The ALMOST HUMAN Cast Previews the Central Relationships
November 13, 2013 by Marisa Roffman
Fox’s new drama, ALMOST HUMAN, is being billed as a futuristic buddy-cop show — and certainly the dynamic between Karl Urban’s John Kennex and Michael Ealy’s Dorian (an android) is a key part of the series — but there are also quite a few other talented people and intriguing relationships to get invested in.
Last month, reporters hit up the Vancouver set of ALMOST HUMAN where the cast gave a bit of a rundown of what viewers can expect from the various pairings…
John Kennex (played by Karl Urban) and Sandra Maldonado (played by Lili Taylor): As the ALMOST HUMAN teasers have previewed, after a traumatic botched raid, it takes a while before Kennex is able to get back to work. And even when he returns, he’s reluctant to deal with the mandatory android partner he’s been assigned. But while Kennex might not agree with everything Maldonado does, the mutual respect they have is genuine.
“She’s not only the captain, but she’s also a big sister [figure],” Urban explained. “For me, she is someone who I respect and if I disagree with a course of action, I’ll also call her on it. And I think there’s definitely a person connection there; I’m the only character in the show that uses her first name.”
Dorian (played by Michael Ealy) and Maldonado: Ealy had previously shared that he had his own questions about the real dynamic between Dorian and Maldonado, but while he waits for those to be addressed, Dorian is playing by the rules.
“Dorian has definitely been designed to respect the chain of command,”Ealy pointed out. “There was an interesting beat [in an upcoming episode] where she comes to me and says, ‘Where’s Kennex?’ And it’s like, I’m doing my own thing, dealing with my own thing, and I’m like, ‘He didn’t come in.’ And she just looks at me and [Dorian] proceeds to find him right away. I think the relationship right now between Dorian and Maldonado is one between a captain and her officer. [But] I’d like to explore it further and find out why she chose the DRN [for John's partner].”
Richard Paul (played by Michael Irby) and Kennex: While some people may be happy to have Kennex back to work, Paul has his own reasons to be less than thrilled about the reunion.
“I think where we stand with Paul and [Kennex] is there [are] some distrust issues,” Paul teased. “I think it comes from the fact there may be a little envy. I think when he was gone, Paul kind of rose through the ranks and Maldonado kind of depended on him — and this is just through conversations [I've had] with the writers — he became one of her go-to guys. And now that Kennex is back, everyone is like, ‘The God is back.’ And Paul is having a really hard time passing the baton. And in that ambush, there were certain people in that ambush [Paul] knew were killed. And I thought he was a little shaky on his intel on that. And I just think he doesn’t operate from the same space I operate from; he can be a little emotional about things. I don’t really dig that. But he’s just who he is. He has flaws, like Paul has flaws.”
Paul may not be thrilled to work with Kennex again, but he’ll be behaving about it…at least for now.
“And I think as long as we can keep growing, as long as it stays honest, we don’t have to duke it out in the streets,” Irby joked.
Valerie Stahl (played by Minka Kelly) and Kennex: One of the most mysterious relationships on ALMOST HUMAN so far? The one between Stahl and Kennex. While the duo meet for the first time in the pilot, Kelly admitted she wasn’t entirely sure where the writers were taking that particular dynamic.
“I’m not sure where my relationship is going with Karl’s [character] right now,” she laughed. “They’re throwing things at us where we’re unsure which way they’re going. So I don’t know. I don’t know where I’m going with him!”
Paul and Stahl: As viewers may have noticed in the featurette showcasing Paul, there’s a bit of a sarcastic vibe between the duo. But whether there’s actually drama between the two is still to be determined.
“I think it’s just…we both got to the same place, we just took different roads to get there,” Irby explained. “And I don’t know if I necessarily respect and appreciate the way that Valerie Stahl got to rub elbows with me. And I don’t know if she necessarily appreciates [me]…but we do have to work together. I don’t know if there’s tension; it’s the pilot, we’ve got to create these characters, we have to make them real. We have to have reasons and a history. Some of this stuff, for me as an actor, I was just pulling stuff out and trying to see what worked. And it was nice and working because she would give it back. And it was kind of cool, because we have no idea where it’s going to go, but it was fun to play for me.”
“It’s always fun to have a little tension with someone,” Kelly agreed. “It’s always fun to not have to be nice all the time. It keeps it interesting and real. We have very different personalities and the way we see the world is different. The way we do our work is very different. And our compassion for people is very different. So that causes friction.”
Rudy (played by Mackenzie Crook) and the androids, specifically the DRN models: Rudy is the show’s “mad scientist” character, and can be a bit socially awkward. So, unsurprisingly, he does have a deep fondness for the robots he works on.
“He’s got a complex relationship with these robots,” Crook allowed. “He pours all of himself, his soul, into his work. He’s a craftsman, and he has a very personal connection with all of his creations, but especially the Dorian model, the DRN model. I think we’ll find out more about his relationship with that. And the creation of the synthetic soul program he was a part of. He relates to the robots in a more human way than probably any of the other characters.”
Rudy and Kennex: However, while Rudy may struggle with many humans, there is a comfort level he has established with Kennex, which allows for the duo to form an…interesting…working relationship.
“They have this sparring thing going on,” Crook said. “He gets on with John better than he gets on with other people. I guess he’s known him for a long time, he went through some stuff with him before his accident a few years back. Even though they have a little bit of a fractious relationship, I think he likes him. It’s quite a nice threesome: John, Dorian, and Rudy.”
Which relationship dynamic intrigues you the most?
ALMOST HUMAN’s two-night series premiere event kicks off Sunday, November 17th at 8 PM on Fox, followed by its time period premiere, Monday, November 18th at 8 PM.