We love seeing familiar faces return to TV. Which is why we’re thrilled Julian McMahon is back from his acting hiatus and starring in SyFy’s new miniseries CHILDHOOD’S END. If you’ve been following the latest from SyFy, you’ll already been aware of the stellar CHILDHOOD’S END, based on the Arthur C. Clarke 1953 novel of the same name. If you haven’t, here’s a quick sum up of the three night event. An alien armada invades Earth in an unusual fashion. Rather than seek and destroy, they settle peacefully over the planet and assure humanity they are just there to help. As the story unfolds over three nights, we learn just how true that vow to help really is.
At a recent SyFy party, we got a chance to corner Julian McMahon and ask about his thoughts on the miniseries, what we’ll see from his billionaire character in Night Two and Night Three of CHILDHOOD’S END and what’s on the horizon for him. Check out our exclusive interview below.
We really loved CHILDHOOD’S END. What did you think of the content and how did you get involved with it?
Julian: I can’t remember exactly how I got involved. But I’m a big sci-fi fan anyway, kind of a freaky-deaky guy. Arthur C. Clarke is somebody I had read. I had read a few of his books and had a particular taste for his stuff. I knew this book quite well. So I think that was really the main attraction. It’s the ability to get to tell his story. I thought it was the right fit.
The overall quality of CHILDHOOD’S END was really impressive. What do you attribute that to?
Julian: Money. I thought [Matthew] Graham wrote a really good script. I really enjoyed it. Nick [Hurran] is a great director. Really communicative with his actors and also visually, very good. I know both of their work quite well. Whenever I am invited to do something or asked to do something or even consider something, I spend a lot of time researching who is involved. Again, this looked like a pretty good fit.
Talk a little bit about your character and what happens with him over the three-night series.
Julian: I play Rupert Boyce, a philanthropic billionaire who has a rather large ego. He has connected with the Overlords, Karellen in particular. Selfishly—in an attempt to advance the human culture— he’s attempting to connect with this other world and establish a relationship with them. But to also probably get there [the other world] and to be, hopefully, the first person of planet Earth to establish a human colony somewhere else. He comes from this very introverted desire and dreams that he doesn’t really express but that’s where he’s coming from. In that, he gets lost in this desire and starts to forget about the culture and reasons he’s doing it in the first place— for humanity. I think he’s manipulated like everyone else is. I think he’s slightly blindly manipulated by this peaceful existence. In the third act, well….watch it but he doesn’t get what he wants. That’s all I’ll tell you. But it’s good that he doesn’t. But we also find out his mission was a bit more pure, in regards to what he was trying to accomplish, than what we see in the second act.
CHILDHOOD’S END was really split up into separate acts with different stories. It’ll be interested to see how they tie it together.
Julian: The intertwining of the stories takes effect in the third act.
What stood out to you while you were filming this? What sets it apart from other mini-series events?
Julian: I was impressed by the size of it, really. It was just epic. As soon as I got there and got to see some dailies and what they were doing with it, It was quite seismic. It looked big, very cinematic. They employed a lot of different things to accomplish that. They had a little bit more money, which helps when you’re trying to shoot something of this size.
What’s up next for you? What are you working on?
Julian: I just finished another show for SyFy called HUNTERS. It’s with Gail Ann Hurd producing. She’s from ALIENS and WALKING DEAD. Written by Natalie Chaidez, who did 12 MONKEYS.
I love 12 MONKEYS.
Julian: Oh yeah. It’s great. This is their new series called HUNTERS and it’s about an invasion of Earthy by aliens. [laughs] These ones are quite different though. It’s an aggressive….I don’t want it to sound bad so I’m trying to think of the right word! It’s aggressive. This [CHILDHOOD’S END] is a peaceful invasion, HUNTERS is not. HUNTERS is very scary. It’s almost a horror type flick. I play one of the lead hunters. He’s not a very nice man. [laughs] Actually, he’s not a man at all. He’s an alien.
When does that one come out?
Julian: That comes out in March.
How does it feel to be getting back to the sci-fi genre?
Julian: For me, I just took four years off the business altogether. So I’m getting back into it. For some reason, sci-fi seemed to have things that I found attractive. So here I am. It’s great, I love it.
CHILDHOOD’S END airs for three nights, starting on Monday Dec 14th, at 8pm EST on SyFy.