“You will get many of the answers you’ve been waiting for [before Season 5A ends],” Kelley tells TVLine, including the truth about Parrish’s supernatural side. (Kelley famously turned down executive producer Jeff Davis’ offer to find out what Parrish is last season, but now that the reveal has been scripted, he no longer has that luxury.)
Read on for more hints about Parrish’s true nature, the inside story on last week’s Lydia-Parrish love scene and whether or not Kelley believes his character can be trusted moving forward.
TVLINE | Take me back to the moment you found out what Parrish is. What was your reaction?
I think Jeff just randomly walked up to me while I was passing time by myself on set. He just hit me with it, then walked away like nothing happened.
TVLINE | Was it at least a creature you’d heard of?
Yes, but I’m a big nerd, so there are a lot of things I’d been speculating about, which I don’t think people would have known. I love everything supernatural, Greek mythology, all that. I had a pretty good handful of things I thought Parrish was, so it didn’t shock me.
TVLINE | We mostly see Parrish naked, covered in stuff, carrying bodies to the Nemeton. How long does it take you to get ready for those scenes?
It took forever in Season 4, like two-and-a-half hours, because they had a different way of doing it. This season, they got it down to like an hour; the special effects guys on this show are amazing. … There’s still the awkward part where I’m in a flesh-colored Speedo and they’re putting black stuff all over my butt. Plus, it takes about an hour to take it off after everyone else wraps. I made the mistake of going home without taking it off on set — they have special solution for that — and even after showering, I still had stuff on me for weeks. Someone was like, “What’s that black stuff behind your ear?” I was like, “Oh my God, I swear I’m clean.”
TVLINE | How was your first big Teen Wolf make-out scene?
[Laughs] I don’t know if that counts as the first. Like his kiss with Lydia in Episode 1, this was a figment of Parrish’s imagination, or the Doctors toying with him. Holland Roden is an amazing actress, and I knew her before Teen Wolf, so it’s funny that we’re now pretending to be romantic.
TVLINE | It definitely wasn’t a traditional encounter. How long did it take to film with all that makeup for Lydia?
As horrible as it looked on TV, it was a hundred times worse actually filming it. We had to do multiple takes from multiple angles of her basically sucking my face off. You see it really quickly on camera, but it took forever, and it was not that much fun. She was covered in slime and blood and it was disgusting. Holland’s a trooper for getting in that makeup for that one scene.
TVLINE | Beyond their physical encounters, Parrish and Lydia have a strong connection, which only seems to be getting stronger. Can you explain it?
Parrish is a little bit older than Lydia, but she’s also wise beyond her years. She’s extremely intelligent, and I think her character is more mature than most girls her age, which helps his connection with her. It’s not for sure that they’re going to be romantic, but he’s been having these hallucinations, which I don’t find to be strange at all — she’s a beautiful girl and he’s a male. A huge part of their connection is also that Lydia is trying to help Parrish figure out what he is, so he’s very vulnerable. Is he dangerous? Is he not? What makes him tick? It’s the same thing Lydia went through when she found out she’s a banshee, so she’s helping him baby-step his way through this.
TVLINE | At this point, would you label Parrish a good guy? A villain? Somewhere in between?
He’s kind of in limbo right now. You see him carrying these bodies and you’re not sure if he’s working with the Doctors or not. We’ve been getting more questions about Parrish, rather than answers. So I honestly don’t know, but I think he’s good. He works in the sheriff’s department and he was in the military, but this supernatural twist — him not knowing what he is — might change that. Anything’s possible on Teen Wolf.
TVLINE | Would you want to have Parrish turn out to be the next big threat?
I’m OK with him being evil, as long as I live. I just don’t want to get killed off.
Teen Wolf fans, what do you think Parrish is? Are you hoping for more interactions between him and Lydia? Drop a comment with your thoughts below. (Also, note: Kelley will be live-tweeting Monday’s episode through GoGoGab, using the hashtag #RyanGab.)