story / Parice Grant + Koko Ntuen
photography / Shanna Fisher
groomer / TANIA HAHM @ JENNY KARL HAIR +MAKEUP AGENCY
The California-bred 25-year old, Tyler Blackburn, has been stirring things up on ABC Family’s Pretty Little Liars with his role as the rough around the edges yet compassionate, Caleb Rivers. The LA native has been around the block, getting his start opposite Emma Roberts in the Nickelodeon series Unfabulous, and had a primary role in the recent independent film Peach Plum Pear. Admired by tweens, teens, and adults, the Pretty Little Liars cult followers are, in a word, obsessed. How could you not be? His dark features, chiseled jaw line and perfect hipster flair are a recipe for certified hotness. Tyler is in the same vein as hearthrobs like Johnny Depp or Keanu Reeves. His laundry list of projects is only getting longer and with PLL fans excitedly awaiting the all seasons of the show. We are fascinated to see what he will do next.
Blackburn knew from an early age that he was meant for a career in acting, “I did always want to be an actor, to be honest with you. Since I was in pre-school, I knew I wanted to be an entertainer of some kind.” He attended a performing arts pre-school as a child and had dreams of starring in a revival of the Wizard of Oz, “… when I was a kid, The Wizard of Oz was the shit. I wanted to be the scarecrow so bad. I remember that, distinctly thinking I just want to do this.” Recently, he hasn’t been so far off from this childhood fantasy as he stars in the web series Wendy, a modern day interpretation of Peter Pan, along side actress Meaghan Martin. In the series, Blackburn introduces the world to his voice, singing original songs “Save Me” and “Find A Way.” The song “Save Me” has an official music video on YouTube getting thousands of hits from PLL and Wendy fans. Music has always been a huge part of Tyler’s life, “Well, music in general is something I’m passionate about. I listen to music all day every day.”
Though Tyler has an interest in music, he is not ready to release an album yet. He is still dedicated to developing his talent on the silver screen. He ready to dive into new full-length film projects. Much like his character in Caleb of PPL, Blackburn is ready to take on a challenge. He can’t wait to try different genres, “…I would really love to do, I would love to do something with action in it, but it doesn’t necessarily have to be like a huge blockbuster, it could be like a Quentin Tarantino film or something like that. And especially, I don’t know why, I was talking to my agent last night and I was like I would love to do, like, a really high profile movie, but ones that sort of darker or edgier, and for some reason Interview with the Vampire pops into my head. Like, something sort of out there for me, obviously working with Tim Burton would be amazing.” Tyler may have the drive for Hollywood fame, but he is far from the famed LA clubbers of young Hollywood that are staples on TMZ, “… I don’t really go out … you know, I have to go to certain stuff. But I don’t go out to nightclubs.” Of course, he isn’t opposed to having a good time. Tyler has lived in LA most of his life, he is far beyond the glam scene, “I mean I go to like bars and stuff, but I mean I don’t know, I grew up in LA so; living in Hollywood is like … I don’t feel like … living a fancy life or anything you know.” He may not be into fancy frivolities, but he definitely has his Hollywood crushes, “I mean, there’s kind of like, always someone. I do really like Jennifer Lawrence right now. She’s badass for sure. Let’s see, who else. I went to this premier last night, and I was about a foot away from Scarlett Johansson. She is quite the babe, let me tell you.”
Blackburn’s low-key approach to life is reflected in his chill, laidback fashion sense. Tyler’s look melds downtown cool with a California vibe. The paparazzi have snapped him, appearing like a model off-duty, with his dark flowing locks pulled back into a ponytail or neatly tucked under a knit slouchy cap. Despite his put together appearance Blackburn is far from being a label hound. His wardrobe is a mix of sleek high-end pieces with treasured finds from H&M, “you know what, it’s not about brands. It’s like I could be anywhere and if I see something, and I know I like it, I want it. It doesn’t matter if like, like I go to H&M and I do that.” He even admits that shopping is a favorite past time, “An obsession, let me think. I am I guess, I’ve never really thought about this. I’m actually a little bit obsessed with clothes, and hats, and boots, and that type of thing. I’m pretty obsessed with those things.” A guy that actually enjoys shopping, we approve. Tyler Blackburn may seem like a package deal, but he has a checkered past. In his exclusive cathartic confession to LADYGUNN, Blackburn didn’t only admit to his failed attempt at kicking his tobacco habit, but he was a bit of a rascal, “you’re going to get me in trouble for that. I don’t know. I once stole a hundred dollars from my friend in high school.” A handsome guy with a dark side and a bright future, we can all admire that.