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TV Goodness Reports: FOX’s Almost Human [INTERVIEW]

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Photo Credit: Liane Hentscher/FOX

We’ve already let you guys in on the fact that we have a premature infatuation with the new drama Almost Human.

Well, the premiere date for this buddy cop/sci fi show is, thankfully, fast approaching. FOX is giving it a huge boost by making this a two-night event. On Nov. 17, the series premiere will air after an NFL on FOX doubleheader. You know what that means. It’s going to get a great lead in since the NFL is king and always manages to score king-sized ratings. Then Almost Human will air again Monday Nov. 18 on its regular night.

While Sleepy Hollow was our surprise hit of the Fall TV season, we have been anticipating Almost Human‘s arrival for what seems like forever. We’re expecting big things for the show. The pilot is good, the chemistry between Karl Urban and Michael Ealy is instant. We’re ready for it to start. So we’re going to get you guys primed.

Almost Human in a nutshell? According to FOX, the series “is an action-packed police procedural set 35 years in the future, when police officers are partnered with highly evolved human-like androids.”

At the core of the show are two characters:

  • Karl Urban plays John Kennex, the damaged detective who’s lost a leg and has to deal with a lot of baggage and a healthy dislike for all things robotic. Too bad he woke up from a 17-month coma only to find his leg replaced with a “highly sophisticated synthetic appendage.” Yeah, that can’t be good for a guy who hates robots.
  • Michael Ealy plays Dorian, a highly sophisticated android who exhibits some emotions of the human variety.

So if you’re keeping score, we’ve got a human with a robotic leg and an android who acts more human than actual humans. Let’s let Karl and Michael talk more about their characters — we got the chance to catch up with the spectacularly hot actors this summer at Comic-Con:

KARL URBAN

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Photo Credit: Liane Hentscher/FOX

On Det. John Kennex

KARL: One of the elements that really attracted me to Almost Human — apart from J.J. [Abrams] and Joel [J.H. Wyman, Creator/EP, Almost Human] and this amazing cast — was the character of John Kennex and his story. I found it intriguing that this character wakes up after two years and finds himself in an unfamiliar world. He’s kind of like a dinosaur. And he has to learn how to operate in this society and not only function and protect and serve the citizens of this city but then also deal with the baggage of his past which obviously includes this sort of apprehensive feeling that he has towards anything robotic. Because he feels that it’s kind of partly responsible for the loss of his buddies. And then to wake up and find himself saddled with this bio mechanical leg is sort of pouring salt in his wounds.

On Dorian changing John Kennex’s perspective

KARL: I feel like at the beginning of the pilot the character of John Kennex is kind of in a shell. He’s beaten up. He’s been through a really tough time. He has a lot of anger, bitterness, resentment, guilt, pain. And he has a very kind of sick vision, I think, of technology…of androids. And in the course of getting to work with Dorian, I think that kind of engineers a little bit of a paradigm shift. And to me that’s really interesting. That’s just the beginning of the story.

On working with Michael Ealy and the cast

KARL: You know what? He is fantastic and I just feel so blessed to be working with him. And that’s really a testament to the great guy that he is but also to, you know, J.J. Abrams. That’s what he does so well. He puts together really wonderful ensembles. Great groups of people. He did it in Fringe. He did it in Lost and Alias. He did it in Star Trek, obviously, and he’s done it again here. I feel really truly blessed to be a part of it. These casts become like second families to you. I totally trust and believe and have my faith in J.J. and he’s done it again as far as I’m concerned.

MICHAEL EALY

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Photo Credit: Liane Hentscher/FOX

On how the show has challenged Michael’s beliefs

MICHAEL: I didn’t really care about the future as much as I do now. This show is set 40 years in the future which is right around the corner — it’s the near future. And the fact that our kids could be living in a world like this has created a stronger interest in the future for me, personally.

On how Dorian changes Kennex’s perspective 

MICHAEL: I think in the pilot there’s a glimpse of how Dorian is able to kind of show Kennex there’s possibly another way. That maybe we’re not all the same. I think we’re going to spend most of the first season trying to create some sort of relationship between these two guys that goes beyond just a working relationship. And I think for Dorian who’s eager to try and prove himself especially this being his second chance — I think it’s gonna be pretty compelling to watch whether or not it works.

On figuring out how to play a robot with human tendencies  

MICHAEL: My approach was more playing a human with robot tendencies. I found that that that worked out better for me as opposed to robot first. Joel was very clear with me from the beginning that this guy was more…this guy…Dorian…he’s more human than certain humans so that makes it all the more fun to play.

On how human Dorian actually gets and whether or not the character will be able to fall in love

MICHAEL: One of the reasons I almost didn’t take the role was…I read it and I remember talking to my manager. I was like, ‘I don’t know…he’s never gonna have a love interest…you know what I mean? I mean, I don’t see how that…’ I stopped myself in the middle of that statement and was like, wait a minute. If he operates from a place of free will, what’s to stop him from that? Whether it happens, we don’t know. But I think it’s interesting to not know right now. And to see how it all evolves. I try to make it clear as an actor that Dorian’s desire to be human is very strong. It’s very, very strong. In certain situations it can be perceived as possibly annoying, overeager, but I also think there’s a certain amount of beauty in that. I like to refer to him as a reflection of the humanity that we all take for granted.

Almost Human will air Mondays at 8/7c on FOX but will first debut Sunday Nov. 17 after football.

Almost Human Season 1 Photo Shoot

 

 

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