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Project Blue Book: Michael Malarkey on History’s UFO-Focused Series


project-blue-book-michael-malarkeyFrom government producer Robert Zemeckis, the 10-episode Historical past Channel drama collection Project Blue E-book is predicated on the real-life top-secret investigations into UFOs and different unexplained phenomena that have been carried out by the U.S. Air Pressure between 1952 and 1969. All through the season, Dr. J. Allen Hynek (Aidan Gillen), a university professor recruited to steer an operation that researched hundreds of instances that mix UFO theories with actual historic occasions, and his investigative companion Captain Michael Quinn (Michael Malarkey) will uncover mysteries that merge science and the exploration of the unknown.

Throughout this 1-on-1 telephone interview with Collider, actor Michael Malarkey (The Vampire Diaries) talked about why Project Blue Guide was precisely the kind of undertaking he was on the lookout for, the attraction of this collection, why he needed to play this army man, the dynamic between Hynek and Quinn, working with co-star Aidan Gillen, what most shocked and stunned him about these real-life instances, the talents he needed to study for this position, and his hope that he’ll get to proceed to discover this character in future seasons.

Collider:  How quickly after the top of The Vampire Diaries did Project Blue E-book come about?


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MICHAEL MALARKEY:  We wrapped The Vampire Diaries in February of final yr, however in between then, I’d carried out a couple of different issues, too. I did two European excursions with my band, and put out an EP. So far as appearing stuff goes, I did two seasons of The Oath, which was shot in Puerto Rico. I did a film, A Violent Separation. So, rather a lot has occurred, in between The Vampire Diaries and this, however this undoubtedly was precisely what I used to be in search of, for my subsequent massive challenge. I really feel very blessed to be speaking about it now.

Once you come off of 1 present that you simply’ve spent a number of years on, earlier than you signal on and even contemplate doing one other TV collection, do you’re taking extra time to consider signing on to do a collection once more, the place you may be there for a bit?

MALARKEY:  Yeah, I do. It clearly relies upon on the place it shoots. I’ve a household, so if I’m gonna be away so much, I don’t need to be out in Timbuktu. It relies upon on the undertaking and the way passionate you’re about what you’re going to do. You typically make sacrifices in your private life for a challenge, however with this one, I introduced my household with me. We have been all in Vancouver collectively, which was actually nice.

How was this introduced to you, when it got here your method? Did you simply get one script to learn?

MALARKEY:  They often will ship only one script, if that. Some conferences you go for, they’ll simply ship you the edges, and typically they’re even ghost sides which have seemingly nothing to do with what you’re about to do. However this was a full script, if I keep in mind appropriately. I used to be very unlearned about the subject material, so it was a cool factor to start out researching. I’m a fan of something that isn’t because it appears, and this can be a full gold mine for that. There’s all these things, within the collection, that’s actually the present that retains on giving. There’s the connection drama, there’s the interval drama facet, there’s the federal government conspiracy, and it’s like a thriller noir, on an enormous scale. I do know that it’s going to attraction to anyone who has even an inkling of an open thoughts. Even those that don’t can nonetheless tune in and see a very unimaginable TV present.


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Clearly, whenever you begin on a TV collection, you by no means understand how a personality goes to end up. So, what have been the preliminary issues that you simply noticed on this man that made him interesting to you?

MALARKEY:  One in every of my principal objectives, since doing The Vampire Diaries, is to play reasonable stuff. I stated that I needed to do a sensible, gritty drama, and that even a interval drama can be cool, too. So, this actually ticked plenty of the bins for me. So far as character goes, I simply immediately related with this man. Somebody within the place that he’s, coping with all this stuff and having to maintain a cool head, and the unimaginable underbelly of all that, his thoughts is all the time racing. As a lot as I’m a bodily actor, I delight myself on being a delicate actor, and I attribute plenty of that to my coaching in London at drama faculty there. I really feel like that is the primary time that I’ve actually had an opportunity to do the work that I’ve been educated to do. That’s partially to do with the dimensions of the position. Being quantity two to Aidan [Gillen] is nice. He has an unimaginable nuance to his work. We actually work collectively very nicely, and he’s received this actual ardour for what he does. He works so onerous, as do I, and assembly within the center with two individuals like that, I feel it exhibits within the product.

How would you say these two very totally different males really feel about one another, and the way a lot will that evolve, earlier than the top of the season?

MALARKEY:  It’s ever evolving. Their relationship is among the greatest issues about this present. They go out and in of trusting one another. Initially, it begins out with Quinn viewing Hynek as this egg-head science man, and perhaps even writing him off a bit and considering, “I’ll just use this guy as a pawn for what I need to do.” Not maliciously, nevertheless it simply looks like, on the get-go, he’s in all probability going to offer them away by asking all of those questions. You see that with the scene within the diner, the place he’s nonetheless hashing out what occurred once I’ve already drawn my conclusions. And within the following episode, I say, “Just let me do the talking, all right?” That’s the place they begin, initially. Quinn’s making an attempt to get his job achieved, and Hynek is looking for the reality. Quinn’s job is to seek out the reality, nevertheless it’s extra to shut the instances. That’s the primary precedence, and if some fact comes out of that, then cool. Quinn could be very suspicious of Hynek, at first, and I consider that Hynek can also be suspicious of him and the job, normally. Why is the Air Pressure calling on him? However because the collection progresses, you begin to see them develop a respect with one another. That’s how Quinn hooks Hynek within the first job interview. He is aware of that I’m truly enjoying him just a little bit, and he respects and appreciates that. They each understand that there’s perhaps extra there than they gave one another credit score for.


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These two males didn’t ask to be partnered collectively, and it all the time make an fascinating dynamic whenever you put two individuals collectively who didn’t select to be collectively.

MALARKEY:  It’s like an organized marriage.

Besides with aliens. And as these two males work collectively, increasingly, Captain Quinn additionally begins to query his orders and to query issues, typically, because it’s exhausting to not query issues whenever you’re on instances like these. On the similar time, that’s not one thing that you simply sometimes do whenever you’re a army man. So, what is going to that imply for him? Will that additionally begin to create rigidity, as he’s making an attempt to determine what he believes anymore?

MALARKEY:  Nicely, you hit the nail on the top there. That’s certainly one of his largest inner struggles, by way of the collection, with the sheer quantity of issues that he begins to see. He additionally begins to see the federal government, or the powers above, blatantly pushing some issues underneath the rug, the place he thinks there’s benefit. His most important precedence is to do nicely at what he does and to get forward in his area. That’s an enormous battle, because the collection progresses and he begins to see issues with Hynek that he can’t clarify. They’ve these shared experiences they usually each begin to have an effect on one another, in several methods.

As a result of the tales that you simply’re telling are based mostly on actual occasions and actual instances, the twists and turns that this present takes present how fact actually is stranger than fiction. What most stunned you about these instances and all the analysis that you simply did, going into the collection?

MALARKEY:  A lot. I’m nonetheless shocked and stunned at issues that I’m discovering out. This has began me down a harmful rabbit gap of data. Even final night time, I used to be watching a UFO documentary. I’ve been watching them obsessively since we wrapped. For me, a number of it’s the witness accounts, particularly from people who find themselves in excessive locations within the authorities and the Air Pressure, and people who find themselves retired and really feel like they will truly converse out now extra freely, and all the NSA paperwork the place you’ll be able to learn perhaps 5 phrases. What the fuck is that about? I really feel like there’s clearly an enormous cowl up going. I by no means need to painting the Air Drive because the enemy as a result of all the analysis that I’ve carried out, and moving into the mindset of the Air Pressure, I utterly empathize and perceive the gang management challenge that they might be coping with, particularly on the time when there was the specter of nuclear warfare from Russia. That being stated, it’s scary to assume that there’s some large factor that’s being coated up, that apparently might crack a gap into our understanding of historical past and human nature. There’s all of those bizarre theories about us being descendants of aliens, and the pyramids being one thing else than what we thought they have been, and even having been constructed at a unique time interval than we thought. What I hope is that folks will do analysis on their very own, after watching this. I really feel like I grew up very ignorant, as did a lot of the nation, as a result of that’s what Blue Guide meant. They meant us to comb this underneath the rug and overlook about it, or contemplate it just a few sci-fi hoax about cartoon aliens.


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Had you ever been interested in the potential for different life within the universe, previous to doing this, or is that this rabbit gap one thing that you simply’ve solely gone down since simply doing the present?

MALARKEY:  Sure to each issues, truly. I all the time have felt that there’s life outdoors of the earth. I really feel prefer it’s the logical standpoint, if you consider math and science and the sheer quantity of planets that we now have found, and even have but to find, in our photo voltaic system, alone. We all know from science that life can occur beneath probably the most excessive circumstances. For example, these planets that we expect are uninhabitable, perhaps are uninhabitable by us, however who’s to say that different beings haven’t tailored to these circumstances and been capable of finding a solution to stay, beneath the bottom or no matter. Earlier than going into this, I undoubtedly felt, with out query, that there’s life outdoors of earth. Now, I’m like, “What’s going on here?” It’s an enormous cowl up, that’s for positive. They know lots that we don’t know. The query is whether or not or not it’s proper to disclose it to the plenty, and in the event that they’re able to cope with one thing like that, that would probably bewilder everyone, or whether or not we nonetheless have to ensure that we’re holding individuals protected from anarchy by not revealing it. That is likely one of the largest questions of the present, and why Blue E-book was coined, within the first place.

You guys are enjoying characters which might be based mostly on actual individuals. Does that change or have an effect on the way you strategy the position?

MALARKEY:  Yeah. Truly, the best factor about enjoying real-life individuals are the free character research that you simply get. I performed Elvis within the West Finish, for a yr. I’ve performed different real-life individuals, like Tennessee Williams. There’s a lure to that, the place initially you are feeling such as you need to be that individual and impersonate them, so that folks lookup on the stage or on the display and go, “Yep, that’s him. That’s exactly the character.” However clearly, it’s not. We’re telling tales. It’s people lore. It’s mythology, in a method. Once I was enjoying Elvis, I’ll always remember singing one of many songs, and I noticed this lady within the entrance row cross her arms and shake her head and say to her husband, over the music, “He’s too short.” At first, I received actually irritated by it, however then afterwards, I used to be like, “If they dug Elvis up from his grave and put him on stage and he sang to this crowd, there would still be people there that say, ‘That’s not Elvis!’” You’ll be able to’t attempt to play an actual individual like that. You need to inhabit them. It’s a must to discover what you join with and convey that to the character, in order that he lives and breathes in you. That’s when it really works. For this, I’ve much more freedom as a result of only a few individuals know him. There’s not very a lot footage of him, so I used to be capable of be a bit freer with that, however additionally they modified the identify, which freed it up much more. I undoubtedly used him as a template.


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You needed to study to drive a stick for the present, which is humorous as a result of no one drives a stick anymore. What was that have like? Was it one thing that you simply truly took to fairly simply, or did you have got amusing about making an attempt to determine how to try this?

MALARKEY:  I used to be truly horrified, at first. It was the primary day of capturing, and I needed to drive up this lengthy, windy drive and cease on the home. It’s in Episode 2, which that was the primary episode that we shot. Everyone was there. The producers all needed to see the way it went, and I needed to drive this fucking massive boat of a automotive. I truly took to all of it proper. The factor is that these automobiles are previous, in order that they’re exhausting to get going with the maneuverability, and all of that. So, it took a short while, however as soon as I received the cling of it, it was all proper. The automotive stored stalling. I stored considering every part was my fault, however they have been like, “No, it’s the car.”

Have been there another particular expertise you needed to study for this present?

MALARKEY:  Considered one of my largest priorities, as a result of I do know individuals within the Air Pressure, was that I needed to ensure to have a quick salute. For me, it was about stepping into his physique and simply having that develop into pure, getting into. That was very, essential for me, from an actor’s perspective, and it was enjoyable. I actually have loved stepping into that mind-set. It’s not one thing that I’ve carried out earlier than, nevertheless it got here naturally to me.

Is that this a personality that you simply’re hoping to get to proceed to play for a bit as a result of he’s such an fascinating man?

MALARKEY:  Completely! I feel when individuals see the season and watch the trajectory and see the layers proceed to unravel, they’ll study that Quinn shouldn’t be all that he appears. He’s obtained numerous totally different shit that’s occurred to him, through the years. He has many extra seasons value of fabric to discover, that’s for positive, as does Hynek. The factor about this present is that every episode is predicated on an unique case file, for probably the most half, and there are literally thousands of them. We have now this excellent trove of fabric to attract from. It’s nearly for David [O’Leary] and Sean [Jablonski] going, “Okay, let’s put these in yes, no and maybe piles, and then root through them and see which ones resonate with us and are going to work for the story, as well as which will have parallels to the relationships and things that are going on.” The gorgeous half about this present is that, with every episode, you see parallels between the large story and the private arcs.

Project Blue Guide premieres on the Historical past Channel on January eighth.

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