Noah Wyle and Will Patton Team Up to Talk About ‘Falling Skies’

Noah Wyle and Will Patton Falling Skies Interview
The cast of ‘Falling Skies’ season 4 at the 2014 San Diego Comic Con

Unfortunately, there’s only one more season of TNT’s Falling Skies. Fortunately, that should be enough time to wrap-up this alien apocalypse series starring Noah Wyle, Will Patton, Drew Roy, Moon Bloodgood, and Sarah Carter. As season four continues, the cast of the popular series took part in a Q&A with Falling Skies fans at the San Diego Comic Con. Wyle and Patton also sat down for roundtable interviews for more in-depth discussions of their characters.

Noah Wyle and Will Patton Falling Skies Interview

Your character is internalizing a lot more, due to separation from his family. What can you tell us about the remaining episodes and the family dynamic?

Noah Wyle: “Well, to speak to the first thing you said, Tom does a lot less talking. He’s a lot more contemplative this season. Last season was about him trying to lead through words, speechifying a lot. He got elected President of the United States and he was suddenly put in this position where he had to act like a statesman and inspire people with some rhetoric. I always felt like he was wearing a suit that didn’t really fit him but he was doing the best he could. He knew how presidents behaved, he knew what they were supposed to say, he knew what they were supposed to act like, so he was going through the motions, whether he organically felt like he was suited to the job or not.

This season, being isolated, I think he really starts to fixate on leadership through symbology. That was what the catalyst for the whole ghost storyline was, the idea of creating a mythic character that people could really find inspiration in that it was bigger than any individual man or action could be. That idea of building a myth and having that reputation extend beyond your circle of influence is part of the storytelling for the rest of the season. Eventually, he sort of becomes a man of action again but in the first part of the season, he’s pulling back from that, really assessing very soberly how he wanted to lead in the future was a big part of our decision making.”

Tom doesn’t want to be labeled the hero. Is that why he wore the mask?

Noah Wyle: “I think he doesn’t want the recognition but I think he also knows the Ghost can live on beyond Tom Mason. Once he goes up on the ship and everybody starts putting on the same disguise and running around, everybody gets to taste a sense of what it’s like to be their own leader. At the prison camp, the fact that we were isolated, Matt gets to be a Tom Mason in the school. Anne gets to be a Tom Mason in the search for Lexi. Everybody gets to be a leader in their own right in the storyline that they’re isolated. And then we bring everybody back together again and then have to reassess, now that everybody’s had some independence and some autonomy and responsibility, how do we fit back together and who’s going to lead.”

Weaver has experienced a tragedy with Jeannie. What can you tell us about the mindset you have to put yourself into to just keep going?

Will Patton: “You know, Weaver’s been fighting for the Second Mass so long that it’s become just a part of him, even though this could have brought him down. Somehow he’s brought back in through Matt, through Tom, through the way Jeannie behaved in the end, the fight that she put up so that there’s something in him that the Second Mass has become so much a part of his soul that even the most horrible thing that could happen, he’s still fighting for this thing that’s been so intense for him that he can hold on to that to live. He can hold on to our family, to the family.”

Your performance was intense.

Noah Wyle: “Thank you very much for recognizing. It’s pearls before swine oftentimes up there on the set. He gives performances that aren’t always captured on film that we don’t always edit it properly.”

Will Patton: “That’s right, for all of us.”

Noah Wyle: “There are moments of truth that he brings to it that are the anchors that allow everything else to be plausible. He can believe that this girl’s got alien powers and control the weather because of the way that he interacts with his child.”

How was coming back from season three and jumping into season four in this brand new world?

Will Patton: “It was intense, really intense for me, going from what we developed as a core for ourselves and all of a sudden, boom, completely upset. I had a really hard time making that shift.”

Noah Wyle: “I’ve got three answers to that question. One is I got some time off which was f*cking great. I went home and saw my kids. Second answer is it empowered everybody else’s character in a way that they couldn’t be empowered if they’re part of the group, so it fleshed their characters out for that part of isolation, so it’s worth it. The third is purely practical, which is that as you all know, we’ve had a regime change every year behind the camera. We’ve had five show runners in five seasons, very atypical to have five different writing staffs. So how does a new writing staff that doesn’t know these characters come on to an already moving freight train? You blow it up, it fragments everybody, and you start from scratch. You say everything that’s defined you to this point no longer defines you. Everything you think you are, you no longer are. You are a cypher and we’re gonna rebuild you.”

Will Patton: “It’s screwed up in a way.”

Noah Wyle: “But it allowed our writers to find their footing, and then when they did, then the characters’ voices come back to themselves.”

-By Rebecca Murray

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