Catch up with ‘War for the Planet of the Apes’ actor Ty Olsson

Ty Olsson always wanted to be “Wolverine” when he was a kid, and he has enjoyed a fabulous career playing amazing badass characters. The highly anticipated “War for the Planet of the Apes” comes out July 14, 2017 and the talented actor can be seen in this soon to be summer hit. Originally from Halifax, Nova Scotia, Olsson has had roles in hot films such as “The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn,” “Rise of the Planet of the Apes,” and long-running TV shows like “Battlestar Galactica,” “Stargate SG-1,” and “The X-Files.” Of course, fans of “Supernatural” could not get enough of the favorite character of Benny and still hope for his return.

Ty Olsson, photo credit to Aaron RT Smedley

Colleen Bement: Let’s chat “War for the Planet of the Apes.” What can you share about your experience on the set?

Ty Olsson: I have to tread very carefully on this because it hasn’t been released yet. It’s not that often you get to work on a 250 million dollar movie. It was a really unique experience to get to work alongside Woody, Andy Serkis, and some of the local cast as well. It’s one of those times you get to go outside what you normally get to play. It’s almost more back to a theatrical performance being able to play an ape; play a gorilla.

CB: What’s it like for you to be involved with motion capture?

TO: It’s interesting because you’re playing a character and you’re wearing this suit with dots on it and a headcam. It’s not really conducive to what actors are used to. We have a wardrobe that fits our character, and we’ve cut out hair to fit our character, so those things that we normally rely on aren’t really there. Equally difficult to work opposite of us because as another actor, you’re staring at another gray suit and a headcam. It was also freeing in a way because you’ve got nothing holding you back. You are really and truly a blank slate to be molded into the character, without anything getting in the way.

CB: I speak for many fans that I miss Benny on “Supernatural.” We are still holding out hope that they bring Benny back from the dead. What do you miss most about being on the show?

TO: I liked Benny’s storyline and I’d like to explore more of that character. I liked having this kind of ancient tortured soul who dug his way out of purgatory. I loved the struggle that he had to try to be more than he was. He didn’t want to be a monster but he didn’t really fit in with humans. Such an interesting and tormented soul. I miss Benny, and of course, I miss the cast. I enjoyed working with everybody; Jensen’s a blast to work with. I’d love to work with Jared a little more because we didn’t have a lot of scenes together. It really is a big family. The people that work on that show, especially for that length of time, everybody gets closer. It would be great to re-ignite some of those friendships and to explore more of the storylines of Benny.

CB: Your filmography is freaking incredible. Do you have other projects that you are allowed to talk about?

TO: Yeah, I just finished a Netflix show that is part of their “Slasher” series called ‘Guilty Party.’ I think in the next few months they’ll probably release it all on Netflix and you can binge-watch it. I played a really interesting character, and again another tortured soul, but in a much different way. Not necessarily, somebody, we’d emphasize with like the same way of some of my other characters, but he has some interesting twists and turns. It’s going to be an interesting flick. It’s the whole slasher series kind of genre, and I play a really unique individual. I’ve got some really fun scenes in it.

CB: You seem to play a lot of badass characters, so I’m curious: Which do you enjoy playing more: The good guy or the bad guy?

TO: I like both of them for different reasons. The good guy usually lasts through the whole movie, so it’s nice to have the job longer (laughs), and I think it’s nice to play the softer side of humanity as well. To delve into love and loss and heartache and playing more well-balanced characters that aren’t killing people that have love interests and have stakes founded in something good. In its own way, it’s as rewarding as a character that gets to do whatever the hell he wants ’cause he’s a mean dude. Bad characters tend to have a little bit more range to pay, but a leading man or a father that also have things that are really worthwhile and fulfilling to play as well. But like I said; the good guys tend to live a little bit longer. They make it to the end of the movie, so sometimes it’s nice just to make it to the end of a movie.

CB: Two-part question:

1.) If you could be any superhero, who would it be and why?


Since I was a little boy I always wanted to be Wolverine. I just love that he was a bit of an anti-hero. Back in the day in the comics he smoked cigars, he drank, and did the comic equivalent of swearing. He was this guy who didn’t want to be a hero, but he did the right thing. He wasn’t above doing some bad things to get the right thing done. I always felt like I was connected to what character in a lot of ways. I actually auditioned for it; not very well, way back in the day, and I think Hugh Jackman has done a fantastic job. It will be interesting to see who takes over that role after his departure. He really killed it in that last movie.

2.) What is the first Sci-fi film that you loved as a kid?

I think like any kid my age, “Star Wars” certainly held a pretty high place. The problem with the genre growing up was because the technology didn’t support it, everything was tongue and cheek. They never took the genre of sci-fi or fantasy seriously. How could they because the monsters were all kind of goofy looking and the effects were kind of cheesy, and none of it looked real. The easiest way to do it was to wink at the audience and put your tongue in your cheek and not take the world seriously. I found from years and years of sci-fi that I was always disappointed in any superhero or sci-fi stuff because it just felt like it didn’t commit. It’s funny though I do remember liking “The Never Ending Story.” They didn’t apologize for any of it. I mean now is the greatest time for all for a sci-fi or fantasy nerd because anything you can read in a book, you can put it on the screen now.


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