What Lies Below centers on Liberty (Ema Horvath), a teenager who believes her mom’s fiancé (Trey Tucker) is not what he appears to be. Tucker talked to us about this indie thriller, his memories of working on The Outpost, and why acting is one of his many interests.
Without giving too much away, your character in What Lies Below is very dedicated to his work, and maybe that will have its effect on women who are a part of his life.
He is a Marine biologist who is trying to solve a problem in nature. He cares very much for the two women, played by Mena Suvari and Ema Horvath. But I would say he is mostly consumed for his passion in work. That plays out in ways that you might not expect in a movie about a Marine biologist (laughs).
I loved the location. Where did you shoot the film?
That was all sets – every bit of that was invented. No I’m kidding! That is beautiful Lake George in upstate New York. We primarily were in three different locations up there. So around Lake George.
Ultimately this thriller is a character based story. That must have been a joy for you to work in close tandem with co-stars Ema Horvath and Mena Suvari.
What was attractive about it is what really drives all the feelings you have through the film is not necessarily a boogie man jumping out of the closet. That is something that’s typically classified as a horror-thriller. It really is from the dynamics between these people and their motivations.
That was one of the things right off the bat that I found attractive about this script. Having the opportunity to play a wide variety moments and motors inside a character is always a treat as a performer. Combine that with working with Ema and Mena . . . saying they were professional short changes them. They were very ready to work and they knew how to tell a great story.
Combine all of that with working with Brad R. Duemmler, the writer and director, especially for it being his first foray in directing a feature film, he has a skillful balance of creating the target and guard rails so you know that you are in good hands but he gives you enough room to play and discover. Altogether it was really treat and a rare thing to share with these people. It was like eating dessert for the entire time as a performance.
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You were talking about rare moments – can you talk about your memories on working on The Outpost?
There is one thing to playing a real person in that you want to get a lot of things right. Funny enough, Stoney Portis, who I play in the movie and had the privilege of talking to quite a bit before the film, looks quite different from me. His sort of intention for success, his level headedness, his command of the moment he was in, these are things I think that Rod Lurie really wanted to convey and that he thought I could do.
So there’s something to playing the person you have that look or that sound. I think more important than that is to get the essence of the person and communicate their spirit. Especially when you’re portraying these very brave young men, you do feel the importance of doing them justice because of what they have given. It’s not something you take lightly, and Rod Lurie came with that attitude and I think that’s one of the reasons why that movie works so well.
Is there a joy for you knowing that acting didn’t come to you immediately, and you lived a little life before taking on that profession?
I feel very fortunate. I have a wide variety of interests. I’m shooting a show called Heels for Starz right now. I have the day off tomorrow and I’m going to spend the day in my woodshed here in Atlanta. That’s something I love doing. I also am going back to school to study physics. It’s something that I always enjoyed.
I hope that having that wide variety of interests make me a more multi-layered person and that helps me do more multi-layered work. I can’t say that if I popped straight out of college and go into the acting world, there is no way I would be able to do this in the way I’ve learned to over the years. I was lucky that this was the path that I happened to walk.
Others that have different ones that have served them well. This one happened to serve me well and I’m thankful for it.
Trey thank you for your time and take care!
Thank you very much and I appreciate talking to you.
What Lies Below is now available On Demand and Digital.