Many people remember him as the younger version of Chris Rock on Everybody Hates Chris, but he’s all grown up now.
On NBC’s new series Go On, Tyler James Williams plays a character named Owen, who reluctantly joins a “life change” support group after his brother goes into a coma.
During an interview with theGrio, the 20-year-old actor opened up about his new TV role, how he handles stress, and what it was like being able to take part in a U.S. presidential election for the first time.
You started out very young working with a lot of great actors on Everybody Hates Chris and now you’re going to a set of another group of veteran actors. What is it like working with such a diverse cast?
It’s great when you can work with a group of people that you know kind of have your back. I guess it’s like being in a band and knowing that every person in that band is incredibly skilled at whatever instrument they play. It’s fantastic, I am the young one and they do remind me of that quite often (that I am the baby). But it’s always great to kind of learn new things from everybody. That’s why I kind of feel like that’s what part of the job is, that you work with so many different actors that have so many different techniques.
People don’t typically talk openly about whether or not they go to therapists. But have you ever been to a therapist?
I have not gone to a therapist thankfully I haven’t had anything too traumatic in my life happen to which I’d need to go. Which I hope kind of stays that way. But for me it’s really family that’s the best support system; people who can not only best understand what is happening at the time but then best understand me. That’s always been the key.
Your character on Go On is in need of some major stress relief. What are some things that you do to help you relieve stress?
For me it’s work, which is weird. It makes me less stressed out, when I’m working. It’s just finding something that you love in which you can be creative and takes your mind off your day-to-day things. That’s always what I’ve kind of recommended to people. And thankfully I’m able to obtain income from something that doesn’t feel like work for me.”
What’s the greatest thing you’ve learned from playing Owen?
It’s been really challenging, which I absolutely love, to figure out how he feels about each one of these people. And getting really specific about that and really sort of what are they saying and how does that affect him. I think, really in this upcoming episode it’s going to be the most we’ve ever heard from Owen. It’s been interesting finding out how he feels about all these things and staying present in the midst of the craziness that is the group.
Are we going to be seeing any of Owen’s family members in the near future?
You’ll be seeing Owen’s mother in the upcoming episode actually.
How did it feel being able to actually vote? Four years ago you were only 16.
I was beyond excited. I’ve always followed politics and the elections. And my father was really big on making sure that at a young age my brothers and I read the constitution and understood our rights. So this time to actually be able to vote on who was our next commander in chief was huge for me and I was super excited not only understand what’s happening in these debates and these policies as the candidate’s issues, but now actually having a voice to speak on them.
Follow Naiquan Greene on Twitter at @MagNatesCurb