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Drew Roy: Change in career choice pays off for "Falling Skies" actor

Melissa Hayer Modified: July 8, 2013 at 5:00 pm •  Published: June 4, 2013
Drew Roy plays Hal Mason in "Falling Skies." - Photo by James Dittiger/TNT
Drew Roy plays Hal Mason in "Falling Skies." - Photo by James Dittiger/TNT
Sarah Carter and Drew Roy star in "Falling Skies." - Photo by James Dittiger/TNT
Sarah Carter and Drew Roy star in "Falling Skies." - Photo by James Dittiger/TNT

(A version of this story was published in the June 7, 2013 Weekend Look section of The Oklahoman.)

Acting wasn’t the first career Drew Roy was interested in while growing up in Clanton, Ala.

But a group of musician friends moving to California influenced a decision that would change the “Falling Skies” star’s life.

“When I turned 18, I was going to go to college. I always wanted to be a doctor. Then I had five buddies who were all in a band, and they decided they were going to move out to L.A. to play music,” Roy said during a phone interview with The Oklahoman.

“And, I thought, you know what, I’ve never been on stage, and I’ve never been in front of a camera, but I feel like I could be an actor. (Laughter) And I went for it. Anybody who just read that, a really dumb decision. I’ll just go ahead and say dumb. I’ve had a lot of luck, and a lot of hard work went into it, but, you know, I guess if you feel like trying something, I guess you would always regret it if you didn’t. So, that’s what I did.”

The move paid off for Roy, 27, who has appeared in such projects as “Secretariat,” “Hannah Montana” and “Lincoln Heights” before taking on the role of Hal Mason in “Falling Skies.” The sci-fi drama will begin its third season with a two-hour premiere at 8 p.m. Sunday on TNT.

Roy’s character is the oldest son of Tom Mason (Noah Wyle), who has been a leader in the 2nd Mass military resistance group fighting for survival against a devastating alien attack on Earth.

Hal’s story line has taken a darker turn this season, which picks up seven months after the end of last season. He was infected with a bug by alien ally Karen (Jessy Schram) in the second season finale.

This infection resulted in Hal being paralyzed, but, through therapy, he’s been able to recover except for the use of his legs.

This has also affected his relationship with love interest Maggie (Sarah Carter). Roy cites the trust the actors have with each other as a plus in portraying this aspect of their roles together, and the two often discuss talk over elements involving their characters.

“Our biggest talk this year was just how this paralysis was going to be with the two of us,” Roy said. ”She thought of a very interesting thing, that with Maggie’s past being as dark as it is, that having a lover could be very difficult for her. So, the physical side of things has really been removed from their relationship, and they’re almost like an old married couple, that she’s having to help take care of him. That has actually slowed down how close they’ve been able to get on a physical level, and it’s much deeper than that now. That was a very interesting thing to get to play and explore.”

The actor has relished playing such a different side of his character.

“This season, with Hal struggling with the good and bad, it all culminates in the sixth hour of this third season,” Roy said. “I definitely get to walk the line of being bad, and it was an absolute blast. They wrote several scenes that were just really deep and involved. A lot of family issues along with this bug that Karen has put in me. And it’s definitely my favorite episode that I have filmed in this entire series and probably my most proud work that I’ve done in anything I’ve ever shot in my career.”

– Melissa  Hayer

Follow me on Twitter:@MelissaHayer