If you’re into sci-fi, Connor Jessup says the third season of “Falling Skies” is the season for you! The TNT science-fiction series, which follows survivors of an alien invasion on earth on their path as they fight for their lives back, kicks off the month of June with the launch of its third season which Jessup says will in many ways be a game changer. If you already tune in into the drama, you know that Jessup’s character of Ben Mason has been on a quite a journey since we first met him back in season one. In a recent interview, Jessup discussed how much he has been enjoying playing the evolution of Ben and how it has allowed him to grow as an actor. He also shared what viewers can expect from the new season which he says will be full of fresh twists and turns for everyone!
You are in your third season now with “Falling Skies”, do you feel you have grown as an actor throughout the journey with it?
Connor- Yes, definitely. I’ve been working on the show since 2009. It’s been four years and I’m only 18 so I’ve spent a significant portion of my adolescence working on Falling Skies. So, I have kind of grown up on the show. All of us young actors have. Max. They are big years. I’ve grown a lot as a person and as an actor too, I hope. I’ve been surrounded by such talented people for so long. Hopefully a little bit of it has rubbed off. If not, I’ve tried to make it rub off and they’ve tried to make it rub off. It’s been good. It’s changed my life. The first season I wasn’t in nearly as much, I came in a few episodes later than most people so I sort of felt like a glorified guest star on season one. The second and third season, we moved to Vancouver and my part expanded. I got older. I really felt like everyone became a family up there. It’s just been a really great experience.
Your character Ben Mason is much different now than he was in the first season, what are you most enjoying about him and how he has been evolving?
Connor- Ben has really grown a character. I think in an interesting way. In season one he was very much a civilian. He went through a lot in season two that came to a head. He became much more conflicted and became a darker character. He became a more violent a character; to the point of almost being unsure of which way he was going to fall. I know in season two I had no idea if he was going to end up being redeemed as a character or not. And that was really interesting and a major departure from season one. And then at the end of season two brought a little bit of closure with Red Eye’s death. Red Eye kind of gave me permission to go back to my family and to regain my humanity. There was a little bit of a full circle back to season one. And now in season three, seven months have passed; and Ben, although still a fighter, still using his strange abilities for I guess violent purposes, has regained the humor and the likeness that was absent in the beginning of the second season. There’s a little bit of a cycle of the character. He’s very close to his father, but also, he is much more understanding now as a person because of what he has been through. So it’s been an interesting transition. It’s been awesome!
It’s got to be interesting for you as an actor to play a character with many layers to him. He’s not the same season to season.
Connor- Right. It’s easy on television for a character to become static and I was lucky enough to get a nicely developed story kind of given to me. If you play the same thing every week, not only does it get a little bit boring, but it must get a little bit boring to watch as well. But this arc that Ben has been going through it’s that in a film. It’s cinematic art. The struggle against darkness, against isolation. That’s interesting to play and hopefully it’s interesting to watch. In many ways it’s been a coming of age story.
What can viewers expect from the new season?
Connor- The scope of the show has really opened up in season three; in terms of the new aliens who have come down and have brought in a new whole batch of questions. It’s become a more universal place. Previously, the single resistance group has been a single part of the United States and now there is a little more than that. He has settled into Charleston, he has built a community, his dad becomes President. So things have gotten bigger and the question surrounding sort of the scene for season three in many ways is rebuilding. Season one we were introduced to everybody. Season two was on the move and finding our way back to Charleston. And now, we’re trying to find that more perfect union. We’re trying to see if we can rebuild society and if we can kind of regain a sense of normalcy and humanity in this place. And the challenge this season will be to see how long that can last and how successful that will be. That is a human story in many ways. Kyle, Ben, and Matt have to deal with the fact their dad is now the President and is busy. Things have changed for all of us and we’re trying to adjust to life. Maybe, the question kind of liberating in the air is maybe we won’t be able to go back to the way things were but maybe that’s okay. Maybe we can build something else.
Do you think the new aliens will possibly be a game changer this season?
Connor– Well certainly, it changes everything because not only do they bring new questions, they also bring new technology. The tide of war has changed dramatically and some of the humans long on the run, have started coming back and successfully winning battles. And because of this people are becoming optimistic, thinking that maybe an actual victory war is not only possible, but likely. So the entire direction of the show has changed and we’ve stopped running and we’ve started pushing. And that’s all because of the aliens and the affect that they have had on our society. So, yes they are a game changer. The show changes very much. It’s still recognizable, but it’s different.
Of the three seasons, is there one storyline that has really stood out to you as an actor? The most challenging or one you most enjoyed?
Connor- Yes. There is this girl who has the same traits as Ben. Last season it was all about how crappy it was to have these super-human traits, and now we’re starting to see because of this unit and because of these people, I don’t feel as alone now. And I’m starting to talk about how we can do things that no one else can do. We can accomplish missions and have things for fighting that no one else does. In a way we’re invaluable to the war effort. We’re useful. We have a purpose. Because of these terrible things that have happened to us, we have a purpose. So that storyline; having to deal with the balance or the weight upon one side used to be a terrible thing; it was affecting me, it was changing me, and on the other hand it’s doing good. It seems to be helping people at this moment in time. So having to play that conflict was very interesting, and different, and challenging. And it showed all these other elements of the role. They have brought in all this other technology. Maybe they have something that could fix me for good. So the possibility of being fixed ,which is something that always seems fantastic, that element has been thrown into it as well. So it becomes a conflict very different from season one and season two but similar. content. That was interesting.
Any final words you would like to say on the new season of “Falling Skies” ?
Connor- Just that I hope everyone will tune in because I really feel like season three the writers have decided to take the show in a fresh direction to make it interesting for the characters and to really explore the seeds that were planted from the two seasons. And so I think that if you enjoyed the first two, you should not miss this season. And if you’re sci-fi fan, this is the sci-fi season for you. The mysteries become more exciting and lead to more questions and answers.
Keep up with Connor Jessup on Twitter at @ConnorJessup
The new season of Falling Skies premieres Sunday, June 9 on TNT.