Expose Article – They Won’t Go…

Thanks to Ray Joni for this as well.

THEY WON’T GO . . .
. . . which was great news for all the fans of Roswell when it was
picked up for a second 13-episode season. Judy Sloane got down and
deserty with some of the cast and crew.

For a while it looked like the WB’s drama Roswell would not see a
second season, and would end with a tense and unresolved cliffhanger —
but the show’s fans took their mission seriously! Based on a series of
books written by Melinda Metz called “Roswell High,” the show focuses on
three young aliens: Max (Jason Behr), Isabel (Katherine Heigl) and
Michael (Brendan Fehr), who are surviving descendants from beings on
board the infamous alien spaceship that was believed to have crashed in
Roswell, New Mexico in 1947. Their burning desire to find out the truth
about their existence puts them and their closest friends, in heightened
danger, that climaxed in the last episode of last season.
When it was announced by the network that the show was on shaky
ground, thousands of fans sent bottles of Tabasco sauce (an alien
favorite on the series) to The WB — it worked, and the show was renewed
for a second season. “We were all aware of the fans’ response,” says
Jason Behr. “Nobody asked these people to do that, but I think it opened
a lot of eyes and really helped us, and everyone at the show is very
grateful.” Katherine Heigl agrees. “I thought it was amazing how devoted
and how supportive the fans were. They really backed us up, and I know
that made a difference. I just ran out of Tabasco sauce the other day,
and I was thinking I should call The WB to get one from them!”
As the first year started drawing to a close, the story began to
unfold at a breakneck pace, and looked as if it was headed in a totally
different direction, a fact that producer Kevin Brown acknowledges, “The
plot needed to be accelerated a little bit, but it’s not going in a
different direction. The emphasis shifted so that the science fiction
would be a little more dominant than it was. But it’s still the same
show, the relationships are going to drive the story, but we’re just
going to use a little bit of a bigger canvas.”
Behr concurs, “I think we had a chance to establish the relationships
early on in the season, and the dynamics between the characters. We’ve
taken a strong base and have branched out from there, putting these
characters that you know, and hopefully care about, in extreme
situations to let them become even more colorful based on their choices.
Actions speak louder than words, and you can learn a lot about somebody
by the decisions they make. If the first season was the exploration of
their human side, the second season will be the discovery of their alien
side.”
When reminded that she told the “TV Guide” that they would be
visiting their planet next season, Heigl laughs and responds, “That was
just me speculating. I think we should go to my planet and find out what
it looks like. Don’t you want to know? Don’t you want to know what our
people look like? What I really look like outside of my human body?”
Allowing Behr to speculate about the upcoming season, he comments
that he hopes to “discover more about the aliens and their mythology –
why they’re here, where they’re from and if they could go back, who
would go and who would they leave behind? I’d also like to investigate
the psychology of the characters put in this position, because you take
these characters of Max and Isabel, who have grown up as brother and
sister, and now we learn that that’s not what it’s supposed to be. We’re
being told what our so-called destiny is, and we have to choose whether
or not to accept that.”
And what of his relationship with his human girlfriend, Liz (Shiri
Appleby)? “It hasn’t been screwed up beyond repair,” says Behr, “but a
wrench has been thrown into the works. Shiri will definitely be a part
of the show; she’s not just going to go away. That relationship has been
a long time coming, and it’s obviously a very important one to Max. He’s
been waiting his whole life for it, so he’s not going to give it up that
easily. It’s going to be pretty difficult, but she’s the whole reason
why they are in this mess, so I don’t think he’s just going to let go.”
Another emotional switch that came late in the first season was the
total turnaround of Sheriff Valenti (William Sadler), who in the
beginning seemed to have a menacing interest in the aliens; now he’s
there to save them. “It’s funny how sometimes your greatest allies can
be your former enemies,” remarks Behr. “It’s funny how relationships are
constantly changing and evolving. The sheriff started out as a very
sympathetic character, although he was chasing us and you didn’t want
him to catch us. He had his reasons for being motivated that you
understood. You never really thought of him as a bad person, because he
had reasons for being the way he was. Bill is such a good actor. He has
taken those subtle nuances of a flawed antagonist and he’s turned him
into a very sympathetic protagonist. He’s on our side now. It takes a
good actor to do that.”
As he contemplates last season’s shows, Behr has no problem coming up
with his favorite episode — “The White Room.” “It was by far the most
difficult and the most rewarding. Jonathan Frakes is one of the best
directors I’ve ever worked with. He knows how to talk to actors, and he
knows exactly where he wants the camera, as he’s already got it edited
in his head. I think he took a great script and gave it a very unique
look. The subject matter was very intense, and every actor on the show
stepped up to the plate and knocked the ball out of the park.”
As for Heigl, she’s looking forward to this season’s episodes. “I
think the first year it was difficult for Isabel to find a place in
this, because a lot of her part was supporting her alien men. I think
now it’s time for her to come into her own.”