Let’s get this out of the way: Despite me insisting that I’m tough as nails, truthfully I’m moreso the cheesy romantic type. So when I got a chance to interview the cast and crew of the CW series Star-Crossed at WonderCon, it was a guilty-pleasure wrapped inside of a dream come true.
Star-Crossed is a sci-fi show centered around the budding romance between a human and one of six aliens (called “Atrians”) who are integrated into a human high school. No, this isn’t another Twilight homage, but I like to refer to it as “Romeo and Juliet with aliens.”
While there are a few allusions to Shakespeare’s masterpiece, most notably with each episode’s title, the show doesn’t exactly follow the same tragic story line. Instead, it tackles issues comparable to the civil rights movement and the struggle for “human” rights. Then, on top of that, it’s coated within a layer of science fiction fun.
“I’ve pretty much won the lottery,” she joked. “[The] love triangle sort of evolves, and there’s sort of the respect for the situation of each of the characters are put in. [When] the boys team up, I don’t know how to handle it, because it’s like two different areas of my life have sort of come together.”
So what did Matt Lanter’s character Roman have to say about the triangle? “There’s the Roman and Emery thing, but there’s also the Teri (Chelsea Gilligan) thing. We kind of come to find out that she likes Roman. She’s in love with him and kinda has been for a while. They were at one time an item together.” And although the relationship between Teri and Emery and Roman is tense, he believes Roman’s heart will stick with Emery, joking that “next season, I’m like a chef and whipping up spaghetti for Emery.”
While Emery and Roman are caught up in the complications of the heart, Emery’s best friend, Julia, portrayed by Malese Jow, is facing a bit of Atrian trouble herself. After being cured of her cancer by Roman using an Atrian herb called “cyper” and his blood, according to Malese, not only is “her life in jeopardy, but (it) also threatens the entire Atrian race.” Her outlook on her situation wasn’t exactly all gloomy, because she reveals that “true love blossoms” in the coming episodes.
If you’ve kept up with the series, Julia’s love interests lead to Jesse Luken’s character, Eric, the guy who initially butts head with all things Atrians. And although he softens as the series progresses, he states that “it’s been a lot of fun evolving, but there’s still that pull for Eric to return to the dark side. It’s a slow process for him to believe in pro-integration.” And the romance between he and Julia “is a new thing for him. He’s never felt this way before” and that we should expect to see the extent of what feelings can do, because “love makes you do crazy things.”
Even though season two still has yet to be confirmed, Star-Crossed creator Meredith Averill and Executive Producer Adele Lim are already contemplating what could be. When I asked them about the life-saving and destructive properties of cyper, they stated that season two may involve “humans who have Atrian DNA and how we might see those [cyper] side effects in the future. We have not seen the last of cyper.”
When it comes to the Mardi Gras-set finale: “Some crazy stuff happens. Definitely some bead throwing.” And while we don’t get to see more Atrians getting wet and glowing (it’s an Atrian thing that happens), “there’s excitement in that vein. Some people might be shirtless. Somebody might take their pants off. Several people might have their pants off.” And though the show does aim at tugging at emotional heart strings, its core is still filled with sci-fi plot devices that include a “Trag (a rebel group within the Atrian soceity) attack on the humans” during the two-part finale, in which there’s “pressure for Atrians to have a good showing.” And while Roman has shown his heroism throughout the series, “people are doing dangerous things that they wouldn’t normally do, but they’re doing it because of the people they care for, their family, their friends.” Who can we expect to play hero?
Star-Crossed airs on Mondays 8/7c on The CW.