I recently got the chance to talk to Mpho Koaho about his role in ‘Falling Skies’. Here, Mpho talks about what it’s like working with the cast and crew on-set and about his role in ‘Saw 3’…
Hey Mpho. Thanks for taking the time out to talk to me – ‘Falling Skies’ will be coming to the UK pretty soon.
What’s the general premise of ‘Falling Skies’?
The show takes place six months into an alien invasion of earth. Over 90% of the planets population has been killed. So survival is the name of the game. We’re pretty much “nomads” in this show.
How would you say ‘Falling Skies’ is different from other projects like ‘War Of The Worlds’ and ‘The Event’?
I have yet to see “The Event”. What I can say is, our show gives you an “if this were to happen tomorrow” type of feel. It also concentrates very heavily on the people/civilians, and how they deal with their new situation – AND more importantly how they maintain relationships. I asked myself – “How WOULD humanity deal with an invasion”? Our show gives great insight into that question.
Tell us a bit about the character you play in the series and how he progresses throughout…
I play “Anthony”, an “ex” member of the Boston Police Department. He joins the 2nd Mass, and with his police background becomes an invaluable fighter and voice of strategy.
How did you get involved in the project in the first place?
Like anything I land, I auditioned first. I got the breakdown for the “Untitled Steven Spielberg Alien Invasion” project (say that ten times fast haha). It goes without saying that when you get an audition for one of HIS projects, you want in. Almost two years later here we are.
The project has Steven Spielberg on board as Executive Producer and stars Noah Wyle, Moon Bloodgood, Drew Roy, Peter Shinkoda, Maxim Knight, Colin Cunningham, Seychelle Gabriel, Jessy Shcram, Sarah Carter, and Will Patton – what was it like working with them on set?
It was truly a blast from start to finish. We all get along very well, and that is important. For me personally, it was great to have scenes with Will Patton. Plus Peter Shinkoda (Dai) and I are close.
If the Earth got invaded by aliens – would you hide or fight?
Wow… Well I’d like to think I would fight! HELL YES I would fight! Having all this survival experience from the show, I would have a couple of tricks up my sleeve! LOL… and weapons training. LOL
Let’s talk about you Mpho, what made you want to get in to acting in the first place?
I’ve always loved acting, and have been performing ever since I was a youngster. This is what I do…I am a “thespian” in every sense of the word. I was BORN to act. I also have musical abilities equal to my acting abilities as well – look out, I might release some records in the future!
What advice would you give to anyone wanting to get into the industry?
Well the first thing I would say is, make sure this is what you want to do in life. This business is not for everybody, there are a LOT of politics involved. Especially if you look a certain way (i.e. race, gender, physical appearance etc). The second thing I would say is “hone your ‘craft’, take your ‘talent’ and turn it into ‘skill’. You must also keep the right people around you.
You’ve had a number of roles in different TV and film projects – who has been favorite actor to work with and who has given the best piece of advice?
I very much valued my time with Mark Ruffalo, an individual who exemplifies what it is to be successful without forgetting how to be. In terms of advice, Danny Glover took a moment to shape my understanding and my future within this business.
If I’m right, you played Timothy in ‘Saw 3’ didn’t you? The guy on the twisting crucifix contraption? What was it like to be part of the biggest horror torture franchise ever? What can you remember about being on set?
Oh man! It’s a great honor. Sometimes you’re not aware of the scale of certain productions. One of my regrets is not being able to attend Comic Con and sit on the ‘Saw’ panel, ah well one day. Everyday I was on set was a wonderful experience, especially being around Tobin Bell, Shawnee Smith, Donnie Wahlberg. They even gave me a flashback in ‘Saw 6’, so I can’t complain.
How did the trap work exactly? I’m guessing prosthetics were involved…..
For sure. A prosthetic was used on each of my limbs that were twisted. Including a prosthetic of the back of my head which was placed on the front of my face, to create the effect of my head being twisted.
What has been the most interesting piece of local/national news you’ve heard in the last month?
I’ll be honest there is not much news that excites me anymore haha. Too much tragedy.
What does an Mpho Koaho day usually consist of?
Haha, well as “PG” as possible – when I’m not on set, lately I’ve been writing songs preparing to record. Also a friend and I are in the process of writing some sketch comedy stuff. I’m home more than ever now, just working to get my own projects done.
What’s coming up for you in 2011? I hear you’ve just finished a project called “Charlie Zone”…
Yes, very excited about that film. Keep your ear to the ground for that. I’ve also recently done an episode of “Combat Hospital” entitled “Reason To Believe” that I’m very proud of. Next up we’re getting ready to shoot Season 2 of ‘Falling Skies’, and you can already tell I’m excited about that. Might have a couple other things in the works.
Thanks for the interview!