Linden Ashby stars as Sherriff Stilinski on MTV’s Teen Wolf, has appeared in various soap operas and has utilized his martial arts skills in various movies such as Mortal Combat. Linden chats with us about being Stilinski, the character with no first name, what it was like acting on a soap opera and what’s up next for him.
Starpulse: Tell me about your character on Teen Wolf.
Linden: My character is Sherriff Stilinski, and I don’t have a first name on that show. It’s kind of a joke because Stiles is my son on the show and he doesn’t have a first name and I’m Stilinski and I don’t have a first name either. So, we have this joke with the producer of the show and we ask him if we have first names and he says, of course you have first names! So we’re like, well what are they? And he says, I’m not telling you! Working on the show is a treat. Every day I work with those guys is fun.
Starpulse: Did you ever think that you (not being a musician) would be on MTV?
Linden: I used to play in a rock band so maybe in that way, but as an actor, no. But it’s funny working with Russell Mulcahy because he directed all these major videos of the eighties. He was that director who did all the Duran Duran videos and Elton John and all these big names, so, he sort of put MTV on the map. Now, he’s the guy who is bringing scripted drama to MTV years later, so it’s that full circle.
Starpulse: What do you think everyone’s fascination with werewolves and vampires is?
Linden: I have my own theory because I have watched it through my adult life and in my teen years as well. And I think that when the economy is not great and people’s lives are out of control, they gravitate towards stories or characters like that- a vampire doesn’t care about making house payments. In the seventies, you saw Walking Tall, Billy Jack and Death Wish and these were all above the concerns of everyday people. And I think that’s it’s the same thing that came around again, we as a society gravitate towards characters who are above or outside the law and aren’t concerned with the same things that you and I are concerned with. As far as Teen Wolf, it does have that element but it is also incredibly well written and Jeff Davis is just a really good writer and it’s about relationships and its character driven, it’s not about werewolves or supernatural, it’s really a coming of age piece. It’s about testosterone and puberty.
Starpulse: You’ve been in a lot of soap operas in the past, what’s the biggest difference about working in a soap opera opposed to TV?
Linden: I started out in theater and then I got a job on a soap in New York. With a soap opera, its everyday, all year long- there’s no downtime and you’re shooting a show a day. You really watch people go through this process; I think I had a twitch in my eye for about the first three months I was on this thing because I was overwhelmed. There is no time to mess up, there’s no time for it, there’s no patience for it. You better be ready to play ball before you walk on that floor. And you see some of the best actors who you will ever have the pleasure to work with and then you see guys who learn tricks to get through the day and everything that you do becomes magnified. The good actors become great and the bad actors become really, really bad.
Starpulse: You have a very strong background in martial arts, how did that help you in your acting career?
Linden: Well, I would just beat the crap out of people if I didn’t get the job! No, well Mortal Combat came and I don’t even think they knew I had a background in that- I had boxed and done karate starting when I was about eighteen and when I got Mortal Combat, it was just a fluke that it was a part of it. And then I got a series called, Spy Game and there were a few years where I did a few movies and shows like that.
Starpulse: Do you have any guilty pleasures?
Linden: I love the show; It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, that’s probably a guilty pleasure! I laugh so hard.
Starpulse: What’s up next for you?
Linden: I’m getting ready to go up to Canada to film a Lifetime movie called The Perfect Boss. It’s a fun script, I play a guy who works at a big pharmaceutical company and we’ve got a drug that is going to clinical trial and the success of our company sort of thrives on this drug and we find out that it may be killing people. So, this guy who may die is sort of a whistle blower so I kill him. I’m working with Jamie Luner, who played my wife on Melrose Place, so it’s like going home week! I’m looking forward to that; it will be a lot of fun.
You can catch Teen Wolf Mondays at 10:00 pm on MTV.