From “Tucker And Dale” To “The Lake” And Blumhouse’s “Drop”: An Exclusive Q&A With Travis Nelson

Travis, originally hailing from Turner Valley in Alberta, Canada, boldly decided to relocate to Vancouver at eighteen, where he swiftly immersed himself in the dynamic world of film. Renowned for his portrayal of Chuck in the beloved cult classic Tucker and Dale vs. Evil, Travis has since graced the screens of popular television series such as Fringe and Supernatural.

As a dual citizen of Australia, he honed his craft at the prestigious NIDA in Sydney before captivating audiences in Neal Edelstine’s Haunting Melissa series. More recently, Travis has delighted viewers in the Amazon comedy The Lake and has just completed filming for the highly anticipated Blumhouse project Drop.

Currently calling Toronto home, We are honored to have the opportunity to interview Travis and explore his experiences and insights.

Travis Nelson Interview Article Image


Hi Travis, I really enjoyed your performance as Riley in ‘The Lake’ on Amazon. Your character brought a lot of heart to the story. Can you share what initially attracted you to the role of Riley and how you prepared to portray him as a local artist, handyman, and store operator?”

A lot attracted me to the role right away. Firstly, being a part of a love story that felt organic and real and wasn’t playing into the tragedy that a lot of queer relationships shown have been relegated to in the past. This felt like actively leaning into giving these characters a love story that would have its challenges, but their queerness wasn’t a virtue.

Preparing for this role was the same as most roles; it all starts with what is on the page. We were given the first three episodes, and from there, I could gain a slight sense of who Riley is. I’m from a small town myself, so there was a part of me that I instinctively knew who he was. I grew up with a small general store like the one Riley works at, and I know handymen like him; all of that helps.

The chemistry between Riley and Justin is a significant part of ‘The Lake.’ How did you and Jordan Gavaris collaborate to create a believable and engaging dynamic between your characters?

The chemistry between my characters, Riley and Justin, is a major part of the show; thankfully, we had it right out of the gate. Sometimes, it comes easy, and sometimes, you have to find it in writing, or the director can bring it out of each of you, but in our case, we enjoyed each other’s company and worked very similarly.

Jordan is a brilliant actor but also really playful, and once I knew we could have a laugh and not be afraid to try new ideas and be silly, working together became such a joy.

What were some of the biggest challenges you faced while filming ‘The Lake,’ and were there any particularly memorable moments or scenes that stood out to you during the production?”

One of the biggest challenges filming The Lake comes down to the lake itself. We were shooting in Northern Ontario, where the weather can change in minutes. One memorable moment was having to take shelter because of a tornado warning, which is not something that happens often in Canada, so it was quite a fright.

Another standout memory was having all the cast together in a scene. There were 11 characters, if not more, interweaving between storylines, and when we were given moments to be in the same scene, all of us would have such a ball that it took longer to finish those days.

I heard you’re involved in the Blumhouse DROP project directed by Chris Landon and starring Meghann Fahy from ‘White Lotus.’ Can you tell us more about your role in this project and what it was like working with such a talented cast and director?

I just finished Drop, a Blumhouse production directed by Chris Landon and starring Meghann Fahy. Without giving too much away, it’s a thriller inspired by  Sidney Lumet, a “whodunit” for this day and age. Chris Landon is a huge fan of the genre and the perfect captain; he understands how to keep the audience engaged and guessing and develop a visually distinct world.

Meghann is a movie star, like a classic movie star, an actor who can hold the audience with her pause, with a look. Working with her was an absolute joy.

Given Blumhouse’s reputation for its distinctive approach to horror and thriller films, how did your experience working on “DROP” compare, especially considering its fast-paced thriller genre? Additionally, could you share any memorable moments or challenges you encountered during the production that stood out to you?

Drop is a unique film for Blumhouse, but it also shares some integral DNA that lives in all their movies. Much like A Quiet Place, there aren’t many locations, and that potential claustrophobia is a powerful tool for suspense. Drop uses that single location to build a unique world for the audience.

One thing with having one location for 90% of the film is the repetitive nature of living in a loop, and a great memory from working on Drop is watching the entire crew become loopy. The laughs and jokes we all told to keep things fresh are some of the most fun I’ve had on a job recently.

We filmed Drop in Ireland, so having an entire Irish crew helped keep the mood light. The Irish are a switched-on people who love to laugh. My kind of people.

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