Falling Skies

Ben (Connor Jessup) and Hal Mason (Drew Roy) butt heads in "Falling Skies." (TNT / June 18, 2012)

Now that "Falling Skies"fans have seen how easily Ben Mason took down his older brother, Hal, in the Season 2 premiere of the TNT hit, Connor Jessup can reveal how shooting that scene with Drew Roy really went down.

"I push him down, right? But I'm not doing anything! ... He was totally in control there," Jessup, who plays Ben, revealed.

In the scene from Sunday's premiere, which was seen by 4.5 million viewers, Ben uses his alien-provided super-strength to grab Hal's arms and force him to the ground. It's not a position Hal is used to being in with his little brother, and not one the 17-year-old Jessup expected to be in with 26-year-old Roy.

"In real life Drew is so ... much more muscular than I am and in a real fight he would destroy me—like without question he would obliterate me," Jessup said, laughing. "Most of that scene is just him acting it and me just kind of like putting my hands in the right place.

"It was definitely good for my ego, though."

Roy, who I interviewed separately before seeing the episode or before talking with Jessup, said it wasn't good for Hal's ego.

"Hal gets embarrassed in front of his girl," Roy said, speaking of Maggie (Sarah Carter), who shared some flirtatious moment with Hal in the premiere. "That sets the tone for Ben and Hal."

Roy added that Ben's journey is one of the most interesting of the season, and that Jessup "does an excellent job of it."

Jessup's character may be beating up Roy's, but Roy is solidly the winner in the actors' race to get the most Twitter followers.

"I have like 3,100 followers, which is OK, but he's killing me," Jessup said. "He has like 60,000. He's wiping me off the face of the earth in terms of Twitter because he has the unfair advantage of having 'Hannah Montana' and 'iCarly.' So he kind of had a head start on me, but hopefully, with this season I can catch up a little bit."

As of 2:45 p.m. Monday, @connorjessup has 3,828 followers while @drew_roy has 58,286. Jessup talks more about working with Roy below, and gives a tantalizing tease about what could happen later this season.

Read my previous Jessup interview here. I'll post my full interview with Roy later this week.
 
CONNOR JESSUP
You talked about the clashes between Ben and Hal. What was it like changing that dynamic opposite Drew Roy now that the brothers aren’t getting along?
Drew and I hate each other! No, Drew is amazing. I’d done a little bit with Drew last season; not a lot. And this season one of the main elements of his character and my character is this kind of newfound tension, which results from Tom going missing and Hal kind of stepping up to the plate as kind of the parental character in the family.

We kind of joke that everyone took a step up because Tom went away and Hal kind of took over Tom’s role and I kind of took over Hal’s role. Hal last season was the bull-headed, stubborn one who would ignore orders and who just wanted to kill those aliens. And now that’s me and he’s become the responsible one. And so that’s kind of where the tension comes from.

I really love playing scenes with Drew. Some of my favorite scenes in the entire season were the ones I had with Drew because he’s such a nice guy and good actor. And he’s really, really giving as an actor in terms of like he’s up for anything. He has great ideas and he’s not much older than me—he’s like 25 and I’m almost 18—so he really has this sort of half-friend, half-older brother kind of relationship going with me in that he’s very relaxed but also very helpful.

So it’s really fun working with Drew. If you know him at all, you know that he’s like—he’s a southern guy. He’s laid back, he’s easy to work with. There’s no tension in scenes with Drew. It’s just easy work, and by easy work I don’t mean like the scenes are easy, I mean he’s easy to work with, which is always super-appreciated.

Were you surprised by things in this season’s scripts?
Yeah, in almost every episode pretty much. There are some mysteries surrounding me in terms of like where I’m going. There are mysteries surrounding various other characters who pop up along the way. There are mysteries about origins of aliens that I really can’t talk about freely. ... And there’s a whole new element, I can’t talk about it freely, but there’s a whole new element that’s added this season in terms of the aliens that I just totally didn’t see coming. ... You find out about it I think about Episode 5 or 6. Again, I can’t talk about it at all, but it’s really interesting and adds a whole new dimension to everything.

DREW ROY
How has it been being the man of the house, so to speak, with Hal's brothers?
That's exactly what he had to do. That was one of the fun parts of playing this second season and being Hal. In the first season Hal was dwelling into himself. He was still very much a teenager, and he still had his dad there to hold him back if necessary or push him in the right direction.

Now that Tom has stepped onto some ship and never came back, I think at three months that hope that maybe we're going to find him is really turning into a small little flicker of an idea. We have to keep on pushing, because these aliens are pursuing us now. We had this huge battle that really depleted our numbers. You find Hal taking care of Matt and Ben. At the same time, we're having a little trouble with the relationship between Hal and Ben, because Ben is growing into himself and he's going through some tough times. A lot of people are very nervous about him being in camp, because of his being harnessed and what all does that mean. What will that amount to? Whose side is he on? At the same time, that's my brother. Hal's going to look after him.

Ben sort of has this rebellious streak in him as well that Hal has. There's some tension between the two guys because they're both trying to be the man of the house. We're going to find that Ben now has an incredible amount of strength along with some other interesting little things that this skitter blood has given him. That's the first time that Ben has been able to put Hal in his place the way that Hal has always put Ben in his place as they were growing up.

Is this just a result of harnessing everything, or is this a regular kid rebellious streak thing but it just so happens that he could kick your butt?
It's sort of a culmination of the two, yes. Because of being harnessed in the same way in the first season there were several members of the sect in Massachusetts that were a bit skeptical of these kids who have been harnessed and were now back at camp. Are they sleeper cells for the aliens, or are they still the kid that they used to be, but they just have the spots on their backs? All of that has progressed. The harness is gone, but the effects are still there. People are still very curious as to what's going on with them. He's finding himself in a position of being an outcast. That's why I just made him feel a bit awkward. He has this completely hate for skitters in the second season. In the opening sequence he's shooting every skitter he can see and even putting people in danger to make sure that a skitter is completely dead, as opposed to wounded and we're just going to leave him. So yeah, we find Ben in a situation where it feels like he's on the outside, and Hal's trying to take care of him. At the same time he's finding a little resistance there from Ben.