On TNT’s new alien drama Falling Skies, actress Moon Bloodgood plays Anne Glass, a pediatrician who lost her only child in the initial attack. The heart of the ensemble, Anne has yet to fully face her own tragedy because she is too busy helping those around her. She has bonded with Tom Mason (Noah Wyle), as a result of their losses, and keeps up a sturdy exterior, helping the survivors cope both physically and emotionally with their situation, but she is quite obviously haunted by the death of her son.
At a recent press day for the series, Collider sat down with Moon Bloodgood for this exclusive interview, in which she talked about how lucky she was not to have to audition for this role, how relieved she was not to be the action girl this time around, how she’s a big fan of the alien genre and used to even fall asleep watching Aliens as bedtime viewing, and how she doesn’t take anything for granted in this business, out of not wanting to feel the disappointment. Check out what she had to say after the jump:
Question: How did you get involved with Falling Skies? Did you audition for it, or did they come to you for this role?
MOON BLOODGOOD: I was so lucky that I didn’t have to audition. It’s just such a grueling process, in itself. I was sent the script and I read it, and I was like, “Really? They’re offering this to me? This is great!” But, at first, I didn’t know if I wanted to do it. And then, they told me Noah [Wyle] was attached, so I thought some more about it and totally signed up for it.
What is the appeal of doing something like this? Are you a fan of the alien genre?
BLOODGOOD: Yes. I would be lying if I said there isn’t a part of me that feels it’s a little over-saturated right now, and I was cautious and concerned that that could be something. I don’t think we’re doing anything revolutionary with this show, but I think the reason I liked it, and still do, is because I liked what they were doing with the characters. There’s only so much you can do. At the end of the day, it’s still zombies, and it’s still aliens. You’ve just got to make the story interesting. I love science fiction. That was my whole childhood. I would much rather watch a horror film or science fiction than a comedy. I don’t know why. I just like them. I find them relaxing. I can put them on and go to sleep. I used to put Aliens on and go to sleep. I stopped doing that because I don’t think it’s good for my brain. Whenever you’re dealing with fantasy, and you’re doing vampires or anything that is not too based in reality, and you try to base it in reality, you have so much of a greater chance of sounding hokey. You watch it and you think, “This has to be good. The CGI has to be good. The acting has to be good.” The CGI does have to be good. You can’t just do cheap CGI and think that’s going to work. It doesn’t. If you’re going to do something like Paranormal Activity, then it’s not about the CGI, but it’s shot in a way that’s creative. I get a little tired of vampires, but anytime The Lost Boys is on, that’s the real McCoy. It just doesn’t get old.
Do you feel like this show is intentionally layered in such a way that it can attract non-sci-fi fans and still make genre fans happy?
BLOODGOOD: I’d like to think it would. I don’t know. As a woman, I like science fiction, so I think, “Would someone who doesn’t watch science fiction, watch this?” I think they would have to fall in love with Noah [Wyle] and all the characters, and then the science fiction part is something that they can just look at as an invading army. It’s our enemy that we’re at war with, and the rest is about the story. I hope so. I certainly think that’s the aim.
Because this does start a ways into the scenario, did you work out a backstory for Anne, so that you knew where she was coming from?
BLOODGOOD: I did. I try to be a good, diligent actor. She’s a pediatrician who’s suddenly going to start performing really elaborate surgeries, out of her element and in over her head. I did a backstory on her child – who I thought was a daughter, but it ended up being a son – and her husband, who was an artist, and what it was like to be a doctor. I tried to visualize where she was when she found out they died, how they died and how they looked. I thought about where she was in the invasion. She was at the hospital. I thought about how she felt about Tom [Noah Wyle]. I tried to do as much as I could, but I think there’s always more I could have done. If we go into a second season, I’m going to do a little bit more research into being a pediatrician. I wanted to look like I was in over my head. I wanted to look a little bit like I was out of my element because I was, but this time, I want to do some different stuff. You have to challenge yourself and bring it forward.
There’s a lot of loss with these characters and a lot of people are dealing with it much more than your character is. Is that something that’s going to keep coming up?
BLOODGOOD: I always talk about how much I admire her, but sometimes I’m like, “God, are we in a little bit of denial? You’re not feeling anything!” Sometimes, I was concerned that she wasn’t addressing it enough. Other times, I thought that it was really selfless of her to not be focused on it. She doesn’t want the cracks to be seen. She’s a doctor. She’s about being in control. She’s about having to be a leader. A pediatrician has to be able to handle that stress, but I would like to see the cracks come undone. There is a point where she gets hurt and she has a gun and starts learning how to use a gun. That’s a big change for her because she’s against violence, and now it’s something she has to do. This is real. She didn’t just lose her family, she lost a part of her innocence.
Being the action girl prior to this, were you relieved or disappointed that you didn’t get in on more of the physical stuff?
BLOODGOOD: I was relieved. I picked the role for that reason. I get bored easily and I wanted something different. It’s not that I wouldn’t love to do it, but like human nature, you want to do something that’s different. There’s a lot of pressure to look good, have the gun, know what you’re doing and be one of the boys. I was like, “I don’t want to be one of the boys. I want to be a doctor. I want to be cerebral. I want to sit back and just use something else. I don’t want to do the stunts. Let the boys do that. I’m just going to be the doctor who’s about taking care of other people.” That was such a deliberate choice, to do a project like this. I’d say that that was more important than anything, for me. It wasn’t Steven Spielberg, it was the character. I was like, “I want to play that role.” I find that, when you’re doing action sequences in movies, it’s harder to feel fuller in the character. I don’t know what it is. I don’t know if it’s me, not filling in the blanks. It just feel more hokey, and more about holding the gun and giving a look. It starts to become a bit vain and self-involved. I don’t like it. I don’t want to be that aware of myself.
Was it challenging to do so many night shoots?
BLOODGOOD: I honestly didn’t even work as much as Noah [Wyle] did, and I think Drew [Roy] worked a little bit more than me, and I found it challenging. I don’t sleep well, so I didn’t know what was going on. You’re walking in a daze. I think it takes a toll, but nobody admits it. Everybody’s like, “No, I’m fine. I’m good.” But, they lose their temper or they’re crabby, and that’s from being exhausted. We need our naps and we need our structure. It is challenging, but it’s part of the game and we know it’s for a short period of time.
What did you think the first time you saw what the aliens would look like?
BLOODGOOD: I loved it. I was worried. Loving science fiction, that is so important. We said, “Please make the aliens look good. That is so important.” As soon as that looks bad, everything becomes just not as good. Everything becomes silly. The only one who could get away with that was Star Trek. They would sometimes look bad, but you’d be like, “Okay, I love these characters so much that I’m just going to pretend that I don’t see how bad that looks right now.” But, when I saw the Mechs and the Skitters, I thought they looked fantastic. The Skitters moved like they were octopuses and were very slimy in their movements, and their heads cocked to the side. They were very spider-like and creepy. I need all of that. The Mechs were very robotic, like they just take orders. The Skitters are the brains and the Mechs are the brawn. I loved it. I thought it was dark. It was good. You’ve got to get scared, or you’re just not going to buy it.
How has it been to work with Noah Wyle and so many of the young kids in the show, since both really inform your character?
BLOODGOOD: They do inform my character. I just had a blast working with Seychelle Gabriel (who plays Lourdes), who I love. We’d be singing. We bonded, as girls. She brought out my youthfulness. I felt like Noah [Wyle] challenged me to be a better actor and to be serious. Will Patton challenged me in ways I just found so inspiring. Partly, I’m afraid of him, but I also just respect him so much, and they’re intertwined. Working with the kids and seeing that this was all new for them was good. It’s like having kids, I guess. You look in their eyes and realize that it’s not as new for me, Noah and Will, but watching them get excited, gets you excited. You need that. It keeps you fresh. It’s so easy to become cynical and be like, “I’ve done this, a million times.” I have a tendency towards that, so it was good for me to see them.
In such an unpredictable business, is it nice to know that everybody is already so behind this show that there’s already talk of a Season 2?
BLOODGOOD: I honestly, truly don’t listen to the talk about Season 2. I don’t even hear it, and that’s training. That’s me being on my third show. You can call it cynicism, but I just don’t listen. Until you officially call me, I just don’t believe it. Do I keep in the back of my mind that I might have to keep my schedule open? Do I think we will get picked up? I believe we will. But, if we weren’t, I would be disappointed. I’d be sad, if it wasn’t well received, but it wouldn’t be like I was hurt with the other shows. I’m grown up enough now to go, “This is how the cookie crumbles. I get it.” Everyone would feel disappointed. I don’t bank on the fact that we’re going to have a second season, I just slightly keep myself aware, so that I’m not totally unprepared.
But, isn’t that support nice to have?
BLOODGOOD: Yes, and I feel great support. I feel like TNT is fully behind it and loving it, and it’s everywhere. That is a great feeling. You just know that you’re being supported.
FALLING SKIES premieres on TNT on June 19th