If you’ve been watching “Falling Skies” this season, you know the drama has really heated up between the Mason kids. In the beginning, Drew Roy's Hal Mason had to take charge in the absence of his father, Tom (Noah Wyle).
And even when Tom came back, Hal still had a rough time with his younger brother Ben (Connor Jessup), who was still becoming more alien-like when he took off to join the Skitter rebelion.. We spoke with Drew Roy earlier this summer and he shared his thoughts on the new season of “Falling Skies.”
CraveOnline: Did you come up with a backstory for Hal in between season one and two?
Drew Roy: Well, with his dad hopping on the ship, I think that was a huge shock to [Hal], the fact that he did do that. So in the meantime, Hal’s always an optimistic guy. He’s hoping that his dad comes back. But, after the months go by, at three months you begin to realize this might not happen. He may never come back. That’s a realization that you’ve just got to accept, but in the meantime he has two younger brothers that he has to look after.
He [decided] that since he’s the oldest son that he needed to take on that fatherly role; which makes sense to a degree. But Hal can be a little abrupt sometimes, a little bit of a hard edge so there’s a little conflict between Ben and Hal. Hal doesn’t ride Ben by any means, but sometimes can be perceived that way, because I’m now a leader in the little group that we have that goes out on these missions and Ben has this newfound vendetta against the skitters.
[Ben] just wants to kill every single one of them at any chance. Like we saw, he jumps out of a window to make sure that a dying skitter dies all the way. So he’s putting himself and others at risk and Hal’s not happy about that. He’s breaking rank. That causes more friction. Then as we see Hal finds himself on his back in front of his girl because Ben has thrown him to the ground, because he’s now stronger. It flips the whole relationship on his head. It’s a new dynamic that neither one of those characters is used to but we have to push through it.
CraveOnline: Did Hal ever really adjust to having Ben back in his life?
Drew Roy: Well, family’s one of the biggest things to Hal the way I play him. That’s all he wanted was to get Ben back, get Ben back, get Ben back. He gets him back and then it’s a little tough once he’s back because people are making him an outcast. So Hal steps up to protect him, gets in the guy’s face that one time. Really all Hal wants to do is let Ben know that he’s got his back. He loves him no matter what’s going on, but it’s tough to say.
Ben doesn’t even know and so I think some of the frustration comes from the fact that Hal’s finding out information about what’s going on with Ben after the fact. It’s making Hal frustrated that Ben’s not being fully transparent. The way I played it was similar to what I would feel it would be like if a best friend or a family member got caught up in drugs, or on top of somebody who’s now starting to question their sexuality and they’re not sure how to go about it. So you want that person to know, “I love you to death. None of that stuff matters. I just want to help you. Just talk to me.” So that’s how I played that relationship with Ben. I think it turned out pretty nicely.
CraveOnline: So the harness is a metaphor?
Drew Roy: Yeah, I feel like everything in science-fiction is. That’s the great thing about it. I don’t know anybody who’s ever been harnessed so I’ve got to come up with my own ways and I felt like that was a good way to go about it. It’s something that I might not fully understand, I know it’s tough for him but I love him to death, I want to help him through it.
CraveOnline: Was episode 5 a good one for Hal when they find the de-harnessed kids?
Drew Roy: That is a good one. The fifth one is one of my favorites. That’s a big one between Maggie and Hal. That’s a relationship that’s been brewing for quite some time, two people who come from very different backgrounds. Hal’s all American who’s come from a good family and everything’s set up and he’s good to go to college and everything looks like it’s going to be nice.
Maggie comes from this mysterious dark background. She was caught up with Pope and his guys for a while. We don’t know what happened and we find ourselves out on these missions. It’s just the two of us and we’re scouting and we find this deep friendship, this thing we’re not really sure what it is but we’re just going to keep it as a friendship. It’s not until we start seeing I could maybe lose Maggie when I see a couple things happen, she’s looking death in the eye, that I decide, “You know, maybe there’s more to this. Let’s explore this.”
Then the question becomes is this even a smart decision? Is this just going to make us distracted and end up getting somebody killed, or could this be a very strong powerful thing that empowers us to be better people who can do even more if we’re a unit together? That’s the question.
CraveOnline: How are you like Hal in real life?
Drew Roy: We’re definitely similar. I feel like Hal might be a little more confident in some regards, a little more sure of himself but at the same time, he doesn’t think things out quite as much as I do. He’s a little more reckless than I am. So he has his advantages and I have mine.