We recently had a chance to catch up with Connor Jessup and chat about the new season of Falling Skies. Connor plays the character of Ben Mason, a former captive of the Espheni and now super human solider. The harness was removed, but the changes continued and Ben struggled with trust throughout season 2. Season 3 promises an entirely new look and feel that not only brings us what we loved from season 1 and 2 but expands it to a much broader appeal.
How does season 3 compare in both story and scope to the first 2 seasons of the show?
Season 1 introduces all the characters, themes and plot points. You come to know and hopefully like the various characters. By Season 2 there is a lot of action and movement going on as we attempt to fight back and regroup. Season 3 continues that sentiment but plot wise the scope gets much larger. In season 1 and 2 it’s all about the 2nd mass. Season 3 opens up the grander plot, especially with the new alien arrivals, the Volm and the various groups now working within Charleston. Season 1 was your introduction, season 2 was kinetic and season 3 is about rebuilding. Humanity tries to rebuild a life of normalcy, and Tom is president but the challenge is if we can maintain that or not.
A burning question among fans since the release of a 2 minute tease for the opening scene of season 3 is the new character Denny. Well we got an answer for you on that.
What can you tell us about your new friend Denny?
So let me give it a little context. There has been a 7 month time gap and everyone gets accustom to living in Charleston. We have managed to put the Espheni on the defense over these 7 months and new people have come in as we rescued more harnessed kids. And one of the characters that come along is Denny, who was also harnessed once and had her harness removed like Ben’s and is struggling with all the same side effects Ben is. Up until this point, part of Ben’s story has been that he feels alone and that nobody understands him. He felt isolated.
Now with Denny and a group of kids all who were once harnessed Ben no longer feels alone and ostracized having friends he can relate to. But to directly answer your question, Ben and Denny are just good friends. Denny along with a group of other deharnessed kids form a group of special ops that go out and do the work that others cannot do along with the help of rebel skitters.
Ben has spent most of the last 2 seasons struggling to grasp his identity in the world and where he belongs. At the end of season 2 after Red Eyes death, Ben felt like he had a release to go back to his family and try to repair his relationship with them and attempt to fit in. Where does that struggle go in season 3?
A lot of Ben’s angst went back to his feelings of being ostracized and feeling alone and as if nobody trusted him anymore. Season 3 starts off with Ben a little bit more cheerful and less dark then he was at the start of season 2. But he is still a fighter, so his life isn’t back to normal but he is more optimistic. What everyone is dealing with now are these new aliens with questions and new tech.
Tom is now the president and he no longer has the time to talk with his family. So all 3 Masons kinda have their own story lines. Hal is dealing with the effects of the eye bug, and Matt is dealing with growing up in war-time and trying to balance his desire to fight with his desire to be a kid. Ben is dealing still with his spikes and the ramifications with that. Could Ben be normal one day? But if he were, would that mean giving up his special abilities and would he be useful anymore at that point?
After reading the episode descriptions, we understand there is a mole in the ranks in Charleston feeding information to the Espheni. Combined with everyone’s existing fear of the rebel skitters and deharessed kids, how is Ben’s interaction and relationship with the Volm?
I can’t say much, as I want to avoid any spoilers. However, the Volm are important to all the characters story lines. They change everything. They change our technology and the pace of the war. Things are looking much better for the humans. So the Volm are a part of everyone’s lives in season 3. But from the prospective of Ben, he remains the interpreter for the rebel skitters and the bridge between skitter, humans and Volm. And he also has to deal with what if any effect the new Volm technology might have on him and what effects the Volm might have on previous alliances.
But I cannot say any more than that.
Will we learn about kids who are still harnessed and the continued changes in Ben?
Yes, we will learn more about the ramifications of the harness on both those still harnessed and those like Ben who had their harnesses removed manually.
How will Ben’s relationships with Matt and Hal move forward?
Season 3 is rebuilding but not just about physical or societal rebuilding. Personal rebuilding is another aspect that will occur for Ben. Relationships have to be mended or changed. Not only their relationship with each other but their father who doesn’t have as much time for them. Perhaps the most important relationship rebuilding is with Anne. She is pregnant with a new Mason child.
Now you know we couldn’t help but ask about any fun or crazy stories from behind the scenes. If you remember last year we learned from Connor about his freezing lake swim in the dead of winter in Vancouver for the opening scenes in season 2. Season 3 had a few fun moments for us as well.
There are a lot of new guest stars this season and one of my favorites was Doug Jones who plays the new alien race of the Volm. There is a scene we were shooting at 3 am and there were about 8 or 9 of us in the room. I have a photo on my phone of Robert Sean Leonard and others all fast asleep. Its tiring during those long shoots.
Another moment was during the opening scene for the season. Ben is fighting the skitters and there is a part where there are supposed to be a large number of skitters which are not there on set with me and im suppose to be stabbing them. I am flailing around and Greg Beeman keeps yelling at me “Flail more, Flail more” and I felt stupid during it but he kept telling me to flail. And sure enough when it was done it didn’t look stupid. I had to learn to trust Greg when he says things like “More fierce face, fierce face Connor”. My natural tendency is to not feel like an idiot on-screen, but sometimes you have to feel like an idiot.
What are your favorite episodes of the new season?
I really like episode 3, which is “Badlands”. It’s a unique episode in its structure for the show and the way it comes together. I don’t want to reveal too much but I really like badlands. The other is episode 8, and I really dig that episode. Titled “Strange Brew” its a very different episode from the rest of the show and it is probably the most fun I’ve had on the show to date.
Remember to tune into the season 3 premiere on TNT June 9th at 9pm EST. Also be sure to checkout our interviews with Remi Aubuchon and newly released promotional photos and episode descriptions.