‘Falling Skies’: Noah Wyle gets high praise from co-star Moon Bloodgood

It”s the beginning of the end for “Falling Skies” tonight. The TNT series, produced by Steven Spielberg, airs the finale of its fifth and final season, when all manner of beasts and mutants are running rampant on Earth.

Season 5 picks up right where season 4 left off (a first for a “Falling Skies” premiere – find out why in HitFix”s Q&A with the series' showrunner). Dr. Anne Glass, played by Moon Bloodgood, is dealing with the likely loss of her alien hybrid child and her husband (“ER” alum Noah Wyle) when the two of them haven”t returned from their crucial mission to the moon.

Here Bloodgood tells HitFix how Anne steps up as a leader in the fight for humanity”s survival against the invading aliens. The actress also talks about which character gets an intense showdown with Anne, how becoming a mother has changed her as an actress, and what it”s been like to work with “Battlestar Galactica” alum David Eick, who took the helm of “Falling Skies” as showrunner for seasons 4 and 5.

HitFix: It”s been about five months since you wrapped shooting. How are you feeling about saying goodbye to the series and this family at this point?

Moon Bloodgood: I”m more sad now. I was definitely one of the most emotional ones when it ended. But I was ready for it to end because I didn”t know where we would go after five seasons, and maybe I was a little tired of bringing my whole family to Canada for five months and then moving home. But honestly, I miss it so much, I do. I miss seeing everybody, all of us getting together and collectively bitching and moaning about totally obscure things.

It is the biggest thing I”ve ever done in my life. Five seasons. I”ve never had to play a character that long and be with people that long and learn how to be with people that were different than me for that long. I learned so much on the show. I learned a lot from Noah. I”m going to miss playing Anne. I”m not going to miss the [Vancouver] weather, but I”m going to miss the crew and the people I saw every day. I saw them more than my own family.

What did you learn from Noah Wyle?

Oh my goodness. I learned so much. First of all, he”s one of the smartest people I”ve ever met. Watching him break down like a scene and a script and what he wanted out of the show was so educational for all of us. I don”t think there”s an actor on that show who can”t say they didn”t learn from Noah. He”s a natural director and a natural writer. But do you know what it is? It”s his style. Like he has really good style. And I don”t mean like clothes style. I mean just style in what he thinks is good for actors, what he thinks is good for story. What he thinks is good for how the show should look.  I learned a lot about how to be – just the creative process like how to be a better actor and how to set up a scene and, you know, watching for his teammate.  And he tells so many stories.  I can”t tell you how much I”ve learned. He”s one of the most interesting human beings I”ve ever met, and I really think we all felt that way. He”s complicated and funny and so smart. And just talented, you know, he was meant to be in this business.

With you guys going through showrunner changes more than once, it sounds like Noah was a really consistent vision and leader throughout the series.

Oh yeah, there”s no doubt in my mind that our show would not be the show it was without Noah. And that”s not to say that Spielberg and producers and other people – of course that”s a big part of it. But he was – like you said, he was the one thing that was consistent. He was in the trenches with us.

Let”s talk about where Anne is as we start season 5. Presumably she”s dealing with the loss of another child this season after Lexi”s self-sacrificing trip to the moon. How is Anne handling that? I assume she gets the news somehow.

Yeah, she does. Lexi and Tom are not returning from the moon, and I am devastated. I have to keep their spirits up because they”ve lost their leader and that was supposed to be it. We were supposed to go to the moon, and that was supposed to be the end of [the war], and that”s not the end, like so many times.  So Anne this year has to be more in a leadership position. Not that she wants to, but because Tom is missing. I don”t know how much I can say about that.

She”s also healing – trying to heal from losing her daughter. She has a really beautiful moment with another character where I think she finds some sense of closure. And it was so beautiful to play. It”s my favorite episode. I can”t wait for you to see it.

Which episode was that? And which character?

I think it”s the fourth episode, and I wish I could tell you who it was, but it”s not anyone you”re going to think of.

Ooo. I”m excited for that.

It”s so great. I”m so excited. It”s this moment where I have to help another character heal from loss too, and I get a vision, and I see Lexi. And I get closure inadvertently from helping this person. It”s beautiful, and the writer did such a great job. It”s very poetic. It”s one of my favorite moments.

How was it playing a woman dealing with the loss of a child, now that you have a two-and-a-half-year-old? You played Anne earlier in the series dealing with the loss of her son before you were a mother yourself.

Becoming a mom has just turned my whole life – not upside down – that sounds negative. It”s like turned it on its head because I thought I knew what it was to feel vulnerable, but I didn”t know. Until you become a parent, I can”t even express the feeling, the love you feel for something this innocent. And it changed me as an actor, as a person. The actor I was before my daughter and the actor I am after are totally different because I was always an extremely empathetic person, but I think there was a part of me as an actor that never really wanted to be vulnerable, which is sort of a – what”s that expression? Kind of a conflict of interest. You should try to be vulnerable when you”re an actor, but I really never thought I”d be an actor, and then I became an actor.

So someday your daughter is going to walk up to you and say, “Mom, you have to me to thank for being a great actress, right?”

Yeah, I am going to tell her that! I”m going to show her when she”s grown up: “This is mommy pretending to have a baby, but you were in my belly, but I was pretending to have my on-screen baby. And this is me getting married, but I”m really married to your daddy. And I”ll tell her she changed my life.

Are there any characters that Anne gets to interact with this season that we hadn”t seen her with much before?

I have an awesome showdown with Pope. Shooting that scene with Colin [Cunningham] was probably the most I”ve ever taken a risk in my life.

Is it a physical or verbal fight?

It”s not a physical fight, but it could be. It could lead to it. He”s being very threatening, and we”re in each other”s face. We were like screaming and crying. It was really intense. I felt like I needed to sleep for two weeks after that.

In one of the promos, Anne is in front of a firing squad.  What can you tell me about that?

We have some issues with the military, and they see us as a threat. When you hear their explanation, you”ll be like, “Yeah, that actually makes sense.” And I need some people to bail me out of trouble. My life”s in jeopardy, and I”m hoping someone from the 2nd Mass bails me out. It”s the episode that Noah directed.

How has working with David Eick for the past two seasons been? How does he compare to other showrunners you”ve had on the show?

David was great in that I could call him say how I felt. I could just express myself in any way I wanted to, and I didn”t feel like he got offended. I could say, “You know what? I just don”t agree with this part with my character.”  And he would make changes for me, and he was receptive, and he would share his own personal stories which sometimes helped because sometimes he”d write storylines and I wouldn”t get it.

Are there any specific examples of story choices he made in season 4 that you talked out with him like that?

I remember once Lexi had like left us and we started focusing on other things – I remember calling David and saying, “I just want to remind you that I”m a woman who just lost her child. Yes, she”s an alien, and she went off to go be with the Overlord and train with him, but I lost a child again. So let”s not forget that.”  And I”m not implying that he was forgetting it but I just wanted to remind him like make sure that we don”t just like drop the ball on that.

Because it”s the biggest thing in Anne”s life at that point.

Yeah, but it”s a weird thing – you want to be sort of based in reality, but you worry that it”s boring if you keep hearing Anne talk about Lexi. So I didn”t want to be boring and sort of whining about my child, but I also didn”t want to pretend like it never happened. You have to move on to a new storyline but not forget where you came from.

With David Eick there, did you ever geek out about “Battlestar Galactica”?

I was really impressed that he worked on “Battlestar Galactica.” I was doing a movie called “Pathfinder” and [my co-star] Karl Urban got me to watch “Battlestar Galactica,” and I was like, “I want to be Starbuck.” It was so rad.

I don”t know if I”m allowed to say this, but Karl Urban and I and a couple of other people snuck into the [“Battlestar Galactica”] wrap party. We were obsessed with their show. I think I told David we snuck in. We wanted to see the actors because we were geeks and we loved the show.

The season 5 premiere of “Falling Skies,” titled “Find Your Warrior,” airs on TNT on Sunday, June 28 at 10 p.m.