean I would give my input and I turned Scott McCall into what he is today, but you know, there just wasn’t the most collaborative effort,” he says. “And when I directed I wanted to make sure everyone had a say. You know, it’s like instead of it being my episode, I wanted it to be everyone’s episode.”
“You know, I’m 25. I’m a kid basically,” he admits. “I’m sure a lot of their mentality was like, what is this kid…he wants to direct an episode? Well that’s kind of cool but there’s no way he’s actually going to pull it off. But I think everyone kind of saw that I was actually really all in it and I wanted it to be a great episode and make everybody happy.”
As for the episode itself, Posey has a lot to be proud of, but he says he’s most proud of the ending scene, after Liam (Dylan Sprayberry) jumped up through a manhole with his fangs out, only to find himself surrounded by terrified Beacon Hills resident (and potential future members of Gerard’s army).
“The last shot was a shot that I envisioned as I was reading the script, and I knew what I wanted the last shot to be. And it was just this really kind of cool shot starting in this person’s windshield, so you see this reaction from this civilian, this no-name civilian, and we pull out to reveal the whole scene, this destruction that’s happened,” Posey explains. “You kind of get a feel that like, Beacon Hills is changing a little bit.
Stay tuned for more from Posey on the final season, his thoughts on the ending, and some truly beautiful words about Scott’s friendship with Stiles.
Teen Wolf airs Sundays at 8 p.m. on MTV.