In tonight’s Alphas episode, titled “Falling”, Syfy delivers one of the series’ most stuntastic and emotionally fraught stories to date. Now on hiatus after wrapping Season Two, Warren Christie (a.k.a. Agent Cameron Hicks) took time to address the press and talk about the upcoming upheaval in the second half of Alphas‘ sophomore season as well as tonight’s emotional turning-point story. In “Falling” we accompany Kat on her first official field mission, witness the heartbreak of familial betrayal, and, are treated to a stirring father-son episode showcasing Hicks with his young son Tyler.
“I think “Falling” is a real nice episode.” Warren shares, “It’s some of the most rewarding stuff I’ve gotten to do because we show such a different side to Cameron. It was interesting because it was the first time, I think, in any of the episodes in two seasons that I had no stunts and I wasn’t shooting any guns but it was incredibly rewarding and a real nice episode to get to do. The relationship with his son, which has been a bit fractured, has always been an important part of who Hicks is and in this episode we get to see how they interact, where they’re at and how they want to push forward. He’s really trying to fix the mistakes he’s made as a father in the past and make things as happy for himself as he can.” Expounding, “In the first season we learned that Hicks is not a big fan of pressure but he’s changing and he’s kind of growing up and trying to pull his life together. He’s really trying to be the best father that he can be and he’s trying to make his relationship with Dani Rosen work. He’s fallen for her and he really wants to make it work. His main focus now is trying to create this life with Dani. Tonight in “Falling” we see how his son comes into play and how he’s a part of that.”
In last week’s episode (titled “Gods and Monsters”) viewers learned along with Dr. Rosen that his daughter has been associating with his arch-nemesis Stanton Parish (played by John Pyper-Ferguson) leading the team to assume she’s the traitorous mole they’ve been looking for. “Now we’re going to see the ripple effects of how it affects everyone on the team and especially Cameron because of how hard Cameron’s fallen for her.” Christie reveals, “He’s about to have his world flipped upside down. I think that our second half of this season is really going to ramp things up a lot and show a lot of different sides to different people. I can’t give too much away, but Hicks is going to have a very sole focus with what’s coming up in the future. His agenda’s going to change massively and he’s going to take a bit of a different path.” Will Dr. Rosen and Hicks bond over the impending upheaval or will it force them to be at odds? “We’re going to see their relationship change multiple times over a short span of time. It’s a lot to take in. You’re talking about Rosen’s daughter and the girl Hicks is in love with. The fallout from what’s going to happen will be quite large.”
The role of Danielle ‘Dani’ Rosen is portrayed by lovely Canadian born actress Kathleen Munroe (Call Me Fitz, Beautiful People). I asked Warren to describe the experience of working with her so closely this season. “We have a lot of fun. I think she’s a phenomenal actress. I think the stuff that she’s done with Dani – the way she’s fleshed this character out and brought it to life – has been really incredible because she’s towing the line, you know, she’s not a good guy and she’s not a bad guy. She’s just a person who’s trying to live her life and make these choices as someone who’s made a tough choice in the past. We share some great scenes and some incredible stuff coming up this year.”
I next asked what it’s been like working with new addition Erin Way (a.k.a. Kat). “She’s really just a treat to work with. She’s a sweetheart, an incredibly hard worker and she’s got the greatest laugh. She’s adorable. People have really taken to her as Kat and I think that’s because that’s just who she is; she’s a really likeable, loveable person. It’s one of those things where two seconds after seeing her doing it you cannot see another person in the role and I think that’s maybe the ultimate compliment. She walked into the second season of a group that’s quite close and right off the top mixed right in and was a perfect addition to our little dysfunctional group. She and I also have more stuff together as the season goes along. I think the stuff that she’s done with Kat has been really great.”
Warren’s real life wife, Sonya Salomaa, is an accomplished sci-fi actress in her own right with projects such as Stargate SG-1, Supernatural and Watchmen in her filmography. I wondered if her guesting on Alphas sounded like an appealing proposition to him, “Yeah, I’d love to see her on Alphas. She’s beautiful and incredibly talented and given the right character I think she could really blow it out of the water. We haven’t really worked together too much but I think it’d be great to see her pop up on our show. If we’re fortunate enough to go forward with another season I think she could bring a lot to a character.”
Still on the subject of guest stars, Christie took questions about upcoming guest Sean Astin, memorable first season guest Brent Spiner and semi-regular John Pyper-Ferguson. “Brent Spiner was really great in the first season and he’s just the nicest man on the planet. He was just super sweet and he had a really cool ability. He was definitely one of my faves.” Continuing, “Sean Astin and I have a bunch of stuff that comes up this season. Our paths cross quite a bit, and, he’s just a very, very cool guy. He’s very funny, incredibly sweet and very fun to be around and work with. He likes coming to work and brings that energy with him. We were in a couple of remote locations and the last thing you want is to be stuck out there with some boring guy. But he was great and we had a lot of fun. We’ve had a lot of really great people come in and we’re fortunate that people want to come on our show. I think we have a really fun show and hopefully that draws more people to it.”
Regarding John Pyper-Ferguson, Warren divulged, “Pypes is a really great guy and a great actor. I can’t say enough about what he’s been doing as Stanton Parish. The scenes between he and David (Strathairn) are always so incredible because Pypes brings such a presence and such a weight to Parish. The two of them, together, are having such a great chess match. Every time I see him pop on the screen there’s just such a presence about him. The minute a word comes out of his mouth I’m like, “okay, well that’s Stanton Parish and nobody else can play him.””
Pondering on what makes Alphas so special and so embraced by fans Christie elaborates, “We have some amazing stunts and amazing explosions week-to-week but at the end of the day when you strip all that away I’d like to hope it’s our beautifully flawed characters, abilities aside, that people relate to. I think fully realized characters are what keep people coming back – I think that’s the key. They’re struggling but they’re all working very hard to be the best people they can be and I think that that struggle is ultimately what we all want to watch. We want to see people struggle. We want to see them strive to succeed. And I think we have some great characters and that the writers have done a really nice job of fleshing them out and changing them. You’re going to see more changes in them as the season goes along. Some events will happen that cause a lot of changes within the characters and there’s going to be shifts that I think are very exciting. What happens will change some of them forever. It’s really big.”
I concluded my time with Warren by asking a couple superhero related questions. As Alphas is a super-powered show I was curious if he’d ever collected comic books and, if so, which superheroes and/or teams were his favorites? “Oh yeah,” he confessed, “I collected comic books like crazy when I was young. I was big into X-Men. For me it was the one – the first one I fell in love with and the one I collected for years and years and years. And also Wolverine, obviously everyone loves that character. I also really love Gambit. As an adult, I actually do still own one comic. I don’t know if most of you out there know this but I’m Canadian, born in Ireland and raised in Canada. So I have issue #1 from, I believe 1975, of a comic book called Captain Canuck. It’s a very little known comic book that was created up here in Canada as, I assume, our answer to Captain America. I tracked it down years ago as a little bit of fun nostalgia and I still own that one comic book today.”
Being a fellow X-Men fanatic myself, I couldn’t resist noting Alphas similarity to the The X-Men franchise – particularly in light of X-scribe Zak Penn being the series’ co-creator. “That’s the thrill of it,” Christie enthused “and I love those movies too, though, obviously we’re a different breed. I think after a season and a half in we’ve set ourselves apart from those films and certain other shows. We said early on that we’re not trying to reinvent the wheel. But yeah, there’s always gonna be those comparisons made but as long as they’re to great things like The X-Men I think we’re all quite fine with it.” Adding a final reminder about the remaining half of Alphas‘ second season, “We’ve got some cool stuff coming up and I really hope fans enjoy it.”
A super-cool way to expand your enjoyment of Syfy’s super-hit Alphas is to download the Syfy App for Xbox LIVE, free to all Xbox LIVE GOLD subscribers. Xbox LIVE transforms your Xbox 360 gaming console into a fully connected entertainment experience. If you don’t own an Xbox or, perhaps, already have the app, don’t forget to check-in to GetGlue during tonight’s episode, beginning @ 8pm, to unlock an exclusive sticker featuring Erin Way as Kat. You can also grab a sneak peek of the powerful episode, “Falling,” by viewing the video clip below.