Drew Roy is co-starring as Hal Mason in TNT’s “Falling Skies”. He is playing the oldest son of Noah Wyle in the show. Drew has also appeared in TV series like “Hannah Montana & “iCarly” but he is most excited about his newest role. Movie Mikes had a chance to chat with Drew about “Falling Skies” and working on the show.
Mike Gencarelli: Tell us about your character Hal Mason in “Falling Skies”?
Drew Roy: He is a 17 year old kid. He is the oldest of three. He is a little bit of a rebel. In high school, he thought he was the cool kid and was doing the sports things. His dad is a professor and more of an intellectual. Hal likes to fight those barriers and those retractions. One of the great things about playing this character throughout the series was that Noah (Wyle)’s character Tom and mine, work together a lot going on missions. We are a good mix for each other because Hal is more of a heart-thinker. He thinks on the first impulse and goes with it. Where Tom is more of a head-thinker and he wants to come up with a plan and a strategy and thinks things out. On their own I do not think either one of them is the perfect fighter but together they would push each other. I pulled him along a little quicker and he would slow me down sometimes. We would get a little irritated with each other and have it out from time to time and throw each other around. But all in all its will make for some good TV.
MG: Tell us about working with your fantastic cast for this show?
DR: Oh man, you can’t ask for anything better. They show up on set and makes you want to bring your A-game. For whatever reason you did not have the motivation in the first place, this definitely makes you bring it. Working with Will Patton and getting to go toe to toe with Will Patton in a couple of scenes it was great. He is just such a lovely guy anyway off camera. Same with Noah, he is a fantastic actor. All you have to do is sit back and listen and pay attention. The scene just comes alive, you don’t have to force anything. You never have to worry about showing up on set with this one particular actor and dreading working with them. You just have a great time. We ended up with a tons of scenes that had more in them then was scripted. We would just find these little moments and it really was some good stuff.
MG: Besides being a show about aliens, does this show focus on the human relationships as well?
DR: That is probably my favorite part of the show. Aliens are cool but if it is all about the aliens all the time there is a disconnect here. You can’t quite wrap your mind around it. It is fun in a movie setting where you have an hour and a half to two hours of that and then you are out. But if it is a TV series, you have to have something that is going to bring you back to the next week that you haven’t already seen. Blowing up an alien 10 weeks in a row, you have a good idea what that is going to look like. Whereas why this show is so cool is because it is about this human drama. We have this family that suffered these two great loses. The middle kid, Ben, has been taken by the aliens and we do not even know what that all entails. Then the mom was killed back during the invasion. We have all these different people dealing with the aliens in these different way. We have Tom who is more looking from a civilian point of view. Then you have someone like Captain Weaver who is strictly military. He thinks that civilians slow people down. One of the great themes of this show is the fact that it is all about people who usually don’t see eye to eye and normally would not even talk to each other. But they are being but in this situation where they have go after this common goal of survival and therefore listen to each other, worth through issues and see where they can get. Which is like a said a great universal theme in the world, it wouldn’t hurt for more people to live that way. To listen to each other, take others into consideration and listen to what someone else has to say.
MG: What is the most difficult part of working on the show?
DR: The most difficult thing would have to be the weather. We are shooting in Toronto. We started in July and finished in November. I am not sure how much you know about Toronto but in the summer is incredibly hot and humid and we are dressed like it is winter time or at least fall. I would have like a shirt on, a button-down on top of that and then a jacket and wearing jeans while I am running from aliens. You work up quite a sweat and its gets pretty hot. Then by the end of the series, in November, it is freezing cold. You are putting those hot shots all over your back, in your gloves and your shoes. Just trying to keep warm. So I would have to say that was probably the hardest thing. At the end of the day though, I kind of enjoyed that as well because it was bringing in those elements and really making it real. It is a whole lot easier to be cold and to play a scene in the cold then it is to pretend like it is cold and fake it. I felt like it brought a sense of reality to the show. But there were definitely times on the set when we were dying to turning heater on or the AC on [laughs].
MG: Do you have an episode that stands out as your favorite?
DR: I have two particular ones that I had a very large role in. I get the numbers wrong because the way we numbered them is a little funny. But I want to say the 5th episode and maybe the 7th episode. Hal has to step up and go out on a limb. He has to put his neck out there and make some things happen. I think the 7th episode, he actually has to step into Tom’s shoes to some degree and look over some kids and be the decision maker. That was very interested and fun to play in the fact that I got to look at things from my dad’s point of view. I had to make these decisions. People come up with ideas and now I am not just an idea maker, I am the kid who has to sift through the ideas and discover what works. There is a lot of action in there. There honestly was not an episode I didn’t enjoy but those two really stick out.
MG: Why do you think people should tune in to this show this summer?
DR: Here is what I have to say about that, With TNT, you are getting this for free and it is going to look awesome, like a movie. It has a great storyline. Then on top of all of that the story that is being told isn’t set in one genre. If you are a huge science fiction fan, then you can get your fill of this and be satisfied and have a great time. If you are family, a mom and dad and some kids, you can watch this and have a great time as well and learn some family values. If you are just with some buddies, if you are guys or girls, this show has something for everybody. I am sure that everyone plugs that but I really feel like our show does.
MG: How does it feel going from television like “Hannah Montana” & “iCarly” to “Falling Skies”?
DR: I wouldn’t change a thing. Everything that has come along that has gotten me to this point I feel like happened for a reason. The episode I did on Nickelodeon for “iCarly” and then Disney with “Hannah Montana” were huge hits for that show…for both shows. They were some of the highest viewed shows that they had. I had a great time working with all those actors and actresses. But most definitely I am glad to be moving on to something like this. This is more along the lines of what I ultimately want to do. What guy doesn’t want to do an action something and then even more importantly than that it has a great story behind it as well. I really look forward to doing more things like that. We had some great scenes to be able to act and characters to live in. The whole Disney thing was great but I feel I am very fortunate to jump into there…reap those benefits and then be able to get out. Unfortunately so often you get typecast into Disney and Nickelodeon and they are great actors but they can’t get out because they are known for that show. I feel like I got the best of both worlds.
MG: No pun intended right [laughs]?
DR: Exactly, I didn’t know if you were going to pick up on that one [laughs].