Wyatt Oleff Gives RAW Interview, Talks Stephen King’s IT
RAW: Tell us how growing up in Chicago shaped you.
WYATT: Chicago has always been and will always be my home. It’s always a part of me in some way or another. The people I got to know really helped shape who I was. Coming out to California when I was around seven and being able to take what I got from Chicago to L.A. was really nice. It might take a little more getting used to, but I do love it here.
RAW: Talk to us about how you got so video gaming and why you love it so much.
WYATT: I’m sure I played a lot when I was younger and it kind of stayed with me, but right now... sometimes I value it over my school work and maybe that’s why I’m not doing my best in school. (laughs) Sorry Mom! But I’m definitely trying to get better at self discipline with that. But uh, back to the subject, I’ve definitely been gaming a lot recently because that’s like one of my favorite things to do. I play with friends a lot and it’s always fun for me to do.
RAW: Is there a favorite game character that you have or a favorite game?
WYATT: Probably a Zelda game like Majora’s Mask or the new Breath of the Wild. But there’s not really a character in particular that I’m really, really interested in.
RAW: Will there ever be a character you would like to play in a movie one day?
WYATT: Possibly. It really depends how well they do the movie. Because they don’t really have a great history of making movies. But Andy (Muschietti) was thinking about doing a Shadow of the Colossus kind of movie. So who knows? Maybe if I’m old enough by then, that would be really fun to do.
RAW: You recently started your YouTube channel. How did that come about?
WYATT: I felt like making skits is always fun for me. When we filmed IT, we would make really stupid [stuff] and we just kind of bonded. It’s really weird. You wouldn’t expect these seven kids to just get along so well, but we really did and it was really incredible that summer. I don’t think I could ever relive it. It’s just a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
RAW: Was there ever a person or performance you watched growing up that made you want to be an actor?
WYATT: I was five years old and I just asked my mom, “Can I do acting?” and she said, “no,” (laughs) and two years later I moved out to California and I kept asking her and finally she let me try it!
RAW: When you got into acting, how long did it take before you got call backs and your first job? Was it very quick or was it like a process?
WYATT: It was definitely a process. We were going into an audition room for the first time and just, you know, trying to show how good I am at something. I think I was seven or eight, maybe nine. It was definitely scary, but I remember when I got my first call back I was (mind blown) like “Whoa!” because we went into the audition, we drove home and then we got a call from the agency and we were freaking out! Of course I didn’t get that part, but you know, the call back was good enough.
RAW: You’ve mentioned before that Joseph Gordon-Levitt is one of your inspirations. What about him stands out to you?
WYATT: He’s able to really get into his character and have me just be enveloped in the story. It’s like I can connect to that character. And he has very human-like traits and it’s not like, “I am an actor,” kind of thing. He’s very natural.
RAW: What is a dream role for you?
WYATT: I would say there’s a lot of different categories or genres of movies I would love to try. Like a fun comedy would be great or a drama or maybe another horror movie. I don’t know, I’m not a really big fan of horror movies, but we’ll see what happens.
RAW: In IT, Stanley Uris is a very sensitive character compared to the rest of the kids. How did you prepare for that? Is he different from you in real life or are you pretty similar to him?
WYATT: In some ways I’m definitely similar to him. I’m a sensitive person when it comes to emotions at least (laughs) and I know Stanley is too. Stanley tries to hide his emotions and sometimes I accidentally do that as well. So I can definitely relate to him in that way. One way to describe Stanley is like the voice of reason that no one listens to and that’s also me in real life. (laughs) Because the cast always has sleepovers at my house and I try to keep everything in order so I don’t have to do as much cleaning the next day. I used to say, “Respect the materials” (laughs) which is a phrase from my school and they made fun of me for that which is nice. (laughs)
RAW: You’ve been doing a lot of press lately. How do you stay humble through all this success at such a young age?
WYATT: (laughs) Thank you. There’s a lot of it ways I try to make sure that my head doesn’t get big or whatever. One of those ways would be just telling my friends, “If I’m ever, ever like a jerk or just being not cool and big-headed, just tell me ‘cause I really want to know when I’m going too far because I don’t want to be that person.” I definitely try to check in with myself and see if something sounds bad or anything like that. There’s lot of people like my parents and sometimes my 16-year-old brother.He definitely pushes me around a lot but I guess that helps with me sometimes.
RAW: Tell us about how it was working with Sophia Lillis.
WYATT: It was our first project working together and hopefully there’s more to come. (laughs) She’s just such a fantastic actor. A lot of us can’t even like compare to her. It’s weird. It’s like incredible how she’s able to express herself. Because in real life she’s not too good at it, but when it comes to acting she’s very top notch. Working with her was definitely awesome.
RAW: What’s some advice you could give to someone who isn’t going through the best time?
WYATT: I’m not really 100% sure how to give good advice yet, so maybe I’m not the best person to give this advice to, but I definitely had a really, really rough patch two summers ago. I had a lot of anxiety and I don't know if it was depression or not. It wasn’t like as horrible as some peoples’ can be, but just talk to people. I just had to talk to my parents, and I talked to my mom about it and she said, “We’ll always be here for you,” and that really helped a lot. And I think if you’re trying to separate yourself from people sometimes that’s healthy, but for too long it might be a little unhealthy. So make sure you socialize with other people and tell them what you’re’ feeling. And hopefully they'll help you out!
RAW: If there’s one thing you want to be remembered for in this life what would that one thing be and why?
WYATT: (exhales) That is a big question! I would love to be remembered as a very sarcastic, dry, maybe sometimes a little (laughs) bit of a jerk sometimes, but all in good fun. Okay, sorry Mom, I didn’t mean it that way. Let me start over. For this life, I would like to be remembered as a good person of course, like anyone would. I just want to be remembered as a person people can look up to and say, “I want to be that person,” not in a bad way, but in a good way. (laughs) Not in just like an acting sense either. Like in a human sense, I just want to be a good person in general and not just have people look up to me as just an actor. I want people to respect me for who I am.ᴿᴬᵂ