-Tyler Blackburn recently was a guest on the Pretty Little Liars Wine Moms recap podcast hosted by Lesley Fera (Veronica Hastings), Holly Marie Combs (Ella Montgomery), and Nia Peeples (Pam Fields). Each episode features a special guest from the series, varying from actresses to crew members.
-In said podcast Tyler talks about his two most notable roles Caleb Rivers on PLL and and Alex Manes on Roswell New Mexico and how he almost lost out on the roles because they wanted the characters to be ethnic and how he ultimately won them because he believed he was part Native American.
-In the podcast he reveals the following:
Tyler Blackburn (TB): No actually I didn’t get the role at first [of Caleb] because they were like ‘we really think he needs to be like eth— like really ethnic. We need some ethnic diversity.’
Lesley: Oh, okay
TB: Um, and I was like
Nia: But what are you?
Holly: And you’re not?
Lesley: But you’re like… Hello part Indian.
Lesley: I mean part Native American I mean.
TB: (chuckles) No, I’m actually not. I’m actually not, I found out.
-Tyler goes on to say that his father had told him that his great grandmother was Cherokee, but a 23 and Me test results indicated that he didnt have any Native American in him.
TB: Do you know when I found out that I wasn’t is when I, when I got Roswell. My character was also supposed to be Native American.
TB: And I was like — ½ Native American — and I was like, great! Like, I mean, because it, it, the pool is like, so small.
TB: You know and I was like this is great, you know? Um (smiling) I’m shooting season… I’m shooting season 1 of the show and I do a 23 & Me
TB: And I have literally not even 0.1% Native American.
TB: Even though it’s not up to her, you know, but anyway…but then they told me ‘thank you so much for the read, it was so good, but we want more ethnic diversity.’ They came back, I don’t know, maybe three weeks later and they were like, ‘what is your background?’
Holly: Who the fuck (Video cuts out)
TB: and I was like ‘I don’t even know?’ I call my, my dad, he tells me ‘I don’t, I don’t even know.’ He’s like, call grandma.
TB: I call grandma and she tells me her side. And then my dad’s dad, passed away before I was born. I don’t know his side of the family at all.
TB: And, uh, so my grandmother talks to me about his side of the family and says, you know, it was, it was, uh, Harold, was my, my grandfather’s name, Harold’s great grandmother was Cherokee, Indian.
Holly: Yup. Tyler, we literally —
TB: And I was like ‘Really??!’ I was like ‘This is good!!’ (claps hands) (Video Cut)
TB: So then I told, I told, casting, you know, I’m Native American. And so they thought that was enough to cast me, as, you know, ethnically ambiguous or whatever.
Lesley: That’s awesome.