We Shine the Spotlight on THE KILLING Star Tyler Ross

tyler ross the killing

Tyler Ross plays Kyle Stansbury in the fourth and final season of the AMC turned Netflix original series, THE KILLING. I spoke with Tyler about his character Kyle, his preparation for the role, and how grueling the hazing scenes were to film.

(Editor’s Note: This interview contains spoilers about the final season currently available via Netflix)

Your character was the main focus this season on THE KILLING. What drew you to Kyle? What did you do to prepare for the role?
I was drawn to the idea that this kid has a bit of mystery to him. He really isn’t an open individual in terms of expressing how he feels. His whole life he’s been so broken emotionally and socially that he has sort had to have his survival mechanisms kick in. In that regard I think he has a bit of mystery, when you see him you want to believe him and you can’t tell if he is telling everything or not. I really liked that dynamic, that was definitely a big draw. As far as preparation for the role goes, I had a talk with Veena Sud, our show runner and creator about a week before we started shooting. We sort of talked about his back-story. Other than that Veena, Mireille Enos who plays Sarah Linden, and myself did a very brief rehearsal once for about an hour maybe just for the first episode, first scene. That had to do with me coming into this already established family they have going on, it was a nice little ease in. I put on a little weight, I decided to eat more and I did some push-ups. He isn’t great at the whole military thing he’s just been pushed into it for a few months, it’s not like he’s incredible at what he does, he’s learning.

Did you know that it was Kyle who killed his family?
No, absolutely not. Not until the sixth episode was released. I really didn’t want it to be me I couldn’t understand why I would kill my youngest sister, Nadine. (Peighton Brown) In the end they explained it and it makes sense now. At that point if I really wanted to piece it together I probably could have but until the sixth script came out no one knew anything except for Veena. (Sud) He really is convinced it wasn’t him and that he wouldn’t do that. I really do like the scene in episode three where he says, “did I do it? Was it me? I don’t remember. ” And they ask him, “would you kill your little sister?” and I’m like, “No!” I was in such denial, I just couldn’t imagine it, but I had to. I personally thought it was A.J. (Levi Meaden), I thought it was gonna be A.J. for the longest time.

How were the hazing scenes for you?
Those were not fun. (Laughs) I remember reading with Sterling (Beaumon) who plays Lincoln and Levi who plays A.J. We were all just like “nothing good happens in that bathroom”, that was the dreaded scene. The family day scenes were pretty tough they weren’t fun. I actually had nightmares once or twice after doing that all day.

How would you describe Linden and Holder’s relationship? Why do you think it’s so special?
I don’t watch a lot of television so I can’t really compare it to a lot but I could probably compare it to the X-FILES characters. I think I’m stealing this quote from Veena but, Linden and Holder are two sides of the same coin. From different circumstances I think they have turned out pretty similar. The fact that their back-stories are so different is what sets them apart. But at the end of the day they tend to have these traits that they start to share with each other.

The whole fourth season was released at once on Netflix most people binge watched it. What shows have you been binge watching lately?
HOUSE OF CARDS! I can’t get enough of that show. You know how with some shows you’ll hear the opening credits and you’re like “okay, alright.” Whenever I hear theirs out loud I’m like “Oh man I have to see this.” Also the acting and writing! HOUSE OF CARDS all the way. I also wound up binge watching THE KILLING. Once we started I was like “I’ll watch an episode or two.” And I finished the whole thing in a weekend

You can watch Tyler in the final season of THE KILLING, now streaming on Netflix. You can also follow Tyler on twitter at @_tyler_ross_

Victoria Nelli loves TV so much that she is paying $30,000 a year to learn about it in College. When she’s not learning about TV she enjoys writing about her favorite shows, interviewing anyone in the industry that will let her, and ranting about how underrated Parks and Recreation is. She is very much aware of her Netflix addiction, and no she will not be seeking help anytime soon. You can follow her on Twitter @VictoriaNelli

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