Exclusive Interview with Lucas Till for ‘Paranoia’

– by Gig Patta

LucasTillCropped In a high stakes corporate espionage thriller, it’s hard to have good friends that you can trust. And Lucas Till plays that friend that can be trusted in “Paranoia.”

The movie is about an employee, Adam Cassidy, who is a pawn of two double-crossing CEOs of competing telecommunications companies. Till plays Kevin, who is Cassidy’s best friend and tech nerd.

During the press day for “Paranoia” earlier this month, Latino-Review had an exclusive interview with Till. We discussed about his involvement in the film and his character. There were also discussions about his love for video games and other projects—mainly his upcoming “X-Men: Days of Future Past.”

“Paranoia” is in theaters today.

Read or listen to the interview below.

Latino-Review: What attracted you to this project?

Lucas Till: I think in the beginning before I knew anything about it—it was the cast. At that point, it was Gary [Oldman], Harrison [Ford] and Liam [Hemsworth].

After that, I read [the script]. I was like “Wow. It’s rad.” I like that feeling of paranoia. It’s the feeling the whole time with the approaching doom with the people coming after him. But this also has a very relevant issue with technologies and advancements.

I hate talking about that, because it sounds like exactly what I am. I believe more and more that Skynet is coming…..

Latino-Review: Like in the “Terminator” movies.

Lucas Till: Exactly. In theory, it would get to that point eventually. But, how soon it’s going to be? Technology is such a double-edge sword—it advances us but also makes us lazy.

Latino-Review: Are you a tech savvy person in real life?

Lucas Till: I used to think that I was. Now I feel like a grandpa. With all the ways things have advanced, I look at all those people with the kinds of energy who are so into their social networking and phones all the time. It turns me off from it so much.

But, I could still pick up anything if I put my mind to it. So yeah…..I love video games. So if I’m interested in it—I’m really into it.

I don’t like to talk to people that I don’t like talking to. I don’t like Facebook that much. I do like getting in contact with people that I haven’t talked in a while. So I guess I do like Facebook. It is sort of that love/hate relationship.

Latino-Review: It’s sort of blessing and a curse at the same time, right? Like for yourself, you have to put yourself in the limelight—you have to either promote yourself or you’ll have to value your privacy. So which direction do you try to move towards to?

Lucas Till: Right. I don’t like anyone to know what’s going on in my life at all. That is including my parents. Or anyone. I’ve always been that way. I like to do my own thing. If you don’t want to give answers then don’t ask questions.

Unfortunately, I give answers. I use Twitter to promote on the business side of things. People end up knowing more about me than I want them to--especially as an actor. I’m sure I only have three tricks up my sleeve. I don’t let anyone know what those are until I do those movies. Hopefully, I can live off those movies for the rest of my life.

Once I do that, my wad’s blown. I can’t do that. It’s a double-edged sword. I have to tight rope walk to balance it out.

Latino-Review: Do you double think yourself before you try to post something?

Lucas Till: Yeah. I’m self-deprecating. It’s like if I’m annoying and will people listen to that? Who cares? Why am I giving so much thought to this? Or should I be the way I joke with my dad?

It sounds arrogant. Man, it’s like I have to think about all of this. It’s too much for me sometimes. There’s so much value to it at the same time.

Latino-Review: Video games are kind of interesting. It’s starting to go in that direction especially with the new Xbox One. Supposedly like it has the Kinnect and post everything that you play. Doesn’t that kind of make you—paranoid?

Lucas Till: Absolutely! I think that they screwed up by announcing that’s even a possibility. They went back on some of the things they were saying, but the damage is already done.

And I could get into their lack of exclusive titles and all that. That’s just something entirely different. That’s just nerd speak.

But yeah, what’s so attractive about people knowing on what’s going on in your life? I don’t get it. I don’t understand it. I’m really fired up.

I never liked Facebook when it first started. I don’t want to call specific people out, but there are people like douches out there. All of sudden, they get on Facebook and they’re pouring their hearts out. I didn’t realize there are all these people with air monologues they want to release. It reveals too much about people that I don’t really want to know. I want to assume you’re cool and not a sixteen-year-old girl at heart on Facebook.

Now it seems like I’m so bitter about this situation, but I only enjoy it in moderation.

Latino-Review: Now you mentioned for this project that you were attracted to this cast and you read something about it. Were you attracted to the script or the book itself?

Lucas Till: No. I hear that the book is massively different. It was the script that I read. It’s a shame to admit that I have not read the book yet.

Latino-Review: That’s alright. Who were you really looking forward to working with in the movie honestly?

Lucas Till: Gary Oldman…..Harrison Ford, but I don’t actually work with him. [Laughter]

Latino-Review: Yeah, I noticed your scenes were very limited with those guys. Most of the scenes were with you and Liam.

Lucas Till: That was that, but I still had a good time. Oh! I did end up getting to push Richard Dreyfuss around in a wheelchair. That was cool.

Latino-Review: Like in the hospital scene?

Lucas Till: Yeah, that one. I had a great time. I had a chance to play something different.

Latino-Review: Yeah, I noticed with this project—the character you’ve played a whole lot different from the ones you’ve played before.

Lucas Till: Correct! It really is. I had a lot of fun, because it was so different. It was from the socks to the high water pants. It’s the hipster bull crap. [Laughter]

Latino-Review: You are nothing like your character in real life.

Lucas Till: I do like getting laid like I said earlier as much as Kevin does. I’m total like a nerd video gamer. But, I can’t stand what he wears in the movie. It’s disgusting. That’s why it’s so much fun to wear it. I would never wear it [in real life] and anyone who does then I will hate them. [Laughter] It was funny and fun.

Latino-Review: Obviously, one of the biggest projects you have coming up is X-Men. You did complete that. And they announced that you’re coming back.

Lucas Till: Yeah, yeah right. I am.

Latino-Review: [Bryan Singer] announced it in a nice fashionable way by tweeting a photo online, which is kind of ironic because you’re trying value your privacy and the director suddenly pushes out your photo. One of the questions had to be asked is—what’s up with that photo?

Lucas Till: [Laughter] Well, yeah. I would challenge you or anybody else to spot two or three other mutants [in that photo]. At least two. They’re in the background there. They’re not new to the franchise, but they have been reinvented. And they’re in there. One has tattoos and one a very distinct feature.

Just zoom in. I don’t know if you’re able to tell. But, they’re definitely there.

Latino-Review: They’re definitely behind you in that photo.

Lucas Till: They’re in the room with me. Yeah. They’re part of my platoon, I guess.

Latino-Review: So they’re part of your team. Is that part of your current time? Or past time? Can you say?

Lucas Till: I probably could, but I kind of like people guessing. [Laughter]

Latino-Review: Of course. Were you there at the Comic-Con announcement?

Lucas Till: Dude? So I’m sitting here working on a movie that I’m so grateful in doing, right? But, they all go. I’ve been to Comic-Con like for the past four years in a row.

Latino-Review: I know. I was looking for you in that big montage picture.

Lucas Till: The one year that I’m not there—all of them are. I own that place. I run that shit. [Laughter] I always have a good time when I go. That’s the first year that they’re all there. Hopefully, it’ll be different next year. We’ll see.

Latino-Review: I’m sure you’re going to end up going to the next five Comic-Cons and playtest all the video games. They invited me to play the “Metal Gear Solid” anthology.

Lucas Till: Yeah, man. I actually worked with David Hayter, who was the voice of Solid Snake. He just directed his first movie with me and Jason Momoa. It’s a werewolf movie and it’s pretty fun. And that’s at Comic-Con this year too and I couldn’t promote it. I was too busy working. This was a big year for Comic-Con.

Latino-Review: Too bad you did miss Comic-Con. You missed the reuniting of the X-Men. Speaking of projects, what other projects are you working on that you’re so busy with?

Lucas Till: I got one called, “Sins of Our Youth,” which is suspenseful…..more like a black comedy. It’s about these four kids shoot their friend on accident. And they way to get out of it is to have a shootout. They will kill each other and the last one left will get a confession tape.

And a movie I just did is a movie called, “Strings.” I play an underground DJ in New York with a terrible home life. My mom is played by Maria Bello, who is a killer [actress]. And I end up overdosing on drugs and had to go into rehabilitation with a father I’ve never met in North Dakota. Everything slows down and I fall in love….or fall for abusively with this girl. [The girl] is played by Kherington Payne, who is an excellent dancer. It has a dancer element to it. And Josh Duhamel plays my counselor. He’s great in it. And Laura Dern plays the other mom with this veteran tone. It’s all a teenage story and I don’t know how to explain it correctly.

Latino-Review: To wrap this up, you obviously have an interesting resume of playing all these characters. Is there anything else you want to play in your life?

Lucas Till: Man, there’s still so much that I wanted to do. I’m glad you recognize this actually. A lot of people just come in and think that I just wanted to do “Hannah Montana” over again and over again.

Latino-Review: I didn’t bring “Hannah Montana” up.

Lucas Till: [Laughter] There’s just so much fulfillment playing Kevin [in this movie] that I never been allowed to play [previously]. I just love it when someone comes up and say “That was you!?!” Yes! I scored. I couldn’t put my finger on anything right now that I would love to play that’s different. It’s more like how different is it? And will you allow me to do it?

Latino-Review: Not like more thrillers? More horror? More love stories?

Lucas Till: No horror for a while. I’ve done a lot before. I don’t want to repeat that again. I just want to be a part of good movies. I guess the world is open.

Latino-Review: Going back to “Paranoia,” I loved your scenes. And with the scene of that car accident, I was going “What? Was Lucas the only one really gets hurt in this movie?”

Lucas Till: [Laughter] Right? I guess so. That’s funny.

Latino-Review: Anyways, thank you very much. I appreciate your time.

Lucas Till: Absolutely. Thanks.

“Paranoia” is out in theaters today.

Interviews, Film, LRM Exclusives Lucas Till, Paranoia