Interview With The Stars & Writer of Spielberg's 'Falling Skies'

noah wyle falling skies

Noah Wyle is questioned about his impressive "Alien Invasion beard."

Noah Wyle: "Yeah there isn't a lot of vanity after the alien invasion, not a lot of time to shave - Plus I'm playing the father of a seventeen-year-old kid, so I'm looking for all the help I can get."

Moon Bloodgood: "Look at that baby face."

NW: "I'm going to be keeping it for awhile."

Will we see Wyle in any more of TNT's Librarian movies?

NW: "I'm hoping that if we're successful enough we'll have the leverage (no pun) to apply the leverage to get TNT to make more 'Librarian' movies."

Onto Falling Skies talk...

NW: "Well we start shooting [soon] and these scripts are going to be incredibly ambitious and epic in the undertaking - especially given the time frame we've been given to shoot them in. But I've never done anything like this - it's the first time I've gotten to run around with a machine gun and do something that hopefully my seven year old son will look at as heroic."

So is that your primary motivation?

NW: To impress my seven year old son? Pretty much.

NW: No, it's sort of like I don't like to travel the same road twice, and I certainly played a doctor for much longer than I thought I would, so I'm looking at the things I haven't done, the genres I haven't tapped into.

What's some backstory on Wyle's character?

NW: We haven't done any of the actual episodes yet, but the backstory of the world that we're inhabiting [is] six months ago the aliens landed and they decimated most of the population and all the major cities, they knocked out the power grid and have thrown us all back into sort of Nineteenth-Century form of existence. I play a guy named Tom Mason who's a former tenured American History professor at Boston University, whose skill set and knowledge of battle strategy and tactics make him a sort of natural second in command for this group of resistance fighters.

We all had some weapons training - we all ran around in a big warehouse for a couple of days, learned how to quickly load and reload our weapon. There's not a lot of food going around [in the show] so none of us have been spending a lot of time at the Kraft Services table.

How do the aliens look?

NW: They look awesome. Awesome. Terrifying. When you're up close, right next to them, they're damn scary...I don't know what  I'm allowed to divulge - I'll tell you this: the only way to kill one is to get extremely close to it. If they were standing on two of their legs [laughter] they might be a man's height.

MB: They really look great.

What sort of influences or inspiration are you bringing to these characters?

NW: I've been living in the American Revolution for the last four months, reading everything I the pilot there's a speech I make talking about why we should retain hope, that there are many many examples of a small force being able to repel an invading army...basically, you don't have to kill all of the invaders, you just have to make it so much of a nuisance for them to stay that they eventually leave. And that's all we're trying to do: If the aliens are wolves, we're trying to be porcupines.

Will there be other camps of survivors?

NW: There's rumors of another pocket of resistance...but we're totally isolated and cut off. Once the power grid goes down, until we develop an antiquated two-way system of talking to each other, we don't know...we're all completely in the dark and learning as we go.

Who is Moon's character?

MB: I play Ann Glass, a doctor, and I had a child and a husband I lost during the invasion, and I think it's really simple what drew Tom and Ann together, somehow they met - it's never specific when that actual meeting was - and somehow they just kind of bonded on the loss. He had lost his wife and possibly one of his children and I think he saw in Ann that she was very maternal and there's a lot of empathy, and a safe haven for him to go to. And there's a connection there - he goes off to war and I stay back with the kid and I think I'm always the voice [that reminds him] it's about the civilians and not himself or battle, war and becoming animals. Really I think Ann quietly has faith in Tom that he could be the next leader of the free people and they're going to develop that more into sort of a romantic thing.

Moon, do you ask Noah advice on how to play a doctor?

MB: I'm so annoyed right now! [Laughter] Originally I wasn't [a doctor], but they changed my character and I was like "Really? I have to do scenes with Noah and I have to be a doctor who doesn't totally know what she's doing?" But yeah, he says I haven't asked because I'm too proud, but trust me it will come...

steven spielberg falling skies

Was Spielberg's attachment what attracted you to this project?

NW: That was a big incentive - if you're going to do an alien show it's nice to have him involved. I was extremely rediscent about doing any television after I left ER. Sort of shied away from it. And then Michael Wright at TNT - who I've got this relationship with through the Librarian movies sent me the script and along the lines of what I thought when first read the script for ER...I thought my guy's got the longest road to travel, he'll be the strongest arch of any of these characters.

Taking a guy who lived his entire life in Academia and having to make him a military leader and potentially a killer by the end, I thought there's going to be some really interesting storytelling here. And I love doing nine episodes instead of twenty-two, which affords me a little more time with my actual family - plus the chance to partner up with Steven again...there is no greater storyteller on this planet than that man.

Did you need to have an endgame for the show sketched out before you did it?

NW: I'll answer simply by saying it wasn't important that I knew, it was important that [the showrunners] knew. As long I knew that they had a very clear idea of why these aliens were here, what they want...making sure that the fanbase that's here won't be disappointed and won't find moments of implausibility. The aliens and spaceships are gonna look great, our job is to make sure that the beat to beat human moments unfold in a plausible "as is" scenario that anybody can relate to.

Do you believe in Aliens?

NW: Yeah, I believe Stephen Hawking coming out recently saying not only should we assume there's intelligent life out there, but we should also assume they're going to be technologically far superior. This is all happening, it's all real.

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