The Star-Crossed Stars Talk New CW Series
By: Lynn Barker
Here’s the haps on the new CW Sci-Fi drama show “Star-Crossed”. When now 16-year-old Emery (Aimee Teegarden) was 6 years old, she met young Roman (Matt Lanter) who was hiding behind her house and befriended him. An alien spacecraft had crash-landed in her small town and the locals were busy fighting the small group of “Atrians” not bothering to find out if they were friendly or invaders. Alien Roman was captured and taken away. Emery believed he was dead.
After ten years, during which the aliens were segregated from humans in a camp called the Sector, a small group of alien teens are enrolling in Emery’s high school as an experiment. Can humans and Atrians really co-exist? The whole world is watching as Roman and Emery rekindle their early attraction. When their dads clash violently in the Sector, can Emery and Roman’s Romeo & Juliet romance survive prejudice and fear?
In addition to Aimee (“Friday Night Lights” and the Disney movie Prom) and Matt Lanter (“90210”), Grey Damon (“The Secret Circle”) plays Grayson, a human student. Kidzworld got some info on the new show and feeling “alien” in high and middle school from Aimee, Matt and Grey recently.
Q: Aimee, this series is a combo of sci-fi and high school relationship drama. Is that how you see it?
- Aimee: There’s a sci-fi component to it and there’s the high school but they kept pushing us, and we were thrilled to go there, deeper and deeper into the science fiction. Where did (the aliens) come from? What was the reality of that planet? (What about) the different factions within the Atrians? (We were into) really understanding their culture more, and then, as the season goes on, really dissecting and questioning was it a crash landing? How and why really did they come here? Were there different agendas in coming here? So for the sci fi fans, we’ll be touching on things like that and a lot more things I think they’ll get a kick out of.
Q: When you guys were in high school or junior high, did you ever feel like an alien?
- Grey: I kind of was always on my own planet anyway. Yeah, I mean, there’s always a period, puberty, what have you, where it’s a little awkward, and you need to figure out the world and people around you and how to engage and all that. I kind of was sort of out of it most of the time anyway. So I didn’t really feel too alienated.
- Aimee: I was super awkward. I was probably the most awkward teenager. I was so awkward I graduated when I was 15 just because I didn’t want to deal with it anymore. I just had my own things in life that I wanted to do, and I didn’t wear the proper clothes. I didn’t grow up in the right family. I didn’t grow up in the best neighborhood. But it was something that everyone goes through, I think, at some point.
- I think that’s a great thing about the show is that with Emery, my character, and the Atrians, they are both entering high school for the first time, and it’s through both of their eyes. You see how differently people perceive them. Whereas, right now in real life, going into high school, being the awkward kid, you’re treated a certain way; getting called names and whatnot. But all of a sudden, all that pressure is off, and it’s all on the Atrians. That, I think, is a really interesting dynamic. Yeah, I think everyone can relate to feeling awkward and weird and alien.
- Matt: Yeah, I think everyone can probably say that they felt weird or awkward or like they didn’t belong whether you were a racial minority or whether you were just short. I was always really, really short growing up. I was picked on for being short, and I’m still like not the tallest of guys, but we all go through stuff like that. So I think there’s just relatable things that we can all pick out in our lives that made us like an alien or awkward before.
Q: Matt, you went to school in Atlanta. Is that where you got into acting?
- Matt: I wasn’t a theater kid. My sister did some theater. I didn’t really discover this until after high school. I was doing some background work on a movie in Atlanta, and I just fell in love with it. I’ve always been into TV and movies and stuff behind the scenes. I’ve always thought it was magical. But I played sports. I’m not sure if I felt like I really belonged to any one thing.
Q: On “Star-Crossed”, Is it kind of odd that these beings from another world look just like us… except more tattoos?
- Matt: Well, but also the fact that why not? There’s millions of millions of planets. Who knows what life looks like elsewhere?
Q: Matt, this is a varied role for you. Roman is partly politician, partly fighter, partly lover. You exist in both of the worlds because you spend a lot of time in the high school, and a lot of time back in your internment camp. Talk about that.
- Matt: Yeah. When I read the script, it was a different character, set in a different world. It was going to be shot in a different way and had a different tone and everything. So different was what really drew me to it. Having the team that we have was a huge draw for me; the writing, Aimee being on board and all. Roman, like you said, is a very complicated character with a lot of depth.
- He’s a leader who is being thrust into that position. I actually always think that’s an interesting thing to play, and I think it’s an interesting thing to watch when you have someone who is maybe not ready to be a leader, doesn’t maybe even believe that they’re a leader themselves, but they’re put in that position. That creates a lot of really cool moments, I think, as an audience and for the character.
Q: And doing scenes in both the high school and the internment camp? What’s that like?
- Matt: I think it’s really a nice dynamic that we have the high school where things are pretty. We have the cool futuristic gadgets; we’ve got the holograms and the clear glow- in-the-dark phones and things like that. But then we have the contrasting camp Sector, which is what we know as a slum and it’s built with shipping containers that are rusted-out and old technology.
- Atrians don’t have access to the futuristic tech and things like that, so it’s actually really cool. The stuff that we have now as a society is actually old tech for the Atrian Sector. It all interconnects and it is a really cool kind of juxtaposition as far as the look and feel of the two different places.
Q: Grey, you and Aimee were both on “Friday Night Lights”. Were there vast numbers of Julie-and-Hastings scenes that were left on the cutting room floor, whole subplots that we never got to see when the show ended?
- Grey: Yeah. My character kind of got cut short because we didn’t know the show was going to stop. They had big plans, but then we when it came down to it, we had to wrap up all the previous cast again, bring them back, and say goodbye to them. They were going to dive into Hastings’ personal life, romances, what have you. It was cool. I really would have liked to have seen where it went.
Q: Aimee, what types of stories will develop on “Star-Crossed”?
- Aimee: Throughout the season from episode to episode, we go through the character relationships and integration, and then it will have a great episode that goes sort of into the mythology of the Atrians, and you get to know little pieces about their history and where they come from and how they split into different segregated groups or tribes. The show does a nice job of kind of taking you along through the season through different aspects and stories.
Q: Matt, Roman has the Atrian tattoos. How long does it take to apply them and what are they actually made of?
- Matt: It’s actually a pretty easy process, easier probably than what most think. We went through the design phase to get the look right, and then it’s like an 8 by 10 sheet of paper that hey put through a printer and print off the markings. And they kind of paste on with water and peel off. The end of the day is actually a little harder where you’ve got to scrub it off with oil. But it’s really not that bad.
Q: What do they mean?
- Matt: Well, they do have a function and I don’t want to give that away. But there are cool features about them. They are kind of what we would refer to as birthmarks, I guess. And every Atrian is different. There are four different tribes in the Atrians and those that are in the same tribe or in the same family will have common features. So Roman and Sophia have some common features within their birthmarks, and Roman and his Uncle Castor have some common features, but no two Atrians are the same.
Check out “Star-Crossed” on the CW starting February 17th.