Saturday, February 24, 2018
TV and Media

Tampa's Owen Teague hits big on Netflix's 'Bloodline'

Owen Teague credits his acting success to Disney's Beauty and the Beast.

Now a star of Netflix's Bloodline, Teague, 17, said he used to act out scenes as the Beast — cape and all — every day when he was about 4 years old.

"I'd do the wolf scenes with my stuffed wolves and my mom would do it with me," he said. "It was like a ritual."

A Tampa native who still lives and attends high school in the area (he didn't want to say which one), Teague plays Nolan Rayburn, the son of the family black sheep, Danny Rayburn, in Bloodline's second season.

Teague recently talked with the Times about his game-changing role on Netflix's Florida Keys-based drama, and being a part of Tampa's acting family.

How did you first get into acting?

I was born and raised here in Tampa. I spent my whole life here, except for one year in California. After so many times acting out scenes from Beauty and the Beast I think I said, "Mom, I want to be in a movie." My parents got me involved in theater, which evolved into professional theater then movies and TV. All because of Beauty and the Beast.

Nolan's arrival at the Rayburn House really shook things up. How does it feel to play such a game-changing character?

It was amazing. I had no idea that they were going to do that with me when I first got on the show. With Bloodline you never know where anything is going. It's a total mystery until it happens. I had no clue they were going to have me be Nolan. When it came up I was like, this is going to be fun.

Like Danny, Nolan's personality seems to switch between good and evil. Given that the Rayburns tend to behave badly to protect themselves or make things better, which way do you think he'll lean next season?

He's still young. But he is also someone who will do bad things to make things better. The whole Rayburn clan is guilty of that. I think he's going to lean on the side of making things better, but maybe try to distance himself from what he's already done. He's got a huge amount of guilt. But I still have no idea where it's going. I don't think anyone does.

Being Danny Rayburn's son means your character has big shoes to fill. Do you think Nolan intends to take after his father?

It's not something he has a lot of power over. He's been thrust into this tough environment, and having Danny as a father really rubbed off on him. I don't think Nolan wants to be like Danny. He didn't have a good time with Danny as a dad. Danny was in and out of his life and kept letting Nolan down. Nolan still has a lot of anger, and that anger gets explored in the second season. The rest of the Rayburns see so much of Danny in Nolan. Nolan doesn't really get to be his own person. They share the same looks and the same mannerisms, but it's not something he likes.

What's it like working with actors like Sissy Spacek and John Leguizamo? Were you star struck with anyone?

I don't think I was really star struck with anyone, except when doing my first scene with Ben Mendelsohn (Danny Rayburn). He's such a great guy. I was nervous. He's just so good. It was an amazing scene of him teaching me how to chop onions and the script kind of went out the window. We really are being these people.

Another Tampa actor, Justin Kucsulain, is on the show with you as Henry Rourke. How's it been working alongside another local?

I never really got to work with him on set, but we connected because of Bloodline. There are a bunch of other local actors who are on Bloodline. We talk together and speculate and hope for more seasons. It's nice to have more people involved with the show to talk to about your work. We've become a nice little family.

What's next for you?

I would love to at some point write my own stuff, maybe direct. Cinematography is a field I'm really interested in; I'd love to do it in the future. Right now I'm just trying to finish high school and looking into film schools for college.

Contact Chelsea Tatham at [email protected] Follow @chelseatatham on Twitter.

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