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V: Exclusive interviews

By Rebecca Milne

Your minds should have already been blown by TV2's hottest new sci-fi V mini-series.

Now, get ready for more twists and turns than a rollercoaster ride as the dramatic new season starts.

In New Zealand exclusive interviews, V's executive producer Scott Rosenbaum, and lead actors Joel Gretsch, starring as Father Jack, and Morris Chestnut, who plays Ryan Nichols, reveal the show, about an epic fight between aliens and humans, is an international smash hit because humans believe and fear that one day creatures really will descend on earth in spaceships. You may scoff at the idea, but the threesome, all believers in other life forms in the universe, isn't.

"I definitely believe in aliens because I don't think that there's only one life form," admits Chestnut. "I think out in the universe there's something else out there."

Rosenbaum agrees, "If right now aliens showed up, I would be so excited. I'd want to get on that ship. I'd want to check it out. There's something about the idea that there's other things out there and things that we don't know. I think aliens coming down is like a whole new realm of possibility of learning, of fascination."

Some fans may remember when the original V series first hit TV screens in 1984, with its lizard aliens, gory special effects and knack for pushing the boundaries. The remake or reimagining, the actors like to call it, does take issues, scenes and plotlines from the original series but strives to etch out its own identity.

Rosenbaum guarantees by the end of this season fans will understand a version of why Anna, played by former The O.C. star Morena Baccarin, and the other Vs have come to earth.

"We'll also understand that Anna's very carefully and specifically done a lot of the little things that were learning throughout the season that are all a part of a bigger plan," he tells TVNZ.

"To me, the show has to be about hope. You have to have the humor, and you have the fun. I think that's what's good about Anna's plan, it actually gives us a chance to win.  The fact is that she can't just zap us and we can beat them. The question is, will people come together and do it, or are they going to let issues get in the way?"

Chestnut, The Game Plan, and Gretsch, Miniority Report, have juicy storylines they delight in playing. Chestnut's character is a V who knows the truth and has a life-altering decision to make. Gretsch plays a priest who starts questioning his own faith when the Vs arrive.

"I think it's interesting to be on a prime-time show that has a character that's a priest," Gretsch says, "because faith is a hotbed kind of a discussion".

The hardest part for Father Jack is knowing the Vs are more advanced than humans and have medical capabilities beyond humans expectations, which makes mortals believe they are saviours, he adds.  "That's very disturbing for my character, so there's huge conflict that's going on. He wants to get pissed off and angry, and throw a tantrum [at God]."

Thankfully, Gretsch hasn't had any bad reaction from religious groups. "Not yet but I'm doing stuff this next eight episodes that I think could push a lot of buttons."

Unlike other sci-fi shows that keep viewers on tender hooks with muddled answers, Rosenbaum is moving things along at a quick-pace, so the reveals are coming quite fast, Gretsch says.

Chestnut reveals, "Every episode you discover more things about each character. It's not just a science-fiction show. It's a character-based science-fiction show. In each episode, there will be certain type of reveal about each character that will be major revelations regarding the history of the character."

The remainder of the cast includes Lourdes Benedicto of ER fame, Party of Five star Scott Wolf and Smallville starlet Laura Vandervoort.

If you haven't seen the V mini-series check it out on TVNZ Ondemand here.