Colin Cunningham: Falling Skies’ Lovable Bad Boy John Pope

Ah, the lovable bad boy … TV viewers have fallen for the likes of LOST‘s Sawyer, The Walking Dead‘s Daryl Dixon, and now Falling Skies‘ John Pope! Intern extraordinaire Emily was in the Falling Skies press room at San Diego Comic-Con last month, which included chatting with the man behind Pope, Colin Cunningham. Here are some of the highlights.

While all characters on Falling Skies have changed since the start of the series, Pope’s is one of the most notable. Cunningham shared this about his character’s development:

“What’s nice about it is that it’s subtle. It’s not a complete flip. He’s still him but he’s doing things that he wouldn’t have necessarily done two years ago. I have to hand that to Remi [Aubuchon] and the rest of the great writers on the show for doing that.”

Pope is definitely still a badass but less of a live wire. He’s much more calculating and not as impulsive. Pope’s arrest in this season’s “The Pickett Line” really showcased this. Cunningham observed:

“I think that if that arrest scene had taken place in the first season, [Pope] would have fought it [and said] screw you. Now he’s more ‘Let’s go see what this is going to be like. You’re going to arrest me. Let’s see what that plays out to be.'”

While the exact history between Pope and Maggie has never really been detailed, Cunningham has his own idea of what actually went down and uses it to inform his portrayal of the character:

“When I have my scenes with Maggie, with Sarah [Carter] – I always think that there’s a sexual history. That’s what I’ve played as the subtext, and she’s always played the ‘Hell no we don’t.’ So you’ve got one character where there’s always an intimacy that’s happening with the other character, but the other character is like, ‘Get out of here.’ Was it in his head, or is she lying?”

Is it possible for Pope to be truly happy? Cunningham jokingly replied, “I think the show will be over (laughs). Pope with a white picket fence mowing a lawn, I think that would be the end of Falling Skies.”

He also added, “I hope he stays angry and pissed off. It’s a great character to have, to add crap to the Masons and the whole situation, it’s a great part. I hope all of that animosity and crazy stuff keeps on going because it’s been working.”

He went on to say this about the character:

“Pope’s a pessimist and happy about it. He’s like, we’re all dead, so therefore it’s the most liberating thing in the world. I don’t care, this is it, and I have no expectation to live let alone the next hour if the next day. He’s free to do and think and say anything. He’s fearless because there’s nothing left to live for so he might as well live for the moment, and I think that’s what he does.”

Photo Courtesy of TNT

2 thoughts on “Colin Cunningham: Falling Skies’ Lovable Bad Boy John Pope

  1. this show are so badly written. characters making insane choices and others responding to them in ways only to trigger certain emotional responses in the viewer. portraying the entire us. population as stupid and unable to function psychologically in a post apocalyptic world. the monologue are the equivalent of conversations between teenagers having trouble with choosing the right color lases for their designer shoes. its 90210 on crack

  2. Colin Cunningham are doing a fair job though. love and hate the character. monologue somewhat bearable, hate that someone doesn’t shoots his leg of just to see him bleed. why on earth the keep him around eludes me. he might be a ok fighter but all he does are bitch and moan. if the badass he is cant handle the environment he willingly have placed himself in why does he stay with the 2. mass. he portrayed as this “lone ranger” however he seems like a 12 year old girl bitching about house rules

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