Clanton actor returns in ‘Falling Skies’ Season 4, starting June 22By Emily Beckett Published 7:04pm Friday, June 20, 2014
He might spend hours each day battling an alien force on the set of TNT’s hit television series “Falling Skies,” but the sky isn’t falling for actor Drew Roy.
Roy, originally from Clanton, will bring audiences up to speed on what his “Falling Skies” character Hal Mason is experiencing in the show’s fourth season, which is set to air Sunday, June 22 at 9 p.m. Central Standard Time.
“He’s back in action, and all is good with him,” Roy said of his character. “This season starts back where we ended last year. We’ve got a big action sequence with aliens that attack us again and split us all up. This is the first time all of us are split into different camps.”
Roy, 28, has been with the show since it premiered as the No. 1 new series of 2011.
Produced by Amblin Television and executive producer Steven Spielberg, “Falling Skies” is set in the aftermath of an alien attack that has rendered most of the world incapacitated.
Roy’s character is the oldest son of Boston history professor Tom Mason, played by Noah Wyle.
Roy said working with seasoned actors like Wyle and Academy Award-winner Mira Sorvino—who is guest-starring as Sara in season four—has been a “fantastic learning experience” and “a little nerve-wracking, too.”
“It’s a pleasure working with them. These people have been around doing this craft for a long time,” Roy said. “What better way to learn for a young guy like myself than to watch these guys? People follow what they’re doing. Seeing how they handle themselves gives encouragement to everyone else.”
Season four opens with the Mason family and the remaining members of a resistance movement called the 2nd Mass under attack by an alien race’s new war machine.
The attack results in the show’s characters being divided and forced to form new relationships to survive.
“That was a really interesting twist to the show to see these groups split up for the first time,” Roy said. “That’s really shaken things up and brought some new dynamics out.”
Roy described Hal Mason as an “athletic guy who likes to do the right thing.”
According to Roy, he and Hal are slightly different in the way they approach decisions.
“He thinks with his heart, not with his brain,” Roy said of Hal. “Me, I’m a thinker. I just can’t make myself make spur-of-the-moment decisions. He’s probably more serious than I am too … a little uptight.”
Roy and his fellow cast members can’t be uptight when it comes to their filming schedule.
According to Roy, they normally start filming at 5 or 6 a.m. Monday and shoot until the sun sets.
As the week progresses, the start time of filming tends to get later each day to keep cast and crew members from exceeding a certain number of hours on the clock, he said.
“By the end of the week, on Friday, you’re now starting at 5 p.m. and shooting all night long until the sun comes up,” Roy said. “You’re basically awake for a 24-hour span.”
Despite the strange schedule, Roy said a significant portion of his time on the job isn’t even spent in front of a camera.
“There’s an incredible amount of down time where you’re literally just sitting there, waiting to do the next scene,” he said. “We usually shoot about seven pages of dialogue a day. In between scenes, they have to change the lights, set up each set and move camera equipment. I would say that’s the biggest element of the show that most people wouldn’t know about – we work 15-hour days, but actually working would be about six hours.”
Roy said he is currently in Los Angeles doing prep work for “Falling Skies” to come back out, but he has also dabbled in other projects lately.
“Earlier this year, my agent called me and said we had an offer to shoot an independent movie,” Roy said. “I got to spend six weeks in Seward, Alaska, filming out in wild locations. I’m really proud of that movie as well. I’m curious to see what comes of it.”
In July, Roy will mark his 10-year anniversary of moving out to California to pursue a career in acting.
“I moved out to L.A. having never been in front of a camera thinking I was going to be an actor,” Roy said, laughing. “I’m basically learning how to act in front of a camera that’s going to broadcast in front of 5–7 million people. I could never have imagined everything working out the way it has.”