(This story was published in the Life section of The Oklahoman June 23, 2012.)
Angst is often a trait that comes along with being a teen, and it’s
likely to be even more prominent if you’re a teen living in a world
that’s been decimated by aliens.
Toronto native Connor Jessup, 18, talked during a recent phone interview
about conveying that angst as he plays Ben, the middle son of former
history professor Tom Mason (Noah Wyle), in the sci-fi drama “Falling
Ben has a reason for being so anxious, because, along with some other
young people, he was kidnapped by aliens in the first season of the
series, and the aliens attached a biomechanical harness to his back.
Although the harness itself was removed, the remaining spikes have
mysterious effects on him.
He is now fighting in the 2nd Mass, a military resistance group made up
of survivors of the alien attack.
“He’s very conflicted. He’s very confused,” Jessup said of his
character. “I like to use the word ‘angst,’ even though it has a
negative connotation these days in popular culture, because it is angst.
It’s fairly typical teenage angst on steroids, puberty on steroids, I
like to say.”
The actor, whose talents also include writing, directing, producing and
editing, appreciates the expansion of his role in the second season of
“Falling Skies,” which also stars Will Patton, Moon Bloodgood, Drew Roy
and Maxim Knight and airs at 8 p.m. Sundays on TNT.
“As mysteries get peeled back, he kind of gets more complex scenes with
the aliens. Maybe everything’s not as it seemed, maybe everything’s not
as evil as it seemed. Maybe it’s not so black and white as he would’ve
liked it in his violent rage,” Jessup said.
“To have a character to play that actually has development and change
over the course of each episode is a lot of fun … He’s a very rich
character in terms of he gives me a lot to play with. I enjoy playing
angst. It’s a lot of fun to stare gloomily into the distance. But beyond
that, another fun element of the season was that I got to be involved in
The overall pace of the show has picked up this season, featuring more
tension among the survivors and combat with the aliens.
“Every episode we’re moving somewhere else. The most we ever stay at one
place is two episodes, and then we move on because now we’re on a
journey. There’s much more kinetic energy to it. There’s more action,
it’s a little bit grittier, a little bit darker. I think everything’s
just kind of been raised up a notch in general,” Jessup said.
As for what’s ahead for “Falling Skies,” Jessup provided this hint:
“A lot of mysteries get brought up and revealed this season … You’ll
find around halfway through the season that the aliens, they’re more
complex characters than we think they are. There’s more to them than
just the evil invaders. There’s more sides than we were expecting, so
the conflict becomes much more complicated.”
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