Down in Roswell, New Mexico, the alien secret is out — well, to the important people anyway.
While we were all obviously ecstatic to see Max (Nathan Parsons) and Liz (Jeanine Mason) finally get together in last week’s episode, the hardcore #Malex fans among us still needed some guarantee the guys were going to get down to some in-trailer making out. So maybe we didn’t quite get that in Tuesday’s episode, but Michael (Michael Vlamis) and Alex’s (Tyler Blackburn) relationship did take a cowboy-boot-clad step in the right direction when Michael opened up about his extraterrestrial origins.
With the mystery unfolding at a speedy rate and only a handful of episodes left in the first season, we caught up with Vlamis to get all the desert dirt on what’s next for #Malex and how building that space ship is coming along.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: This episode once again deals with very relevant issues, including an active-shooter situation. Was the show’s ability to weave in important social issues part of the initial appeal to you when signing on to this project?
MICHAEL VLAMIS: Oh, 100 percent. It helps me to stay relevant. Carina (Adly MacKenzie, creator) is so intelligent and she makes the show so relevant with her savviness of what’s going on in the world. I don’t know how she has time to stay up on the news or anything, but she’s just so active in every conversation. It means a lot to her. She grew up looking one way, but being Muslim and people — after September 11 especially — would be trashing her people in front of her, not knowing who she was. I think she, like all of us, has felt like an outsider at times. That’s why we have so many different kinds of relationships and aliens being the whitest people on the show — which is super ironic. I’m proud of it. I don’t want to ever force any opinions down anyone’s throat — they should make their own judgment on whatever situation we’re talking about — but I do think it’s important to talk about because it gets the conversation going.
At the top of tonight’s episode, Michael fills Alex in a bit on his upbringing. Is that going to be something we’ll learn more about going forward or seeing in flashbacks?
There are no more flashbacks with other characters, we’re living in present day, but I will say that Alex and Michael — in these last few episodes that are coming up — they do band together, which you see in tonight’s episode, trying to solve this alien conspiracy or whatever the hell it is. With them spending so much time together, Alex experiences something with Michael that maybe no one else has experienced. I’m not going to say anything about what that is, but they’ll be together for a very special moment and I think that’ll say a lot about their relationship and a lot about Michael’s past.
Ooooh, interesting! Speaking of secrets, it feels like Michael is just done with them and wants to be open and honest with Alex. Can you talk a little bit about that growth in his character?
I think every secret that he’s had has hurt him in some way or another: He was hiding the fact that he was hooking up with Alex and all of a sudden the secret is found out and he loses his hand more or less. He kept the secret that he helped push Liz out of town and all of sudden he nearly loses his brother. Every time this kid has kept a secret, it’s always been a burden that has never done him any justice. Slowly over the season, he’s opened up a little bit more, become more vulnerable and just grown up a little bit and realized that this is not something he can face alone. He might be building a space ship alone, but are you really going to be able to plan it alone? I don’t know and I don’t know if we’ll ever see that. I hope we do. I think he’s just exhausted of all the secrets and if he’s going to open up it might as well be with someone who he knows actually loves him, someone he can trust.
On the topic of someone he can trust, how much have you enjoyed the fan love for #Malex?
I’m so proud of the messages I get online from people saying that this character, this relationship, this show has just allowed them to open up and speak a little bit more freely about who they are. It’s amazing and it’s more and more people each week and more and more new followers each week which has been really fun to see that the show has been continuing to grow at a steady pace. All I want to do is do truthful work and honest work that affects people. This is the first time I’ve hooked up with a guy on screen and when it came down to it I never looked at it as a gay or bisexual thing; I always looked it as, I’m in love with this person. Then, it’s like, okay, if I want to make this super real, what qualities of Tyler Blackburn can I fall in love with? The guy’s got good lips. He’s a pretty looking dude! So it was never ‘Oh, that’s a dude right there.’ It’s just, ‘this is someone I’m in love with.’ That’s how I approach it the whole time and that’s how Tyler has approached it the whole time too.
Will the fact that Alex is hiding a piece of from the ship that Michael needs to potentially get home cause problems for them?
I can’t tell you too much about that, but I think it symbolizes the fact that if I have that piece, I can leave. I think that’s pretty much our love right there and that’s why Alex is holding on to it. I can’t say if that gets resolved in this season or not, but it’s definitely symbolic of our love. Our love is everlasting though, so who knows when that’s going to come up.
There’s also a love triangle of sorts going on between Alex, Michael, and Maria. Are you rooting for one coupling more than the other?
Are you going to ask me my preference on that? That is so tough. Both of them are really good friends of mine in real life. Tyler almost treats me like his older brother, even though he’s older than me. Off screen, Heather Hemmens treats me like I’m her baby, I’m her child. She’s always looking after me, teaching me the ropes because she’s been on so many shows already, but when it comes to working with both of them, it’s completely different. The reaction I’ve gotten from the gay relationship with Alex and Michael, I think those fans need that more than fans who are seeing Michael and Maria hook up. So while I love working with the both of them, the exact same amount, I think there’s specific groups of people that aren’t represented enough on television and I’m happy that I can showcase that with Alex and Michael. We have a lot of laughs on set, in one take in that last episode, I was kissing Heather and I literally almost busted her nose open with my forehead going in for a kiss one time. So it might’ve looked romantic and sexy on screen, but I’m telling you we’re having a lot of laughs and it’s a big mess sometimes when we’re trying to get down to the kissing.
Roswell, New Mexico airs Tuesdays at 9 p.m. ET on the CW.