Evil Hal took over in a big way on last Sunday’s Falling Skies... but what happens next now that the Mason men are on the search for missing Anne and her not-quite-right baby?
In a TV Fanatic exclusive, Drew Roy - who showed off his impressive acting chops on "Be Silent and Come Out" - gives us some insight into the key scenes of that episode and also previews the bumps in the road coming for Hal and Maggie.
When will we see the diabolical Karen? Read on for excerpts from my Q&A with Roy...
TV Fanatic: Congratulations on the fourth season renewal!
Drew Roy: Thank you very much. You know, it’s always a nice to know you still have a job!
TVF: Let’s talk about last week’s episode first. I have to say I loved seeing you rough up Noah Wyle!
DR: (Laughs) It was fun. To be completely honest, that was one of the biggest challenges of that episode was just knowing that I was going to have to go toe-to-toe with Noah because Noah, as we all know, is a fantastic actor because he doesn’t back down so you’re supposed to, you know, back down, but the fact that I was his son on the show gave me a tremendous amount [of room] as far as being able to respect him and [it] didn’t have to just be a physical altercation, but we definitely showed up and went at it toe-to-toe each day.
TVF: We’d seen glimpses of Evil Hal throughout the season so far, but this was the first time he really kind of took over for a while. Was that different for you to play at that point?
DR: I knew that it was going to culminate with me taking Tom [Mason, Wyle’s character] hostage and so I really had to come up with a whole character and how this guy was going to act and a new version. I basically just had to come up with that character not knowing what this guy was going to do or was capable of.
I just decided that since Hal at this point was in such a confused and really just a weak state, the best way to combat that was have this evil side of him just be very cunning and manipulative and confident and that really works well with a lot of that part. When it actually came down to it was just finding that fun stuff that makes an evil guy do what an evil guy does and I’d never gotten to do that before. And it was definitely fun.
TVF: You also had some like really tough emotional scenes last week. Is crying something that comes easy for you on screen?
DR: It’s definitely not easy, but I know how to get myself to do it. It’s really just putting the work in. I’m very critical of when a guy cries on a movie or a TV show, because if you over-do it, it loses its power, because just like you, I am a sucker for it.
If you see a dude break down, oh it tears me up. And so, I always try to pick and chose when I think that the best time to do that is otherwise, you know, it loses its power. So that particular scene when Tom is finally getting through to Hal, a little bit or he thinks he is I’m also a sucker for talking about family.
TVF: When they do the procedure to extract the eye worm from Hal, were you aware of what the special effects would be? They were so cool.
DR: A little bit. I always try to find a visual set supervisor that day and tell him what I’m thinking, see what he’s thinking and then get on as close a page as possible, because you do nothing but help each other if you’re on the same page…so I went out there and squealed and screamed and made noises and basically wore myself out.
After every take, I’d have to just lay there for a good 10 seconds to just catch my breath, because on top of doing everything that was going on in the scene, thrashing around and what-not, you’ve got to remember that I ended up with cardiac arrest. So, I’m holding my breath at that point, basically I’m completely exhausted and I’m holding my breath, so then by the time they call it cut, I was about ready to die.
TVF: A lot of people in the show assume that Hal is the mole and that that part of the story is over. What can you tell me?
DR: Well, when we actually got to that point in the season, I wondered that myself, I thought you know, 'is there still a little bit of this evil Hal that’s still in there, is that going to come back out?' That would be kind of interesting or is he completely freed? So it is a mysterious little moment, but you know, he is a Mason. I don’t think we can let Masons venture too far, but I was a little curious myself. The other thing is, that Hal wasn’t necessarily not a mole, he wasn’t single it doesn’t look like, but he still kind of was a mole.
TVF: Do we see Hal have to atone for some of what he did in this Sunday’s episode?
DR: A little bit, but the amount of hostility in Charleston floors the Masons at this point. It’s so high that we just leave town. One, because we need to go get Anne and Lexi, but two, I don’t even think that the Mason’s would be safe in Charleston. I think that they’re better off out there in the wilderness by themselves than they are in Charleston right now, because between Tom having had his alien encounters and eye bug, then, being scrapped in Hal’s full-blown flipping out on everybody, the Masons are not too loved right now.
So we don’t see him go through that there in Charleston, but we see it somewhat on the road, but just as different as the episodes are, we quickly get into some trouble. And so they have to take that into consideration and not so much looking back and worrying about what he’s done.
TVF: What can we expect through the rest of the season with Hal and Maggie? She’s been such a trooper through all this!
DR: She was but it’s funny because through of all of that, she was right there, but now that things are good we’re about to see the two of them have a little friction, which I always really liked between our two characters because when we’re just happy in love, that’s really boring to me. I like it when we’re at each other’s throats and we’re going to find ourselves stuck in a room here on the brink of death here in the next couple episodes, which was a real fun film experience to play with her and as the season progresses, the anxiety between the two of them continues to build until it culminates in this moment that when I read it on the page, all I could think was, oh, my goodness did the writers really just take it there? I’m thrilled to see how that’s going to play out.
TVF: Do we see Karen again anytime soon?
DR: Oh, Karen. Karen, yeah that would be a disappointment for everybody. I think at this point everybody wants to see what in the world is Karen doing. What mischief is she up to, how in the world did she become the head alien? What does that even mean? So yes, we will see Karen again and as always she’s up to no good, because I’m waiting to see something we’ve never seen from her and also a little interaction between our Charleston hero’s and Karen takes a very unexpected turn.
TVF: Are you doing anything else right now or just enjoying downtime, or are you working on some other stuff?
DR: I’ve been doing a ton of traveling, which has been fantastic and actually, Connor Jessup is over in Japan right now on our rice farm. So I said, let me get my ticket, and so after Comic Con I’m flying over to Japan. I’m just going to hang out with him for about nine days. I get to see all of Japan and then, go work the rice farm.
Jim Halterman is the West Coast Editor of TV Fanatic and the owner of JimHalterman.com. Follow him on Twitter.Tags: Exclusives, Falling Skies, Interviews, Drew Roy