Meet & Greet: Tony Oller, of NBC’s ‘Field of Vision’
You may have seen him on the Disney Channel series As the Bell Rings or TeenNick’s Gigantic, and now Tony Oller is back on the small screen this weekend in the NBC TV movie Field of Vision. In the new TV movie, Tony plays Tyler McFarland, a high school football quarterback who tackles bullying. The movie airs this Saturday night as a part of NBC’s family movie series. Tony is also the star of the upcoming film Beneath the Darkness, a horror flick set to be released on Halloween, with Dennis Quaid.
Tony took some time out of his packed schedule to chat with us about his upcoming projects, his interests, and his career as a whole.
Field of Vision is a part of the NBC Family Movie series. Why do you think it will strike a chord with families?
It hits a pretty sensitive topic to a lot of the youth of America when it comes to bullying. There are a lot of cheesy ads out there, but the fortunate thing about this script and the way it turned out is that we send a message of seeing what kids really go through in school without being this really cheesy, cliché message saying “don’t bully, its bad.” You really get an insight as to what some of these kids go through and some secrets they might have when they go to school, that’s another bullying stage, you don’t know what they are going through at home.
Can you tell us a little bit about your character in the movie?
I play this kid Tyler McFarland who is your relatable jock in the beginning, that faces two paths, whether he can rat on his friends and do the right thing and face the consequences, or he can just not do anything. The reason I like to play him is that he chooses the right path and you see these two unfamiliar kids become best friends through this journey they have together.
How do you relate to the character?
Well, I don’t relate to him at all in the jock aspect. I’m a complete dork and really uncoordinated. However, I relate to him in the sense that I would do the right thing in this situation, and I’m not just saying that. The kid isnt your typical dumb jock, he makes the right choices and stands up for what he believes in, which is what I do.
What other films or series’ could you compare this one to?
It relates to Friday Night Lights with the football aspect. The football in it is amazing, it’s really cool. It’s a pretty self-explanatory show, I don’t know how many other films or shows that could relate to it, but it has that nice little sport aspect and is a family, humbling movie.
You said you didn’t fit the jock type. Did you play sports growing up or did you have to learn how to fit into this role through training and rehearsing?
I watched a lot of Two-a-Days on MTV, if you remember that. The only sport I played growing up was baseball so I did watch a lot of football stuff. They had us in training for two weeks before to make this seem as real as possible. And just to reiterate, a whole entire aspect of this movie was that we wanted it to be as real as possible, whether it was the football or what not, so we all put our hearts & souls into it.
You were on Gigantic on TeenNick, which was about growing up in Hollywood. How would you say what was on that show is similar to what you’re experiencing now as a young person in the industry?
When I first moved out here and shot Gigantic, I didn’t really see all of the glitz and glamour of LA, so two years after shooting the show I would say I’d laugh a lot more at the punchlines and jokes knowing the LA scene now. That’s really funny, that’s actually a really cool question.
You have another project coming up also, a horror movie, what is the story with that?
It’s a movie I did with Dennis Quaid called Beneath the Darkness, it’s this Disturbia type movie that has been getting crazy awesome reviews, its basically kind of this crazy, freaky story. You see Quaid at his most epic performance being crazy.
What was it like working with him?
Oh my god, it was the experience of the lifetime. We had a blast. There was a lot of action stuff, so there would be points where I’d say, wow, I was just watching you in The Rookie. There were some surreal moments, but in the end we came out with a great project so we are all really happy.
You’re getting more into the acting now, but you’ve done some music as well. Would you ever consider going back to music and going down that path as well, in addition to your acting career?
Yeah, I’d love to do that. The fortunate thing right now is that with the acting I have been going from job to job, and its something I’m really feeling and loving doing right now. I’m doing music on the side as much as possible. I’m thinking after the next project I might settle down for a month or two and just write more music and keep it on the side and keep it going, but that is definitely a path that I want to follow.
What would you be doing if you weren’t in entertainment right now?
Believe it or not, I’d probably be a cop or a lawyer. I don’t really know why.
Any other projects coming up?
One of my good buddies Lucas Till and I, along with Jason Trost and a couple other familiar faces are doing a project in Thailand called Vacation 8, this kind of crazy independent film we’re doing. It’s a great cast, Edi Gathegi from Twilight and James Remar, so we’re getting that together now. We’re shooting in Thailand, Hawaii and Los Angeles this summer. It’s gonna be fun, we’re all really close so we are looking forward to working together.
Who is Hollywood would you most like to work with in the future?
Right off the bat Natalie Portman, who is also my celebrity crush. Also, Robert De Niro, Robert Duvall. I’m just going through Robert’s right now. There are so many. Tom Hanks, definitely would be one of the top.
Do you have any other long term career goals?
Really just to stay in this as long as I can, whether I am taking the longer route, but smarter route I will do that because at the end of the day it is something that I want to do for the rest of my life, not just for the next five years. I want to have a long term, moral-instilled career.
Field of Vision airs on NBC on Saturday, June 11 at 8/7 C.