Drew Roy Talks Falling Skies Season 2, which returns to TNT this Sunday, June 17th
When last we left the Mason family, Tom (Noah Wyle) was crawling aboard one of the alien spaceships. Now, six months have passed and Tom has returned to fight alongside the 2nd Mass...But is he the same man he used to be?
Though Tom may be under alien mind control, his oldest son Hal refuses to leave his side. Making matters a little more complicated on the battlefield is Hal's younger brother Ben, who hasn't been quite right in the head since having his alien harness removed. Hal also finds himself in the middle of a complicated love triangle with bad girl Maggie and former high school sweetheart Karen. Its bad enough that the pressures of real life have come crashing down around him, Hal must also deal with the constant threat of being killed by a Skitter.
We recently caught up with Drew Roy, who plays Hal, to chat about Tom Mason's reappearance, Hal's new place amongst the survivors of the 2nd Mass, his brother's insane quest, and the romantic mess he's found himself in.
Here is our conversation.
How do you feel Season 2 is pushing and evolving past the events of Season 1?
Drew Roy: I think we were all very proud of the first season. We had an interesting thing happen. We had basically a whole new crew of writers come in for the second season, which allowed for a different trajectory from that first season. Its led to a darker, grittier look on the show. That's what we are all pumped on. It's been six months since the invasion, and that little glimmer of hope we've all been holding onto is really getting thin. The situations we find ourselves in are a little more real, a little more bleak...It is so well done.
It's leaked that one or more major character will die before the end of season two. From my perspective, it feels like it would hit the audience hardest to see Tom lose on of his sons. Are you ever worried about Hal's fate when you crack open a fresh script for the first time? Do you feel like Hal might die at any moment?
Drew Roy: Don't scare me like that, I have to sleep tonight! No! I think everyone on this show, except for Tom, is expendable. I think if one of the Masons was killed, the audience would respond to that. You would hope. Since there are three of us, you do have a one in three odds. I don't like those odds too much. You'll have to see. We are speaking about a sensitive subject. If a main character does get killed, it means an actor is out of work. But you also have to look at it as a compliment. Because they felt your appeal to the audience was strong enough that it would make an impact by losing you. That is a sad way to look at it, but it's the best way I can put it. This season is dark. They are not playing around any more.
What is the relationship like between Ben and Hal this year?
Drew Roy: Ben, this season, has very interesting and intricate little stories that we will be following. We will dive into that. We will find out exactly what it means when a kid is harnessed, and has been harnessed, and exactly what that does to them. The effects of that. I don't know if you've seen the opening three minutes, but the first episode kicks off with a firefight between the aliens and us. Ben has this newfound personal vendetta against the Skitters. He wants to kill every single one of them. At every chance possible. He jumps out of a window to make sure a Skitter dies. In doing that, he puts himself at risk; he puts the whole team at risk. I have to go down there to make sure he is doing fine. Ben really creates a tension between himself and his brother. Which is in the first two hours that we see. Ben has crossed the line after seeing his girlfriend taken right in front of him. And Hal goes to have a sibling fight with him. Next thing you know, Ben has thrown him down on the ground. That is an embarrassing moment. That sets the tone for how this second season is going to go. Ben is growing into himself. He is figuring out what kind of man he is. I've always played Hal as the brother that is giving him tough love. But love is part of it. Ben doesn't always see it that way. So we have plenty of little altercations throughout the season. That is one of my favorite relationships on the show that I get to play. One of the biggest conflicts is, "Can Hall trust Ben?" I don't know. What I do know is that they are brothers, and he is family, and Hal is going to love Ben until the end. In finding the way to play that relationship, I had to draw upon something I know. We don't know anyone who has ever been harnesses by aliens. Or harnessed by humans. The way I looked at it was, "What if this was a brother or friend who was spiraling out of control due to a drug addiction? What all comes with that?" There is a mystery there...Why are they doing that? I don't quite understand it. I would also lie that on top of, "What if a family member or close friend was questioning his sexuality?" They are nervous about what other people will think. What does this really mean? Those are all thoughts that are going through Ben's head. He has become an outcast in the Second Massachusetts. He is almost like a new kind of being. He is not a human. He is not an alien. He is something else. All Hal knows is that he's there to take care of his brother. He needs to know the truth. It doesn't really matter what Ben says, Hal wants to help him through it. Too many times, Hal will find out what is really going on after the fact. After Ben has done something that is a little interesting, that arises even more suspicion. It is a frustrating journey, but you know both characters' point-of-view on it. Ben is nervous because he knows people are looking to kill him. Hal is nervous because of the same thing. There is a complex, yet interesting relationship that we have gotten out of this.
What about the relationship between Hal and his Dad, Tom?
Drew Roy: When Tom comes back, people are suspicious. Especially Pope. And rightfully so. But going back to the family, that always trumps it; in Hal's opinion...He is going to back Tom up even if he is wrong. Because it's his dad. It's tough.
Now, let's focus on the love triangle. Hal's kind of in a tough spot with Maggie and Karen this year...
Drew Roy: The worst thing for Hal this year is the relationship he has with Maggie. What exactly is that? They're two completely different people who come from different backgrounds. Hal is this All-American Lacrosse playing kid who comes from the good life. Maggie comes from this mysterious background. We don't really know where she came from. She was with Pope and those guys. We don't know what she went through, or what they did to her. We really don't know. We're going to find out as we go through this season. What has been going on between Hall and Maggie is that they've been going out on these scouts together. They have been spending days upon days with just each other. They realize they have a similar personality. They are kindred spirits. They go through this really cool friendship. Hal decides to see if she might have feelings for him, but the problem with it all is...They have to step back and think, "Is this even the time to be doing something like this?" One of the repercussions is that this could be a fun little fling, but it could also be distracting and get both of them killed, or other people killed...But then, maybe this is exactly what both of them need to complete each other. That empowers them to be even more efficient at what they do, and help other people...Who knows? That is a question they have to address, and figure out what the best way to go is. As all relationships build, here, something happens between them, and then something pulls them apart. Maybe it will happen this time? Nope, then Karen shows back up. There becomes a love triangle. I'm not sure what I can say, except that when Karen comes back, it's a tense couple of episodes.
Does it matter that there is an age difference between Maggie and Hal? She's a bit older than he is...
Drew Roy: Procreation! That's all that matters. I guess not. Maggie is older than Hal. But Hal has maturity to him. I feel like he is wise beyond his years. Even though he does have a bit of recklessness about him. Its just one of those things where they get to know each other, and they are not that much different. They could both die next week, and that's it!
We know there are new aliens. Is there any new hardware that comes with that?
Drew Roy: In this new season, you are going to see a lot more about why the aliens are here. You will see some of their technology, which is organic and alive. They are able to do things with it that is shocking. You will find it difficult to watch the second episode because of a particular scene. I don't have trouble watching stuff, but this one is pretty tough. There is some interesting stuff that they are able to do with this technology. Whether we are able to get our hands on it, and are able to use it? That is something time will tell. In the beginning, we just have our good old guns.