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Interview with Falling Skies Moon Bloodgood and Colin Cunningham

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Season 1 brought us one of the most charismatic characters of the show and one that you just love to hate: Pope. Pope was a former convict turned skitter hunter who looks out for just one person, Pope. In season 1, he did just about anything to steal from the 2nd Mass, including taking Hal, Tom, Karen, and Dai hostage in order to secure the .50 cal and some supplies from them.

Another character–who has given us a love interest for Tom–is Dr. Anne Glass. She’s a former pediatrician turned field medic along with the help of a student, Lourdes, who is learning along the way. Anne lost her only son in the attack and she hasn’t gotten over that. To top it off, she ends up taking care of Tom Mason’s 3 boys after he sets foot on the alien ship. Not something one could imagine doing lightly.

We recently got to talk with Moon Bloodgood, who plays Anne, and Colin Cunningham, who plays Pope. The first thing we talked about was whether any key differences would be seen with each character this season.

Moon Bloodgood

I would say my changes are not as drastic. I think that my relationship with Tom gets a more adult quality to it.  We definitely have our first fight and I believe that I’m allowed to say that the relationship gets consummated.  But, I wouldn’t say that my character goes through drastic changes.  I think you’re just seeing more character development, more layers, and more how I am relating, rather, to the Mason boys, to Lourdes, who is played by Seychelle Gabriel.

Colin Cunningham

I’d say the same thing I think the relationship between Pope and the professor finally does become consummated.  I am just kidding, but you know I think for Pope. I think they, if anything they take, they take the edgy stuff and I think they embellish it all the more.  The characters are still doing what they were doing last year.  The stakes are just way, way higher. The show itself is darker; it’s more intense.  So you’re going to see more science fiction. Yes, and just more extreme in terms of just the acting and what these characters have to go through, so which I am really looking forward to seeing.

Pope has been a very interesting character and we have explored much of his convict past, though we never directly learn why he was in jail. One of the nagging questions for season 2 is how much more about Pope’s past might we learn and the history that him and Maggie, played by Sarah Carter, might have.

Colin Cunningham

We kind of skirt around it which is all the more interesting I think to us, nothing’s actually laid out in concrete.  But certainly Sarah Carter, the wonderful Sarah Carter, and I spend a lot of time discussing our history and all that kind of stuff.  So even when the lines are written a certain way we’re often playing subtext that hasn’t yet really been even revealed to us by the writers but it’s a wonderful complexity that I think they brought into the season.  And they keep it there, you know, just at arm’s distance, which is wonderful considering the fact that her relationship with Hal, you know, continues to grow and yet she still got this past that she has to deal with.

We previously asked Noah about what he felt made Falling Skies so successful versus other shows out there and his main thing was the story and the characters. The FX can be the best in the world, but if the story isn’t there, and the desire to feel invested in the characters isn’t there, the show would fail. Colin and Moon agree that the new writing team stepped up to the plate to create a great foundation that makes the story even better.

Moon Bloodgood

I think with Falling Skies they don’t always rely on the science fiction tricks, they primarily go after story.  When they hired Bob Rodat, they wanted someone who was really good, developing characters and that’s the primary story and the second story is the science fiction.  So if you have a good foundation and characters that are really fleshed out, I think when you bring the science fiction on top of it, it just feels like a full show versus a thin science fiction show with all the bells and whistles that sometimes can feel flat and not interesting. I think you have to have the two things hand-in-hand: a good story and also good science fiction, to keep people interested.

Colin Cunningham

In addition to that I would say that the sheer caliber of the show is a thousand times greater than any sci-fi show I have ever worked on.  That and it doesn’t start with okay here’s the problem, here’s you know we have a new mission every week.  Sometimes there’s no mission at all it’s just simply about survival.  So it’s a trick because when we go in and we see some of the footage or read the scripts they don’t read like TV shows they really do read very cinematic. It’s more like a miniseries or a feature.  So that’s a really exciting part of the show that I think makes us stand out.

In the recent extended preview for season 2, we saw Dr. Glass trying to remove something from Toms eye and Moon was asked what it was like doing that scene and being so close to someone’s eye.

Moon Bloodgood

I got to tell you as an actor, the difficult scenes for me to do sometimes the ones that are more emotional, that stuff where I get to fight or scream, or pull things out of people’s eyes.  I am like fearless, it doesn’t scare me; it excites me, it’s very physical, it’s so different.  I am actually the opposite, in that I am more scared of the emotional stuff that’s really vulnerable and close to your heart.  So, that stuff was fun, that was easy peasy.  I was more trying to make sure I just looked like I was a doctor, I don’t know what the hell I was doing in front of Noah.

Noah commented during our interview that he had every faith in Moon and her abilities during that scene.

We have heard alot about Ben Mason this year and what might be going on with him in season 2. Drew Roy, who plays his older brother Hal, recently told us in an interview that the relationship between Hal and Ben is a very complex and interesting story this season and that by far Ben is the most interesting plot arc of season 2. Moon agrees:

Moon Bloodgood

I think I am really proud of some of the stuff that happens with, let’s say Ben Mason, like I think he fits (the central) character and with a lot of science fiction stuff happening that is really edgy.  And, I am excited for people to get those surprises. I think that kind of stuff is always exciting because I am such a science fiction fan always exciting to know that there’s some really good surprises coming.

One thing that wont change, ever–at least according to Colin–is Pope.

Colin Cunningham

In a way, it’s like I hope it doesn’t ever happen because I think it would, it would make perhaps make him less complicated less interesting. But yes, they don’t. I wouldn’t say he becomes softer; if anything he becomes a little bit harder, and a little bit more, I don’t know… a little bit more Pope.  Because, again, with the show this year I think the stakes are even higher, it’s even more extreme, it’s dirtier, it’s angrier, it’s edgier. It’s pretty hardcore and I think within that environment is where he feels most comfortable.

On Ben Mason, Colin had this to say about Pope’s views on Ben and trust:

Colin Cunningham

Pope does absolutely, positively does not trust Ben.  He barely trusts the professor, I think he respects the professor, but I don’t think he necessarily trusts anybody.  He sure as hell doesn’t trust Ben. I think the wonderful arc that the character that Ben has is that he’s going to butting heads with not only other people that look at him differently, but the horror within his own mind is that he looks upon himself differently.  And, now I have something to prove, but I will pass it over to Moon.

Moon adds that she is very much the opposite of Pope when it comes to trust and compassion:

Moon Bloodgood

I definitely feel like you know Colin and I are at the opposite ends of the spectrum.  I am always the supportive woman who stands by her man who believes the best in people, I think I am hopeful and optimistic and never questioning their loyalty and Colin is kind of saying everything that everyone’s thinking in the room, but he has what, you know… the balls, so to speak, to say it.  So we’re definitely opposing in that way.

And Anne is always, even if she has doubts, it’s always kept hidden because her role is very maternal.  And she is just someone who doesn’t dwell in negativity or her insecurities I mean she’s wonderful, she’s like the ultimate woman.  Always think positive, always believing it and always being stoic at times.

We got to ask Moon a bit more about her conflicted feelings towards caring for Tom’s sons while he was missing, given the loss of her own son.

Moon Bloodgood

Sometimes I wished we’d played with that a little bit more, yes.  My relationship with them is actually a little even less this year.  More of my relationship, my maternal aspect, with Lourdes, who is Seychelle Gabriel, and I think that there has to be that conflict if you’ve lost a son and now you’re taking care of, you know, young boys.

And there’s got to be some conflict and we do, we do kind of really lightly brush on that part of my history.  But, there’s not tons of back story in a lot of our (structures) they just sometimes come, you know the weave in and out, but yes how could you not be, lost your husband, you lost your son.  And then here you are forced to take care of other people and be selfless and not think about your own pain, which is not very realistic, but that’s definitely Anne’s role.

Colin and Moon were asked who they would like more screen time with and each seemed to agree that more screen time with Noah was a plus.

Colin Cunningham

For me, I’d say personally, as an actor, I’d simply adore any scenes that I am able to do with Noah. I think he’s absolutely brilliant on that note.  I haven’t really had a whole lot with Will Patton, as well, I would love to work more with Will in terms of the story or the character.  I really think that, that Matt and Pope have a great dynamic, because we essentially have the lion and the lamb and it’s a pretty dangerous and just really, really interesting dynamic how you’ve got someone who can inhabit such a danger with someone who’s just so sweet and innocent, you know.

Moon Bloodgood

I think what I am hoping for if we go in third season, is that the relationship that hasn’t been touched upon, for instance, like Colin and I.  Or my relationship with the boys I think I’d like to see, I’d like to see every character on our show interact with characters they haven’t interacted with, because that makes it more full, and nothing would happen in a community.  You wouldn’t just have relationships with two people especially if I am a doctor and I am taking care of all these wounded people I would have more interaction and more relationships.  So hopefully, in season 3 we’ll see those kind of get more fleshed out.

Season 2 of Falling Skies airs June 17th on TNT. Stay tuned here for more coverage, interviews and behind the scenes action from Falling Skies.

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