Hal (Drew Roy) is falling for Maggie (Sarah Carter) on "Falling Skies." (TNT )
Drew Roy can't complain about playing teen-turned-alien fighter Hal Mason in "Falling Skies." Despite a constant alien threat, Hal seems to find time for romance.
"I'll agree with you there," Roy said, laughing. "You know, being Hal, they throw a new girl at you about every other week. It's great."
The 26-year-old Alabama native was exaggerating just a bit, but during our phone interview before the TNT hit's second season began Roy explained that fans of Hal's relationship with his fellow scout, Maggie (Sarah Carter), should be pleased with his favorite episode of the season, "Love and Other Acts of Courage." It premieres at 8 p.m. July 8.
"I think it's one of the best episodes of the season," Roy said. "In the first part of the season we have all these things going on between Hal and Maggie, and [they're] trying to figure out where they stand with each other and what not. Well, the fifth episode is where some stuff comes together and they find themselves in some crazy situations. There are some great action sequences that should keep you on the edge of your seat.
"And the culmination of their story throughout that hour, I think, was just very nicely done."
Being the Southern gent that he is, Roy didn't tell about any kisses, but with all the flirting that's gone on between Hal and Maggie in previous episodes, one can only assume they'll get even closer. Yet some fans might be wondering about Hal's feelings for his former love, Karen (Jessy Schram), who was enslaved by the aliens and now serves as their messenger.
With Karen coming back onto the scene soon, Hal will have his hands full, and Karen's presence will be yet another obstacle in the way of his relationship with Maggie. "I don't think he'll ever be able to completely forget about Karen," Roy said. "I think he still has a little flicker of hope that some day they can ... de-harness her and all will be well."
Roy, on the other hand, had more than a flicker of hope that he could become an actor when he moved from Alabama to Hollywood just out of high school. A basketball and baseball player at Chilton County High School in Clanton, Ala., Roy had never participated in drama classes, but after meeting a modeling agent in Atlanta, decided he would make acting his career.
"I [couldn't] even call myself an actor, because I'd never been on stage before. I'd never acted in front of a camera," he said with a chuckle. "A little naivete goes a long way. If I'd have known what I was getting into, I'd have never come."
Roy got a valet job at the Beverly Hills Hotel, parking the cars of famous patrons while auditioning for TV and movie roles. He and five friends who were in a band shared two one-bedroom apartments, with three guys and three beds in each bedroom. Despite calling the two years they lived and partied together the best times of his life, Roy said, "I wouldn't want to live like that anymore."
After those two years his friends moved home, but Roy stayed, even though that flicker of hope he'd work as an actor was fading. He worked five years as a valet, taking acting classes and doing auditions before things started happening for him. He finally landed a guest role on "Greek," followed that up with guest spots on "Lincoln Heights" and "iCarly," which in turn led to him playing Miley Cyrus' boyfriend on "Hannah Montana" and a big-screen role in "Secretariat."
"Falling Skies" came next, and he was cast as Hal Mason, a role he humbly suggests he got because "the people that they originally wanted couldn't do it." He didn't have any special interest in doing a sci-fi series, he said.
"To be absolutely honest with you, when I booked this thing I was just interested in a job," he added, laughing. "The fact that the job was as cool as it was with such great people, I was like, 'Oh heck yeah! I hit the lottery.' So I'd like to say, 'I had 19 scripts and this was my favorite one.' No, I just got lucky."
Roy talked more about playing Hal, Hal's relationships with Maggie and Karen, working with such TV vets as Noah Wyle, and his career before "Falling Skies."
What's going to happen with Maggie and Hal?
If anybody's a fan of that storyline, you are going to be excited. Over the course of these three months, Hal and Maggie have found themselves on these scouting units and they've really become very, very close friends. I think that's all either one of them ever really feels it is. It's just a very close connection between a guy and a girl. They have each other's backs.
As things unfold throughout the season, and a few near death experiences happen, and a couple other scenarios, I believe they both start finding that maybe there's something more here. They come from such different backgrounds. Maggie, we're not even really sure who she was before and what all had happened to her. What happened to her when she was with Pope and his gang? Hal comes from this clean-cut, all-American background.