Interview: Michael Vlamis Talks ‘Roswell, New Mexico’, 90’s Music and More!
Roswell, New Mexico, based off of the books Roswell High, is a brand new show on The CW. The show premiered in January 2019, and has already captivated audiences, including our staff. We got the chance to talk to one of the lead actors, Michael Vlamis, about his role as Michael Guerin, music, the chemistry between himself and the cast, and more.
Take a look at our interview below! Roswell, New Mexico airs Tuesday nights at 9/8c on The CW.
Nerds and Beyond: How much did you know about the Roswell books and/or the original Roswell TV show before working on Roswell, New Mexico?
Michael Vlamis: I knew more about the actual crash itself than the books or show, but was still familiar with them. I decided to not go back and watch the show once I was cast because I didn’t want to be influenced by the original Michael Guerin.
Nerds and Beyond: In joining the cast, did you go into the audition specifically for the role of Michael?
Vlamis: I actually wasn’t even given an audition. My acting teacher, Sandy Marshall had been coaching actors who were auditioning and she told me I’d fit well in the world of the show. But when my reps tried to get me an audition, casting said I was more of a comedic actor and they wouldn’t see me. My manager ended up sending me the scenes for Michael Guerin, which I taped in my bedroom with my roommates. We sent the audition tape in and my manager repeatedly called the office until someone watched it. I had an audition the next day.
Nerds and Beyond: What’s your favorite episode or scene from season 1?
Vlamis: Wow! Such a tough question. My favorite episode so far is episode 6. The pacing is perfect and I really got to display a wide range of emotions. As for my favorite scene, I’m really not sure, but I will say I love watching my scenes with Tyler Blackburn. They’re raw and messy and beautiful. In episode 6 you witness our first kiss as one of my favorite songs by Bright Eyes plays in the background. That song being featured over my work was pretty damn cool.
Nerds and Beyond: You, Nathan, and Lily are very convincing as three adult siblings that bicker and quarrel but ultimately love each other. How did the three of you work to establish that camaraderie off-camera, so that it would come through on-screen?
Vlamis: Ahh, man, that was easy. Nathan and Lily are actors that I like to refer to as “all-in.” When I work with them, I know they’re going to bring it. With commitment like that, there’s no way the chemistry wouldn’t be palpable.
Nerds and Beyond: How are you trying to differ from being compared to Michael on the first Roswell series?
Vlamis: Honestly, I’m not trying to differ myself at all. The most special thing about an actor is that they are one in 6 billion, so if I stay true to myself under the given circumstances, I will never be the same as the original Michael because the original Michael was not played by me. Instead of differing myself, I aim to be authentic.
Nerds and Beyond: Was there a characteristic of Michael in the original Roswell series that you tried to include for your portrayal of him?
Vlamis: I haven’t seen many episodes of the original, so I didn’t even know what characteristics Michael possessed. All I went off of to portray Michael was the backstory our showrunner, Carina Mackenzie wrote up, which was perfect. Michael was a lost boy with a huge chip on his shoulder and I relate to that in a lot of ways, so the real work was me discovering what truth in my life made sense to bring to the character.
Nerds and Beyond: The titles of each episode of the first season are hits from the 90’s. What’s your favorite 90’s song?
Vlamis: Finally, an easy question! Well, easier… Actually, nope, not at all, but one band really comes to my mind when I think about the 90’s and my childhood and that’s Blink-182. I’d say the songs Dammit and Dysentery Gary were some of my favorites.
Nerds and Beyond: We have a few quick nerdy questions… First, What do you “nerd out” to, what are you a fan of?
Vlamis: This isn’t going to be very surprising, but I nerd out over actors and movies. I’ve always been mesmerized by them. I think it’s good storytelling that really gets me going. There’s nothing better than sitting around swapping stories, which is probably why I love film.
Nerds and Beyond: Favorite superhero?
Vlamis: Spiderman. Shooting webs across a city and swinging from skyscraper to skyscraper seems like ultimate freedom and I love it.
Nerds and Beyond: Favorite movie?
Vlamis: I can never pick just one, but for the sake of time, I’m going to go with Good Will Hunting. The story behind how that was made really speaks to me.
Nerds and Beyond: Favorite book?
Vlamis: I’ll go with Perks of Being a Wallflower because of the place I was in when I read it. Really struck a chord with me.
Nerds and Beyond: Favorite band?
Vlamis: Another impossible question… Blink-182, Frank Ocean, Turnover… I don’t know! Around the time I booked Roswell, New Mexico I was listening to the album Peripheral Vision by Turnover over and over again. It helped me get out of a dark place and for that, I’m forever grateful. Listen to the song Take My Head. That’s the one.
Nerds and Beyond: Favorite word?
Vlamis: Can’t. The more someone tells me I can’t do something, the more likely it is I’ll do it.
Nerds and Beyond: Finally, we like to close out interviews by asking a Star-Wars related question. If you could pick, what color would you want your lightsaber to be?
Vlamis: Royal purple! I’ve been obsessed with purple since I was a kid and I’m always choosing grape/purple flavored candies, drinks, etc.
Thank you to Michael for doing this interview with us! If you missed it, you can also see our interview with Nathan Dean Parsons here.