Interview With Actor Drew Tanner

By Ruth on June 1, 2017 in Interview, movie, television
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First of all, as many of my followers know, I conduct interviews in a variety of ways. Due to scheduling issues, email interviews happen more than half of the time, and I never have an issue with it. But all too often, I don’t get some of the delightful details that might happen spontaneously in a live interview. Well, let me introduce you to Drew Tanner, who was kind enough to include a wide variety of particulars that simply made this interview come alive in ways I’d never dreamed.  I hope you enjoy this “chat” I had with an up and coming actor who was recently seen in the Hallmark movie, All For Love.

RH: Please tell us about your journey to become an actor. Why did you ultimately decide to give up football in favor of acting?

DT: I feel ever since I was young I’ve been a performer. My grandfather’s talents included being a magician and I got to be his little assistant. That was my first role ever. We would put on little shows and I got drawn to the feeling of the look in people’s eyes and the amazement through these magic tricks. I think that was my first experience performing and touching others.

The reason why I decided to give up football was because the season had ended and I had a little time on my hands to explore other interests. So I auditioned for a spring theatre play when I was in my last year of high school and re-fell involve with the art form. I just knew that I was ready to give up something to gain another, which was football. it was the right time, and it was a good breakup and we are both happier for it now. {Laughs}

What was your first professional job and what are your memories of that experience?

My first professional job was on a show called Haunting Hour which was based off of R.L. Stine’s Goosebumps books, and was an extension of that. Casted by Jackie Lind, and the director was Jason Furukawa. The story was of a Hawaiian family who lived in Minnesota and could shape shift into sharks. I was an unknown at the time and I had spent the winter in a dark warehouse retreading semi-truck tires. I would work the night shift and audition during the day. I got laid off just before my nineteenth birthday when my agent called to tell me I booked my first part. And I never went back to re-treading tires.

from All Of My Heart

Hallmark viewers first saw you in All of My Heart. What did you enjoy most about the filming experience? Are you aware of the fan following for this film and that a sequel is being made? Why do you think this film resonated with the viewers so much?

All Of My Heart was such a good experience all around. The crew was fantastic; our illustrious director Peter DeLuise was amazing. The rest of the cast too, which was made up of Hollywood legend Ed Asner, Lacey Chabert, who I’ve always been a big fan of, Brennan Elliot a Canadian talent who’s really made a name for himself, Daniel Cudmore a great local Vancouver actor. And then there was me, who played Rusty, a thirty-year-old divorced mechanic from Bucks County Pennsylvania. Ed, Daniel and I all played townsfolk and I really believe that’s why the story came off so well and translated to the viewers. We brought out some of the key elements that are at the core of small town values that helped unite these lovers in an old-fashioned yet unorthodox kind of way. So every day you’re surrounded by such a good group of people who came together for a common goal to tell a story, and I think that’s why it had such a strong following. I was aware that there is a sequel in the works and I’m super excited to see how that unfolds. I feel the fans deserve it.

We then saw you in Once Upon a Holiday. What did you like about your role? What are your memories from filming?

Once Upon A Holiday was a fun little experience. My character’s name was Pat and he was a hotel concierge that was in one scene in the movie. There wasn’t a lot of talking, mostly facial expressions. I remember working with the director and a lot of that is what made the scene so funny. Playing that classic person in the service industry that’s listening to you, nodding their head, smiling but just sticking along to their agenda. To play that was really fun. So we had one actor who is trying his hardest to get into the hotel and me who’s not buying anything he’s saying but still being very polite. One of my favourite performances to date because of the amount of “face acting” that was involved, if that’s even a thing

We then saw you in Dater’s Handbook, Date With Love and The Birthday Wish. Anything you’d like to share about any of these?

Dater’s Handbook, great experience. Got to work with someone who I’m a big fan of from Suits which was Meghan Markle and Brittney Wilson who I first worked with on Motive. Happy to see her again and we had a lot of fun.

Date With Love was the first time I worked with the director Ron Oliver and I had an absolute blast working with him. Really great energy on set. It was a big scene. I got to break up with Shanae Grimes-Beech on the red carpet after she dumped a Jumbo-sized drink of blue slushie on a girl my character was hitting on. Big fiasco, great day to go to work.

Drew Tanner, Jessy Schram, David Lewis, Cardi Wong and Yvonne Chapman on set for The Birthday Wish (2017)

Birthday Wish was another project that I got reunited with Peter DeLuise. The character was one of the most fun I’ve been able to play. A young TV producer named Kian who liked to call the shots and antagonize his crew. He was a lot to handle, lots of energy. I got to be the villain for once in one of these productions and to play the character nobody likes gave me a lot of free range and was a lot of fun for me.

In addition to Hallmark, you have been on Supernatural and Supergirl. What was it like to appear on two such high profile CW shows?

CW is always an awesome experience when you’re dealing in the sci-fi realm. First CW show I did was Arrow, my character died, then in Supernatural, my character gets eaten and killed off.

Chris Wood, Drew Tanner and Melissa Benoist in Supergirl (2017)

So when I read for Supergirl, in the audition my character gets pushed through a portal. And it was a bit vague on what followed. I assumed that he was going to die as well, making it three times a charm. But I booked the part, and when I read the full script, it turns out my character was transported to another dimension and lives throughout the entire episode. He goes on this crazy galactic journey with a girl named Izzy played by Harley Quinn Smith, who is the daughter of the director Kevin Smith (which was very surreal). To be on that set was like living out a fantasy. Aliens, Explosions, Space Ships and of course Supergirl! What more could you ask for? I was a kid in a candy shop. It also taught me to remember, there is no such thing as small parts.

Cassidy Gifford and Drew Tanner on set for Like Cats and Dogs (2017)

I nearly forgot! You were also on Like Cats and Dogs. Did you get the opportunity to work with the dog and/or cat?

My character actually never has any scenes with the dog or the cat, but he was somewhat of a dog himself if that counts. But I was there one day when they brought the dog in. Very well-trained, and the more people he was around the calmer he became; that pup has a bright future. I was reunited with Ron Oliver and this time around, I had a lot of free range in the scenes. The character was the type that you think the girl should go for but is so wrong for her in so many ways. I got to ham that up quite a bit and surprise the cast with improvisations, to explore and see how far I could really push the other characters. I really thank Ron for allowing me to do that.

We saw you in the recent Hallmark film All For Love. What can you tell us about your role and the story without spoiling the film?

All For Love is a story about an author who has a string of bad romance novels because of her lack of realness in the stoylines and characters. So her boss played by the lovely Teryl Rothery, makes her dive feet first into a Navy Seal boot camp so she can better substantiate her material for her next book. While there, a romance quite like the ones she’s been writing about starts to unfold. In the camp she is put on a team with young up and comers who form the Delta Squad.

Alika Autran, Drew Tanner, Gabe Grzybowski, Sara Rue, Steve Bacic, Reese Alexander Credit: Copyright 2017 Crown Media United States LLC/Photographer: Kailey Schwerman

My character P.J. Salizar is part of that team and I was joined with Alika Autran who plays Carlie Jonas and Gabe Grybowski who plays Tiny. Our boot camp instructor is a decorated American hero played by a familiar Vancouverite named Steve Bacic. He plays opposite Sara Rue, who plays the author. The two of them were a blast to work with and they had great chemistry on and off the battlefield. I can’t wait to see how this one turns out! Our director Lee Friedlander was truly our captain and our leader through those days of filming in the mud and the rain. We shot a scene with my character and we did it in two takes. When you watch the clip there is no cutting away; it’s what we call a “oner.” First time I had ever done something like that. But it felt right and it was right for the moment and hope it plays across in the film. Getting to play this character has given me a newfound appreciation for our soldiers and how much they sacrifice each and every day so that guys like me have the freedom to tell their stories and others. It’s an honor and a privilege.

Any other upcoming/recent works you can mention?

I have this project coming out this summer called Somewhere Between which will be airing on ABC. It’s a sci-fi murder mystery. I can’t talk too much about the storyline and give away what my character’s role in the show is, so you’ll just have to wait and watch it. But you’ll see me in there.

You have been involved with several Hallmark films in recent years. What do you like about working for Hallmark?

What I like about working for Hallmark is the message. There seems to always be a consistent message throughout the productions I’ve been a part of. The message is that you can find love in some of the most humble places. A lot of the time the characters are from two different worlds, but through their differences, they come together. All set up in the backdrop of everyday American towns. They create something wonderful and real, and I think that speaks to people. Which is obvious by the fan base. I’m just fortunate and happy that I get to be a part of stories that put smiles on peoples faces when they can gather around the TV, turn on one of these films and really see hard-working, humble people come together and find true love. I think that’s special.

If you were to go on the perfect summer vacation, where would you go and how would you spend your time?

Something I’m planning as we speak is a road trip with my friends from Vancouver all the way down to Cabo San Lucas via RV. I want to do the Baja California Sur and come back up through the Oregon coast. Spend three weeks chasing the sun by the ocean and catching waves. I can’t think of a better way to spend a vacation than that. Friends, camping, and life on the road. It’s always been a dream of mine.

It thrills me to the core when I witness young actors who are just beginning to taste success, and they are going about it in the right way.  So many young people clamor for fame, fortune, and celebrity status while ignoring the craft into which they have been thrust. Still, others develop an inflated ego as they begin to get more well-established in the business, and they forget to appreciate all those who have paved the way for them. In Drew’s case, he has a good head on his shoulders, and he never forgets to thank everyone who has enabled him to do what he loves for a living. As far as I’m concerned, that is how genuine success is measured. No matter what, as long as Drew continues to pursue the path on which he has begun and strives for a consistent honing of his skills while never being satisfied with the status quo, I have no doubt his virtual star will continue its epic rise as he meets and exceeds every dream within his heart. I would invite everyone to join him on his enthralling journey by following all his links below and possibly looking up some of his past works. Furthermore, if you have not seen All For Love, don’t miss it when it airs again on Hallmark as it has easily become a new favorite of mine!

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About the Author

RuthView all posts by Ruth

43-year-old single mother of an active 14-year-old girl
Born in Tacoma, WA; lives in Yelm, WA
Entertainment Writer
Available For Interviews and Reviews
Substitute Teacher

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