The entire main cast of The CW’s Roswell, New Mexico made the trip to the New York Comic Con in support of the sci-fi drama’s second season. Included in the cast making the trek to NYC was Nathan Dean Parsons who plays Max in the popular series. Season one ended with Max’s death but given the flexibility of the sci-fi genre, no one – including an alien – can ever truly be considered dead and gone.
Teamed up with Jeanine Mason (“Liz Ortecho”) for roundtable interviews, Parsons joked that he’s just hanging out on set as part of the behind-the-scenes crew. Plus, Max could appear in flashbacks. (If you believe that, I’ve got some oceanfront property in Arizona I’d like to sell you.) Check out what the duo had to say about season two and the resurrection of Rosa.
You’re here so that must mean Max doesn’t die, right?
Nathan Dean Parsons: “Not necessarily.”
Jeanine Mason: (Laughing) “He just wanted a trip to New York.”
Nathan Dean Parsons: “Exactly. I’m really here for moral support. No, we still get to… As we did with season one, we still have flashbacks, you know. So, I’m still around to sort of fill out everyone else’s story.”
Jeanine Mason: “Yeah. I mean, we’re shooting episode five right now and we’ve only had one scene together this season.”
Nathan Dean Parsons: “Yeah.”
Nathan Dean Parsons: “Yeah, so it’s a big change. I mean it’s not easy bringing someone back from the dead when you don’t have superpowers.”
But he is the savior, right?
Nathan Dean Parsons: “Well, he was. (Laughing) I think you’re looking at the savior here now.” (Indicating Jeanine.)
Jeanine Mason: “Yeah, yeah, yeah. So, we’ll see. I mean that’s the sort of setup for this season is the beginning of season one our catalyst is Liz gets shot and Max is able to repair her. And now Max is very much in need of repair and Liz is a mere human. And her science is incredible and she’s brilliant, for sure, but she’s set up to do something that’s immediate for him.
We’ve been playing a lot with the imagery of hands because it is his hands (that heal) and her frustration of her hands has been fun for me to play with. She’s in her lab; she’s doing her work but these (hands) just don’t work as quick as his. So that’s our setup for this season is whether she can.”
If you’ve only had one scene together so far, have you been having more interaction with the other cast members?
Jeanine Mason: “For sure. The fact that Rose is back – my sister – I have had a lot with her and it’s been this new dynamic for Liz in the gratitude, the unbelievableness of having someone that you lost 10 years ago and that had such a massive affect on her. I mean, it changed her persona. She was 17 when she lost Rosa. She’s jaded, she’s hardened, and her abandonment issues are high and that’s all the walls that Max had to break down in season one. So, having her back but then also the complications of having your once older sister who’s now 10 years younger than you back…
And then I’ve gotten to spend a lot more time working with Lily (Cowles) and (Michael) Vlamis because it does very much feel like the Scooby-Doo gang. Everyone is all hands on deck. Everyone’s trying to save his ass. It’s been fun. We’ve had a lot of days where it’s a lot of us on set which is so fun.”
Does Liz have to explain to people how Rosa came back to life? How does that work?
Jeanine Mason: “So that’s the other element which we’re actually just getting into now with episode four and five. They’re being very strategic about who and how they introduce her back to people. We still haven’t figured that out. There’s still a lot more. Right now, she’s pretty much on lockdown and she’s not a character which enjoys that, which has ever responded well to parental restrictions.”
Nathan Dean Parsons: “Authority, in general.”
Jeanine Mason: “So it’s another thing she has to navigate while trying to do the impossible. It’s quite active, the setup, which is really fun to play. But I miss working with this guy. We’re a team and we lead the show together.”
Nathan Dean Parsons: “Last year we were pretty much together in every scene. And you’re able to build a working dynamic that you just fall into, right? You just immediately know what the other person’s going to bring and you know what you can play with and play off of.
(Laughing) I haven’t really been there so I don’t know how that’s going but I know if I was in that position it’s hard to establish entirely new rhythms with people that you don’t work with just off the bat.”
Jeanine Mason: “It’s been fun because it feels like such a beautiful training ground in the sense that only sci-fi can really afford you the kind of stuff where it’s like what you know, flip it on its head. But, yeah, it’s both our first times leading a show, so it’s been fun to figure that out together and then use it each without having each other as scene partners.”
So, with only one scene together that must mean you’ve had lots of free time?
Nathan Dean Parsons: “Oh yeah. I’ve had a lot of free time. No, I go to set; I’m an extra sometimes. I’ll help the grips.”
Jeanine Mason: “He’s working in the crew.”
Nathan Dean Parsons: “Whatever they need. They need something moved, ‘All right, I’ve got nothing else to do.’”
Jeanine Mason: “It started because we both worked on films during hiatus that were in the same part of the country and he came and visited my set one day. I’m like, ‘Hey, so, my buddy’s coming over.’ I think I said… I think they asked, like, ‘Oh, okay.’ I said, ‘He’s an actor. You’ll see him. He’s going to come visit the set.’
The PA, my buddy who I sent to go get him, was like, ‘Oh, that can’t be him. He’s clearly a grip.’ Because he’s just so casual! He’s got his baseball cap on. So, we were like, ‘Oh we need a picture of you just like lifting stuff!’ And now it’s come over to the Roswell set. This is what he does with his time off.”
Nathan Dean Parsons: “I’m learning a lot from our best boy grips and our electricians.”
How was it working with Sheri Appleby when she directed last season? Is she directing this season?
Jeanine Mason: “She actually just finished directing episode four last week. She’s wonderful. She’s such a hustler. It’s fun to have that kind of energy around and to learn from her. But she also just loves this property so much. It’s really fun to work with someone who… I don’t think we could find someone who it means as much and is as close to heart as it is with her. For as long as we go, she’ll be around. Everybody loves her.”
Nathan Dean Parsons: “You know that when you put this property in her hands that it’s going to be taken care of, that she’s going to honor the original and bring a nuance to it. You can really just kind of give your trust to what she wants to do. That’s a blessing.”
Jeanine Mason: “It was fun. We’ve had so much…it’s a lot of big, heavy stuff so when we find those moments of levity or those moments of ridiculousness, it’s fun to have a director who’s really like, ‘How can we lean into the pressure release valve of this little scene right here?’ She’s so great at that.
I had a couple of scenes with Michael Trevino who plays Kyle and we felt like we were really doing a sitcom for a moment there. It’s like, ‘Quick! Let’s lighten this thing up!’ Sheri is just so capable at that stuff. Her range is just beautiful.”
Given the events in season one, who is Liz turning to in season two as a sounding board?
Jeanine Mason: “I think a lot of that is that she doesn’t. That’s not healthful for her but it’s a fun thing to play. The pressure she’s putting on herself to be a pseudo parent to her sister in helping her get back on her feet and to be leading this project to bring Max back, that will get even more complicated now that her mom’s coming back into the picture which is a character we’ve spoken about a lot and we know is quite complicated. We know she’s also been an abandonment person in her life. So, that’s definitely been the main thing.
But the aliens and like Michael Guerin…I love Liz Ortecho and Michael Guerin because they’re our two geniuses… (Whispers ‘no offense’ to Nathan.) They’re the two genius characters on the show so we meet at the level where it’s like everybody else is playing catch up. ‘Are you with me?’ You know what I mean, which is so fun to do. So, him. We get a lot of Michael and Liz which is fun and they’re saving this guy.”
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