Saturday, June 16, 2012

Interview: Peter Shinkoda Talks Falling Skies

Interview: Peter Shinkoda Talks Falling Skies, Written by: Karen Benardello Successful sci-fi series are often lauded for their impressive visual effects and stunts, but at times cans sacrifice intriguing characters and thought provoking plot-lines. But the hit critically acclaimed TNT series ‘Falling Skies,’ whose anticipated second season premieres tomorrow night at 9/8c, has garnered attention for its suspensefully paced stories and strong-willed characters. Actor Peter Shinkoda, who was cast by the show’s executive producer, Steven Spielberg, returns as Dai in the new season. Dai, the competent commando who is often coming to the rescue of Noah Wylie’s character, Tom, is just one of the strong, memorable characters on the series. ‘Falling Skies’ follows a group of civilians and soldiers struggling against an alien force that has invaded earth. In the chaotic aftermath of the alien attack, most of the world has become completely incapacitated. In the six months since the initial invasion, the few human survivors have banded together outside major cities to begin fighting back. Not only must the citizen soldiers left have to protect the people in their care, they must also engage in an insurgency campaign against the occupying alien force. Shinkoda generously took to the time recently to speak with us over the phone about the upcoming second season of ‘Falling Skies.’ Among other things, the actor discussed what it’s like working with Spielberg and Wylie, why he enjoys the sci-fi genre so much and his aspirations of becoming a screenwriter and director. ShockYa (SY): You’ll be returning as Dai for the second season of ‘Falling Skies,’ which is set to start its second season. What was it about the character and the series overall that convinced you to take on the role? Peter Shinkoda (PS): It was offered to me by Steven Spielberg, that was the only criteria needed for me to take the role. I was excited about all the elements of the show, the science-fiction, the aliens, the action. So all of it combined was very appealing to me. SY: Dai is often coming to the rescue of Noah Wylie’s character, Tom. What’s it like working with Noah, who made a name for himself on ‘ER,’ on the set? PS: It’s an utter pleasure. I’ve worked quite a bit in the last decade-and-a-half, and never have I run into somebody, and worked hand-in-hand with somebody so frequently, whose company I have enjoyed as much as him. He’s a very decent fellow, and kind, so it’s easy to get along with him. Noah’s also amazing to watch at his craft. After all those years on ‘ER,’ he’s very honed into his talent. Just by being in his vicinity, watching him be social, conducting himself on set and performing, the possibilities are endless. I completely enjoyed being around him, on- and-off set. SY: Like you mentioned, Steven Spielberg offered you the role of Dai. Do he and Noah offer you any acting and career advice overall? PS: Maybe not so much acting advice. Steven came in maybe only a couple of times on set. I was fortunate enough to be one of the actors he directed for a couple hours. That was a fantasy come true. To tell you the truth, I was probably in shock, so I can’t recall everything. But growing up, I just idolized the man. He started giving me directions on set, like what kind of expressions (to do), or what I may be feeling as the character. I don’t think there was a presence or gift more fulfilling than that. As far as Noah Wylie, like I said, all you have to do is watch that man. I would like to try to emulate him, in acting and as the gentleman he is. To continue reading this interview, please click here.

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