Over the course of the past three years, Falling Skies has played host to a great many recurring characters and, in turn, some very skilled actors: from Dale Dye as General Porter, to Brandon Jay McLaren as Jamil Dexter and Jessy Schram as Karen Nadler.
The show’s fourth season saw the introduction of a new recurring player: Dingaan Botha, played by British actor Treva Etienne. Botha first appears in the season four premiere and has a season-long arc on the show’s penultimate season, which runs an extended length of 12 episodes.
As the fourth season of Falling Skies continues to unspool on TNT in the US and on Fox here in the UK, TVWise took the time to talk with Treva about his role on the show.
TVWise: Your character Dingaan Botha is introduced in the season four premiere, what can you tell about him?
Treva Etienne: Dingaan is a mysterious guy, a bit of a loner who does his own thing. The audience meets him as he is figuring out how to deal with the Alien invasion, but as the show goes on we learn more about him.
TVWise: How much information did the writers give you on your character’s backstory to prepare you for the role?
Treva Etienne: I received nothing from them, my preparation was watching the previous seasons of the show, to update myself on what is going on in the world of Falling Skies.
TVWise: As the season progresses, will we learn more about Dingaan’s backstory?
Treva Etienne: Absolutely, you will learn more about him and his background.
TVWise: Were you a fan of the series before you joined the cast?
Treva Etienne: I had heard many good things about the show, but had personally never followed it myself prior to this. But after watching the previous seasons I realised how great the show is and feel privileged to be a part of it.
TVWise: Fallings Skies had been a hit for TNT for three seasons. Given that, did you have any concerns or reservations about joining the cast for season four?
Treva Etienne: I had no reservations at all. The cast was very welcoming and they made it very easy to get stuck in straight away. They are such lovely people to work with and the process was very easy.
TVWise: Falling Skies is known for its visual and special effects; have you worked with green screen before and how does that effect your acting?
Treva Etienne: I have worked with green screens before, when working on other films like Terminator Salvation and The Pirates of the Caribbean as well as others, so it wasn’t new to me. I wouldn’t say it affects your acting per se, but you do have to be more focused as you are acting with things that aren’t there… you have to use your imagination a lot.
TVWise: There are a lot of action sequences on Fallings Skies, how much of the stunt work are you doing on the series?
Treva Etienne: I did about 95% of the stunt work myself.
TVWise: What has been the most challenging part about working on Falling Skies?
Treva Etienne: The weather when filming was a challenge as it rained a lot and got very cold, but other than that the process was great.
TVWise: What do you think separates Falling Skies from other popular science fiction shows?
Treva Etienne: Falling Skies is a well-produced show, with great a story line, great actors and great production values.
TVWise: What can fans of Falling Skies look forward to this season?
Treva Etienne: Great dynamic story lines, and lots of surprises!
Treva Etienne plays Dingaan Botha on Falling Skies, which airs in the US on Sunday nights on TNT at 10/9c and on Tuesday nights at 9pm on FOX UK.