You may have heard of Hunter Doohan. He plays the character Tyler Galpin in Netflix’s hugely successful show, Wednesday, a spinoff of The Addams Family, alongside fellow powerhouse Jenna Ortega, which boldly landed on the platform in November 2022. And while this role may be considered his international breakthrough and rapidly boosted his followers count on social media, this certainly isn’t his first time at the rodeo as Doohan’s rise to superstardom started many years ago, previously boasting other roles in Apple TV+’s Truth Be Told, Netflix’s What/If, and he even starred as a series regular for the Showtime series, Your Honor, opposite Bryan Cranston.
The 29-year-old from Fort Smith, Arkansas, is certainly on a high from the Wednesday praise and finds himself facing an in-demand schedule. MOOD caught up with Doohan during a visit to the UK, just a couple of days before making a weekend appearance at Comic Con in Liverpool.
Hunter wears Louis Gabriel Nouchi
Hunter wears BLUEMARBLE Jacket and Jeans, Top by Louis Gabriel Nouchi
Hunter wears Daniel W. Fletcher
Hunter wears Acne Studios top and trouser, Boots and belt by Dsquared2.
He’s at his hotel in London following a recent trip to Paris, where he also participated in a similar type of event. Despite the constantly different time zones, dealing with potential jet lag, and juggling a jam-packed schedule, Doohan embraces everything that comes with the job. “I love that part of it,” he says about his enjoyment of constantly being on the go. “I get a little stir-crazy if I'm in one place too long, so I like traveling around.”
To be fair, referring to Wednesday as “hugely successful” feels like an understatement, to say the least. It’s a global phenomenon. I mean… the stats don’t lie. Debuting straight in at No. 1 on Netflix in 83 countries, the show holds the record for the most hours (341.2 million) viewed in a week. And in the weeks that followed, the show continued to increase in popularity, reaching an estimated 150 million households and a total of 1.02 billion viewing hours within the 21 days after it premiered. Doohan might have been someone who already had the taste of victory with previous jobs, but still, nothing could have prepared him for how much of a cultural impact Wednesday was going to be. “It’s definitely been a different experience,” he says. “Other things I've been in, people will be like, ‘Oh this is gonna change your life.’ And, it kind of doesn't, at least not day to day. And then Wednesday felt almost overnight, it was just insane. But honestly, it's been fun and the fans are great and really sweet.”
Spoiler alert. Doohan’s character Tyler was first introduced to us as a barista and the son of Sheriff Donovan Galpin, who he has a troubled relationship with. After meeting Wednesday Addams, portrayed by Ortega, during a shift at work, the pair developed an unexpectedly close bond in the forthcoming episodes. Tyler was portrayed as a potential love interest to viewers. However, in episode 7, Wednesday’s vision revealed that Tyler was a Hyde, a mutated species that had been banned from Nevermore Academy 30 years prior. With still a question mark surrounding what’s next for him, the last we saw of Tyler in the final episode was him being taken to the Willowhill Psychiatric Hospital for treatment.
“I think once I actually found out everything that Tyler got to do, I was just like, ‘Oh my God, there's no other role in this series that I would want.’ This is so fun to explore and play,” he says about his desire of wanting to take on the job. “I was so excited to even have the chance to audition when I saw that Tim Burton was doing it, with Alfred Gough and Miles Millar too. I'm a huge fan of theirs from Smallville.” As expected, the opportunity to meet the legendary Burton was an experience in itself, something which Doohan didn’t take for granted. “I was so intimidated going into it just because I'm such a fan, and you think you know what he is gonna be like and then it's not really true at all,” Doohan explains. “He's so cool and sweet and collaborative. He is just so nice to work with that he took away any fear when working with him almost immediately.”
Doohan didn’t land the part of Tyler overnight, however. The actor recalls participating in an audition tape in March 2021 and not hearing anything back for months. “And then, on a Monday, they called and were like, ‘Hey, you're gonna do a chemistry read with Jenna and Tim Burton's gonna be there as well as the writers, on Friday.’ I was like, ‘Oh shit,’” he says. “I think I signed on in June or July and then we went to go shoot in September.”
Season One was filmed entirely overseas in Romania and took seven months to complete. “It was also during covid and so it was very isolating, like not being able to travel back home because then we would have had to quarantine all over again and the city would shut down at 9:00 PM,” he shares. On the plus side, it wasn’t all doom and gloom. “The best part about it was, as a cast, we ended up bonding pretty quickly because we were over there and didn’t know anybody else,” Doohan adds. “But yeah, it was a lot.”
Fast forward to 2023 and the show is still on everyone’s lips, especially now that a second season has been confirmed. And with filming about to take place in the upcoming months and fans constantly coming up with their own theories, Doohan himself admits that he doesn’t know yet how his character will continue to evolve in future episodes. “I'm excited at the opportunity to see what happens to Tyler now that he doesn't have a master. A lot of what he was doing in Season 1 was under the control of Christina Ricci's character. We’ve never gotten to see what a Hyde is like without a master,” he says.
Outside of its large viewership, Season 1 also received rave reviews from critics. The Telegraph described it as a “spooky, kooky and delightfully dark mash-up of genres” while Global Comment referred to the show as “truly entertaining and daring.” During award season, Wednesday racked up nominations at the Golden Globes, Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Awards, and Critics' Choice Super Awards. For this reason, Doohan confesses that there is a little pressure going into the second. That said, he reassures himself that he will be going into the filming process with the same mindset he entered the first season with. “Maybe the writers feel that way, but you know, they probably would say the same thing,” Doohan adds. “I'm sure their process is the same. They've done so much television that they’re such pros. I think there will be more nerves when it's about to come out. I’m just hoping that people respond to it in the same way.”
Hunter wears Arturo Obejero
Hunter wears Louis Gabriel Nouchi
If there is one thing that has most definitely changed, however, it’s the ongoing attention Doohan now receives, on and offline. “That definitely wasn't a thing before,” he says while laughing. On the plus side, interacting and meeting with fans is not something he shies away from. “I get to travel around a bit more and participate in some cool opportunities. That's been really crazy but also fun to see, like interacting with fans in that way and to just get to travel is a treat, you know?”
Wednesday marked Doohan’s first role in the genre of fantasy and supernatural. But, where else would he like to take his acting talents? “I’d love to do something in the Sci-Fi space or I've always wanted to do a war movie. I'm always so profoundly touched by war films when they are done right,” he says. Slightly taken aback by the question, Doohan openly expresses that the idea of manifesting future roles is a new concept for him as he’s so used to securing roles through direct pitches. “It's weird to me because I spent so long auditioning for whatever I was allowed to that it's weird to feel like, ‘Oh, let me decide what I wanna do next,’” he says. “I tried to stay open to it too because the two biggest things I've done, Your Honor and Wednesday, I never could've dreamed up myself.” With also a passion for writing, Doohan is keen to take that even further. “I've done it with short films but I hope to write and direct something on a bigger scale someday,” he adds.
From one profession to another, the past few months have seen Doohan take an interest in the fashion industry, attending shows during Fashion Week for the likes of Fendi, Louis Vuitton, Tommy Hilfiger, and Versace, where he was also snapped holding hands with the fashion giant herself, Donatella Versace. “I keep joking. It's funny for me to be invited to Fashion Week playing a character that only wears plaid,” he says. “Those shows have been really fun. I've never been exposed to that world before, but I've been enjoying it, and to me, that's a chance to explore and have fun.”
Hunter wears BODE
Hunter wears Arturo Obejero
Hunter wears Saint Laurent
For those eager to carve out an acting career and follow in Doohan’s footsteps, the rising star alarms aspiring talent to get ready for constant rejections and that victory isn’t always achieved overnight. “I moved out to LA from Arkansas and I wasn't really working the way I wanted to be for seven, eight years. You really have to have a thick skin and a lot of patience,” he explains.
With his own career officially off the ground, Doohan is in a place where pitches and scripts are being sent over to him more regularly. “I’m getting to read scripts and audition for things I never even would've had the opportunity to before. That's been really exciting and it's been really exciting to see some of these projects that go straight into meeting the director and they’ve seen some of my work now,” he says. While remaining tight-lipped, Doohan does spill that he has a couple more projects in the works that are not related to Wednesday that should be unveiled before the second season comes out. “I think it'll mostly be filmed-related stuff because I can't really sign on to a lot of TV roles or any other TV shows because Wednesday takes its first priority,” he says. “I'm hoping to do maybe two or three projects before going back to Wednesday in the fall.”