Interview with showrunner Chris Sheridan and actors Alan Tudyk, Alice Wetterlund, Levi Fiehler, Corey Reynolds, and Elizabeth Bowen of “Resident Alien” on Syfy by Suzanne 8/8/22
This was from a fun press day to promote the return of the show for the second half of season 2. First there was a TCA panel (Television Critics of America) where all of these actors plus star Sara Tomko (Asta) answered some questions. Then we had 3 junkets with the other actors and Chris Sheridan. You’ll see videos of those below.
During the TCA panel, we saw this excellent trailer that you should watch as it reminds us where we left off back in March! They also announced, for those of us who hadn’t heard, that the show was renewed for season 3 “due to its incredibly passionate fan base!” So, yay, fans! Below are the highlights from the TCA panel.
Showrunner/creator/writer Chris Sheridan shared that they do allow for a lot of improv on the show. He was asked specifically about Harry’s alien language. Most of that is all Alan Tudyk’s doing. Alan also joked that at the recent San Diego Comic-Con, they expected him to speak in the alien language at the drop of a hat, which he wasn’t prepared to do. He promised that he will learn to do that before the next con, though.
Sara was asked about what her character goes through this season. She replied that they had a lot of scripts to shoot in a very short time (and more than last season), but Chris lets them know ahead of time what their characters will be experiencing, so they can prepare a little better. She spoke quite a bit about being the only person in the main cast that’s not a comedian. She enjoys reacting to them, and laughing at their jokes, but she’s not funny like they are. There’s a point in one of the upcoming episodes where Asta is very happy because of an alien thing that happens to her, and it took Sara a bit to wrap her head around that because Asta is normally not very happy, so she had to talk to Chris to get an idea about what she should be like. She concluded, “I just really tried to make it as organic and truthful in the moment.” Later in the panel, when the cast were all asked if they ever felt like an alien, she shared that she felt a bit like one, being the more serious person amidst all the comics.
The actors were asked what they learned from their characters. Alice was almost the only one to take the question seriously. She analyzed D’arcy, saying that she’s “self-absorbed” and doesn’t realize how her actions not only hurt herself but others around her. She’s starting to understand that, and she thinks it’s good to keep that in mind. Elizabeth also said that she’s learned that “listening and observing will teach you a lot more than talking.” That’s very true! I need to learn that, too.
Alan joked that he learned that he loves pizza, but then he explained that he has a lot of food allergies, so they made him special pizza that he could eat. That was very cool to learn because I have that, too. I hope he can learn to make his own pizza or can find some other people to make them for him. At the mention of food, Sara added that she doesn’t like it when actors don’t eat on the set when there’s food there. She has to eat food if it’s in front of her. Levi and Sarah both agreed that they hate tight jeans. Levi has had to wear a lot of those as his character.
Alan was asked whether he’s content to be doing so much scifi. Alan reflected for a moment and then said with a laugh that he’s happy. He enjoys all the work he gets. He noted that he did a play in L.A. right before season 2, which he really enjoyed (doing live stage), but the great thing about playing Harry or doing any scifi is that you get to do all sorts of unusual things that you wouldn’t normally get to do. He mused that you can do everything, all in one. “There can be physical comedy, which you rarely ever get to do in television or in film, and it can also be very touching and have very intimate moments.” He went on to talk about how much he enjoyed working with the dog and the kids on the show. He said that the dog is very smart and a good boy.
Then they were all asked the question about feeling like an alien. Alan related it to being invited to a party that you really don’t want to go to, but you have to go and pretend to be having a good time. Corey shared that he has anxiety, so anything social like that makes him feel anxious. Then Alice did this hilarious riff where she pretended to be a stuck-up socialite going into JC Penney’s for the first time.
Chris was asked about the third season, so he told us that it would be 12 episodes, which he’s already started working on. It won’t be split up into two parts like season 2 was, and there will be one arc for the whole season. He explained a little bit about how the show was developed. First he envisioned it as 10 episodes per season, going 4 or 5 seasons. Then they had 16 episodes for season 2, which changed things. He added that these shows are “organic beasts” that change a lot, anyway. He explained, “things that you weren’t sure were going to work work really well. Things you thought were going to work don’t work well at all” so you constantly have to adjust for these changes. The show is “constantly evolving.” He also said that the chemistry of the actors gives you more ideas about how to change the story.
He also spoke a bit about Asta and Harry’s emotional growth this season, which you’ll see more of in the upcoming episodes. Asta has to deal with the fact that she shot and killed someone, and Harry is dealing with the fact that he almost died.
Alan was also asked a semi-serious question about he and Nathan Fillion guest-starring on each other’s shows. Alan replied that it was just their friendship. He joked, “I was never on [an episode of] “Castle,” so I’ve got a lot of making up to do.”
The cast was also asked about whether they were worried when there was a big break in the middle of season 2. They were all fine with it, but some fans were worried and impatient.
The trailer revealed that we’ll see more of Terry O’Quinn’s character. Also, there’s a new detective that joins the show named Lena Torres, played by Nicola Correia-Damude.
Here are the videos from the junket. We all laughed a lot, so I’m sure you will, too.
MORE INFO: Another Trailer
Based on the Dark Horse comics, SYFY’s “Resident Alien” follows a crash-landed alien named Harry (Alan Tudyk) whose secret mission is to kill all humans. In season two, Harry is once again stranded on Earth where he must confront the consequences of having failed his people’s mission to destroy the human race. The second half of Season 2 picks up in the immediate aftermath of the shocking action Asta (Sara Tomko) took to save Harry’s life. They must deal with the emotional fallout of the night all while searching for the alien baby – a search that leads to big realizations for each of them. Meanwhile, Sheriff Mike (Corey Reynolds) and Deputy Liv (Elizabeth Bowen) solve a big case, Ben (Levi Fiehler) attempts to sell Patience on a new resort, and D’arcy (Alice Wetterlund) fights the challenge of a lifetime. The series also stars Judah Prehn.
From UCP, a division of Universal Studio Group, in association with Amblin TV and Dark Horse Entertainment, “Resident Alien” was adapted to television by executive producer Chris Sheridan. Mike Richardson and Keith Goldberg of Dark Horse Entertainment, Justin Falvey and Darryl Frank of Amblin TV, Robert Duncan McNeill, Christian Taylor and Nastaran Dibai also executive produce.
Harry Vanderspeigle, “Resident Alien”; Devil, “Devil May Care”
Alan Tudyk stars in the SYFY drama “Resident Alien” as Harry Vanderspeigle, an alien who crash lands onto Earth and must pass himself off as a small-town human doctor.
He also recently voiced the role of Devil in “Devil May Care,” which also aired on SYFY. In addition, Tudyk voices the maniacal Joker in DC Universe’s “Harley Quinn” animated series on HBO Max. Tudyk also voiced Tuk-Tuk in the Oscar-nominated film “Raya and the Last Dragon” as well as Pico the Toucan in Disney’s hit film “Encanto.”
In 2016, Tudyk appeared in Lucasfilm’s “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story,” as the scene-stealing security droid, ‘K-2SO.’ Directed by Gareth Edwards, the film grossed over $1 billion at the global box office and was the first live action Star Wars spin-off. He also voiced characters in two Academy-Award nominated animated films, playing the ‘Duke of Weaselton’ in Disney’s “Zootopia” and the rooster ‘Hei Hei’ in Disney’s “Moana.”
Tudyk is also the creator, executive producer and star of the Emmy nominated series “Con Man,” which was funded via Indiegogo with a record-breaking $3.2 million donation from over 46,000 fans. “Con Man” debuted at Lionsgate’s Comic Con HQ in 2015 and later aired on SYFY. Loosely based on Tudyk and Nathan Fillion’s experiences starring in “Firefly,” “Con Man” centered on the post-show life of ‘Wray Nerely’ (Tudyk) after “Spectrum,” a sci-fi TV series canceled before its time that later became a cult classic. In 2016, Tudyk, along with Fillion, also launched “Con Man: The Game” based on the series which allowed players to build and host their own comic book conventions.
Tudyk has shown audiences wide versatility in numerous television shows and a plethora of feature films. Recently, he co-starred in the Jay Roach 2015 SAG Award nominated feature “Trumbo,” opposite Bryan Cranston, Diane Lane, Helen Mirren and John Goodman as well as 2014’s “Welcome to Me” with Kristin Wiig. In 2013, Tudyk co-starred in the well-received Jackie Robinson biopic, “42,” opposite Chadwick Boseman as former Philadelphia Phillies manager ‘Ben Chapman.’ He made his feature film debut in 1998, when he first appeared opposite Robin Williams in “Patch Adams.”
Tudyk’s role in the Disney animated feature, “Wreck-It Ralph,” garnered him an Annie Award for his role as ‘King Candy.” He can also be heard in its sequel, “Ralph Breaks the Internet” as ‘KnowsMore.” Tudyk has also loaned his voice to ‘The Duke of Weaselton’ in Disney’s Academy Award-winning film “Frozen,” ‘Alister Krei’ in “Big Hero 6” and ‘Ludo’ and ‘King Butterfly’ on the Disney Channel series, “Star vs. the Forces of Evil.”
His additional film credits also include: “28 Days,” “A Knight’s Tale,” “Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story,” “Death at a Funeral” (the original UK version), “Knocked Up,” “Tucker and Dale vs Evil,” “3:10 to Yuma,” “Serenity,” “Premature,” “Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter” and “Transformers 3.” Additionally, Tudyk motion performed the lead robot, ‘Sonny,’ in “I, Robot” opposite Will Smith.
In television, Tudyk can currently be seen in DC Universe’s “Doom Patrol” and season three of Netflix’s “Santa Clarita Diet.” He was a series regular on the critically acclaimed ABC comedy, “Suburgatory” as well as on NBC’s workplace comedy “Powerless” and BBC America’s “Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency. His work on Joss Whedon’s “Firefly,” has been highly lauded by fans and has gained him a strong cult following. Tudyk also appeared in “Strangers with Candy,” “Dollhouse,” “Frasier,” “Justified” and “Arrested Development.” He also was the host of “Newsreaders,” written and produced by Rob Corddry and David Wain, on Adult Swim.
Tudyk attended the prestigious Juilliard School in New York and has starred on Broadway opposite Kristin Chenoweth in “Epic Proportions,” played ‘Lancelot’ with the original cast in Monty Python’s “Spamalot,” as well as the lead role of ‘Peter’ in “Prelude to a Kiss” opposite John Mahoney.
Tudyk grew up in Plano, Texas and currently resides in Los Angeles with his wife.
He is represented by The Coronel Group and Gersh.
Executive Producer, “Resident Alien”
Chris Sheridan serves as executive producer of SYFY’s “Resident Alien.”
Five-time Emmy nominee and BAFTA nominee, Sheridan has been a television writer and producer for 26 years. He has produced more than 400 episodes of television, including 17 seasons on the Fox Network animated hit, “Family Guy” where he acted as co-showrunner from 2004 to 2009. He remains a consulting producer on “Family Guy,” and has a feature film in development with Josephson Entertainment.
Sheriff Mike Thompson, “Resident Alien”
Corey Reynolds stars in the SYFY drama “Resident Alien” as Mike Thompson, the local sheriff who runs the town with a chip on his shoulder, a cowboy hat on his head and an iron fist.
Reynolds is best known for his role on “The Closer,” which he starred on for six seasons. He will next be seen as a guest star in Apple’s “The Afterparty.” He’s recurred on “All American,” “Red Line,” “Criminal Minds,” “NCIS: Los Angeles,” “Masters of Sex” and “Murder in the First.” He has guest starred on “Seal Team” and “Chicago P.D.”
On the film side, he was last seen on screen in “Straight Outta Compton” and also appeared in “Selma,” opposite David Oyelowo and Common.
Reynolds was nominated for a Tony Award for his performance in Broadway’s production of “Hairspray.”
D’Arcy Bloom, “Resident Alien”
Alice Wetterlund stars in SYFY’s “Resident Alien” as “D’Arcy Bloom,” the charismatic bartender at the local pub who, as a former Olympic snowboarder, is also a part of the avalanche control team.
Wetterlund has performed her non-yelling brand of comedy nationally at colleges, clubs, and festivals such as Just for Laughs, Bridgetown, Moon Tower, Women in Comedy, SF Sketchfest, RIOT LA, Bonnaroo and more.
She is known for her character “Carla” on HBO’s “Silicon Valley” and played “Kelly Grady” on TBS’ “People of Earth.” She can also be seen in the movie “Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates” as “Cousin Terry.” She has performed her stand up on “Conan” and currently co-hosts the popular podcast “Treks and the City” with Veronica Osorio. She recently wrapped “Search & Destroy” for Hulu, produced by Carrie Brownstein. Wetterlund can currently be seen on the latest season of Netflix’s “Glow.” Her hourlong stand-up special premiered on Amazon in August.
Deputy Liv Baker, “Resident Alien”
Elizabeth Bowen plays Deputy Liv Baker on the hit SYFY series “Resident Alien.”
Bowen was raised on Vancouver Island in Nanaimo, British Columbia. She attended the American Academy of Dramatic Arts – West before moving back to Canada to work on improv comedy while pursuing film and television roles.
Bowen credits her role in season two of FX’s “Fargo” as a career turning point. Bowen’s other credits include recurring roles on Amazon’s “Upload” and Hulu’s “Woke,” as well as the Freeform holiday movie “Angry Angel.”
She is based in Vancouver, B.C.
Mayor Ben Hawthorne, “Resident Alien”
Levi Fiehler stars in the SYFY drama “Resident Alien” as Ben Hawthorne, the naive town mayor whose 8-year-old son is suspicious that the new local doctor is an alien.
Fiehler was born in Juneau, Alaska where he trained as an actor at Perseverance Theatre. His career took off when he booked a lead role on “Fetching,” which was an original series for Michael Eisner’s company, Vuguru. Prior to “Fetching,” Fiehler was a series regular on Ron Howard’s series “Mars” for National Geographic. Other work includes “The Fosters,” “Ray Donovan,” “Murder in the First” and “CSI.”
Asta Twelvetrees, “Resident Alien”
Sara Tomko stars in SYFY’s “Resident Alien” as Asta Twelvetrees. Strong and sarcastic, she works with Harry at the town’s health clinic.
Tomko is known for her recurring roles on “Sneaky Pete” and “Once Upon a Time,” as well as her appearances on “The Leftovers” and “The Son.”
She started her career in experimental theatre and musicals in Virginia, later moving to Los Angeles in 2007 to pursue film. Her first independent film roles aired on SYFY, and she is thrilled that her TV career has brought her full circle. She is an actor, singer, producer, poet an artist.
Tomko is represented by Bohemia Group and KMR Talent.
Proofread and Edited by Brenda