The Hal Mason we know and love is gone. Or is he? At WonderCon 2013, his portrayer Drew Roy stopped by to promote Falling Skies season three. During his visit, we spoke about Hal, and how he may or may not be seduced by the dark side. We also discussed the return of Jessy Schram and her manipulative Karen. Plus, we got some dirt on Tom’s (Noah Wylie) new position in Charleston.
After the second season finale, it’s OK to say the Hal we know is gone.
Drew Roy: Do we know that though? We don’t know [laughs].
You tell us. Will Hal be causing a lot of trouble in season three?
Drew Roy: Well, we left off with Hal in quite an interesting situation where we’re not really sure what’s going on. When they wrote the [end] scene [from the season two finale], they weren’t even certain where it was gonna go. They wanted to have a great cliffhanger, which I think they accomplished, and then they wanted to allow the time to really come up with a good story. What’s different about Hal with the eye bug is it goes in his ear and I guess we assume into his brain but we’ve never seen this happen before. When Tom was taken over by the eye bug there was some sort of tracking aspect but it was from Red Eye. So that was from someone who was good. Now this is from–who is it from? We’re not quite sure. But we might have a good idea where it’s from. It looks like it’s coming from a bad source this time therefore it’s gonna bring up this mischievous side, this potential evil side. But the way that the writers went about it it’s very much a push and pull. We’re gonna see aspects of the old Hal and there’s gonna be these demons that he’s dealing with. We’ll have to see how that plays into his life and how that affects people around him.
The first season felt very contained because you shot at one location. In season two, you were on the move. How will season three fair?
Drew Roy: I felt like the first season, we were setting up the story and so I guess keeping it contained like that was a good thing. But I definitely enjoyed when we were going out on missions. We were on the run the whole second season, but then the second season came to an end with us being Charleston, which looks like an easy place to just set up camp and get comfortable. I think we all learned on the show that when we’re on the run it’s a little more exciting. This season, my dad Tom Mason is the President of Charleston. He has risen through the ranks and he is now running Charleston. It’s a smaller operation. It’s not the President of the United States but we’re calling it the New United States. We don’t know who else is out there. But at the same time, there’s still a lot going on out past the perimeter, which is gonna take our characters out there time and time again. So yeah, we’re definitely going to see us out dirty and gritty and not just comfortable at home.
Before you start filming the season, do they tell you where your character’s going to go or do you get surprised like we do?
Drew Roy: Somewhat. I found out what was going on with Hal at Comic Con last year. That was a month and a half before we started shooting. Then we go into the writers room and they sort of give us a breakdown of what they’re thinking, if we have any ideas and we throw some ideas around. But at the same time as the scripts are coming out they’re always evolving and changing. Sometimes we’ll have a story but when we finally shoot it it’s actually completely different than what we thought. So we have an idea but it’s always up for change.
Last season Jessy Schram was a regular on ABC’s Last Resort, so will we see her return to TNT?
Drew Roy: Well, you know I think you might be in for a treat. We can’t get rid of her [laughs]. She causes too much trouble. TNT loves drama. She makes the drama.
How long did she stay in prosthetic makeup for season two?
Drew Roy: I guess her prosthetic work is just with the harness. I’m not sure, I think both when she and Connor [Jessup] had to go through the spikes it takes them a little longer and then particularly when the spikes have to light up. The normal spikes is one thing, but to have the lighting spikes is a whole differently ballgame apparently. Now, Doug Jones who is playing the new alien that we saw at the end of the second season, now that’s a guy that’s going through prosthetics. He has to get there — I want to say it’s three hours for him, maybe four. He could speak better about this but from what I heard talking to him, he got to help them design the suit so it was more comfortable. When he’s on set that’s something pretty impressive. It looks like an alien’s walking around. The eyes are just fantastic.
In a show with lots of twists and turns, do you prefer just knowing what’s happening with your character, or do you want to know everything?
Drew Roy: I only like to know what my character’s doing if it’s something that I’m privy too. Like this thing that Hal’s going through. I wanted to know what was affecting him. Why he was having these things happen so that I could play that. There’s like a linear bridge together through one to the other. Now if it’s something like a carpet’s gonna be pulled out from under Hal like in the second episode in the first season when Jessy [Karen] goes missing, I don’t need to know that because when it comes it comes. It’s gonna blindside me. So as long it’s not something that’ I’m actively playing. The only time I get to be an audience member is when I read that script. Connor Jessup loves to give spoilers because he likes to find out what’s going on. He prides himself on knowing. I never want to hear.
Falling Skies returns June 9 at 9 p.m. on TNT.