She doesn’t like her chances if there was ever a real-life alien invasion on Earth, but actress Moon Bloodgood will get the opportunity to see how she would fare in a fictional one in the new Steven Spielberg-produced TNT series “Falling Skies.”
“As I get older I realize I wouldn’t be as courageous as I would like to think I would be,” Bloodgood told me during an exclusive interview from Austin. “I’d like to think I’d be as strong as my character but I would be a big mess, crying and hiding from the aliens.”
In the show Bloodgood, who has starred in such films as “Terminator Salvation” and “Faster,” plays Anne Glass, a pediatrician who has lost her son in the initial alien attack. She serves as a doctor to the other survivors who have banned together to save the human race.
During an exclusive interview with me, Bloodgood talked about returning back to TV after taking a couple years off and what it was like going toe-to-toe on set with one of the alien creatures.
You’ve been in a few sci-fi projects in recent years. Is this genre something you feel fits your style and personality?
Yeah, I do tend to do a lot of science fiction. I really love it. Maybe I understand the material better when I go out for the auditions. I also think when you start doing science fiction you start getting called in for more science fiction. Or maybe I just look like the future because I am half-Asian, mixed.
I read that growing up you were a really big “Twilight Zone” fan. Do you have a favorite episode?
Yeah, I think I have a few favorites. Of course, there’s the doctors with the pig faces. Then there is the one with the doll that speaks. There’s one where a guy goes to a town and there is a train that goes in a circle and he realizes he is stuck in a dollhouse. There’s another one where these people think there is a nuclear war coming and they all hide in the basement. There are so many great ones. It really takes you out of your normal state of mind and how you think of things. I find that mentally stimulating and interesting.
Is that the same kind of feeling you got with “Falling Skies?” What drew you to your character Anne Glass?
I don’t even know that it was so much about my character as much as it was about who I’d get to be working with and the quality of the story I read. I really liked the story of the family. The first episode is about a family trying to keep normalcy. We’re trying to keep the situation as human as possible all the while knowing there is an alien invasion and life as we know it is completely different.
You’ve done TV before and have unfortunately been on a couple of shows that were cancelled. Did you worry about coming back after staring in short-lived shows like “Daybreak” and “Journeyman?”
Yes, there was some trepidation going into another TV show. I had actually turned a couple of them down. Film just seemed a little easier. But when you get a call that the TV show is produced by Steven Spielberg and you’re being offered the part you certainly take notice. But yes, I was a little worried. It always breaks my heart when a show doesn’t work out. I think it’s really made me grow up and have a really level head about how things work in the industry.
So many things factor into whether or not a show is successful. Did you ever feel like some of the shows you were on that ended up being cancelled didn’t get the chance they deserved?
Definitely, I feel that way with both shows – “Daybreak” and “Journeyman” – but especially “Journeyman” because that was during the writers’ strike. Had the show been in a different time slot and not during the writer’s strike and had other variables worked out I think the show could have really been a success. It’ll never happen, but you always think, “You know, maybe that show will come back.”
It’s common knowledge that reality shows are cheaper to produce, which is why we’re going to once again be inundated by them this summer. But “Falling Skies” is not one of those low-budget shows. Did the show feel as big on the set as it looks on TV?
Yeah, it’s a really an expensive show. It’s actually TNT’s most expensive show they’ve ever made. It’s meant to feel more cinematic. It feels more like a miniseries than just a regular, run-of-the-mill TV show.
Was there anything you experienced during production that was new to you as an actress?
Actually, it was the first time I had never worked with puppeteers before. One of the aliens is actually someone in a suit. I had never worked with an alien that wasn’t on green screen. It was something that was right in front of me – something tangible.
I’m guessing because of the physical nature of some of your movie roles you are going to get a chance to fight some of the aliens on “Falling Skies?”
Yeah, at some point I get to go toe-to-toe with an alien. That was interesting because you’re acting with something that is not speaking back to you. Sometimes it was with a guy that didn’t have the alien suit on, but other times you really have to use your imagination. But I definitely have a scene with an alien that is very interesting.
Do the physical aspects of your job come easier for you over the years?
Well, I did a lot of my own stunts in “Terminator Salvation.” With this one, it’s not as physical because I play a doctor. I’m not out in the field battling with the aliens. At times it was physical because doing a show of this kind of magnitude is crazy. There are crazy and demanding hours. But for this it was mostly me and my stethoscope.
I know you are half Korean. Is there a specific part of your culture that you feel very close to?
I’m super proud of being Korean, even more than some of my friends who are full Korean. I love the food. I’ve been to Korea five times although I struggle to speak the language. My mom is someone who survived the Korean War and I feel a lot of pride from her and her work ethic and personal integrity. Being Korean is something I always broadcast.
Does your mother realize what her daughter has done in the entertainment industry?
Oh, she is so proud. She practically has a shrine in the house. I’m embarrassed. I’m like, “OK mom, there are way too many pictures of me.” She cries all the time. I just came out in the Korean Times. She bought who knows how many copies. Seeing how proud she is really fulfills me because growing up I really wasn’t proud of my Korean culture. We were different. It wasn’t cool to be Asian. But now, I hope every Korean feels as proud as I do.
There are so many new sci-fi shows each season. What makes “Falling Skies” something you think will break though and find the audience it needs to survive?
I think what makes it a good show is the way it’s executed. It focuses on the human will and our ability to rise even in the worst circumstances. The show is not just about aliens. It’s about our own humanity.