Drew Roy, one of the stars of TNT's Falling Skies, says he feels like pinching himself every day that he's on the set, just to make sure this dream job of his is real. "From the very beginning, from the day I got to audition, I was in heaven," says Roy, who plays a teen resistance fighter battling alien invaders. "I could have bombed the audition and not gotten the job and still been happy, because this is a Steven Spielberg production. Just to be a blip on his radar was enough for me." But Roy got the role of Hal, the son of Noah Wyle's Tom, and the experience just keeps getting "cooler and cooler," he says. "Hal is a 17-year-old kid who should be in high school playing sports, but he has been put in this position of leadership," Roy says. "He has a gun, he's fighting for his life and he's having to protect others. What an amazing character. I get to do action sequences. There are love interests and as a red-blooded American male, I can't complain about that. And there's lots of meaty dialog. I mean, I would be greedy to want anything more." But more he will get. Falling Skies, which ends season 1 at 8 p.m. CT Sunday, Aug. 7, recently got a Season 2 pickup.
Are you a fan of science fiction?
"Here's my thing. I'm all about some sci-fi, but I'm not going to rush out to see something just because it's sci-fi. I am going to want to see something because it's a great story. Whatever genre, if it's a good story, I'll watch it. But if you don't have a good story to tell, I'm not necessarily on board. So often in science fiction, people abuse science fiction just for the sake of making some nasty alien creature or some wild planet or something. When science fiction is truly great is when it has some extra meaning, some other issue from our world that can be expressed through the aliens. I like our show because I feel like we do that."
Would you be surprised if, one day, we were visited by alien beings?
"The odds are that there is something out there. But I don't believe there is. You can argue either way. And who's right? Nobody knows for sure. But I feel like we are the only people here. If there is something else, great, that would be interesting. And I don't know if they would be these horrible aliens that we often make them out to be. They might be just normal people and just as surprised to find us as we would be to find them. But I don't think I believe that there are aliens. Having said that, if I'm watching the news tonight and spaceships start flying over, I'll admit I'm wrong and I'll be very interested to meet these people."
What do you think of your TV dad, Noah Wyle, as an actor and as a person?
"Noah has been amazing to work with, from the first audition that I met him. I didn't know he was going to be there. It was supposed to just be another audition. But he did a chemistry read with a couple of us. In the scene, he's supposed to throw me a clip of ammo. And in the actual scene, he reaches into his pocket and grabs his phone and tosses it to me. I catch his phone and I'm thinking, 'Wow, he trusts me. Noah Wyle! I grew up watching him on ER!' And then I thought, 'Good thing I didn't drop his phone and break it.' If that had happened, some other kid might be playing Hal today."
Spielberg is a living legend in this business. Have you spent much time with him?
"When we were shooting the pilot, he did a surprise fly-in and showed up on set. He was behind the monitors, watching the scene I was doing. That was a little nerve-wracking at first. Because, well, he's Steven Spielberg. My favorite movie of all times is Saving Private Ryan. But then I told myself, 'No, don't worry. He basically hired you to do this job. All's good.' So afterward, another producer took me over to introduce me to him. And we talked a little. He wanted to see the dirt bike that I drive in the show. So he and I go off walking about 40 yards away from everybody else. We're talking about my dirt bike, just chatting about things. I can't even tell you what we were talking about, because it was a surreal moment. And dirt bikes somehow got us to the topic of horse riding. I didn't know anything about horses. I was like, 'Man, if only I knew something!' Then, coincidentally, as soon as I finished shooting the pilot, I was cast in the movie Secretariat. So now I'm like, 'I can't wait to hear what he talks about next.'"