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Q) What are the recent projects you have been working on?
A) For the last few months I've been doing a lot of PR and traveling. I'm in the negotiating stage of working on the reboot of Mortal Kombat. I'm also trying to wrap up the last few episodes of "Falling Skies."
Q) Anything you can tease for the upcoming episodes?
A) Don't miss a moment! Everything comes to a header in the two-hour season finale and the good lead-in coming episode. If you miss it....Shame on you! By the end, you'll be glad that you stuck around because this is going to bury last year's season finale! It's so dynamic, exciting and I think it's going to hit the audience so they're paralyzed with shock and awe in front of their TV sets. Dai will be there in the forefront. There is a lot of action that takes up the last episode and no one is going to be disappointed.
Q) What originally made you want to be a part of the show?
A) Two words - Steven Spielberg! There was no choice! At that point, I would have taken a show on Nickelodeon because I wasn't in a place where I could pick and choose. Steven Spielberg showed interest in me - nothing else mattered in the world (at least in my case). When I knew he was attached and there was interest, I was blinded. Nothing else mattered. Food, what's that? Shelter, who cares? Steven Spielberg is interested. I didn't care what he wanted me to play or who had any objections to it - Steven Spielberg was interested. If he wanted me to play Dorothy, I'd say, "If you think I can pull it off, then I must be able to!" The guy is the world's best storyteller since probably Shakespeare!
Q) What keeps challenging you about playing Dai?
A) These lines I have been given stand alone compared to everybody else's dialogue. Now and then he'll come out with some crazy sound bites. I'm always anticipating or anxiously awaiting what the next line will be and how it will remain iconic. A lot of the lines that Dai has are repeated online. People ask me about them or quote them on Twitter. I know the writers are always concocting those kinds of lines so I'm always interested what they will be and how it will be interwoven into the action because those are the two standouts characteristics of Dai. He's in the action and the sound bites. They usually come together before the action or amidst the action. I'm always interested in seeing how I can make those work.
Q) How did you prepare for your role? Did you have any weapons training?
A) We all did, even the younger actors. We had to go to weapons training in Toronto while we were shooting the second season in Vancouver. We also had to take motorcycle training. I had a motorcycle as a child so I am quite skilled at that. I used to hunt in my father Quebec, Canada. We'd go deer, pheasant and duck hunting. So, I knew how to handle a shotgun. You must have the training and be very comfortable with it since it calls for it every season. We go into it with glee and anticipation! We actually go to bed really early just so we can empty some clips the next morning. It's great!
Q) Is it a challenge acting against the green screen and CGI that makes up the skitters?
A) There is a lot of green screen and a lot of technically advanced TV shows and movies being made. If you look at my résumé, there are a number of those kinds of films and shows. So, I'm quite familiar with the technique of acting with nothing. I'm as confident as the other actors are on the show. Maybe it was a little daunting at the beginning of the first season, but by the end of shooting season two it's very familiar ground for all of us. It's all second nature. A lot of times if there is something that is rendered and computer generated, they'll have objects that will stand in place of it, physically, on the set whether it's a ball or a piece of masking tape on a green screen. So, I think we're all comfortable working with those conditions. I think all actors should be.
Q) Now that we're almost done with season two of "Falling Skies," are you learning more about your character and finding new ways to play him?
A) Yes, that's always been the challenge. How Dai is introduced, if you recall, is as a man of very few words. He's very efficient, though. He doesn't even want to waste a breath of oxygen to say something that won't help or progress rebellion efforts. So, he doesn't really talk that much. I think that his through-line as a character is pretty much as everyone has witnessed already. What you have seen is what he is going to be. They can touch upon his history if they want to allow Dai to divulge more of it. I think you can see, Dai is in a conscious position not to really talk about or offer up that information. They might not explain why, but I know as an actor why - he has so much resolve towards the rebel efforts. So, what you see is what you are going to get. He's going to be courageous and no nonsense. There is almost no room left to see him talk, unless he has some quasi-nervous breakdown. He's just so secure with himself and his duty that what you see is exactly how he is going to be. He is straight forward, no nonsense and no BS. He's like, "What's the job that's got to be done? Somebody's got to do it. Let me do it because there is no way around it. I have the least left in the world so I'm expendable. Let me go." So, what you see is what you get. He's like a weapon that you pick up off the shelf and use it. He's that reliable. He'll never give any kind of back talk or contradictory opinions. If there are obvious flaws in a plan then he'll speak up. He's like the conscience of the collective group. Other than that, he's there to do the job and he's not going to give any flack.
Q) What have been your favorite moments from filming season two of "Falling Skies?"
A) I really enjoyed when we first arrived at the hospital and Captain Weaver has convulsions. It was a bit low on the action, but to me it was great because that episode was very reminiscent for me of season one where I spent a lot of time by Tom Mason's side. In the second season, with all the new characters, with him being abducted and the fact that he was recovering in the first couple of episodes Dai didn't get as much time as he did in the first season. I really liked spending that time running around the hallways with Noah again. I also liked the opening two hour premiere. It had some great stuff. I got the opportunity to rock these couple action packed scenes when I was shooting a 20mm on the back of a truck and then I had to slide on this incline with this long rocket to blow up this communications tower of the aliens. I really enjoyed those because they were physically demanding and intimidating. The conditions were less than ideal, but I felt I was game and I would do them. I am happy I did and they turned out really well. I really enjoyed that. It was a throwback to when I was a child, actually running through the action that I had imagined as a child. Of course, it is going to be captured beautifully on film and it worked out beautifully. I'm happy about it!
Q) What do you think it is about the show that has captured so many viewers?
A) Over five or six decades, the whole subject matter of aliens has not gone away. War of the Worlds, Mars Attacks, The Day The Earth Stood Still - this stuff is not going to go away. I don't care if it is B, C or D movie quality, people are going to watch it. The fact that the technology of the industry now is lent to the fact that people are revisiting the subject matter and you get someone like Steven Spielberg on it - you know darn well he is a perfectionist, especially when it comes this type of stuff. He wrote The Bible on this stuff. He's the perfect individual to helm this show and he interweaves the subject with the storyline and the characters in a way that is perfectly handled. It's a great recipe, like Colonel Sanders sixteen herbs and spices. It's the same thing - Spielberg is putting together this. It's something that everyone wants to see and if anybody was alienated (no pun in tended) then it would be because it's badly handled. It isn't. We have the best guy at the forefront calling the shots every day. He interacts with all the producers, writers and creators and this is why it is undeniably a successful show.