Falling Skies returned for its fourth season this past weekend on TNT, and premieres tonight in Canada on Super Channel. As you may recall from Season 3, Tom and Anne’s daughter Lexi was growing at an alarming rate, and in the Season 4 premiere, Lexi is now a young woman. Last week, we chatted with actress Scarlett Byrne about becoming Lexi and stepping into the post-alien invasion world of Falling Skies.
The first episode was a bit of a shock. I knew that Lexi was growing quickly, but I didn’t expect it to be *that* quickly. What did you know about your character before stepping into this role?
When I first got [the role], it wasn’t until I sat down with Greg Beeman and had a meeting with David Eick that i realized how significant Lexi was going to be for Season 4. Before, I really didn’t know that much. I knew that she has this innocent and naive quality about her because she’s still a child yet in this young woman’s body. The next time everyone sees her, she’s got blonde hair and light eyes. She’s constantly developing and changing as a character.
For me as an actress, it was so much fun and I feel very privileged to be playing her. It’s such a dream to play a hybrid alien/human, but at the same time, she’s very complex. She’s definitely not one-dimensional.
In the season premiere, we quickly see a pacifist community trying to live in harmony with the Espheni, and Lexi is a big part of trying to promote this as being good for all of humanity. This makes me a bit uneasy. Would you say that we should be on guard when it comes to Lexi?
Yes. She’s not fully human and at the same time, at the beginning, she holds a lot more alien qualities, and she’s trying to get in touch more with her more human qualities and she works on that through the season once she gets more in contact with the other characters.
Everyone is split up due to the events in the first few minutes of the episode, but two of Lexi’s brothers are nearby. Her reunion with Ben doesn’t go so well. Are we going to see more tension-filled interactions between her and her family?
I know. Ben was very shocked. He was in a coma for four months and when he wakes up, his baby sister is suddenly not [a] baby any more. He’s confused that he’s in such a safe place. For Ben, Maggie and Lourdes, I think this is the first time that they found themselves in a safe place since the invasion hit. Ben doesn’t believe any of it, he doesn’t believe that what Lourdes is saying is true. Eventually, everyone does slowly come back together.
Lexi and Lourdes have always shared a unique relationship, and you could say that Lourdes is Lexi’s acolyte. Can you talk a bit about the dynamic between these characters?
Yes, that’s one of my favourites. The relationship that Lexi and Lourdes have is very special. When people in general are faced with the unknown, they’re scared and they’re frightened. When a lot of the characters meet Lexi when she’s like this, a lot of them fear her, or they’re uneasy about her, but with Lourdes, there is no doubt that she would do anything for Lexi. They have this relationship almost like best friends, this undying love for each other where Lourdes really would do anything for [Lexi]. But at the same time, you have to remember that Lourdes birthed Lexi, she’s been there since the very beginning, and Lexi saved Lourdes from the alien eye worms. So Lourdes feels like she owes a lot to Lexi. Lourdes is definitely Lexi’s number one follower and supporter. You can’t get to Lexi without going through Lourdes.
What was your experience joining a series with a large ensemble cast and entering a story already in progress?
The only way I can relate it to anything is like moving to a new school, or joining this family that has been so close-knit for 3 or 4 years, and they could not have been more welcoming and more supportive. This season is really so different to the other seasons and I really hope the fans enjoy watching it as much as I’ve enjoyed being a part of it.
Having been in the Harry Potter films, this is not the first time you’ve been a part of something with a huge fan community. Are you looking forward to interacting with Falling Skies fans?
I’ve obviously had experience meeting Harry Potter fans and they are the most diehard, passionate sort of fan base I could ever wish for. I haven’t met the Falling Skies fan base but I have heard that they are passionate and I’m very excited to see the fans.
Can you tell us a bit about the challenges working against a green screen or in scenes with characters that aren’t right there with you?
There’s obviously a lot of imagination and we already know what some of these aliens look like, but it can be challenging. Getting on set and talking to a ball instead of a person, or there’s someone in a suit and I’m having my eye line not be totally somewhere else. I do have a lot of fun doing it. I’ve seen some of the ADR and really does look great. I was watching the first episode and the visual effects really are amazing considering this is a TV show. It does feel like a feature film and there are so many qualities that I relate to. [The process] is funny and awkward and bizarre at the same time, but when you see the final product, it’s just incredible what this [team] can do.
Photo Courtesy of TNT