Dylan Sprayberry is one lucky teenager. For one, he stars as Liam Dunbar on MTVs Teen Wolf–the biggest thing to hit the network in years and a certified fan favorite. Secondly, he’s seventeen years old. An age associated with the prime of youth. There’s a lot to envy from a teen living his dream, desired by the millions of hard-core fans of his supernatural series. For the New Jersey born actor, it’s just the beginning. One look at Sprayberry, and he has the frame and build of a young matinee idol. To fans and passerbyers , it’s another one of his blessings, but for the Teen Wolf star, it’s the result of dedication and hard work.
“It’s not because of good genes or anything like that, I train very hard so I can stay in shape,” he says. “Not even so that I look good. But, so that I’m fit for any challenge.” Starring on a TV show that requires you to scream your lungs out in a full face of wolf make-up, followed by the occasional fight for your life in the confines of Beacon Hills High sounds like challenge enough. However, Sprayberry jokes that although he does play a supernatural entity, his role on the show is not that unlike his everyday life. “I’m a teenager and quite hairy for my age, so it’s not that different.” Of course, in reality, it is. His character Liam, somewhat of a baby werewolf, this season reveals to his best-friend played by Khylin Rhambo the truth about his supernatural status, and there reaction is anything but normal–as any high-school aged boy would react to their friend suddenly possessing otherworldly skills to protect you from harm you never knew was there to begin with. Sprayberry admits to loving his job as a supernatural teen, but can’t help but wonder what lies behind the other metaphysical doors. “If I could be anything but a teenage wolf, I’d be a teenage mutant ninja turtle,” he confesses. “Because they have weapons AND shells.”
So who does a teen idol idolize? It’s an easy question for him. “I look up to actors who aren’t afraid to do whatever they want and who make bold choices. Joaquin Phoenix, Sean Penn, Jake Gyllenhaal, and Tom Hardy,” he says. All household names, all iconic in their own right. Much like these actors in their heyday, Sprayberry who attended Comic-Con this summer, got a taste of what it’s like to have everybody want a piece of you. “ I had one fan try to kiss me, and it was strange because she wasn’t even close to my age! A lot older,” he recalls. Sounds about right for a show that has racked up more episodes than any of the network’s former scripted attempts, with fan favorite Awkward coming in second. Thankfully, Sprayberry’s remaining time at Comic-Con was less aggressive and a bit more genial.
“Overall, being at Comic-Con was amazing! Comic-Con shows Teen Wolf a lot of love and for the whole cast it’s like going on a family vacation. I also turned seventeen the day before, so being there was sort of my celebration,” he says. What’s he looking forward to now that he’s seventeen? “Well, I now have a [driver’s] license so that means one thing: a road trip.” At the end of the day, he may be a teenager in many senses of the word, but he’s not oblivious to the dependency his age bracket has on gadgets.
“It’s a trade-off, he says. “On one end it’s great because we know what’s going on everywhere all the time,” he admits. “But, on the other end we are so focused on what’s going on everywhere else we can’t enjoy what goes on right in front of us. I purposely try to keep myself off my phone for that reason. We don’t always need to know what’s going on somewhere else. Experience life through your eyes, not your Twitter.”
At the end of the day, Sprayberry says “I love the show. It’s the perfect mix of drama, comedy, horror, action and fur!” Teen Wolf fan or not, we can all appreciate a little fur.
photography AARON FEAVER www.aaronfeaver.com
styling WILFORD LENOV
grooming SIENREE at Celestine Agency using R&CO
Production Bello Media Group | Words by Dio Anthony