In our chat below, Connor reveals a few hints and teasers of what to expect in the Falling Skies season finale, and also debates whether Ben can really be trusted following his experiences with the Skitters! Plus, the young actor reveals his theory on why on-screen brother Hal (Drew Roy) seems so irresistible to the opposite sex...
Your character was an alien hostage for a while - are you happy now that Ben is integrated into the action more?
"When I started working on the series, I knew that [in] the first few episodes, I was going to be featured less heavily, which was interesting, because I did come into the fold a few weeks after everyone else. So it was definitely nice when my character got rescued and I started having dialogues, and not just walking around looking like a zombie!
But what's really cool is that my character development was kind of done for me, because in the first couple of episodes, everybody talks about me a lot. They talk about who I am, and my predicament, so when I come into the series, everyone kind of knows me in a way. Even though they don't really know me, they know of me, which is a nice point to launch off as an actor, because you have a lot more leverage at the beginning. But yeah, I'm definitely glad that [Ben has been rescued] because I'm home and I get to be featured more, which is always nice as an actor."
"I think that is a very interesting question, and one that I still ask myself. I have my own theories. I think that Ben's definitely not the same as he was, with things like the insane amount of push-ups he can do and things like that, he's definitely a different kid. While he doesn't show the same symptoms as Rick, there's definitely something off about him. One of the most interesting conflicts in the series, I think, is the ongoing conflict with Tom and the rest of the 2nd Mass, of 'Can we trust him?'. My family really wants to accept me unreservedly and without questions, and they can't really. As this season and the next season goes on, that will probably get examined with a much more careful eye, and I'm really looking forward to that."
Ben and his brother Hal have a complex relationship - are you eager to explore that further?
"Yeah, definitely. That relationship is definitely one of the most interesting ones in our family dynamic, in that we were supposed to have fought a lot before the invasion and we had a bit of a love-hate relationship. Maybe bordering more on the hate sometimes! I think it's really interesting to see that. One of my favourite things about the show in general is how people change after this happened, whether it's Clayton (Henry Czerny) who changes and loses what's left of his humanity, or if it's Tom (Noah Wyle). I know that Noah has said in interviews that he feels that Tom is a much better father after the invasion than he was before, and I think that's really interesting. It's the same with Hal and Ben, in that our characters might not have been so friendly beforehand, but we are now. It'll be interesting to see if the writers continue to examine it, because I really hope they do. I love relationships like that in movies and TV."
Hal seems to get all of the female attention on the show...
"Whenever we were shooting, we'd always joke about that. It seems like every place he goes in the series, every single girl within the age range of 15 to 25 falls all over him!"
What is his secret?
"Some sort of post-invasion cologne or something!"
"I wouldn't mind it, but I don't think it's necessary. If it was to be done, I'd want it to be done in a way that develops the character or helps develop other characters, because I think that a love interest for the sake of a love interest is almost unnecessary in a show like this. It's not a show like The Vampire Diaries or something that caters towards a teenage audience. So if there was a relationship that helped to progress my character and reveal things about him, I'd be all for it."
You worked as a writer, producer and director on your short film I Don't Hurt Anymore! last year - would you consider working behind the scenes on Falling Skies?
"I definitely love writing, directing and producing and I want to do a lot more of it, and eventually do it for the rest of my life, but on Falling Skies, the best part of working on that set is learning. To be able to watch these writers, directors, producers, these production designer and cinematographers in action is the best behind-the-scenes experience I could ask for, because these people are all so talented and so experienced at what they do. I can't help but learn watching them, and that's a really amazing thing. Even if I'm not paying attention or consciously trying to learn, I still pick things up - quirks in someone's style, or a way of doing things I maybe haven't thought of before. That's a really amazing thing and I'm sure that, in the future, when I pursue filmmaking… that those things will always be in my mind. I think that Falling Skies is a great show in that respect."
"There's not much I can say without spoiling. I watched Lost actively when it was airing and there was nothing I hated more than spoilers, because that show was so heavily reliant on mysteries, as is Falling Skies. But what I can say is that the season finale is definitely the most action-packed and visual-effects-packed episode in the entire series, by far. Unlike the rest of the series where we're on the run from the aliens, in the finale we finally turn the tables. It's like, 'We're a resistance, let's fight back. Let's try to resist'. Whereas previously we've been on the run and our conflicts have been trying to find food or water, now it suddenly becomes 'Let's try to fight back', which I think a lot of people have been waiting for throughout the series. Hopefully for the rest of the series, we'll be actively fighting back. But also the season finale ends on a really rather incredible cliffhanger, and the main reason I'm looking forward to starting shooting season two is to see how the writers resolve it, because it's one of the best I've ever seen. I'm very, very anxious to see how everyone reacts to it, because it's very exciting."
How did you feel when the show was picked up for a second season?
"It's the best feeling in the world. To be in a pilot is one thing, because there's a lot of pilots, and then to get picked up for series is incredible, but to get picked up for a second season… the chances are so minimal when you look at all the pilots out there. I feel so lucky and privileged, and so exhilarated more than anything. It's been almost a year since we started shooting season one and it feels like it's been too long since I've seen everyone and since I've gotten to play this character. I'm really incredibly excited to go back. And of course, I'm young and I'm growing, so I get to watch my performance and to see what I could have done better, how I want to change it, or how I want to continue to make the character grow. I actually have the opportunity to go back and work on the same character and that's a great feeling."
Falling Skies continues on Tuesdays at 9pm on FX in the UK and on Sundays at 10pm on TNT in the US. The two-part season finale airs August 7 in the US.