YE Talks to Teen Wolf’s Ryan Kelley

As Teen Wolf gets into it’s 5th season, Ryan Kelley is finally getting into the meat of his character, ‘Deputy Jordan Parrish.’

First introduced in Season 3, Deputy Parrish’s backstory is now one of the biggest questions of season 5. YE got the chance to talk it out in an exclusive interview with the actor.

Ryan Kelley

photo credit: Patrick Shipstad

“The writers are definitely keeping everyone on their toes in all aspects of the show right now.” Kelley says. Like the fans, he had no idea where Parrish’s story was headed.

“I started on season 3b and my character was small, just sort of coming into the mix of things.” It was only at the end of Season 4 that we learned that Parrish was supernatural. With Season 5 underway it’s just getting juicier and juicier. “This is his big reveal season and they’re definitely stringing it along a little bit, but you’re going get into what he is really soon. That’s exciting. It’s been a long time coming.” We couldn’t have said it better.

As someone who’s been a fan of the show since the beginning, it definitely has been a long time coming for Ryan. Though he didn’t start with the show’s first season, it was already on his radar.

“Russell, who is one of the executive producers and good friend of mine, directed Prayers for Bobby. So before Teen Wolf ever started I knew of it. I had been auditioning for other roles and nothing ever stuck. […] I was hooked and so when I got on [Teen Wolf], it was even more exciting because I had been a fan.’ He’s not alone there. Teen Wolf’ has one of the largest YA fan bases out there. Just ask Tumblr. “The fans of Teen Wolf are – they’re enthusiastic. They’re amazing. They show so much love and so much support. It’s like nothing I’ve ever experienced.”

A lot of his time on Teen Wolf has been uncharted territory for Kelley. “First off it’s interesting playing a deputy because I’m so far off that from real life. […] I guess you could say the same thing about me being supernatural, it’s something that’s not normal for me.” While not the norm for Kelley, he still endlessly enjoys playing dress up – “It’s a lot of fun. I get to put on the belt. I have the whole outfit and gear. It’s heavy. I have a lot respect for actual deputies because that thing gets annoying to wear after an hour plus wearing kevlar which I don’t do.” 


“My favorite part about this character has been, for me personally, I guess I’d have to say I like the fact that I’m playing a little bit closer to my actual age. I’m about to turn 29 and I’m 25 on the show. In terms of playing an adult character, I have a real job. I’m in a sheriff’s department, where as normally I’m used to playing in high school. It’s been a fun experience growing up and maturing with my career.” Although Parrish is caught between two worlds, according to Kelley. “He’s not a teenager but he’s not an adult. So he’s like in the weird limbo in between. Sometimes the kids want to come to him for help. […] But at the same time he’s an authority figure and he’s with the adults but after work he’s hanging out with Lydia and figuring things out. And it’s sort of that in between phase and it’s kind of cool because that’s sort of how I feel in life. There are times where I feel like an adult and there are times when I feel like I’m still a kid.”

Speaking of Lydia, things have definitely been getting interesting between Parrish and the teen played by Holland Roden. There’s speculation that Parish might be the banshee’s love interest. What does Kelley say? “I can’t release those secrets.” Fine. So, what is he most excited about on Teen Wolf besides his characters future reveals? “I’m really enjoying [Cody Christian’s] character, Theo. […] On the show there’ something magical about him. One minute he’s super charming and you want to like him. Then he flipped a switch and you hate him. I’m super excited to see where that character goes and how the audience responds to him.” 

Kelley has the utmost respect for Christian, who is doing double duty on Teen Wolf and Pretty Little Liars. (Let us know which role you like best!)

“He’s got some very big dialogue sometimes. [….] He’s crushing it on set. And sometimes he’s filming both Pretty Little Liars and Teen Wolf, so he’ll have huge intense scenes and get to go home for two hours and sleep, if he can do that. Then he’ll have to be on set at 6 in the morning at Pretty Little Liars. My hats off to him. He’s super talented, super motivated and got a good head on his shoulders.”

That’s not to say that the hours on Teen Wolf are a picnic in the park. But Kelley says the long hours can be fun, especially when the cast gets a little weird. “It’s pretty fun watching the cast go from making sense to super loopy when we’re doing 16 hour days, going until sunrise in the morning. Everyone’s on coffee or energy drinks and we’re just loopy and not making sense but having the time of our lives just laughing on each other.” Jealous? So are we.


So what’s been a big challenge for Kelley as his role grows on Teen Wolf? “The hardest part for me has been learning this whole Teen Wolf concept of I know just as much as the viewers. Right now I know a little bit more because we’ve filmed it and there’s episodes still to come[…] but for the most part even from the beginning I was kind of kept in the dark about this character.”

So was it a plan to have his character grow or did Kelley’s performance earn him a bigger role? Kelley’s not sure himself, but one thing we know for sure is there’s a big reveal on it’s way for Deputy Parrish and both Kelley and audiences just can’t wait! “There’s no one more excited than me to get it finally out there.”

Thank you for taking the time to talk with YE, Ryan. Tune into Season 5 of Teen Wolf Monday’s at 10/9 c on MTV