On April 17, during Tribeca Film Festival, Examiner Dorri Olds interviewed “Detour” lead actor, Tye Sheridan. The 19-year-old heartthrob is a meteoric rising-star whose next role is the main character in Steven Spielberg’s “Ready Player One.”
Sheridan landed his first big break as Steve, the son to Brad Pitt’s character in Terrence Malick’s “Tree of Life.” In 2012’s “Mud,” Sheridan starred as a neglected boy opposite Matthew McConaughey. In 2013, he played the son of an alcoholic in “Joe,” co-starring with Nicolas Cage.
In “Detour,” Sheridan plays young law student Harper, whose mom is in a coma. Griefstricken and furious with his step-father, Harper gets blotto drunk and shoots his mouth off to tough-guy Johnny Ray (Emory Cohen). Big mistake!
Dorri Olds: In “Detour,” “Joe” and “Mud,” you played troubled characters so convincingly. What do you draw on to summon up that kind of anguish?
Tye Sheridan: For the most part, in these films I’ve been working on, their material is right on the page. So you just read it and get into it. You just start to live and breathe it so it all just becomes and feels natural.
DO: So much appears in your eyes. Are you accessing your own emotion?
TS: Yeah, thank you.
DO: You’ve always seemed wise beyond your years. Have you had any obstacles in life?
TS: Obstacles? You mean roadblocks? Yeah, I couldn’t get into college so I had to have this film career. Now here I am, a f—ing loser. [Grins]
DO: A lot of creative people are driven by pain or questions…
TS: I think [for me] it was criticism. I think it was people telling me my whole life that I couldn’t do something. I used that as fuel to propel me forward. I guess I just pursued my goals and I met the right people and they helped me get there. I’m still not there but I’m gradually taking steps in that direction.
DO: How old were you when you started acting?
TS: I grew up in the middle of nowhere in Texas. I don’t know if acting was ever something that crossed my mind so early. When I first started I was only 10- or 11-years-old so I hadn’t really had time to think about what it was I wanted to do for a career. But then it all kind of fell into my lap and I quickly, over the next few years, I really fell in love with it—the art of filmmaking. My passion started to grow rapidly and now it’s to a point where I have a deep respect for the industry and for the arts.
There is a sweetness about Sheridan and his dedication to the craft of acting came through in Tribeca Film Festival’s neo-noir thriller, “Detour.”