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By Suzanne

Michael Malarkey of Project Blue Book

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!

Series Premieres Tuesday, January 8 at 10/9c Call Date: December 19, 2018

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.

I definitely 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 lessons...

Jaime Ruby: Oh, wow.

Michael 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 season.

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.

For me 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.

But 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 you.

Operator: Our next question comes from Lisa Macklem with, you may proceed with your question.

Lisa Macklem: Hi thanks so much for talking with us.

Michael Malarkey: Hi Lisa.

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 begin with?

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.

And 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.

But it's 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 be?

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 there.

Lisa Macklem: Just whether or not we're going to see Quinn being swayed more to sort of Hynek’s perspective…

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.

Lisa Macklem: Thanks.

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.

Alejandro 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?

Michael 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 category.

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.

I don't 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.

Michael 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 cover up?

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 program.

Michael Malarkey: Right there man. Thanks for your interest.

Operator: Our next question comes from Kat Hobson with Fate Magazine. You may proceed with your question.

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 be here.

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?

Michael 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.

Kat Hobson: 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 authority.

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.

Kat Hobson: I am, I know I will, thank you.

Michael 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.

It's 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.

Erik Werlin: Oh, wow.

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.

Michael Malarkey: Sure thing, pleasure.

Operator: Our next question comes from Rebecca Murray with You may proceed with your question.

Rebecca Murray: 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 your mind?

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.

I 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 that.

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.

Michael 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 history.

I mean, we're going to have a lot of people who have their own beliefs and want the story told in a certain way.

Jaime Ruby: Right.

Michael 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 own.

Jaime Ruby: Right.

Michael Malarkey: 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 - nothing waivers.

Jaime Ruby: Right.

Michael 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 much.

Michael Malarkey: They just thought I wanted information, thank you.

Jamie Ruby: Have a good holiday.

Michael Malarkey: You too.

Operator: 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 past?

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 conversations.

Michael Malarkey: Oh, yes definitely, thank you.

Operator: Our next question comes from Lisa Macklem with, you may proceed with your question.

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.

Michael 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 forth.

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 them.

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.

Michael Malarkey: 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 whatever.

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 up thinking.

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 so much.

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.

But I 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?

Michael 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 that.

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.

I 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 question.

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.

Operator: 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.

Michael Malarkey: Thank you guys. Really great questions.


Watch Project Blue Book on History Tuesdays 10/9c.

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