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Interview with Michael Malarkey of "Project
Blue Book" on History Channel 12/19/18
I didn't learn about this call until
after it happened, but they were kind enough to send me the
transcript, anyway. Good series!
CONFERENCE CALL WITH MICHAEL MALARKEY
OF HISTORY’S NEW DRAMA SERIES “PROJECT BLUE BOOK”
Premieres Tuesday, January 8 at 10/9c Call Date: December
Operator: Thank you. Ladies and gentlemen,
our first question comes from Jamie Ruby with SciFi Vision.
You may proceed with your question.
Jamie Ruby: SciFi
Vision. Hi, thanks so much for talking to us today.
Michael Malarkey: You are welcome. Good to be here.
Jamie Ruby: Great. So can you talk about how much research
you did into, like, the real history of what happened, the
time period and beyond before taking on the role?
Michael Malarkey: Yes absolutely. I mean, it's my job as an
actor especially when you're playing real life people and
regarding events that actually happened to do as much
research as you can into a condensed time period. I am
actually still doing research. I definitely got the bug and
I'm pretty far down the worm hole. I'm still obsessively
watching documentaries and witness accounts and it's really
changed my mind about the whole thing.
read a great amount of Edward J. Ruppelt’s book, who was the
head of Blue Book at the time, and who my character is
loosely based on and I even did research at Wright-Patterson
Air Force Base because I grew up near there. So, I went back
during the holidays and I know some people in the Air Force
and I wanted to really immerse myself in this world as well
as I could. I even flew a plane, I did some flying
Jaime Ruby: Oh, wow.
Malarkey: ...and I thought that was important to be able to
feel what 3G and 4Gs felt like.
I wasn't flying when
we were going 4Gs, I had my co-pilot Air Force guy doing
that but we did a lot of the maneuvers and things and yes
that was intimidating but I felt like it was important for
me to know how to deal with situations of extreme duress and
keep a cool head, which Quinn does definitely throughout the
Jamie Ruby: Okay and as a follow-up you said
it changed how you felt, can you kind of expand on that? I
mean how do you see the whole lot if it's real I guess if
you could say?
Michael Malarkey: Well I mean it's,
hands down, a real phenomenon and a real cover up that’s
going on. The question at the time was not whether they
exist or not in a way from the Air Force standpoint, instead
it was, were they Russian interplanetary at least from the
powers above. Quinn was not as knowledgeable about
everything that was going on. The Generals even had
questions and doubts in certain cases but they whisked it
off the table and swept it under the rug.
personally, I just haven't given it an adequate amount of
thought. I guess that it's just one of those things that you
hear about and I think especially, you know, I was born in
’83 and this stuff had already been going on and aliens had
already become cartoons and devalued as a thing that you
would think about.
For me it's - I don't know if it's
“aliens” or not but I definitely feel like whatever these
objects are in our skies - and I've seen a lot of footage,
you have to comb through a lot of the fake stuff out there
at the moment and people are really good at doctoring things
up - but there's enough legit stuff out there to see that
there are intelligent objects moving throughout our skies at
various times and very particular, very specific places as
well. There's a lot of sightings over the nuclear facilities
and things and those conclusions are really fascinating of
what why they would be interested in that.
there's also the idea that there are, you know, AI drones
from outer space as well. There's just so much rich material
to draw from, and I think that’s the exciting thing about
this show is that as much as it is a drama and you do have
to take artistic license to be able to tell a story, at the
same time hopefully what the show will do is reactivate an
incredible interest from people who aren't as aware of the
depths of what's going on and the truth behind the stories
told. The history and it's reality id huge, and it's global
as well, not just in America.
Jamie Ruby: All right,
great. Well thank you so much. Michael Malarkey: Sure, thank
Operator: Our next question comes from Lisa
Macklem with SpoilerTV.com, you may proceed with your
Lisa Macklem: Hi thanks so much for talking
Michael Malarkey: Hi Lisa.
Macklem: I'm really interested in how the issues of UFOs and
nuclear proliferation and the Communist threat and all that
stuff is being woven together. Do you have a favorite part
of the storyline? What really drew you to the project to
Michael Malarkey: Well, I mean, just from
an actor's standpoint, this was a type of role I have never
played before and I pride myself as being a versatile actor
and I want to do as many different kinds of things and –
that I can. For me the most exciting thing about the project
-- also from an actor's standpoint alone -- is the
relationship between Hynek and myself and how that evolves
and grows and mutates. It's a really fascinating journey and
this story is really a story about trust in a way and belief
and not just in what do you believe what's going on out
there but also who do you trust on the ground.
it's just an extremely complicated character who has a lot
on his shoulders, you know, when you're in the Air Force or
the military in any branch, you shut up and follow orders
and Quinn is very much doing that at the beginning and
fighting with it throughout the season when he starts to see
more of the conspiracy going on that he is not aware of even
though he and Hynek have very top clearance.
just - I love the period aspect as well. It's beautifully
shot, we have Robert Zemeckis’ team on board, so it just
looks like a movie the entire way through, the look is
incredible, the character relationships and dramas are
multifaceted and I think it's just a proper show that's
going to have a very big audience -- I truly believe and
hope that for this series.
Lisa Macklem: Yes the sets
are, like, they are amazing, I think I used the word
luscious to describe them. I mean they're terrific and I'm
loving the dynamic between Quinn and Hynek and how you can
see, I mean, I think I'm seeing it because I've only seen
the first six episodes but that Quinn is starting to sort of
be swayed by Hynek and really starting to question things
and I like the little hints we are getting about, you know,
Quinn’s background and, you know, that he might have some
lasting effects of the war and stuff. Are we going to see
more of that, are we going to get a definitive sort of take
on exactly what Quinn's relationship with Hynek is going to
Michael Malarkey: Strictly romantic. Well I mean
yes -- you definitely see it evolve and I think there's a
real potential for long game here and I know there is some
excitement about caring on and seeing where this ends up --
the season's down the line -- which is always exciting to
hear, when you're excited about the show you're working on
that everybody wants to carry on with it.
I mean it's
just such a rich subject meaning there's way too many untold
stories, let alone this one within it has so many untold
stories and there's so many things we can do, so that's
pretty awesome. I forgot the first part of your question
Lisa Macklem: Just whether or not we're going
to see Quinn being swayed more to sort of Hynek’s
Michael Malarkey: Oh yes, well I think
the cool thing is that Quinn has become accustomed as an Air
Force captain to just deal with other Air Force people and
we see him looking somewhat awkward in dealing with Hynek’s
family and his son and his wife. He's not used to working
alongside the civilian guy. And also, the way that Hynek
breaks down and analyzes everything is not something he is
used to either, which Quinn starts to notice over time, just
how brilliant that actually is.
At the beginning,
Quinn is really writing Hynek off as this sort of, you know,
egghead professor, needles him about everything and he still
does that to a certain extend as the season progresses. The
great thing also is that there are, you know, really
humorous little nuances in Aidan that I have seen him bring
to Hynek -- looks and little side comments -- and we try to
keep it a little fun as well.
Lisa Macklem: Yes it's
great. I'm hoping for many, many more seasons.
Michael Malarkey: Me too, sister. Thank you.
Operator: Our next question comes
from Alejandro Rojas with Open Minds Radio. You may proceed
with your question.
Alejandro Rojas: All right, thank
you so much for talking to us about this exciting show.
Michael Malarkey: Absolutely I really enjoyed your
podcast with David, which I tuned in to.
Rojas: Oh I am so happy that you heard it, it was a lot of
fun. So then you probably know the angle of the questions
that I'll be asking you. The first one is what were your
thoughts or if you had any thoughts on this topic before you
were approached with this project? And then what was your
reaction when you found out there was such a rich history to
this topic in the military's involvement?
Malarkey: Well it's weird because I was shocked and not
shocked at the same time. I've always felt like there are
things going on beneath the scenes. I was raised in a very
small little hippie town called Yellow Springs, Ohio, which
is home of Antioch University and it's very famous for being
one of the most liberal colleges in the States and also
people have extremely open minds there and encourage
alternative thought and music and art and everything.
So I feel like I was blessed in that I've always kept an
open mind about everything. I'll never shut down and just
say these are my beliefs. I always believe in being open to
changing my opinions, I digress a little bit but yes as I
said before I was aware of it but not as aware of just how
vast the numbers were and how many cases there were. I mean,
it was like some 15 to 20% that fell into the unknown
The unknown categories are observers who
aren't affected by (unintelligible) physical, so
psychological reports after exhaustive investigations. The
thing is the further you go down this rabbit hole, I think
anybody who does, cannot help but question that something
else out there exists and actually believe that it does. I
know that word is thrown around a lot but belief to me means
believing that it is a legitimate thing that we have not
been told about and I think that we're at a place now as
well and I might add that we are almost desensitized to it
enough that it wouldn't cause as much of the panic that
initially was thought it was going to cause.
know if people agree with me on that but I feel like we're
almost ready for a bit more of the disclosure that we've
been denied for so many years.
Alejandro Rojas: I
totally agree and that's what makes the timing of the show
almost perfect in that I'm sure you're aware, you know, we
had this New York Times article that came out about a year
ago that the Pentagon did had a secret UFO program after
denying having any...
Michael Malarkey: Oh, yes.
Alejandro Rojas: ...involvement like that for decades
and so it does seem like the public is ripe for more
credible information like this show presents.
Malarkey: Sure, yes, I couldn’t agree more, I’m ready.
Alejandro Rojas: Yes totally ready, it’s exciting and
it's exciting to see all this unfold and I hope that this
show, you know, aids in all of that but with you saying you
had read Ruppelt’s book, what's great - I found this great
quote from Hynek about being resentful about the Air Force's
negative and unyielding attitude towards the UFO topic and
it seems that, you know, your character really encapsulates
that aspect that feeling of the Air Force. Do you feel like,
you know, was that a goal of yours to kind of project that?
Michael Malarkey: Yes absolutely, I mean, from an
actor’s standpoint, one of the most important things for me
is we need to believe this guy has been to the war, has
killed people and seen his friends be killed and understand
the chain of command and it's almost just boom, second
nature and so I spent a lot of time working on the
non-verbal, getting a snappy salute understanding what it
means when you're speaking to certain officials and the
gravitas of all that and that was a very important thing to
me to understand and portray.
And I also want to add
that it's important we don't portray or paint the Air Force
as villains here. This has always been in an effort to
protect the people, although it's been skewed over time to
become more and more corrupt. But I think Quinn very much
represents the innocence of that as well and that's
important to portray.
Alejandro Rojas: I think that's
a really good point in that, it's much more complicated
typically and I'll bet that others ask more questions after
this. Like you say that the Air Force is kind of in -
there's been a lack of sympathy -- I think -- for the
position that they've been put on, it’s a weird topic and
they have to investigate and speak to it and that's not an
easy thing to do while dealing with the public and, you
know, I guess what has been your approach to that to try to,
you know, represent the Air Force barely but at the same
time also be part of, you know, your character part of this
Michael Malarkey: Yes well, you know, they
were told to only answer direct questions from press; the
bare facts about what was reported and any information that
was collated afterwards was not released. And that's kind of
an important point is that they sent their thesis to the
press and then they did their break downs later and, you
know, as much as you're aware of the classified papers were
released afterwards and there were doctors as well, some
information was redacted.
When you look at the NSA
documents in that you can read, like, six lines on some of
the pages and they are all blotted out but this was all part
of the control of information to the masses, which is
something we're still under going out. The brilliant thing
about doing the show now is that we're so aware of that
entire scheme now, and I think if there's anything we can
gain from this current turbulent time it's that the public
is now becoming more aware of the controversy and
questioning what they're being fed and that's so important,
and I hope that our show can show just how that started.
I feel like, you know, Sean Jablonski and David O’Leary
always say this was the original fake news campaign or
whatever, which, you know, it's topical and I think even
younger people will be able to connect with that aspect of
it and see how the Air Force was doing that at that time.
Alejandro Rojas: Great thank you. I think all this
thoughtfulness and intelligence is really coming out in the
show and it is making it a much more rich and fascinating
Michael Malarkey: Right there man. Thanks
for your interest.
Operator: Our next question comes
from Kat Hobson with Fate Magazine. You may proceed with
Kat Hobson: Yes hello thank you. Hello
Michael, thank you for taking your time to participate here.
Michael Malarkey: Hi there, it’s my pleasure, happy to
Kat Hobson: My question is kind of two-fold.
In addition to the event’s videos and the reading and
research that you have done trying to prep for this show,
which I'm very excited about, did the fact that there are
over 700 cases that remained unexplained when they closed
Project Blue Book affect the outcome of your beliefs and do
you feel that there's a possibility that this show would be
considered a part of the quote unquote disclosure that
people are anticipating coming in this year?
Malarkey: Thank you for your question. Our show definitely
is separate from anything that has to do with that. First of
all, I have to say that, it's a TV show, it's a drama. If
anything, like I said, I hope that it will stimulate a new
found interest especially in people who just kind of sweep
these things under the rug. Yes, it's changed my mind. I've
seen too much for me to discredit this entire thing and,
regardless of your opinion on the matter, I think that the
facts pointed that there's definitely been strange and
unexplained phenomena in the skies whatever that may be and
there's definitely been going and ongoing government cover
up about it.
The thing is that there were a lot of
things that were natural phenomena that were explained, you
know, the solar reflections on low hanging clouds and small
meteors that break up and there are crystals catching the
ray of the sun and icing conditions that maybe could have
flattened out and caused gliding of some sort but those are
actually kind of rare as well. The sheer magnitude of the
ones that were seen by professionals and specialists that
were legitimate witnesses, police officers, Air Force people
who were accustomed to seeing those other kinds of phenomena
in the skies were seeing something completely different.
And it goes without saying that when people spoke out
and said they saw something like that – unfamiliar -- they
were often ostracized or lobotomized -
- allegedly. All
kinds of things were happening to these people and there
were even organizations. I mean, we delve into a case with
these almost, like, fallen pilots who had all gotten
together - I forgot which episode it is - all gotten
together and created this coalition of this self-help group
or something dealing with it because they're made to seem
crazy and these are legit people, yes.
Helpful. Thank you for answering that. I know it's very
difficult and I know probably you're going to come across if
you haven't already in the course of this work, people that
think that you are real - they'll forget that it's a drama
they'll be drawn into that. That happens a lot…
Michael Malarkey: That is also a pitfall of working in TV is
that, you know, there will be people that are looking for us
to give them the answers that they want and it's a shame we
can't. I wish we could. I wish I was given the answers.
People look at you on TV and think of your character and,
you know, I'm a dad, I play in a band and this is my main
line of work and I just happened to be absolutely enraptured
by it, which is pretty cool but I'm by no means of
Kat Hobson: Well I am just looking forward
to you doing your work. You have got a fantastic background
and I have enjoyed what I've seen. I'm looking forward to
this experience and enjoying you in here, thank you all.
Michael Malarkey: You're going to love it.
Hobson: I am, I know I will, thank you.
Malarkey: Thanks a lot.
Operator: Our next question
comes from Erik Werlin with JeanBookNerd, please proceed
with your question.
Erik Werlin: Well I just want to
also thank you for taking the time to talk to us this
morning and I watched the trailer for this TV show and it
just looks captivating, riveting, beautiful just - it looks
phenomenal. My question is what was it like to work with all
the other talented actors and actresses on this show and
what was it like to work to be on a show that's being
produced by Robert Zemeckis?
Michael Malarkey: Yes
it's definitely an ensemble piece. Everybody is at the top
of their game. I feel like so many stars aligned for this --
excuse the pun or metaphor or whatever it is. Aidan and I
just got on like a dream, it was really a blessing for that
to be the case when you have the two leads that just kind of
understand the work ethic and are both extremely interested
in the story being told and the subject matter.
funny, actually, because I spent all my 20s in London. I
went to London Academy of Music and Dramatic Arts and I used
to go to this pub call The Old Dairy on Stroud Green Road
and Aidan used to go to the pub literally across the road,
(Stapleton Armstead) at the same time.
Michael Malarkey: And I never met him. He
had a house that was, you know, a few 100 yards away from
where mine was. There's a lot of these weird peculiar
synergies about this show that that feel just right and yes
Robert Zemeckis - I can't think of a better person to be at
our helm. The work speaks for itself and also the subject
matter of Zemeckis’ work is directly in line with what our
show is. So, I feel like it's a real clashing of the Titans.
Erik Werlin: Awesome, thanks. I appreciate that, I
appreciate you answering the question.
Malarkey: Sure thing, pleasure.
Operator: Our next
question comes from Rebecca Murray with showbizjunkies.com.
You may proceed with your question.
Hi good afternoon.
Michael Malarkey: Hi.
Rebecca Murray: So I know, I mean, you did so much research
you really got into this, it sounds like you really know
what you're talking about but was there a particular, like,
aha moment when you were reading the research that you went,
yes this proves it to me this is going to switch my opinion.
Was there anything specific you can point to that changed
Michael Malarkey: Good question. Man,
there's several things. One of them for me is the case that
happened in England at one of our bases out there where you
had these crashes that came down and these two witnesses who
were American officers working on the base claim to have
actually gone up and touched this aircraft, did like a 360
degrees evaluation and the way that they talk about it and
the types of guys that they were they seemed so lucid, and
for me that was a big moment.
There was also - I
believe it was the same case where some English police
officers came up and they were taking some footage and
things -- I may be skewing two different cases so forgive me
if I am -- and their cameras were actually confiscated at
the time by the Air Force. That was one where I remember I
watched all the in-depth interviews of those guys and it was
just, like, this is real - these guys aren't crazy.
mean you have to think that you know a lot of people would
write things off as oh they were having hallucinations and
stuff but that's incredibly rare and that is a major worry
if you have pilots having hallucinations. The other one was
there's a lot of NASA footage from back at a certain time
where you can see objects flying into and above our
atmosphere and then re-routing and flying in a different
direction which by changing directions that definitely - you
can infer that that would be an intelligent thing doing
And ironically after these things started being
spotted, the NASA footage, it used to be a live stream and
then they started putting it on a delay shortly after that,
which I thought also spoke for itself. I mean, honestly it’s
the sheer amount of these tiny little facts, which aren't
tiny at all that add up and once you can step back, you
know, fly out and look down and see the big picture, you
start to connect these things. Or it's like a Magic Eye --
for instance -- you remember those books where if you are
looking at it in a certain way by stepping back your eyes
adjust and you can see the image that’s there -- if I can
indulge in a metaphor.
Rebecca Murray: Well thank you
so much and I really enjoyed the series so far, can't wait
to see more of it.
Michael Malarkey: Thank you,
thanks for your interest.
Operator: Ladies and
gentlemen, as a reminder if you would like to register for a
question please press the one followed by the four. And we
have a follow up question from Jamie Ruby with SciFi Vision.
You may proceed with your question.
Jamie Ruby: Hi
again, I was just curious I know obviously you researched a
lot of, you know, the real things but was there anybody
other than kind of from history that you took inspiration
from when you created your character maybe even just the
personality of him? Was there anybody you kind of thought
about as you were acting?
Michael Malarkey: Good
question. No, not really. I mean I like to draw from
archetypes in a way. I'm a big fan of Joseph Campbell, The
Power of Myth and I believe that every story being retold
again and again, there's a reason for that and these
archetypes that we see in these people we connect to it, and
have connected with since the beginning of time. So,
archetypal type thing, also I have a friend of mine who will
remain nameless but I used certain aspects of him. I know
that keeps myself out of the answer but, you know, I
normally build it myself.
Jaime Ruby: Right.
Michael Malarkey: Those are like the small parts of what I
do but the main thing is to, you know, it’s Stanislavski's
the Magic If, if I was this person in this time under these
circumstances how would I behave and the most important
thing about playing a person in history is finding the
connection between you and them.
The worst thing
people can do is to try to impersonate somebody and I've
talked about this in previous interviews before but when I
was playing Elvis Presley in The West End for a year, I had
this moment I'll never forget, I'm singing That's Alright
Mama, I glanced down at this couple in the front row and
there's a woman there that starts crossing her arms and
leans over her husband and because the music is so loud she
kind of barked at him, she was like, “He's too short.”
Initially that was rather demoralizing but afterwards I
was like, “Well you know what I bet you $100 if you dug up
Elvis from his grave and stuck him on that stage there would
still be skeptics.”
Jaime Ruby: Yes.
Malarkey: “There would be people there who were going no
that's not Elvis,” and people have their own connection to
Elvis and to any character in history or to any subject in
I mean, we're going to have a lot of people
who have their own beliefs and want the story told in a
Jaime Ruby: Right.
Malarkey: And we have to remember here that we are not a
documentary, we're not doing it exactly as everything went.
We have to make it live and breathe and we have to see these
characters go through things.
There were no bugs in
the Blue Book headquarters where we can transcribe the exact
conversations that happened between Ruppelt and Hynek. And
so, we have to imagine what it would have been like in an
intelligent way where the story lives and breathes on its
Jaime Ruby: Right.
Which is an important thing for everyone to remember.
Jamie Ruby: I'm understanding you talked to the Air
Force at different times. Can you kind of talk a little bit
more about interacting with those people and how they helped
you form your character?
Michael Malarkey: Well the
thing is these guys do not like being scrutinized. So, I had
to do it in a very covert way. I mean I was more interested
in watching them physically, how they interact with the
world physically but also how their brains work and how they
explain things and one of the things that I took away from
it is this obsession with the quote unquote checklist, you
know? Pilot gets in his plane, he does this, this, this he
hits that button, boom. He does this announcement through
his microphone and he takes off. It's the same every time -
Jaime Ruby: Right.
Malarkey: And I wanted to adopt that clinical approach to
everything that Quinn does. Boom, boom, boom. If something
knocks that out of order, he needs to go in and assess the
problem. And the problem is often Hynek in those situations
and that's what’s maddening to him because Hynek is
disrupting his checklist of how he does things. But yes, it
was mostly observing them and they had no idea I was doing
that which is great.
Jamie Ruby: Okay thank you so
Michael Malarkey: They just thought I wanted
information, thank you.
Jamie Ruby: Have a good
Michael Malarkey: You too.
And we have another follow up question from Alejandro Rojas
with Open Minds Rado. You may proceed with your question.
Alejandro Rojas: Okay thanks. Yes I'm a fan of Joseph
Campbell too and that was a great answer you gave to trying
to portray history but also be entertaining at the same
time. And that's what I wanted to ask about is HISTORY has
done something unique and that this project is a little bit
unique in and of itself. It’s history but it's sort of a
hidden history and it's wonderful that the History channel
has been posting these articles about these cases,
information people most likely are not aware of, has that
been helpful to you as well?
Michael Malarkey: It's
funny because now everything they post I know about because
I've been doing my own research. However, I feel like so
many people don't and I really, really appreciate the show
being on HISTORY because of that exact reason. It's a real
blessing. I know a lot of my peers grew up in the same way I
did where you're more interested in so many other things and
I'm hoping that this will open people's minds and allow them
to get interested in something that isn't being told.
I mean history also, not History channel, but history in
general is told by the victors and it's all been about what
do we want the public to know, what do we want them to feel
about our country and themselves and once you start dipping
in and doing your own research you realize that histories
often cut corners. I mean I find it fascinating that there's
these theories about the pyramid. I watch the Pyramid Code,
which is a really fantastic series.
There's a couple
moments where we were like oh really but at the same time it
allows you to question and, you know, this whole thing -- if
we do get some kind of disclosure -- has the potential to
topple our understanding about history and the time frame
with which things are happening even, which is a crazy thing
to be involved in. I'm expecting to be lobotomized soon.
Alejandro Rojas: Speaking of the information in your
brain and I guess a unique perspective that you have now
kind of playing this character putting yourself in Quinn’s
shoes, you know, is there a way for all of this to be
reconciled? Is there a way to get information to the public
do you believe on this topic without ridiculing it and at
the same time the Air Force and other government agencies
who have been looking into this kind of saving face by
denying this in the past and not sharing information in the
Michael Malarkey: Well, I mean, you hit the
nail on the head right there. I think that is one of the
biggest questions that everybody's having. What is going to
be the results and it's the unknown, and we don't know. I
mean, I'm no expert on this and that question, I would love
to hear some people's answers because that's the question
I've been asking too is, like, how would they do this in a
graceful way that doesn't completely incriminate them?
But I mean, just thinking off the cuff, it would have to
be done in a way of going “Yes, we have been hiding this
stuff from you because of x,y,z, you know, because we wanted
to protect you before…etc.” because, I mean, I think they
probably do know what some of these things are about but I
think they still don't. I think there's only so much we know
here on it regardless of your position and your clearance or
anything because it is the unknown.
There's all these
theories about what these things are and how they can travel
so fast and we look at everything from our own minuscule
perspective of science that we've learned over the years but
we can look out into the stars and see all these other
planets and the way the magic that happens out there and how
can we ever know any other intelligent race out there? How
they would have adapted and evolved, I mean, life can form
under the most extreme conditions, you know -- bacteria and
whatever -- and who's to say that there is not life on these
planets that we deem inhabitable on our own terms.
Alejandro Rojas: Well thank you for that answer. I'm sure
you and the cast and crew have had some incredible
Michael Malarkey: Oh, yes definitely,
Operator: Our next question comes from
Lisa Macklem with spoilertv.com, you may proceed with your
Lisa Macklem: Thanks, hi again. I couldn't
help but think when the episode started, the first thing
that I thought of was X-Files. I mean, you guys filmed in
Vancouver, you had sort of the same dark palette, you know,
the sort of buddies that one's a believer, one’s a skeptic
-- which ends up being a little bit muddled -- but have you
been a fan of other science fiction, did you watch X-Files,
did you see sort of a synergy there, a progression?
Michael Malarkey: I watched X-Files and I do love the show.
It's a very different show. I think the thing that makes it
different obviously is that this is a real life X- Files.
This actually happened. It's rooted in fact and that's what
makes it stand out. I mean, if anything the concept is
similar but you also have two very different characters as
well. You have a military man and an astrophysicist that are
based on real life characters. But, I mean, we've talked
about it being sort of like X-Files mixed with a bit of Mad
Men but it's more than that to me.
You know, it's not
just its own show and it's like I think it's more like a
thriller and noir than anything else and I feel like there's
not anything like that on TV. It also would have been cool
to see it shot in black and white. It would kind of lean
into that a little bit more. But I tell you what, if you did
turn your TV to black and white, you would still be
enraptured by the show. Anyway, I don't know if I answered
your question but...
Lisa Macklem: No and actually
that's exactly the end result that I found is that, I mean,
there is a lot of conversation about the truth being
important and the truth being out there which is also sort
of X-Files but this is like - as you were saying it sort of
takes that, you know, sort of comic aspect aliens and brings
it more to real life which is amazing.
Malarkey: Yes, it also doesn't strictly say aliens are real,
you know, it's not sitting all the way on the other side of
the fence and will not make anyone who's not a believer feel
completely ostracized. We do leave it open, there's moments
where we think we don't know what it is and then we find an
explanation and vice versa where we think we know what it is
and there's a little tidbit at the end of the episode
that'll show that maybe it's something more than it seems
and I think it's important to tell that line and go back and
And then we endowed the season on a bang with
a massive cliffhanger for season two. So, it really just
builds and builds. It's definitely one of those kind of
series where you don't even feel like you watched the full
hour when you see an episode. You’ll be able to burn through
Lisa Macklem: Yes. And again, it kind of goes
back to what I was saying earlier about the threading
through sort of the nuclear armament races starting up and
people's general paranoia -- like Donna -- and you can
really sort of see why the Air Force would not want to
escalate what’s already going on.
Absolutely. And, I mean, this is the time also when we
thought we could save the world through science. And I think
we're realizing at least now in the year 2000 whatever it is
that maybe we got it wrong. Maybe there's more to it than
just straight up intellectual science -- if that’s a thing.
It’s the mind, the body, and the soul. There's people who
are into transcendental meditation and shamanism and peyote
and all that stuff are finding out that more of the secrets
of the universe are happening with what's not on paper, with
the space between, the gray matter of relationships or
I know I'm going off on a tangent here but
I think an important thing to say is our own perception of
what we think we know right now is built upon the fact that
we thought we could fix everything with just our minds. By
that I mean our intellectual, a number crunching minds and I
think that's an incorrect perception that we've been brought
Lisa Macklem: Yes, I totally agree and I
think that the show is so relevant because it might be
history but so much of it is still relevant today, so thanks
Michael Malarkey: Sure thing, thank you.
Operator: And our next question comes from Erik Werlin
with JeanBookNerd. You may proceed with your question.
Erik Werlin: Thank you. Well I was curious about what
initially, like, drew you into this story and this project,
what initially, like, you know, grabbed your attention and
what was the process like of actually going through and
joining the project and, you know, becoming this character?
Michael Malarkey: Well it's actually kind of a funny
story. You know, I'm a recording artist and singer,
songwriter. I go by the name of Michael Malarkey -- so very
unique -- check out the music if you like music. A little
music plug (laughs). I was actually on a big European tour
with my band and I got the call where I had to fly out a few
days later and so I had to cancel a few dates and I ended up
on the ground completely blind. I had done some preliminary
Wikipedia reads just for the audition obviously to get a
quick background of the project and everything.
was going in with very little knowledge about any of it and
had to create this character and do my research and so it
was, like, hyper cram mode when I got there. And luckily, I
was working with people who were so enthusiastic about the
subject. Sean and David were just, like, talking about all
of these things and filling in with everything and it just
felt like a real team effort where we wanted to make this
the best thing it could be and as legitimate as it could be.
Again, I'm going off cuff here but the fact that it’s on
HISTORY and you have these fantastic sets and costumes just
allows you to immediately step into that world and I forgot
what the second part of your question was I don't know if I
answered it or not.
Erik Werlin: I mean, you did to a
degree. The second part was, you know, what was it like in
the early process of, you know, creating the character and
joining the cast, like, you know, how did your character
evolve? How did that change over the course?
Malarkey: Yes another thing that happened was I was working
with the second director of which is Pete Travis -- and
fantastic English director -- but he really had a sense of
finding the deep roots of the character and I feel like
working with him and especially when you have the scene with
me (Quinn) on the tarmac with Hynek and I'm not going to
give a spoiler here but talking about some of Quinn's past
and that's what we shot with him and really delve deep with
And I also talked to Sean Jablonski, our
showrunner, after we shot that and he was like, “Hey man if
there's anything that you think would be useful to me to
know about Quinn's character that would affect how I'm
playing everything throughout the season please let me know
and let's keep an open dialogue,” and he did and gave me
some information that we'll find out later in the season
that really, really helped to build this character.
mean it's always a process, you know, the cool thing about
playing a character on multiple seasons is that you are
continuing to grow with them and it's a blessing to have an
open dialogue with the people in charge and feel comfortable
with just giving them a call and asking them what's going
on. We definitely have that real family relationship.
Erik Werlin: Awesome thank you for answering my
Michael Malarkey: Sure thank you.
Operator: So, I'll turn the call back over to Ms. Koshir for
your concluding remarks.
Melissa Koshir: Hi, I just
want to thank everybody for their time and their interest in
HISTORY’s Project Blue Book. A reminder that the series will
premiere on Tuesday, January 8th at 10/9c. I hope you will
tune in and don’t forget to #watchtheskies.
Ladies and gentlemen that does conclude the conference call
for today. We thank you for your participation and we ask
that you please disconnect your lines.
Malarkey: Thank you guys. Really great questions.
Watch Project Blue Book on History Tuesdays 10/9c.
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