Exclusive Interview: Taylor Handley, of Hidden Palms
Exclusive Interview: Taylor Handley, of Hidden Palms
Despite his young age, Taylor Handley has already put together an impressive body of work.  Taylor has appeared in both film and television, with memorable appearances on hit shows The OC, Dawson's Creek, and CSI.  Fans of The OC will remember Taylor as the infamous Oliver Trask from the show's first season.  Taylor stars as Johnny Miller in the new CW drama Hidden Palms, created by Kevin Williamson.  Recently, Taylor took some time out of his day to speak with us at BuddyTV about his new show.

Below you will find both the written transcript and full mp3 audio of the interview.

Could you start us off by just telling us a little bit about your background, how you got started as an actor, how you ended up in Hollywood?

Well, I started acting in plays when I was around six years old, and I did that for about six or seven years, doing plays, doing the local Summer Theater and stuff. When I was thirteen, I wanted to do something more. I’ve always loved the movie business and I’ve always loved watching TV and watching movies, so I remember one day I was in the car with my dad and I looked over at him and I was like, “When are we gonna get this thing started?” At the time it was really convenient because my best friend’s mother was a manager.  She put me on as a client and introduced me to some agencies, and I got an agent, and on my third audition ever I booked a feature film called Jack Frost, back in 1998.  Ever since then it’s kind of been snowballing.

You’ve done work in both television and also film.  You’ve been on the O.C., Dawson’s Creek, and you’ve also done some movies like The Texas Chainsaw Massacre last year. Do you prefer one over the other?

Well, for me it’s all about the good work, you know? The characters I’ve taken on…I just had a personal connection with them, because when I’m acting I like to take things out of my personal life and things out of other people’s lives that I find interesting and put then into my character, as well as adding my imagination. I think those three things kind of make the character.  So, all the characters I play have just been really fun.

Let’s talk a little bit about Hidden Palms. How did you land your starring role as Johnny Miller?

It was pretty much just the regular audition process. When I read the script, the pilot, it was one of the best pilots I’d read in the last couple pilot seasons and I really, really wanted the job and so I went in there to audition for it.  Initially they didn’t want me for the role. But I guess they couldn’t find anybody that could do it so they called me back in and I had a meeting with Kevin Williamson and Scott Winant and after that there’s a series of auditions. You go to the producers, then you go audition for the studio, and then you audition for the network. So, after the network audition I heard that I landed it and, you know, that was it.

So what would you say was most compelling to you about the show and your role?

You know, Johnny Miller’s character, he’s like the anti-hero hero. He’s not like the everyday wide-smile kind of guy. He’s got a lot of baggage that comes along with him, so I really liked that because it....helps me to have those levels in the character that I play. It makes it more interesting for me and so that’s what drew me to the character.

For those who might not know, could you give us the quick premise of the show?

Yeah. There’s this kid Johnny Miller and after witnessing the suicide of the father he does this short stint in rehab.  When he comes out of rehab he finds that his mother is remarried to his dad’s business partner and he uproots them from their normal surroundings and moves them to Palm Springs where Johnny and his mother and his stepfather, they have to, you know…they take on this role in this new community and there’s this bunch of strange ongoings that happen there. Johnny has to deal with that, he meets a lot of cool different people, a lot of weird people. You know, it’s a fun show to watch, that’s what I’ve been hearing. I personally haven’t seen them all, but filming it was a great experience.

Are you anything like your character, Johnny?

Sure, you got to take from personal experience in order to make the character real, so there are some parts of Johnny that relate to me.  The whole awkward girl thing during high school, and parties and, you know, kind of feeling like an outcast…I’m sure everybody’s got that feeling, feeling like an outcast at one point, so that’s how it kind of relates to me.

Outside of Hidden Palms, do you have anything in the works that you want your fans to know about?

Yeah, there’s a great movie going around to film festivals right now called The Standard, a coming of age teenage, a really gritty teenage drama movie…it’s written by Jordan Albertsen. It’s running around all the film festivals right now, they should check that out and I just actually went to a premiere last night for a movie called September Dawn that I did as well, and I think that’s coming out in theaters on June 22nd. It’s about the infamous Mount Meadows Massacre in the 1857.

I just gotta ask one last question, and this is for all your crazy girl fans out there. Are you dating anyone right now?

You know what, I’m not dating anyone, so send them my way.  I’m having the worst problem right now. You know, being the good guy sucks sometimes.

Maybe you could let your lady fans out there know what exactly do you look for in a girl.

Just be straight up with me, you know. No games, just accept people for who they are, you know what I mean?

(Interview Conducted by Royce Yuen)

(Image Courtesy of The CW)