We Got This Covered Interview: Tye Sheridan Talks “Detour”

Despite starring in a major blockbuster like X-Men: Apocalypse, Tye Sheridan still excels at playing rich characters in smaller, independent movies, such as Mud and Joe, films he can really deep dive into. Now out in theaters, Detour is his latest indie effort, and it’s a crime thriller well worth a watch.

Sheridan portrays a young law student named Harper in the film, who blindly and drunkenly enters into a pact with Johnny (Emory Cohen), a dangerous thug who offers to kill Harper’s stepfather after Harper tells him he thinks the man’s responsible for the accident that sent his mother into a coma.

When Johnny shows up at Harper’s door the next day, he demands they drive to Las Vegas, where Harper’s stepdad will be. Also along for the ride is Cherry (Bel Powley), Johnny’s reluctant associate, but as the trio head into the desert, things don’t go as planned – and they all find themselves at a treacherous crossroads.
At the recent press day for Detour, we sat down with Sheridan to talk about the film, how he connected with his co-stars Cohen and Powley, and what it was like shooting the film in South Africa.

Check it out below, and enjoy!

Detour had a real ’70s gritty feel, like The Getaway. Was that the intent?
Tye Sheridan: Yeah, that’s what [Christopher Smith] was going for. There were several films he was referencing while shooting. He was really into that era, and into Paul Newman and Steve McQueen, and all those guys. It was something he’d continually talk about when making this film. He kept telling me, “Tye, you’re a young Paul Newman!” I said, “Chris, you think what you want, but I think other people might take something else away.” We knew it was a kind of a homage to that style of filmmaking.

What was your reaction when you first read the script?
Sheridan: I loved it. At the time, I was reading some pretty cool things coming across my plate and then I read this and it just blew me away. And I said, “this is one of the best scripts I’ve read and I really want to be a part of this one. I want to make this film.” We quickly set up a phone call with Chris and he was like, “oh, I love that film!” and I said, “That’s one of my favorites!” We just realized that many of the filmmakers and films he loves, I do, too. It’s cool when you can connect with someone like that.

So, who are some of the directors you really respect?
Sheridan: I really adore Paul Thomas Anderson, and Darren Aronofsky. I wish I could work with them, I hope so.

How did you relate to your character, Harper?
Sheridan: The movie is about misconception; it’s about guilt. It’s also about love and what you do when you believe someone is unjust. I think those are all things I think any human can relate to. You just find experiences or things that you’ve felt in your personal life. Maybe not as drastic as it is in this movie, but you can relate to as a character.
In this case, it was right there on the page and I understood his inner emotion and what he was feeling internally. And having conversations with Chris, I think we knew what we were getting into. We had a good idea of what we wanted to do. When you have a character like that, that’s so rich, it’s really fun to work with, especially when it just pops right off the page like it did in this script.

Emory Cohen and Bel Powley also quite good in this. The three of you made a formidable team.
Sheridan: They’re incredible, I think they’re so great. We all got pretty close while shooting. I had a week, six days a week, of shooting, so it was pretty intense. The first six days was just me inside the house. At the point when we were shooting, I don’t think we even had Emory on board yet. He came in just that week, and we were over the moon about it that we got someone as good as he was.
We had been talking about him for awhile, so when he was in, it was triumphant. I met him and talked to him and thought he was a really nice guy. Then we did this scene together, the one in which he comes to my doorstep, and basically tells me we’re going to Vegas, like, no question. I remember opening up the door, and his intense stare, he just scared the shit out of me. Really. He scared me. I didn’t think it was going to have that much effect. He’s really this warm, sweet guy, very endearing, on the surface, but can be a real asshole when he wants to.

What about working with Bel?
Sheridan: Bel’s the type of person who’s so confident but not overly confident. She doesn’t have an ego, but everything she does is so great. And she brought so much to this story. I think sometimes, when a man is writing a woman, you can’t possibly understand exactly what a woman thinks because you’re not a woman. You can write it the best you can, but you always hope you’re going to get someone who has their own interpretation of the role, their own views, and will further the role. And Bel did. She just made this character her own and brought so much to it.

Anything crazy happen with the three of you off camera?
Sheridan: We spent a lot time time just sitting in a car in South Africa. We did go to this really crazy desert town called Barrydale, where everyone got really sick. We were there for about a week or two. It was like five hours north of Cape Town. We were shot the diner scene in Barrydale. They had a local bar with one pool table, and we’d all play pool after shooting. It was really fun.

Did anyone recognize you?
Sheridan: No, no one ever recognizes me. And why would they? Honestly, I could count on one hand the amount of times people recognized me since X-Men came out. I think right now, it works to my advantage.

What was it like shooting in South Africa?
Sheridan: So cool. It’s supposed to take place in the desert between L.A. and Las Vegas, but because Chris had shot another movie in South Africa, so we did ours there. It was a crazy idea, but we were like yeah, let’s do it. He knew some of the locations and the terrain and knew we could get away with it.
Two weeks before we went out to South Africa, he’d send me all these pictures of highways in South Africa. He’d go, “Do they have yellow lines on the outside of the road? American roads don’t have that, what do you think? How can we fix it? Can we shoot around it?” It was hilarious because he was getting cold feet, but once we were there, we realized we were able to cheat it.

It sounds like you were also a big part of the pre-production of the film. Is that something you like doing?
Sheridan: That’s how I typically like to work. It’s easier for me as an actor if I understand every aspect of the film. Not that I’m a control freak or anything, but honestly, before I step into frame for the shot, I look at the monitors, so I can understand where I am in the frame. Technically, that helps me so much as an actor. I know how far right, how far left, what I can and can’t get away with.
Not only that, but also understanding the world as well. Getting with Chris and making sure we are getting as close as we can to his visions. That it’s the same voice from both of us. Trying to figure out the right approach is always great for me. Preparation and casting, that’s like 80 percent of your work.

You were great as the young Cyclops in X-Men: Apocalypse. Do you know much about next X-Men movie? I think it’s called Supernova?
Sheridan: Oh really? I didn’t even know there was a title. I’m not really one to troll the Internet about this kind of stuff. I just sit around waiting for the phone call… I am a fan of the franchise and so to have the opportunity to be a part of it was really cool for me.

But no real word on what’s happening next?
Sheridan: I haven’t heard. I know that the way these films work, typically they stay on the same pattern. They’ll make one one summer and then the next, it comes out. Then they’ll make another. I think that’s how these bigger franchises typically work. So, it would make sense that we would do another and hopefully I’m in it.
That concludes our interview, but we’d like to thank Tye very much for his time. Be sure to check out Detour, as it’s now in theaters everywhere!

Source: We Got This Covered

Collider: Tye Sheridan Interview

Tye Sheridan Talks ‘Detour’, ‘Ready Player One’ and What You Learn on a Spielberg Set

Tye Sheridan has been working like a madman since he was 15 years old. After getting his breakout role in Terrence Malick‘s Tree of Life, Sheridan co-starred opposite Matthew McConaughey in his second film and Nicolas Cage in his third. Since then, the young actor has made an unusual amount of smart career moves, consistently tackling new genres, bouncing between budget sets, and working with one influential filmmaker after the next. Heading into 2017, Sheridan has a key role in a major superhero franchise and a full slate of films in post-production, including Steven Spielberg‘s highly-anticipated adaptation of Ernest Cline‘s Ready Player One.

His latest is Detour, a psychological thriller from Black Death and Triangle director Christopher Smith. Sheridan stars alongside Bel Powley and Emory Cohen as a seemingly innocent young man who believes his stepfather intentionally put his mother in a coma who gets in over his head with the wrong people after he tries to drink his grief away.

Earlier this week, I sat down with Sheridan to chat about Detour. Bright and forthcoming, it’s clear that his clever career choices are no accident and that his unusual teenage experiences sparked a significant love for filmmaking. During our chat, we talked about his experience filming an intimate movie like Detour in South Africa, keeping a level head through instant success, his aspirations to get behind the camera, and more. We also chatted about what you learn on the set of a Spielberg film, doing Mo-Cap for the first time in Ready Player One, and more. Check it out below.

So I just spoke with Christopher, and he is quite the character. What kind of set does he run? What does having a director with so much energy and personality bring to it?

TYE SHERIDAN: Oh, it’s great. Energy through the roof. Never too much. He keeps everybody going for sure. Sometimes that’s what you need because you’re shooting 12 hour long days and in the last two hours everyone’s just tired and falling asleep. Someone like this guy, he just never stops and he never stops thinking about the film and that’s wat you want from the captain of the ship.

He kind of landed all of you guys right before you all blew up in your individual ways. Emory before his Brooklyn breakout. Bel before the incredible Diary of a Teenage Girl came out.

SHERIDAN: Well, no I had seen that prior to it. I wasn’t supposed to see it. I snaked a link from a buddy of mine that worked on the film and I saw it because I was like, “Alright, I want to see what this girl’s about.” I hadn’t seen her in anything and I saw her in that and she just blew my mind. When I met her — you know, Bel’s a queen. We all just knew. It was funny because we all just kept joking about how Bel was going to be the greatest part of the movie. Me, Emory and Chris. These three guys, we’re like, “Oh my god, Bel, Bel, Bel…”

How was it taking off with a small cast like this to South Africa for a while?

SHERIDAN: It was awesome. I mean, it was one of the best experiences I’ve ever had. It feels like we had a whole life there. For me, it was the first experience where I was out the country — living out of the country, working out the country at 18 years old. So it was that first shock of, I wouldn’t say culture shock, but just being in a different place not knowing how things work and feeling it all out with these guys. And when I was there I met this girl, so there were things happening in my personal life and I was shooting this movie that I loved working on and was so passionate about. And I love Cape Town. I love South Africa. We just had such a great time there and we were working with so many great people, so yeah, it was an incredible experience.

You’ve had a very uncommon life experience, man. It’s interesting to hear the way you talk about being 18 and knowing after that, you went off to do a massive X-Men movie and then you worked with Steven Spielberg. That’s pretty remarkable.

SHERIDAN: I know, I know. All down hill [laughs].

[Laughs] Sorry buddy, peaked in the teens. No, no, but you seem to have your head on the ground considering your career has been advancing in such drastic ways from such a young age. How have you sort of kept yourself level?

SHERIDAN: I don’t know I think the mistake that people make often times is you just lose touch of reality and you have to never be afraid to call someone’s bullshit or call someone’s bluff when something doesn’t make sense. When you don’t understand something it’s always OK to ask questions. That’s really the mentality that I’ve had. Because I’m just a kid from a small town in Texas who kind of grew up making movies and now understands making filmmaking well, and in my life have been so fortunate to work with people like Chris, and other writer-directors like Terrence Malick, Jeff Nichols, and Steven Spielberg.

[Laughs] Like I said, uncommon life for a young man.

SHERIDAN: Yeah, it’s great and all these guys have just taught me so much. It’s been the best film school anyone could possibly imagine.

So does that give you aspirations to get behind the camera in the future?

SHERIDAN: Yeah! Yeah, yeah yeah. I want to do it all. But it’s strange. In a weird way, for a long time, when I was about 16 or 17 I realized that I didn’t want to only be a part of something in helping someone put a story together, I kind of wanted to source them myself. So developing projects of my own and producing and writing and directing is something that’s very interesting to me, but you know, one step at a time and you’ve got to establish yourself on one side before you really have the power to do something else. That’s always the immediate goal.

In terms of that learning experience you’ve had. Having worked on bigger tentpoles like X-Men and Ready Player One, and then having done your fair share of smaller films like Detour, what’s the experiential difference between projects like that?

SHERIDAN: At the end of the day, it’s all really the same. There’s a story you have to focus on a character that it’s your job to portray and when you put it into that context, it’s the same format it’s only of varying scale. That goes back to what I was saying about that mistake that I think often times I young actors or young filmmakers can make once they start working with the big guys. They forget about these things that you still need to focus on. You still need to understand what your fundamental and primary jobs are you have to make sure that you execute those before you can really dabble into something else.

I know you can’t say anything and I’m certainly not trying to get you in trouble, but with Ready Player One, the scale of what you’re doing must be enormous and when you’re doing it with someone like Spielberg, what do you learn out of a process like that?

SHERIDAN: Everything. I swore that I would have my notepad out at every day, every moment of making that movie. I asked him so many questions, at first I was just sort of feeling it out, I would ask him a question here and there. Our first couple weeks of working together, and he would just get so excited about talking about filmmaking. I’m such a fan of his and he’s inspired me in so many different ways over the course of his career and his films. I told this to him and he just really — he’s got such a youthful spirit and he’s got so much energy, the guy is never sitting down. It’s crazy to see. He’s so inspiring. He just loves filmmaking. [Laughs] that’s like all he thinks about ever. It’s cool to work with someone like that, so working with the guy five days a week for four months, there’s a lot you can carry on to the rest of your career that will stick with you forever.

I have yet to read the book, but I understand you play two characters, or two versions of the same character, right?

SHERIDAN: So 60% of the film takes place in this virtual video game and 40% takes place in the real world, but the idea of the film — it’s established that this video game this virtual reality game is much more glamorous than the real world; people have jobs inside of this game which is called the OASIS, people spend their lives inside this video game. My character is kind of this loser in the real world, but in this video game the creator of the game dies and leaves behind an easter egg hidden inside of the game that holds his trillions of dollars and control of the game and he says whoever finds it in the game is the person who should take over the OASIS. So five years go by, no ones’ found the easter egg and — there are three keys in order to get to the easter egg — he’s the first one to find the first key. So his avatar becomes famous in the video game, where in the real world he’s still kind of this loser, so he’s juggling both.

That must have been a fun challenge to bring out those two different sides of the character.

SHERIDAN: It was fun. We shot for the first seven, eight weeks in Mo-Cap. Everything that happens in The OASIS is all shot in motion capture, which is also another aspect that I knew nothing about coming into that film and learned so much about, and now have so many ideas of my own about motion capture, about how you can execute one thing and how it might be a better way of shooting it than doing something live-action. It’s crazy the amount of things you can do and the amount of things I’ve learned about it. It’s funny. Steven was telling me about him going to James Cameron and said, “Teach me how to do motion capture.” But I just thought, “Can you imagine Steven Spielberg comes up to you and says, “Teach me how to do something.” [Laughs] How cool must that be?

[Laughs] Oh, seriously. Anything. So I know for actors, creating the physicality and look of a character can be such a major part in sort of cracking the role, did you get to help design your avatar at all?

SHERIDAN: No, that’s still kind of a mystery to me. I don’t know what the Avatar looks like, but I’ve heard that it doesn’t look like myself. Which is good in a way, because if 60% of the film takes place in a virtual world and my avatar looks nothing like my physical self then it’s kind of cool.

Detour is available now in theaters, OnDemand, on Amazon Video, and iTunes.

Source: Collider

“Detour” | Official Trailer #1

Harper (Tye Sheridan), a seemingly naive law student, obsesses over the idea that his shifty stepfather was involved in the devastating car crash that left his mother hospitalized and comatose. He drowns his suspicions in whiskey until he finds himself suddenly engrossed in conversation with volatile grifter Johnny (Emory Cohen) and his stripper companion, Cherry (Bel Powley). As daylight breaks and the haziness of promises made becomes clearer, how will Harper handle the repercussions (not to mention the violent duo—on his doorstep)? Employing a split-narrative structure to tell this tale of deception and murder, Christopher Smith takes his audience on a thrill ride full of hairpin turns, where it’s never quite clear what or who can be trusted.