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Old 04-23-2019, 05:56 PM   #1
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TV Noah Wyle Looks Back on "Falling Skies"

When you decided to take a series regular role again on "Falling Skies", was the fact that it was a genre show appealing to you? Were you trying to do something different?

I was in a very difficult place in my life, in my marriage, and I wanted to do something very different than I'd done before. I wanted to challenge myself in a way that I hadn't yet. And so, at that time, I remember my son was like 4 or 6 or something, and I brought him into my office and I had four scripts on my desk. I said, Owen, Do you want to see your daddy be a policeman? Do you want to see your daddy be a lawyer? Do you want to see your daddy be an insurance adjuster? Or you want to see your daddy be an alien fighter? And Owen said, "alien fighter.

I called my agent and I said, "I'll do that one." That's the true story he picked the one that Steven Spielberg was executive producing. He picked the one with the best pedigree. They were all fine scripts. I wanted to do something different. I was feeling a little bit lost, and it just happened that I picked the character that was lost and was trying to keep his family together in the face of an apocalypse, just trying to survive.

So I inadvertently or cosmically backed into the role that got me through the next chapter of my life.

You can look at a career and say, "What was the strategy you employed here?" But oftentimes the job you do is where you fall when you were aiming for the job way above it. You have no idea why you're doing it. It's just the universe will tell you eventually.

The only thing I can choose is a piece of material by is, Does this move me emotionally? Does this scare the **** out of me? Can I picture myself doing this, and if not, why? Why am I so adamantly opposed to exploring this? And that usually means that I need to do it.

You directed for the first time on that show. How did that come about? What did you like about directing, and is it something you wanted to do more of?

I liked everything about it. I think I've wanted to do it my whole life. I put it on such a high pedestal that I thought, "You don't try that until you understand everything about filmmaking first." You're like a puppet master. You want to know every string. Music and everything staging, blah, blah, blah. So I don't know that I would have ever done if if I hadn't been nominated by the cast to fill in for a guy who fell out of the rotation.

I have always been the guy on set that goes, You know, what we could do is this. Da, da, da, da, da. You could play with this. I don't know my own place. But I am a very creative person and I am a very good problem solver, so I get away with it a lot because my ideas are pretty good.

What was interesting about "The Red Line" is that I walked on to that set, being that guy, not quite understanding how much oxygen I took up or how many ideas I'm throwing out. Very quickly it was shown to me that that was not going to be welcome, that this was intentionally going to be done differently, and that my role in this was to play my part.

At first, I took extreme umbrage to this, because I thought, "How can you discount my experience? How can you discount my point of view?" I have ideas that can save you time or money, that might even be creatively better, blah, blah, blah. And thankfully, before I said a word, [someone] said, "I wonder what it feels like to be on one of your sets and have a good idea and not have any room to share?"

And it just took the air out. I sat there and you don't know how much air you take up or who you step over or whose idea you just **** on by putting your idea on the table. You're so thoughtless sometimes in your effort to be a team player. You're so arrogant about how good your idea is.

It just hit me. Like, "Oh." And I thought, "Maybe that's why you're here." Just shut up and watch and listen. And then, when it's your turn, deliver.

Deliver better than you've ever delivered, and don't do anything else. So that's what I did.
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