Nathan Dean Parsons on Max's return from the dead on Roswell, New Mexico
Max has touched back down on solid ground in Roswell, New Mexico ... for now.
After five (long) episodes, Max (Nathan Dean Parson) is finally out of the pod and fully (we hope?) alive again on Roswell, New Mexico. Episode 6 of The CW extraterrestrial drama's second season saw Max grapple with being among the living again, get into an intense physical fight with his siblings (that nearly caused his newly-mended heart to stop, again) and erase the memory of the love of his life from his mind entirely. All of this happened before he went on the most epic of first dates with Liz (Jeanine Mason) and ultimately reconnected all the dots, falling back in love with her and having some rooftop sex — and a Little Green Man milkshake, of course. No, that wasn't an innuendo.
Now that he's back, EW had some questions, so we went to Parsons to find out what Max plans to do with his second lease on life and what it's like to spend almost half a season floating around in a pod.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Welcome back from the dead! Is it nice to get out of the pod and stretch your legs, so to speak?
NATHAN DEAN PARSONS: Yeah, it is! I mean, I'm not going to lie, it was pretty fun screwing around and being a zombie and being a vision. It was fun to play with all that different stuff for a while, but it is nice to get back to the nuts and bolts.
And now people can stop asking you if you're dead and when you're going to be back. I'm impressed it took until episode 6 for it to happen.
Yeah, well it was important to us at the end of season 1 to go, "Alright, let's make this matter." We can't just say, "Alright, that was a goof up. We're all back." It had to really be impactful and mean something. So we took the time to do it and it gave Liz a whole journey to go through, so I think that was a wise move.
You spent a lot of time in a pod this season up until now. What goes into shooting those scenes?
That was a bizarre day for me. I'd actually been looking forward to it — the tank sat there on our sound stages on season 1 and it was taunting me. I was like, "My day is going to come." Finally, it did. You go in — the thing's huge — and you basically submerge yourself and they have this little clip thing at the bottom you hook your feet into and you just hold yourself down there as long as you can. I'm a little competitive when it comes to this stuff, so my goal was to stay down there longer than anyone else had. So, that's what I did. I really mastered it. I was in there for like six hours or seven hours. We had a little break in the middle for a table read and I was disoriented because I hadn't been breathing for three hours, four hours. The altitude in Santa Fe's already crazy so walking up the stairs, I was about to pass out. It was crazy — but it was super fun! I'm really glad that we got to do it.
We also saw a potentially darker side to Max when he was first healed and had all this energy from Rosa's resurrection to dispel. Is that something we should be worried about resurfacing?
I think there's always a little bit of cause for concern because we don't actually know what it is, right? We have an idea of maybe what causes it. Maybe our species was this predatory race? We don't know. So I think, not just with Max, but with all of us, there's potential for that kind of outburst. It's sort of like when you're really frustrated one day and you go and work out really hard, it feels good in the minute or for the rest of the day, but whatever was nagging you is probably still there.
That fight sequence with Lily Cowles was pretty cool. Was that fun to shoot?
Oh my God, it was so much fun. Lily's a kickboxer and I also have some fight training — I've worked with a lot of stunt guys and have done stage combat stuff since I was a kid — so I always pick it up really easily. I like really going for the athleticism of it and Lily is one of the people that's really able to match that. When we had choreographed the whole fight, Lily and I would get together before we shot it, go to the gym and just put down mats and run through it. We really kind of got into a flow on how to make it work. Once we finally got to shooting it, we shot that thing for hours and we were both panting and sweating — it was a good four-hour workout. We loved it. It was fantastic.
Then after all that aggression was out, we got to see maybe the most light-hearted side to Max we've seen on the show so far. Was it refreshing to be in that un-tortured headspace?
It's great because, since the pilot of season 1, we haven't really seen an unburdened Max. From the minute that Liz shows up, all of this stuff comes crashing back. For the first time, all of that lifted and it's fun to play with that because then you go back to this almost childlike nature of, what was life before the first heartbreak? The older we get the further that gets from our memories, so it's fun to rekindle that.
Liz and Max were probably in the best place we've seen them at the end of episode 6. I imagine that's not going to last too long?
Well, yeah, it is TV so... Despite everything that's happened, Liz still has full memory of everything and she had to go through losing her sister, getting her sister back, losing the person she loves — that's all still there for her. So that's inevitably going to come up in various ways. Nothing could ever be nice and pretty. Especially with dealing with loss. That's a hard thing and it sneaks up on you.
And now Max has Rosa (Amber Midthunder) to win over too and she might be harboring a bit of a grudge towards her sister's boyfriend.
That's a fun dynamic to play because obviously I knew Rosa from before as the older sister and now lots of years have passed and suddenly the love of my life has a little sister who has her own crazy baggage going on. Any time you're in a relationship with someone, you end up inevitably having a relationship that you didn't sign up for that you have to accept. Now, maybe we have the mother coming back too, so it's a whole new family dynamic. Yeah, that's all coming.
The last episode ended on a cliffhanger flashback of Max remembering himself as a young boy chained up, looking out at the constellation he has tattooed on his back. Can you tease anything about where that's headed?
The big question for myself and for my siblings has always been, what happened to us before we woke up? Where were we? What was that place? What was this completely different, not only planet, but society and culture like? These are huge questions and if you don't have a foundation of information and suddenly you get a flash and see yourself in chains, all of those things, that maybe Max suppressed out of necessity, bubble right back up to the surface. The search is on.
Does he also try to figure out more about being the Chosen One since he didn't really get a chance to think about it before he died last season?
Up until this point, Max has done a good job of trying to separate his current life from that world. Now they're coming together and the crash, that's inevitably going to happen, is something that he's hesitantly going towards. It has to happen eventually, but it's like, "Are you sure you want it to?"
Roswell, New Mexico airs Mondays at 9 p.m. ET/PT on the CW.