Tye Sheridan plays a boy who comes under the wing of a hard-living crank (Nicolas Cage) in "Joe." Credit: Getty Images
Tye Sheridan may be one of the busiest teenagers in film. After an attention-grabbing start in 2011's "The Tree of Life" and 2012's "Mud," 17-year-old Sheridan now stars in "Joe," David Gordon Green's offbeat, darkly comic tale about a teenager (Sheridan) who befriends a surly ex-con (Nicolas Cage). Plus, Sheridan has four more films in the can set to come out this year. Somebody's a bit of an overachiever.
You got to take this film to a bunch of international festivals last fall. How did the reactions differ?
It's weird watching it with a foreign audience because they don't get a lot of the American humor. It's not just this demented, dark drama. When we screened in Venice or Deauville — I can't remember which — I was sitting on the second balcony, so I could see down into the audience and there was a group of old ladies that came to see the film and when [Nicolas Cage] beats up the wino, six old ladies just get up and walk out of the theater. It was kind of funny to watch.
What are you looking for in future roles?
I don't know, anything that gives me a challenge. Anything that I have passion for, that I love the material. I worked on a film called "Grass Stains" last summer with a writer-director named Kyle Wilamowski, and he's been working on this for, like, eight or nine years, and this is his first feature. It's always fun to work with someone like that because you know they've put their heart and soul into the project. I love doing small, independent stuff because this is what people really care about. And I just did a film called "Dark Places." It's an adaptation of a novel by Gillian Flynn. My character is convicted of murdering his family, so it's going to be really dark. He's kind of Satanic, too. [Laughs]
Is there ever any consideration about your age as far as what subject matter is OK and what isn't?
You know, that's one of the coolest things about acting, I think, that you can be someone you're not. I mean, that's not you on the screen. Some of these characters are nothing like me. I'm not violent at all. I've never been in a fight. And it's like, every film that I've been in I've gotten into some kind of fight. [Laughs] It's cool because it gives you a challenge and you get to experience things that you normally wouldn't in your own personal life.
And it tells you a lot about how people perceive you.
Yeah, definitely. [Laughs]
You've already worked alongside the likes of Nicolas Cage, Matthew McConaughey, Brad Pitt. Any dream co-stars still on your list?
I want to work with James Franco, just because he's such a mystery man, you know? What is he? Is he a director, a writer, an actor? An artist? He's a cool guy.