Ryan Cartwright reflects on season 2 of Syfy’s “Alphas”

Ryan Cartwright is known best for his role of Gary Bell on Syfy’s “Alphas”. The show just wrapped up its second season, with a very shocking ending. The show has not been picked up for a third season as of yet, so if you want more “Alphas”, make yourself heard! Ryan took out sometime to chat with Media Mikes again, read our season 1 wrap-up here, to chat about this season and his upcoming guest starring role on “The Big Bang Theory” and what he is currently playing on his XBOX 360.

Mike Gencarelli: Now having played the role of Gary for two seasons in “Alphas”, how does season two for you compare to the first?
Ryan Cartwright: I have found that he has become a lot more isolated and on his own. He is a kindred spirit with now dead Anna and her message. He doesn’t really trust Dr. Rosen or anyone anymore. He probably loves them in his heart but doesn’t trust them. He sees that everyone has their own motives. They are going against what he believes is the purest belief of the Alphas from Dr. Rosen’s original message. So it is just a lot more isolated but also a bit more confident as well. He seems to have come in his own this past season.

MG: The finale left us all in shock with Gary being the last man standing, any insight into what happened?
RC: I don’t know. They always end them on these cliffhangers and I don’t know what they are planning…if and when we come back. I was just glad to be the only one standing [laughs]. You can’t kill the autistic kid. You just can’t.

MG: Have there been any talks at all if a third season is in the cards?
RC: It is down to the viewing figures, which I think we’re pretty solid throughout. It was difficult going up again Monday Night Football every week. I think we did pretty well. They are going to sit down now and go some market research and see what people think. So it is up to the money guys.

MG: Your character definitely dealt with a lot more issues like the death of Anna, your mother’s hospitalization etc; how did you prepare for this emotional aspects?
RC: I think with Gary it is more of a technical approach. He doesn’t show emotions the same as everyone else. I think the most emotional he has gotten was when Anna died. It was more tearing up from frustration. With his mum being ill, he understands it but it doesn’t affect him emotionally. He is just dealing with the circumstances. Just the technicalities of what that means and he can’t help but kind of think about himself and stay in the first person with it. It is hard for him to see others point-of-view. I think it just harbors back to the research I have done and just filtering it through that.

MG: You mentioned last time we spoke about the research you did for the role, did you find you had to do anymore research for this season?
RC: I really did enough to begin with. I felt that the character was then about to speak for himself. I think he successfully did that the first season and now has come into his own. I just went with what I had already created and all of the writers and producers were on the same page. It was just keeping that character’s continuity in these situations.

MG: Do you have a favorite experience or episode from season two?
RC: There was one were we all went out to the forest called “Alphaville”. That was pretty fun. It was a nice change from being at the studio. It was like a big camping trip for the cast. That is the one that I remember the most but it was also the biggest change for us not being in the studio.

MG: We recently spoke Summer Glau and we need to get a campaign going to get her as series regular.
RC: Yeah! She was in this season for a fair amount of episodes. It is up to the producers and where they want to take it. I think it is that line between what people what and what they want and then what they want. It will come down to creativity rubbing up against monetary things.

MG: Tell us about your guest starring role on “The Big Bang Theory” this November?
RC: What it was is that the creators Chuck Lorre and Bill Prady really like “Alphas”. They are big fans of the show. I wasn’t sure if I would like it but it was great. I am not sure if they are going to call me back and continue the storyline. To be honest though, I don’t do much in it. They got me in for the role of Cole and I am suppose to play this British intimidating person that Johnny Galecki’s character Leonard is jealous that he is going to steals Penny’s intentions. I haven’t done live studio since I was back in England, which I did a fair bit there. “Alphas” is hard work but this was fun and easy. It was also right around the corner from me, so I just hoped on the bus.

MG: Hopefully you can come back. We need to get a twitter campaign going for that as well.
RC: I would love to. I only got to do a little bit but I really wanted to do more. Once you experience the audience clapping live, you get just want to do it again. Yes, those Twitter campaigns always succeed [laughs].

MG: Last time we spoke you said you are fans of video games, what are you currently playing?
RC: I just got “Dishonored”, which is amazing. “Assassins Creed III” is about to come out. As well as “Halo 4”, so boys and I are going to go crazy for that. Zack Pen, the creator of “Alphas”, is taking us down to Microsoft for a big gaming party there. It will probably just be us getting our asses handed to us by the Microsoft employees.

Summer Glau talks about her role on Syfy’s “Alphas”

Summer Glau is known best for her role in TV series like “Firefly” and “Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles”.  Last year, Summer appeared on Syfy’s series “Alphas”, playing the role of Skylar.  She returned again for this second season and hopes to continue in the third season as well.  Media Mikes had a chance to chat with Summer about her role in the show and what we can expect.

Mike Gencarelli: Last season when you were asked to guest star on “Alphas”, did you ever think that it was ever going to be on this scale that it’s developed now through this season?
Summer Glau:  Well I was hopeful. I love doing TV and I really like sticking with a character and getting to watch them evolve and contribute to a story line that continues week after week. So I was hopeful. This season I have been so blessed to come back as much as I have. I have love where Skyler has gone and I would be very excited to come back again next season.

MG: What was it specifically about Skylar that was so fascinating and that attracted to you to the role?
SG: The first thing that attracted me about Skylar was the fact that she was a mother. I’ve talked to Bruce about this before too. It was really exciting for me. I hadn’t – I had not played a mother before. One of the most challenging things about Skylar is that she is a mother but it doesn’t come naturally to her. She – in my mind, in the back story that I’ve created, she’s been on her own for a long time. And she’s used to just fending for herself. When it comes to her child she’s very conflicted because she has all of these new feelings that she’s probably never experienced before about loving something so much more than she loves herself. And caring for something and protecting someone else and making unselfish decisions. For me as an actor it just was a very, very fertile story line for me creatively.

MG: Playing a character that is very handy with gadgets, how has that been for you as an actor?
SG: Well I think I’m a pretty good actor because I really can barely program my garage remote. I’m very gadget challenged. So it’s really fun for me when I put on my Skylar clothes and I go on set, I really pretend like I’m in control and like I know what I’m talking about. The man who puts together most of my props is named (Skylar) too. I spend a lot of time under his supervision and guidance so that he can help me get really comfortable with my inventions so that I can really feel like I have a relationship with them. Because they’re always amazing but it doesn’t always come naturally to me. I’m always amazed. Like I’m on set and they hand it to me and say so this is what you built. And then I always take it apart so I know how to put it together and then we’re practicing that over and over again.

MG: After working on series like “Firefly”, “Terminator” and now Alphas, what really draws you back to the sci-fi genre?
SG: I have always found in sci-fi that the roles for women are really exciting and dynamic and outside the box. In the finale of Alphas is a perfect example. I remember in – Bruce was there too. We were sitting and discussing a scene that involved every – all the girls. I was sitting there looking at the girls and it was so cool to get to do a scene that involved all of us. And I was looking at the girls and we were all four different and our characters are I feel complicated and fleshed out and dynamic and just it made me realize, I’m really happy to be here. I’m really happy to be in a story that creates this opportunity for all four of us actresses.  That’s why I keep coming back to it. I go for the character that I like.

MG: I really liked how Zoe on the show asked you if you were a Terminator in the second to last episode. I thought that was pretty funny.
SG: Yeah, I know. I looked at her and I’m like she doesn’t even know what she’s asking [laughs].

MG: During Comic-Con, Nathan Fillion joked about a possible animated revival of Firefly as a TV series, can you reflect?
SG: Absolutely. I would take any opportunity to get back together with my whole fam and keep telling the story. I think we’d all love that.

MG: Tell us what other projects you have in the works next?
SG: Well I just finished a Christmas movie. That’s the only other thing that I have that is about to come out. Oh and also “Knights of Badassdom”. So I have “Knights of Badassdom” and “Help for the Holidays”, which is going to be on the Hallmark Channel during the 12 Days of Christmas. So that was really, really fun. Yeah. I definitely enjoyed that one.

Interview with Syfy “Alphas” Malik Yoba

Malik Yoba is known best for his role of Bill Harken on Syfy’s “Alphas”. The show is finishing up its first season and is already green-lit for season two. Media Mikes was able to chat with Malik about working on “Alphas” and also about his character.

Mike Gencarelli: What do you enjoy the most about playing Bill Harken on “Alphas”?
Malik Yoba: I really enjoy the entire experience as we have a great cast. I think everyone working on the show are also fans of it. The writing is good and everyone is really talented. The gig is very easy to like. It’s not every day where you get a show that everything seems to work.

MG: Do you enjoy how physical your role on the show is?
MY: I am the old man of the group besides David and we all want to hold onto youth. (Laughs) It’s good when you can be challenged in more than one way. The physical aspects of the show make it that much more appealing.

MG: What has surprised you most about working on the show?
MY: I think the biggest surprise for me was that I ended up liking it so much. I think if you have done a lot of television and been down that road you know how hard it is to find a good show that has everything going for it. To actually work on a show that works and is worth your time is amazing. It’s definitely been a surprise and a pleasure. Everyone on the cast has gotten really tight and we all know how good the show is.

MG: How do you feel this show differs from your previous work?
MY: I think any opportunity you get to show a little bit more range is good. I have never done a show where I have had special abilities or where special effects have been used, so this one has been good.

MG: What has been your favorite episode so far?
MY: I like them all for different reason but I really liked the “Bill and Gary’s Excellent Adventure” episode. It was such a damn hoot and we such a good time shooting.

MG: What can we expect from the finale?
MY: All I know is that the writers wrote a pretty massive episode and that we shot it! (Laughs) It was good and I think we were all impressed. There is a good cliffhanger that I think will leave people wanting more. We are just happy that people have responded to the show and we have some serious fans. The fact that people connected to the show in 11 episodes is wonderful.

MG: What are your plans for during the break?
MY: I am teaching a class right now at Long Island University. I also have some web series stuff as well as recording music. I am also setting up a feature film to direct after season two shooting wraps up.


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Interview with Syfy “Alphas” Laura Mennell

Laura Mennell is known best for her role of Nina in Syfy’s “Alphas”. The show is finishing up its first season and is already green-lit for season two. Media Mikes was able to chat with Laura about working on “Alphas” and also about her character.

Mike Gencarelli: What do you like most about playing Nina on “Alphas”?
Laura Mennell: I think I probably love playing Nina’s ability. Although her power might not be a physical strength her pushiness gives her this enormous power even in intense situations. I like that she can get right in there and help save the day. She sort of uses her ability as a weapon. Nina is a great asset to the team. It’s fun to vicariously live through her. I also love having a female character that gets into the action mix which I think is great.

MG: When will we find out more about her back story?
LM: I think the mystery of Nina’s back story is very interesting. I think we have seen little hints of background here and there but she doesn’t like to go there and be vulnerable. I think in the second season you will see a little more as the series goes on. The mystery of the characters I think adds to the appeal of the show.

MG: Can you give us some info on the Nina and Cameron relationship story line?
LM: I think part of the connection between Hicks and Nina stems from the fact they are both fairly damaged people with difficult pasts. I really enjoy playing out their relationship. It’s never been an easy one. With Nina she has a lot of walls put with Hicks and when those walls start to come down as Nina gets comfortable something happens and they go back up. It’s nice to see Nina be a little more vulnerable with Cameron as most of the time she doesn’t want to be or appear to be vulnerable.

MG: What can we expect from the season finale?
LM: I can’t really say too much but it’s going to be a wonderful episode for Dr. Rosen and you get to learn a little bit more about his past. He will have to make some very interesting choices to make as a character. David Strathairn is such a wonderful actor any episode that centers around him will always be good. I really enjoy watching him work. The episode is going to be great and have quite a bit of action.

MG: Do you have a favorite episode thus far?
LM: I love a lot of the episodes. I had a lot of fun with the “Catch and Release” episode. Working with Summer Glau was great and she is really sweet. That episode was an interesting one for Nina as you got to see who Nina used to be and who she could have become. I think Nina’s encounter with Skylar really impacted her.

MG: How do you feel this show stands out from other sci-fi shows?
LM: I think the show is really cool and one thing interesting about our show fan wise is we have a lot of traditional sci-fi fans. The show is a little different in the procedural aspect and it’s a more realistic setting as our characters are sort of average people. I think because of those things people who might not normally be attracted to the show have been drawn into it.

MG: What are you looking forward to coming back to with season 2?
LM: I think it will be nice to get back and work with everyone. Everybody has been great! It will also be fun to see what’s in store for our characters each time we get the script for a new episode. I like the surprises.

Syfy’s “Alphas” Interview Series

Alphas is an action-packed thriller from writers Zak Penn (The Avengers, X-Men: The Last Stand) and Michael Karnow. In the series, five ordinary people are brought together to form one extraordinary team of Alphas — people with the unique power to stretch the capabilities of the human mind giving them superhuman physical and mental abilities.

Operating within the Defense Criminal Investigation Service of the U.S. Department of Defense and led by preeminent neurologist and psychiatrist Dr. Lee Rosen (Emmy Award-winner and Academy Award-nominee David Strathairn), an expert in Alpha phenomena, the team investigates cases that point to others with Alpha abilities. As they work against the clock to solve this new brand of crime, they must prevent their own personality differences and disparate backgrounds from interfering with their ultimate mission to catch the enemy.

In addition to Academy Award nominee David Strathairn (Temple Grandin, Good Night, and Good Luck), the ensemble cast stars Malik Yoba (New York Undercover, Why Did I Get Married?), Warren Christie (October Road), Laura Mennell (Watchmen), Ryan Cartwright (Mad Men, Bones) and Azita Ghanizada (Castle).

Azita Ghanizada

Laura Mennell

Malik Yoba

Ryan Cartwright

Warren Christie