Exclusive Interview with Teen Wolf’s Ryan Kelley

A few months ago, Jeff Davis announced during the Teen Wolf panel at San Diego Comic Con— that season 6 would be the show’s final season, ending at a total of 100 episodes. The fans were overwhelmed with so many emotions. They were devastated that their favorite show was about to bow to its swan song too soon. They were instantly worried how the show would end, who would survive, and which characters would return for one last cameo.

One character we know that’s coming back for sure is Deputy Jordan Parrish, played by Ryan Kelley. Kelley joined the cast of Teen Wolf during Season 3B as one of the new deputies, who was drawn to the small, supernatural town. Two years and three seasons later, Parrish has become more than just a deputy and joined the supernatural world with Scott and his pack as a Hellhound.

Last Friday, I had the opportunity to chat with Ryan Kelley, and talk about the final season of Teen Wolf, what’s next for Parrish, what he would take home from set, and Parking with Parrish. (Note: This interview has been edited for clarity.)

Teen Wolf Deputy Jordan Parrish Ryan Kelley
Photo Credit: Greg Gorman

Amy Martinez: Before we jump into talking about the final season, Parrish had a big season last season, what was your reaction when you found out Parrish was a Hellhound and was sort of “dead”?

Ryan Kelley: One of the things I always say when I found out I was a Hellhound is, I had to go into it trying not to think of anything specific just in case I had something wrong in my head, which probably would have been good. Once I found out I was a Hellhound, I was excited that it was something powerful, something that could potentially help, (but) also not being able to control that power. I guess it’s sort of a negative side, but it also makes for better stories.

My fear was that I was going to be something that’s more of a novelty. There’s the chimera that can go invisible and granted that would be awesome in real life and its super cool but in terms of helping Scott and the pack, not so much. So I was glad that I had some powers where I am able to kick some butts at times.


Amy: Did you expect his storyline and journey to be as big as it was?

Ryan: No. I really had no idea. I knew when I first got on ‘Teen Wolf’, when I became a deputy, that there was more than meets the eye. They had talks of a bunch of different stuff. At one point it could have potentially been- they were thinking I could have been an Argent, and then they went with the supernatural route, which I’m cool with. I love Parrish and I love the whole Hellhound aspect to it.


Amy: That would have been cool if you had been an Argent.

Ryan: Yeah, I think just because the storylines and stuff like that, it didn’t (work out) if people were leaving the show. It just didn’t make sense when I started on 3B.


Amy: So were you originally supposed to be on the show this long? Or was it just supposed to be a few episodes and it turned into something more?

Ryan: I don’t know if I was supposed to be on the show this long. I know I was told Parrish was going to start off slow and then ramp up. That could have meant I made it through 3B and then (on Season) four did something extra and died, but I’ve made it through six. So, knock on wood. *laughs*


Amy: Now with season six coming up, what can we expect to see from Parrish this final season? If you can tease us anything.

Ryan: Well, things have changed now that they have announced it’s the final season. We’re just getting into the second half, so I really don’t know everything. I only know the first half.

Parrish is definitely going to battle with how we left off now that the beast is gone. What is his purpose in Beacon Hills and does he go away? Is he still dangerous? Is he a danger to others? Being in law enforcement, that kind of contradicts that side of him. He’s a very boy scout on the human side, but on the other side, he’s a dangerous creature that he can’t always been in control. But those two things, I think would clash in season six.

And without giving too much away, there’s just so much now with it being the final season that they gotta tie up. I’m just hoping that the fans get some of the storylines they want, even some of the ones they think they want, but they don’t. I just want people to be happy. I just want them talking whether they’re happy or upset. At least they’re motivated to talk about the show, because when they don’t talk, that’s when you’re in trouble.


Teen Wolf Creatures of the Night Deputy Jordan Parrish
Kelley as Jordan Parrish on Teen Wolf’s ‘Creature of the Night’ episode

Amy: Do you have an ideal ending for Parrish?

Ryan: I would love for his storyline to be completely closed, but sort of the theme with Parrish is every time we get answers, we get more questions. So I don’t think I would want, like, everything answered. I think I would like some mystery still there. But as long as it’s something epic where if he has to die, or someone has to die, I’d love to save someone or die trying to save someone. I think those, heroic and cool scenes, are always fun to play (especially) with a show ending. I don’t have the fear of ‘Oh well, I wanna make it to season 7, so don’t kill me’.


Amy: Speaking of potentially dying, Jeff Davis said at the New York Comic Con that he has a list of possible characters to kill off, how do you feel about that? Does that make you nervous knowing anyone is on that list, including your character?

Ryan: No. On ‘Teen Wolf’, no one is safe as you’ve seen, which is so cool and for instance (if) they kill a certain star character, fans will go bananas.

Another thing is, I don’t think any of the actors are scared. I mean there might be some that don’t want their characters to die just because they just have it in their heads that their characters would always make it through. But it being the last season, there’s also a lot of – for example, if there was a season 7, I wouldn’t want to die for selfish reasons. I would want to make it to season 7 as I enjoy being on the show, but knowing that this is the final season if I was one of those characters that would die, whatever Jeff steams up, would be pretty magical.


Amy: How do you feel about the show ending?  

Ryan: It’s bittersweet. I can’t imagine how (it feels for) some of the actors, like Posey and Holland, how they’ve been (on the show) from the beginning, and even Linden. I started on 3B and it feels like an eternity, a family. So, it’s bittersweet. It would have been nice to do maybe another season, but at the same time I’ve always had a thing about shows ending on a good note, rather than them getting drawn out and be like ‘Oh those last few seasons were terrible.’ I think it ending is a good thing. Sad, but good.


Amy: You mentioned that you were kind of introduced into the middle of the series, is there someone you would have liked to work with that you didn’t get a chance to?

Ryan: Oh man. Again, ‘Teen Wolf’ is like a family, old previous cast members constantly come to set to say ‘What’s up’ or we do promotional stuff around the world with each other, and I’ve gotten to literally pretty much get to know almost everyone. Sinqua (Walls) is one of my favorites, who I never got to work with and played Boyd. I think they’re all amazing. Crystal (Reed) died in my season that I started in, but I didn’t really get to work with her. She’s a super talented actress and it would have been nice to do more stuff with her. People loved her character, obviously. But yeah, any one of them. They’re all amazing. That’s one of the cool things about ‘Teen Wolf’.


Amy: What is the most thing you’re going to miss about playing your character?

Ryan: I’m a huge fan of supernatural and everything supernatural. I did two episodes of ‘Smallville’ and that was pretty cool, but it’s completely different from being on ‘Teen Wolf’ where I transform into a monster, this powerful creature that sometimes can’t be tamed. I love going to set and getting to do things that just aren’t real. One of my favorite things about being an actor is I get to show up on set and play make believe. But even as an adult I still fantasize about having powers, being able to fly, or having werewolf strength, or not being able to be extremely hard to kill like a Hellhound. Just things like that. I think about that way too much. I think that’s sort of the reason why I’m an actor; I’m a daydreamer. So I’m definitely going to miss that and I hope my next projects are something similar, but right now I’m really enjoying just being able to show up on set and run around like a bunch of goofballs with other cast mates that I respect and look up to.

Teen Wolf Deputy Jordan Parrish
GIF Credit: TheRealDeputyParrish (Pintrest)

Amy: Is there anything you would like to take home from the show when it ends? Your badge? Uniform?

Ryan: Ooo, that’s a – I’ve never gotten this question. That’s a good one. We have cast chairs and this is an actor thing, but some actors don’t really care for it, and I’ve been doing it since I was a little kid, but I have a stash now (of) the backs of your cast chairs. You know, that say ‘Teen Wolf’ on the back, and on the front it says ‘Ryan Kelley’, so I always take that. That’s a given.

I (was) literally in my uniform a couple of days of ago and I was literally thinking ‘Man, I should just take this’. My belt and everything that I’ve come to love and hate its- I give the officers of the law a lot of respect. My belt is heavy. It’s annoying. It hurts your back. It’s on you all day long, and for the most part the stuff on my belt is not as heavy as the real belt. I have ammo clips, but not filled with ammo. So it’s lighter. My gun is lighter. Everything. And I just don’t know how they do that all day long. I’m in a uniform with out a Kevlar vest and I’m dying in the heat. I’ll go get coffee and see an officer and he’s in full gear with a Kevlar vest, which has to be hot, with a shirt over it, his belt on, everything and they’re smiling and barely cracking a sweat. But I think I’d like to take my whole uniform. It’s sort of become a running joke. It started off with that I was always in uniform, and then I was always naked, and now if I’m in my uniform, people jokingly always say they don’t recognize me.


Amy: Going back to you saying having other projects after Teen Wolf, do you have any already in the works that we can check out later?

Ryan: Well, right now we’re filming the last second half of season six. So that sort of kind of locks me down for that. Doing TV shows is sort of unpredictable and you gotta be flexible, because we never know when exactly what days we’re filming. So for right now, I’m just doing ‘Teen Wolf’. After that? Then maybe we have, give or take, four months-ish left. Then in a couple of months I’ll really start pursuing life after ‘Teen Wolf’.


Amy: Moving on, I have a couple of Parking with Parrish questions, if that’s alright with you? 

Ryan: Yeah.


Amy: How did that all start?

Ryan: It started with just trying to figure out (what) to post on set. I just didn’t want to do selfies around set or I’m not super artistic with photography like some actors. I don’t have that interest, but I wanted to do something fun that the fans would enjoy. But the problem is, it’s hard to post pictures on set, because the cast is in new wardrobe. So you can’t give away spoilers. Also, if there’s a new character, you can’t post the picture, because you don’t wanna spoil anything. With Parrish, like in the beginning, I was always in uniform. So I can post pictures on any set that’s been established already and you won’t know if it’s old or new. So that was kind of a blessing at first, but again I’m always alone. So I was like ‘How do I make this entertaining?’ Then, also, our base camp is always in parking lots and being in a officer’s uniform, and then being in a parking lot, I just kind of like ‘Well I can be a parking attendant and just start doing pictures’. It started off slow and people started to find it funny. Then, I would do it with people on set and they would die laughing even more. So it just kind of steamed rolled into what it was and me going around taking a bunch of pictures, and people seem to find it funny. *laughs*

Teen Wolf Deputy Jordan Parrish Ryan Kelley
“Just chilling with bae today #ParkingWithParrish” (via Ryan Kelley’s Instagram @the_ryan_kelley)

Amy: Have you thought about how you’re going to end it with the show ending? Maybe you can still continue if you steal the uniform from set.

Ryan: *laughs* It slowed down for a while and I got a lot of people from all over the world asking me “When are you going to start it back up? What happened? And why did you stop it?’ It was mostly for the fact that I was never in my uniform. In the last season, I’m always a Hellhound. I didn’t have the opportunity to (take pictures) cause you know I can’t take Parking with Parrish pictures naked. So this season, I’m definitely back in uniform at times and I’m gonna get a couple of good more pictures in there. I haven’t thought about an ending though. You just brought that idea. I need to figure out a way to send it off.


Amy: My last question is are you doing to do another Parking with Parrish campaign?

Ryan: Oh with the t-shirts? Yeah, they did surprisingly really well. I think I only left it up for like a week and it did very well. I hit the goal I wanted. Yeah, it depends on- I need to get in contact with Alfalit again, the charity I did that promotion with. I would love to. It sort of comes down to timing, but also the company you do it with, or the company I did it with. They do it with other people as well, all the time. So they’re constantly doing promotions for charities with actors and things like that. I know some of the other cast (are) doing it at different times. So, it sort (of) figuring out timing wise and making sure it works out, and also you putting it up for a successful trial, I guess (you could say). You don’t wanna compete with so many. 

Teen Wolf returns for it’s sixth and final season on Tuesday, November 15th on MTV. Also, you can buy Season 5B on DVD in stores today.

About Amy

I watch A LOT of tv shows and I'm not ashamed to admit it. I'm obsessed with couples from my favorite TV shows. I get lost in the different worlds of books. I sing my heart out and have my own concert in my living room with my iPod blasting. Lastly, I love to write. You can follow me on Twitter @iAMart_22

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