The new CW drama series Star-Crossed tells the story of Emery Whitehill (Aimee Teegarden), a teenager who had an alien spacecraft crash-land in her small town when she was six years old. Ten years later, she’s reunited with Roman (Matt Lanter), the Atrian boy who she gave refuge to as a child, and Emery finds herself not only drawn to him again, but supporting the human-alien integration. The show also stars Grey Damon, Malese Jow, Titus Makin, Jr., Chelsea Gilligan, Greg Finley and Natalie Hall.
During this exclusive interview with Collider, actor Grey Damon talked about how he came to be a part of this show, what drew him to his character, how Grayson fits into this futuristic human/alien world, how mysterious his character is, even to him, doing his own backstory, the relationship between Grayson and Emery, whether he ever gets alien envy, and what this cast has been like to work with. Check out what he had to say after the jump, and be aware that there are some spoilers.
GREY DAMON: I don’t know. I just went in for the audition and got lucky. It’s cool, though. It’s a really cool project, so I was attracted to it.
What was it about this story and character that appealed to you?
DAMON: It’s really cool, in that it’s unpredictable. It’s unique and very original, and Grayson is the same. He’s a contradiction, and I love that. I love how he’s not any one color. And it’s timely right now, with all of the social issues that we have going on in the world.
What can you say about who Grayson is and how he fits into this world?
DAMON: His parents are really important in this world, which makes him important, regarding the Atrians. They’re important to the story, in a negative way, and Grayson is 50/50. He’s always in the cross-hairs. He’s also, at times, very misinformed and misguided. At his core, I think Grayson is a great guy. When we were shooting, he taught me ways to be a better guy. He just fits in this world because he’s the grey area. Maybe that’s why his name is Grayson. He’s in both worlds, and he doesn’t know how to be in either one. He has to make a choice, eventually, about which side he’s going to take. He is an open-minded person, but at the same time, he’s a stupid kid in high school. He doesn’t understand things, all the time.
It’s interesting that these aliens don’t look too different from humans, and yet there is still a lot of tension between them.
DAMON: It’s an interesting idea to make them so human-like, for empathetic reasons. There needs to be that relatability. Why are they so different from us? This is just an easier bridge to cross, then if they had tentacles. It is a really important issue that we’re hitting on, but we’re doing it in such a backdoor way. We’re not so deliberate about it.
Is it fun to get to explore this futuristic world?
DAMON: They didn’t blow the atmosphere out of proportion. They really try to think about what the future will be like in 2024. I really like that. We don’t have flying cars and crap. Realistically, with the economy, no one would be able to afford them anyway. I like that they hint at it, and they put little things, here and there. It’s more futuristic, but the interiors are rugged.
How much has this character evolved, from who he was when you did the pilot?
DAMON: They’re very good at keeping Grayson mysterious, even to me. I’m trying my best to do this and that, and not look like I have mental problems. I’m trying to portray him realistically without my head exploding. They give me very little information. That’s the thing about television. You have to just let go of your ego and just go with it. You probably always need to do that, but it’s hard for a guy like me.
Do you typically like to do your own backstory for a character?
DAMON: Yeah. I gave our show creator a list of things that she needed to answer. I was like, “This is a regular actor’s character sheet. Just go down and tell me where he’s from.” She didn’t write me. She just called me up and told me about it. But, what she told me really helped. It gave me perspective. She has her ideas, but some network head will change their mind because they want to do something else.
What can you say about how the relationship between Grayson and Emery will evolve?
DAMON: I think what’s great about Grayson is that he’s a real model for being friends with people you love. It’s not just about lust and sex, and all the stuff that’s shoved down our throats, every day. He cares about her, as a person. He’s intrigued by her. So, however it evolves, he’s gonna care about her regardless, even if she screws him over, which I don’t think will happen. They’re always going to care for each other, but her connection with Roman goes back further.
Do you ever get alien envy and wish you were playing an alien?
DAMON: No, only when they do really cool stunts or get really cool make-up. I just try to work with what I’m given and make it the best I can. I get pleasure out of just experiencing that.
What has this cast been like to work with?
DAMON: They’re great! They’re so cool! They’re all really sweet, caring, chill people. Nobody causes problems for anybody. There’s no diva. We all get along. It’s nice. It’s a dream. And we shoot in New Orleans. It’s been an amazing time, all around. Unless I’m the diva, and I just don’t know it.
Star-Crossed airs on Monday nights on The CW.