‘Tulsa King’ Star Jay Will On Working With Sylvester Stallone & Finding Relatability In His Character Contenders TV

Tulsa King stars Jay Will, Garrett Hedlund and Max Casella were at Deadline’s Contenders TV event on Sunday to discuss their Paramount+ show and its lead Sylvester Stallone.

The show follows prominent mafia don Dwight Manfredi (Stallone), who upon his release from prison after 25 years, finds that his empire has been dismantled and he must start anew. Despite the setback, Manfredi sets up shop in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and finds new henchmen to help grow his new criminal organization.

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Will’s Tyson, is one of the first characters Dwight connects with once he settles in Oklahoma, eventually becoming his confidant and business partner. On the panel, Will explained what drew him to play a role in the sprawling Taylor Sheridan television universe.

“It was honestly the level of relatability,” Will said. “Tyson reminds me of not only myself but also a lot of young Black men who grew up in the neighborhoods that I come from who aren’t really on this side or that side but more in between. I think his relationship with his father not really wanting him to get too deep into the mob lifestyle but at the same time wanting him to make a name for himself and wanting him to find his own independence [is relatable].”

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The actor also praised his working relationship with his co-star Stallone for keeping him realistic and grounded in the various scenes they had to portray together. “[He] made it easy for me to just do my own thing and be myself. There were a couple of times where he knew that I would do things that weren’t of my personal nature, and he would be like, ‘Yo, come on,’ whenever I would force or push [myself in a way that didn’t fit the scenario]. He could see right through it. And people like that, you always want to keep them close.”

RELATED: The Contenders TV – Deadline’s Full Coverage

Come back Tuesday for the Panel Video.

Deadline Contenders Television is sponsored by: Apple TV+, Coverfly, Eyepetizer, Final Draft, Los Siete Misterios, Michter’s, and Village Roadshow Entertainment. Partners include: Four Seasons Resort Maui, The American Pavilion, Julia Wong Designs and Pampring.

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