COLONY Scoop: Interview with Josh Holloway and Sarah Wayne Callies

In the new alien-occupation drama series COLONY, the world as we know it has changed forever.  No longer is human kind in charge of their own destiny; an outside alien presence controls everything they do.  There is the semblance of normalcy, but with militant curfews and mile-high barriers separating geographic sections, life under occupation rule is dramatically different.   The alien overlords are only benevolent if humans cooperate and obey their rules.  

For Will and Katie Bowman, that is difficult for their son Charlie is missing.  Charlie was caught in a separate “zone” when the barriers were erected and they have no way of knowing if their son is alive or dead, and if he is alive, if he is okay.  So in an effort to do everything possible, Will (Josh Holloway) attempts to leave their “zone” and is caught; leading to an offer he could not refuse:  collaborate.  However, unbeknownst to Will, his wife Katie (Sarah Wayne Callies) is not quite so likeminded and she finds out that he husband is now a collaborator and she decides to make him the “inside-man” that she can exploit to get information to the Resistance.  With husband and wife pitted against each other and working for such different ends, how can this end we’ll?

While at the recent Television Critics Association, stars Josh Holloway and Sarah Wayne Callies talked about the heart-wrenching conflicts and emotional turmoil that their characters endure all for the sake of trying to find their son.

After watching the end of the first episode, the audience now knows that Katie is working for the Resistance.  Will her husband figure that out soon too?
JOSH:  No.  Actually, the way they did it, it looks like that.  That’s more patient in unfolding.
SARAH:  That’s much later.
JOSH:  Yes, he suspects there is a mole, but he has no idea.  But even when he does suspect, he does not want to suspect that.  So he will look for any reason that it could not be her.  It’s his wife.  He loves her.  So he, obviously, doesn’t want it to be her.  Plus, it is not who they have been.  
SARAH:  And Katie runs a bar.
JOSH: [Laughs] There’s been no secrets in their marriage.  This is the beginning of that.  Well, when you lose a child — just look at the statistics — most marriages do not survive.  So they are already damaged just from that and it starts to seep in.

Are we supposed to be rooting for Will and Katie to survive in their marriage?
SARAH: I am!
JOSH:  I think they can make it.
SARAH:  I think Will and Katie love each other as much as anybody can.  They belong together and they have had a great romance.  They have three wonderful children.  They have been happy in their careers.  Before this arrival, Will and Katie had all they could want.
JOSH:  And a good sex life.
SARAH:  [Laughs] Absolutely!

Do Will and Katie’s other children get involved with helping their parents on their respective sides?
JOSH: That is part of the mystery.  
SARAH:  It is their goal to protect them as much as possible.  But the greatest danger that both Will and Katie are involved in is that it cost the children.  The pilot episode starts with a “Sophie’s choice” — do you protect the children that you have by ignoring the fact that one of your children is gone, or do you risk the lives of the children that are with you in order to go after the child that is missing?  That’s an untenable dilemma. And if it were me, I would be thinking about it every hour of every day.  They are 10 months into this occupation and every morning, Katie is going, “I can’t forget about Charlie. But  I’ve got Bram and Gracie.”  So I think in some ways the worst collateral damage of the things that Will and Katie are involved in is the idea that it could cost them their children and that it would endanger them. Lying to each other is one thing, lying to the children is another.  
JOSH:  It’s interesting that you ask that question because they have a son the is becoming a man. So that is the thing.  That is not something they can control.  He has his own mind now.  Will and Katie may want to protect him as his parents, but he is at that age.  So who knows where he is going to go.  But it is logical.  

Are we going to be seeing their son Charlie any time soon?  Will we get a chance to meet him and see what is going on with him?
SARAH:  [Laughs] We can’t tell you that!
JOSH:  We can’t tell you that yet.
SARAH:  What you start to see is you get a deeper and deeper sense of how Charlie’s loss and absence is affecting the two of them and the lengths that they will go to find information about him.
JOSH:  That’s the premise of where the show starts. Everyone is becoming complacent or accepting that their son is not there.
SARAH:  They are getting used to it.

Do we find out if Charlie is even alive?
JOSH:  We don’t know yet.  
SARAH:  That’s why you will want to see it when it airs.

How far along are you in filming?
SARAH:  We have shot all 10 episodes.  

What is driving Will and Katie?  Is it just fear or is it rage? What is their motivation?
SARAH:  I think it is love.  These are people who deeply, deeply love each other and their family — to the extent that living without a single member of their family in untenable — especially for Katie.  That starts to widen.  It’s almost a patriotism and, not just that she’s an American, but that she is human.  I think at a certain point it becomes an issue for Katie of:  would you rather die standing there or are there things worth sacrificing? And I think for Katie, for someone who has never been in the police force and who has never been in the Army Rangers or a cop, these are questions she has never had to ask herself because she was a bartender and a mom.  But I think she starts wrestling with these philosophical issues.  The issue of:  even if it costs me and mine, if we can advance the needle of humanity making it, is that worth it?  Katie starts to feel that she would rather die human, than live alien-occupied.  

Does the fact that Katie is now aligned with the Resistance and is feeding them information that she obtained from her husband creating a real problem for Will?
JOSH:  Yes, ’cause obviously they are always a step ahead.  That’s the thing about Will, part of what he is trying to do is to get information.  They know nothing about these invaders.  So in order to do his job at all, he has to believe somehow that he is trying to protect innocent people from getting killed because the Resistance is not organized.  They do not have enough information.  That’s kind of how he justifies what he is trying to do.  As a former FBI investigator, he is trying to look for information everywhere.  That’s kind of the mission.  I don’t know where that is going to go, but in my heart, Will is looking for their weakness as well as protecting his family.

Is Katie torn by the differing directions the Resistance wants to take?  
SARAH: Absolutely.  What Carlton and Ryan explore so beautifully with this story about resistance/insurgency is the space between your ideals and your actions.  Katie is passionate and naive, which makes her very vulnerable to manipulation and exploitation.  I think the story of her first few weeks and months with the Resistance is the story of a woman realizing that this is a group of people who have come together by any means necessary perspective, and that there are profound philosophical differences.

To find out how Will and Katie’s actions and choices may come back to haunt them and if their family can survive, be sure to tune in for all new episodes of COLONY on Thursday nights at 10:00 p.m. on USA Network.