WHAT LIES BELOW: Trey Tucker (Interview)


For native Texan Trey Tucker, this is an exciting time. While many actors have their career on hold while the pandemic rages, Tucker has managed to not only work, but finally thrive after years of trying to make it happen for himself in the business. He’s currently in Atlanta shooting an exciting new show called “Heels” with Alexander Ludwig. His other film this year, The Outpost, is in the early awards conversations, and right now he’s the star of a wild new sci-fi film called What Lies Below. In it, he plays “John Smith,” a mysterious but charming man that has come into the life of a 16-year-old returning home to her mother that finds him very intriguing, only to find out it’s her mom’s new fiancee. To make matters stranger, she gets the idea that he isn’t human.

Escapist sci-fi fare has always been appealing to viewers, but What Lies Below may have come along at a time when audiences are stuck at home and need something that’s not so serious to enjoy to get their minds off of the current troubles of the world, something which Tucker agrees.

Here’s more from Tucker:

AMFM Magazine: This is an exciting time for you. The Outpost was a fantastic film, you’re filming a new show, and now you’ve got this film. But in this one, you are finally the main star, so congratulations.
Trey Tucker: Thanks, man. It’s been a fun uptick in activity in the last couple of years. I feel really fortunate and I hope it keeps going.

AMFM: This movie will take us out of our heads for a little while, so it really is perfect timing.
TT: Yeah, I think so. We’re all predominately staying home and hopefully staying safe in our respective bubbles and a little entertainment is good for the soul right now. This is a little more exotic fare than other things and I hope people really enjoy it. We sure enjoyed making it for everyone. It does strike a couple of different chords than you would expect to see and hopefully that adds a little bit of excitement to your life. [Laughs]

AMFM: But it’s not totally mindless escapist fare – this is a personal story for the director in a way because the theme of someone coming into his life at a certain age made quite an impact and it has elements that reflect a lot of people’s stories.
TT: Yeah, it is a thriller, it is suspenseful, and it wears you out a little hopefully as it goes on, but the heart of it is really two people that want and need to be loved by each other. They’re not totally skilled in knowing how to do that and this other person comes in and teaches them that need to feel that love for one another and leads them into some choices that may not be good for both of them. It has this other weird thriller component to it, but that dynamic I think most of us have lived, done, or been close to something like that. One of the things I like is that it was able to strike that balance and I was quite impressed by it.

AMFM: Was there a certain day, scene, or time you think that you’ll always remember about working on this one?
TT: Coming out of the water almost naked in 39 degree water. That was fun. That was terrific. I wish I could do that all of the time. But overall, everybody showed up to work and really wanted to make a good movie, but it was quite playful and quite fun. Even when you’re coming out of the water and it’s 39 degrees and you have to do that over and over again for an hour and a half, it still would end up being fun because I’m playfully yelling at the director that now he owes me two bottles of Scotch. “Hey Trey, can we do one more?” Alright, that’s three bottles of Scotch. It was very easy to keep it lighthearted, so it was fun in that way.

AMFM: You did appear shirtless in several scenes and it got us wondering what we need to do to get in Trey Tucker shape. Do you have any tips for us mere mortals?
TT: I don’t know. Trey Tucker needs to get some advice from Trey Tucker to get back into Trey Tucker shape. Work harder and don’t eat – that would be about it. [Laughs] It’s a lot about honing in your diet and I got a lot of help from my brother [Reidland Tucker], who I know you know that has a fitness business. Then a lot of YouTube and just getting in there and staying in there until you don’t want to and staying a little longer. That’s really it.

AMFM: I’ve always said you would make a great Clark Kent/Superman and I think this makes a great case for it.
TT: Hey, you know what? From your mouth, my friend. I’m sure ol’ Henry [Cavill]will get tired of it eventually and take the cape off and I’ll throw my hat in at that time.

AMFM: You’ve navigated well through such a tough business and it’s inspiring. What advice would you give to other locals that want to leave town and pursue their dream?
TT: I can tell you what works for me – and everyone’s road is very different, but I would say for me, construct your life in such a way that it serves this intention, but don’t sacrifice your life to this. All of your effort and energy should be positive, enjoy the small victories, the small rewards, and live in a way where you’re not clasping and desperate because number one, the work won’t be good – you’ll burn out. Set yourself up to be able to do it sustainably and enjoyably for a long time because that’s what it’s going to take. I started doing this almost 20 years ago and I’m finally getting some traction and that only worked because I was fortunate enough to have endeavors in my life where I worked hard and it allowed me to pursue this and train and train and train and practice until I could find a joy in that road so that I didn’t burn out. Almost, but I didn’t.

AMFM: What was your Hail Mary Moment: the moment in your life or career where you just had to go for it and it worked out for you?
TT: Probably when I left Dallas initially. I had no idea what I was doing and just left. I put all of my things in my Honda Accord, got rid of everything else and just moved out knowing nothing with no clue who to talk to, what to do, and how to go about it. Just blind, which was so stupid, but it worked out. The first year was kind of miserable and it didn’t really curve for a little while. I don’t know if there was one really big Hail Mary Moment, but there were a lot of small ones and it would have been easier to quit, but thankfully I just didn’t. I don’t know if you’d call that diligence or stupidity – sometimes they’re very close, but that would be more what happened along my journey.

AMFM: You’re currently in Atlanta shooting with future Texan Alexander Ludwig. What can we expect from this show? We don’t know much about it.
TT: Yes, well, I have to be a little tight-lipped because we want people to enjoy all it has to offer for the first time they see it, but I can say the show is called “Heels” and it will be on Starz next year and it follows the roads of a small group of individuals who run and participate in a small indie wrestling league in a town here in Georgia and it follows them pursuing this small thing that they collectively love. They come from wildly different backgrounds, they have different intentions and follows their journey and efforts. I pay a guy named Bobby Pin, who is a guy from Texas who is kind of a newbie, a sweetheart that has to learn the ropes. His learning curve is a fun, humorous one to watch. So far we’re all very proud of the work that we’ve been doing. We feel like it’s something special and believe it will be.

AMFM: We’re definitely looking forward to that and will check it out. But for now, we’ll tell everyone to check out your star turn here.
TT: Thank you. We’re quite lucky to have got to do it. If you want to see something that’s a fun, creepy thriller with some really great human connective tissue, check out What Lies Below. Curl up on the couch, wait until it gets really dark at night – that’s the best way.

WHAT LIES BELOW is on demand and digital December 4, 2020.


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