Exclusive Interview: Maxim Knight (Matt Mason) Falling Skies

Maxim Knight (photo credit: Bobby Quillard Inc)

Tonight we had the pleasure of interviewing Maxim Knight who plays Matt Mason on Falling Skies. Very talented young actor and a lot of fun to talk to. Listen to it below!

[audio:http://www.threeifbyspace.net/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/maximknightinterview.mp3|titles=Maxim Knight Interview]

Transcription of above interview by @Sunshine6366

Robert: Hi Maxim, how are you?

Maxim: I’m good, nice to talk to you in person.

 You too. Alright let’s go ahead and get started. Everyone, welcome to the falling skies fan site: Three If By Space. Tonight we have a very special guest with us. He plays Matt Mason on the TNT Dreamworks television production of Falling Skies: Maxim Knight.

Hi Maxim, how you doing tonight?

I’m doing good. So I just wanted to know if you’d like to be called Rob or Robert?

Either, or. You can call me Rob or Robert. Either way.

Okay.

So tell me a little bit about the show and a little bit about your character for the unlucky people out there who have yet to get hooked on the show.

Okay. Well, my character is basically… he’s Tom Mason’s son and for those of you who don’t know, Tom Mason is the main character, and I kind of get him to fight against the aliens and he protects us and I’m kind of an innocent character in the show. I’m always kind of safe but my dad tries to protect me as much as he can.

Yeah. So the story starts us off about six months after an alien invasion and you guys have joined a resistance – the 2nd mass – and you guys are trying to get away from skitters and mechs, which are two different types of aliens. How do you imagine that you would react if this were to really happen? Would you be the same as your character, Matt? Or would you act differently?

I think Matt is a little bit more brave than me. I would probably find a hole to hide under and just kind of cower in fear. I wouldn’t be good in an alien invasion.

Oh, me neither, me neither. So on the show Tom Mason is played by Noah Wyle and your two older brothers by Drew Roy and Connor Jessup, what was it like working with them both on set and off set?

Well they’re all really nice people, everyone on the cast and crew, and we always like went to dinner. I went over to Connor’s house and played like Modern Warfare and I got to play video games with Noah’s son, Owen. I’m trying to introduce him to the World of Minecraft right now but he doesn’t get it.

Ah. So I hear you are very big into video games. What are some of your favorite ones that you like to play?

Well I just said Minecraft. That’s amazing. I love that game! It’s so addicting. And I love the Infamous series, practically Infamous and I like playing all the kind of creative games where you can do whatever you want.

Okay I got ya. Now last week we saw Matt’s character get a very big role in the show and helped out Pope, who’s played by Colin Cunningham, a little bit. What was that scene like when they shot off the mech gun while you were in the room?

Well, that was actually pretty interesting because if you watch closely, I’m not in the shot when they shoot the arm cannon. The teacher actually had me step off the set for that but I still wanted to watch it so she put these like ridiculous ear plugs in my head and I like sat over, oh yeah, and I wore goggles too because it was an explosion, and I stood like ten feet away. And then they blew it up but I could barely hear it because I had ear plugs in, but it was still pretty cool though.

Yeah they did a really nice job on the shot. I mean it looked like you were there the entire time.

Yeah.

And then there was that moment where you were almost kind of scared and you left and then you came back because you were eager to help. As we push into the season finale coming up on Sunday and season two, is that something you want to see for your character as it progresses? To see him become more involved in the fight and help out further?

Yeah. I think it would be cool to kind of get into some of the action and work with guns, because I was always jealous of all the other characters who were like carrying around AK-47s. Even the background was like carrying real guns, I mean they weren’t loaded of course, but I felt a little cheated.

Well you’re definitely getting a lot more air time and I know that all of us fans are definitely enjoying you on there right now. And we know that it’s been confirmed for season two so congratulations on that and it’s moving to Vancouver. Have you ever been there before? Are you excited to go to Vancouver?

I have actually never been to Vancouver and I hear that it’s really beautiful. So I’m excited.

That should be a lot of fun for you and it actually should be a little easier, you’ll be in the same time zone now.

Yeah.

When you were looking at all the prosthetics and the props what impressed you the most on the set?

I thought the skitters were really cool. The feel, the whole costume thing and it looked so lifelike and it scared me and my little brother because we walked into the prop trailer and there were all these skitter costumes hung up on the wall and we thought they were going to pop up to life. But I thought it was also cool like all the cars that are tipped upside down and wrecked to make that barrier around the school and also there was a school bus and that played a pretty important scene in the thing. I think Dylan is an amazing actor and that was like his best episode ever.

Yeah. We saw that, with him going running from the skitter. I imagine the way that they set up the whole set it really felt like you were in the middle of a post-apocalyptic world with the way they had everything set up. When you saw, you know, the kids wearing the harnesses did you kind of get an up close view of those? And what was it like looking at those prosthetics because I hear they were kind of uncomfortable to wear?

Yeah. Well I saw people getting them on in the make-up trailer and it just looked so gross and they were adding like all this green and yellow blood. All this goo. I remember seeing Connor and the look on his face which was priceless because he was like a little baby. So funny.

What is your favorite episode so far of this first season?

Favorite episode. Well my mom’s favorite is the fourth one, Silent Kill, and I also really like that a lot too, but I think the finale is really cool because there’s a lot of action. I think a lot of scifi fans will love that and there’s a big cliffhanger and I’m a sucker for those.

Yeah. I hear there’s a big one. With the new aliens that we saw, those grays I guess we can call them, was it all CGI or did you guys actually get to interact with something other than just a stick and a ball?

I don’t actually know. I never got to have any scenes next to them but I did see the dead skitter in that one episode where my dad was dragging it across the floor, but other than that it’s kind of been pretty safe with my character.

Right, right. what was the most difficult scene for you so far to film for your character?

Most difficult scene. Well I guess the scene with the ripstick. I was intimidated by it, but when I actually did it, it was a lot of fun and also Steven Spielberg was there that day so the pressure was on.

Oh! So you got to meet him then?

Yeah twice. Once at the screening and that day. He’s really nice.

That must have been a lot of fun. I’d imagine that’d be quite a bit of fun to meet him.

Yeah.

So when we were talking about Matt’s character and he’s starting to get closer to Pope, as your character, as you try to get closer to him to help get involved, how do you, as an actor, make your character react to Pope, because you kind of don’t want to be close to him because he scares you but at the same time you almost want to help him because he’s the only person willing to let you get into the fight.

Well, I think that he’s a really good actor. He makes everything real and stuff but it was pretty cool. He has a lot of tattoos on his body that are, they were actually put on for the part but they’re all really cool. There’s like skitters on there and his hair actually isn’t real. It’s all a wig and that scared me too, because he showed up for one of the table reads and he had like this nice clean cut hair and I was like, “what’s that,” like “who’s that?”

Right. Now you said your favorite episode was Silent Kill. That was the episode where Ben’s character is rescued. Hal goes in to save Ben and then we move into Sanctuary: Part 1 and you have a very touching scene with Ben played by Connor on screen. It seemed like you two had very good chemistry on there, are you two very good friends off set as well?

Yeah, like I said before we played video games, but yeah. He actually stayed at our house because he was coming out to California and doing the auditions and stuff because he lives in Toronto and he stayed at our house. He got a little bit annoyed with me but overall, we’re friends.

Right. Yeah. Now the prosthetics for the spikes on their back those seemed like they were quite detailed and a little bit creepy at times to look at.

Yeah the top three, or is it top four. I think like top four are actually real. Like they’re all hand-crafted, the costume is just amazing but then everything else is like just little bumps and kind of like little overall type things.

Gotcha. Gotcha. So I hear that you’re really good at chess and you guys have a little challenge on set going on to play chess against the three of you. Who do you think is going to win that game?

Well, I think Connor might win, but if I take out his queen first then he, uh, kind of throws a fit.

So we’re actually in talks with a chess company to make a Falling Skies based chess set. If we did make one, would you ever get one?

UH yeah!

Well hopefully that will happen, if it does we’ll definitely let you know. If they were to make a Falling Skies video game, since you’re really into video games, what type of game would you like that to be?

I think it would be cool if like it was sort of an open world thing where you could kind of go around and you could be one of the troops and then you would have different missions like go scrounge for food in the south wing or you know. And just kind of cool things where you could walk around and do different side missions. I think that would be pretty cool and it might even have some stories that take place like from the first season or second season.

So a little bit like Legends of Zelda, some of the more recent ones. Orcarnia of Time, things like that. Something where you could kind of do whatever you want, different side missions but there’s also a main story with it?

Yeah.

Gotcha. So I hear that you’ve also booked some upcoming guest roles in some other shows during the off season here while we wait for season two. What other shows might we see you in?

Well, I’ve already tweeted about It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, I’m going to be on Wilfred and CSI: Miami, but what you probably don’t know is that yesterday I just found out that I’m going to be the voice of Mowgli in an upcoming video game. So that’s pretty cool.

Wow, well congratulations on that! That’s very cool!

Thank you. Thank you. Oh and Mowgli is the character from the Jungle Book.

Yes. So lastly, any little tidbits that you can share with us about the upcoming season finale. I know you really can’t say a lot but you did mention that there was a pretty big cliffhanger, is it going to be one of those cliffhangers that are going to leave us begging for 2012 to come by faster?

Yes. Definitely. Yeah. You’re going to want to know what happens. It’s really big. Some of the characters are going to come back and it’s pretty exciting.

Well, good I’m glad. We all enjoy the show greatly and you guys are starting filming sometime later this fall?

Yeah. We start in October.

Okay Great. Well, Maxim, I appreciate you spending the time with us tonight. I’m really looking forward to the season finale on Sunday. We’ll all be online tweeting away, I’m sure so if you’re online and watching, we’ll join in with you and hopefully we get to chat again once season two is done being filmed and we can get a little bit of scoop from you about what we might see.

Oh, just one more thing. Thank you for all that, but I’d just like to shout out to all the fans that are tweeting, and just making the show so ridiculously popular and drawing all the art and I think you’re just all amazing and thanks.

Well, we really appreciate it, Maxim and you’re really great for keeping in touch with your fans. We all really love it and you know we’re going to be keeping a close eye on your upcoming show. CSI: Miami’s coming September 25th and we’ll be keeping an eye for the other shows you mentioned and for Falling Skies.

Robert Prentice