He fights demons and hellhounds as Bert "Sock" Wysocki on Reaper (Tuesdays at 9pm/ET), but Tyler Labine's real life is no less exciting. From Reaper's writers'-strike status to dish on the real Ray Wise, Labine tells us where it's at this season.
TVGuide.com: Your wacky character on the show, Sock, seems to be a fan favorite. Is he anything like you?
Labine: Sock is the kind of guy who just says and does whatever he wants. There's something really fun about getting to be that guy. We walk around censoring ourselves all the time, but this guy just doesn’t have that sort of filter in his system. So I'm that guy more often than I'm not because I'm at work all the time, so I'm just now starting to sort of become him.
TVGuide.com: There are a lot of great moments on the show that seem improvised. Do you guys have that kind of freedom? Labine: Working with Kevin Smith on the pilot, he was a real collaborator, one of those directors who really trusts the actors. He tells you to do what you want, and I got the impression that [the producers] really like that improv thing. That's sort of my background, as an improv actor. So after we shot the pilot and it was so well received, they sort of gave me an unofficial nod and a wink, like, "You know what you're doing." They just let us go. So usually if it seems improvised, it is.
TVGuide.com: Your boss on the show, Ted (Donavon Stinson), is a real pill. Ever had a boss that bad?
Labine: Oh yeah, when I worked in a recycling depot when I was like 17 or 18. I was a swamper, I rode around in the back of this truck and picked up people's recycling. And my boss was this weird, totally unashamed pervert. Anytime he found people recycling Playboys or Penthouses or something, even though they were covered in garbage and had pages stuck together and stuff, he'd be like, "Make sure you bundle 'em up and save those for me!" And on top of that, he was a jerk.
TVGuide.com: We still don't know too much about Sock. Will we be getting to know him a little better?
Labine: Yeah, you are. [Last Tuesday] was actually a really big one, you got a little insight into my character. Gladys the DMV demon and myself, we took a pretty weird turn, and I think it's going to go down as the most infamous scene in the series so far. And actually, I do have more of a storyline with Josie coming up. She starts to get hip to what we're doing. I mean, she's not an idiot, we've been breaking into her office like every week and giving her ridiculous cover stories that no one would ever buy. So she and Andi realize they've got to start keeping tabs on us and in one episode I almost make an attempt to get her back. We also just finished filming an episode where you meet Sock’s mom. So yeah, they're starting to dole out a little more insight into Sock and not just having him be this goofball that just ended up there.
TVGuide.com: The cast looks so friendly on the show. Are you guys all buddies when you're away from filming?
Labine: Yeah, we all hang out. And it's filmed in Vancouver, which is my hometown. I was born in Brampton, Ontario, moved here when I was like 13 and then moved to L.A. in 2000, but this is home. My brothers and my mom and my wife are here. When everyone came here I felt the pressure of being an ambassador for the city, so I started showing them my version of a good time in Vancouver. And then the show got picked up and everyone came back and we just picked up where we left off. So yeah, we hang out all the time. Especially me, Bret and Rick [Harrison and Gonzalez, who play Sam and Ben].
TVGuide.com: So you're married, then?
Labine: Yes, I'm married. Gotta break some hearts.
TVGuide.com: A few episodes ago, the Devil was warning Sam against you and Ben knowing about their business deal, and I got worried for you guys. Are you worried for you guys?
Labine: Well, when we read it, we were like, whoa, the Devil is acknowledging us for the first time, but kind of threatening us, too. Like, are we gonna get killed or what? I think they have plans in the future to bring us into a storyline with the Devil where hopefully I get to have a scene with Mr. Ray Wise himself. So we'll see what happens, but I don't know right now whether we'll get to flesh that out because of the strike.
TVGuide.com: So you guys are feeling the effects of the strike in Vancouver, too?
Labine: Yeah, we're definitely feeling it. Shows that are shooting here like Supernatural and Men in Trees are all getting shut down. As far as we go, we're just hoping something will be resolved sooner than later because this very easily could be the end of Reaper. The strike could go for months and the interest could just drop, so who knows? But we'll have 13 episodes filmed by the time we're done.
TVGuide.com: Is Ray Wise as cool as he seems?
Labine: He is probably the coolest man alive. He's just a dude, you know what I mean? He's got this big Cheshire Cat grin and he stands around chewing his gum with his crazy white teeth and his L.A. tan. He's just a really cool guy and quite possibly one of the nicest guys you'll ever meet. No pretentions, no ego, just a nice, nice guy. And he's so happy to be here. He's like a cheerleader on set, he loves working here.
TVGuide.com: Do you have any other projects coming up?
Labine: Yeah, a movie, Control Alt Delete, which is supposed to be out next summer. My character is a normal guy on the surface, but then through a series of unfortunate events becomes this really sexually depraved guy who ends up having sex with computers. It's like, we all have those secrets that we hope we can conceal or keep under control, and this guy just loses it and starts indulging in every way he ever imagined. My older brother wrote and directed it, so when he asked me [to be in it], my first question was, "Why did you write a movie about me f--king computers? Where did that come from?" But it was a really fun role. It's not exactly print fodder, a guy who f--ks computers.
TVGuide.com: But you know, we're TVGuide.com, we're hip.
Labine: And what's more hip than computer fornication?
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