From the script to a textbook. In the new mystery The Tutor, Garrett Hedlund plays a well-sought-after educator named Ethan who travels to New York once he’s hired to guide a billionaire’s son (Noah Schnapp). Although at first hesitant, after a few read throughs, Hedlund knew he had to sign on.
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“I haven’t done many psychological thrillers. When I read this, I got to a certain point in the script and I was like, ‘Man, I don’t know,’” he exclusively told Us Weekly, laughing. “And then I read it again, and then something clicked, and it really reminded me of something that I loved tremendously in films like Primal Fear or Mystic River. And it wasn’t only because of the twist in them, but it was also what was put into the dramatic performances that really swayed audiences that I really admired, and I respected. It inspired me. And that was the work I was hoping to be able to put into this film. From that moment on, when that light switched, I couldn’t have been more excited.”
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Hedlund stars opposite Victoria Justice, who plays his onscreen wife Anne. “I always want to be able to challenge myself as an actor and to try new things. And it all comes down to the script. Is the script good? And the script was really good. It was a page-turner. It kept me on the edge of my seat,” the actress, 30, told Us in the joint interview. “I didn’t see the twists and turns coming. And I love the genre.”
Getting to work with Hedlund and the Stranger Things star, 18, was also a bonus. “Finding out that Garrett and Noah were attached, I was like, ‘Oh, my gosh. Amazing cast. Would love to have the opportunity to be able to work with both of them,’” she explained. “And then meeting our director, Jordan Ross, who had such a great energy when I first met him. He was super warm and friendly. He was very collaborative and had such a clear vision for this project.”
The Nickelodeon alum is best known for her role on Victorious, while Hedlund’s experience on the small screen came a bit later in his career.
“I’m recently new to the TV world, and so I’d just kind of say, like, there’s a certain consistency. For my history with film, you’re kind of in a different place. You call a different part of the States or a part of the world home for an extended period of time. You call other crew members family for an extended period of time, and then you’re off to sort of a new location and what have you. And so there’s a little bit of a stability with the series,” he told Us. “And the one I’m on, Tulsa King, we have the benefit of going into its second season and revealing more of the story and getting to know some of these characters more. And so there’s that consistency and stability within it and being able to add on to and expose other things of a character that’s hopefully interesting to audiences.”
Earlier this month, it was revealed that the Four Brothers actor will join Taylor Sheridan’s Yellowstone spinoff, 1883: The Bass Reeves Story, on Paramount+. (Hedlund plays Mitch Keller on Sheridan’s Tulsa King, which premiered in November 2022.)
Justice agreed with Hedlund, noting that it’s beneficial to “sit with the character for longer” when working in TV.
Hedlund and Justice are both musicians off screen too; he plays the guitar and has sung in 2010’s Country Strong and 2014’s Lullaby while Justice released her debut single, “Gold,” in 2013. The costars, however, never jammed out on set of The Tutor.
“If we went back when we were shooting it, I probably would’ve said, ‘A little more jamming on this,’” Hedlund teased.
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“We didn’t jam it up! We should have jammed,” Justice replied. “There wasn’t maybe a ton of time to jam when we were on set. But we need to jam in the future.”
Hedlund chimed in: “There might have been some square dancing.”
Despite not duetting together, the On the Road star emphasized that “the wonderful thing about films is being open to new experiences.”
“Just the travels and the journeys and the adventures you’re able to be granted from films,” he told Us. “I’ve had the benefit of being able to travel the world since I was 18, fresh out of high school. … And my first film, [Troy], I was often in London, the island of Malta, and in Mexico for the better part of nine months working with a wonderful cast who I called family. And then it becomes a certain bit where you get on the next film and it’s somewhere else wonderful, or perhaps not wonderful, and you just wish your old friends would knock on your new doors. But more importantly, there’s never a dull [moment]. And for us, getting to do this and being actors and the artists and the creative wheels always turning and continuing to be inspired and to be able to make you smile by saying, like, ‘This film helped me through what I was going through.’ And if it gets over to the terrain of where it helps somebody heal, that’s always been for me, first and foremost, what I’d love to call a success.”
The Tutor is now playing in select theaters.