Spoilers ahead for Roswell, New Mexico Season 4 Episodes 11 & 12.
Better order one last Little Green Man milkshake at the Crashdown Cafe, and get ready for a final close encounter with the "Pod Squad" during tonight's (Sept 5) series finale of Roswell, New Mexico.
From the very first episode, Roswell, New Mexico has featured queer characters. Even though the central relationship between Liz (Jeanine Masters) and Max (Nathan Parsons) was featured on the show's posters and billboards, #Malex is the couple the fans fervently tweet about when a new episode airs.
Ever since Michael Guerin [Michael Vlamis] and Alex Manes [Tyler Blackburn] shared a passionate kiss in the pilot, viewers have been shipping Malex, but fans were disappointed during this season when Alex sank into the liminal space dimension and disappeared for multiple episodes — leaving fans to wonder if the couple would blast off happily ever after.
Alex remained missing for most of Season 4 before finally reuniting with Michael in Episode 11, with Alex proposing to Michael and the two almost getting married in a makeshift ceremony in the alien alternate universe.
Now with the series finale about to air, Michael and Tyler spoke with Logo about their characters' cosmic love story, what it was like filming their epic reunion, how they never visited Roswell's gay bar, and if they would be up for a Malex spinoff.
The Malex reunion scene in Episode 11, what was it like filming that after all your time apart?
Michael: It was a long, long time coming. We picked up right where we left off. Tyler's just so open as a performer. So, there's never any rust when you show up to play off and work off him. It literally was just like, "About time you're back" and we just got right to it. I don't know, it was easy.
Tyler: Yeah. We really do just have a natural ability to snap each other into where we need to be. I mean, truly, [he's] one of my favorite people to do scenes with in my entire life. So, I agree. Super easy, and it felt momentous Also, Heather Hemmens [who plays Maria] was directing, and that was also very special. I remember we did one take of that scene, and Heather came over with a tear in her eye and she was like, "It's so good, it's so good." And I was just like, this feels good, this feels right.
I wanted to ask about Heather directing. That must have been nice to have someone you're so familiar with behind the camera when you were doing that scene.
Tyler: Yeah, absolutely. The thing with TV is a lot of times you don't get too many of the same directors more than once, but Heather had been part of the show as an actress throughout the entire series. So she really does know the story and the characters, and it just really did make it feel a little bit more grounded, in my opinion. Plus, I just found her energy to be so calm. She's such a calm person. She just is really good at being a human being, I would say actually.
Michael: And you want to do good work for her. You want to do your best for her.
You two have such good chemistry together. Was that always there from the beginning? Or was that from hanging out for these past few years?
Tyler: I think it was always there, you know? It's funny because I feel like the chemistry that we have on screen is actually more so because of how we allow each other to explore during scenes. When we're just hanging out or talking as friends, we're kind of just idiots together. I mean we get along really well, but the chemistry, I think, is just something that we can turn on because we're on the same page as far as what we want to do for our characters, and for each other as the characters. I think we both just knew exactly what needed to happen from day one. I feel like you [Michael] showed up knowing exactly what you needed to do and where you needed to go, and so did I. We had just made a decision. We barely even got to talk about it as two actors, we just showed up and it was like, here we go. And it was innate.
Michael: I always feel like chemistry just comes from people being open. When you have insecurities, when you're worried about how you look on screen or something like that in the moment, sure, we all want to look good, but once the camera is rolling, all that matters is you are here to act, you're here to receive what happens, doesn't matter how you look. It matters how truthful the scene is. So when two people who operate that way, Tyler and myself are together, no matter who the actors are, if they both operate that way, then they're going to be basically one. And that's when people do their best work. And Tyler's just, if I do something different, if I hit his shoulder, he's going to do something back to me like that. And he's just always ready, always on his toes. And I try to do the same thing, whatever you put up, or put down, I'm picking up, no matter what.
So Tyler, the night of the episode where Alex returns, you tweeted out about your health issues that kept you from being in a majority of Season 4. What was it like sharing that? And what was the reaction from the fans like?
Tyler: So really, I guess the reason I wanted to just be transparent was, obviously I was missing from much of this season, and I had just caught wind that a lot of fans were coming in pretty hard on the creators and the writers and stuff. And I found that to be pretty unfair, because this wasn't a choice that they made. They actually were trying to figure out how to create this season without my character, because I needed time. So, I wanted to just tweet out because I felt the need to absorb, I guess, a little bit of that responsibility, and it wasn't anyone else's decision. That was the main intention. And I'm not someone who looks at a lot of my comments and stuff, but I saw some really nice things, and that felt really great for me to feel supported, just like I did throughout the filming.
I also wanted to ask you about your tweet that said you're forever grateful to "the human beings who made this show." Why did you tweet that? I thought it was such a nice thing to say.
Tyler: Well, just because I was going through a tough time, and I never felt like I was not supported. And that really says a lot, to have people show up and be there for you. A lot of what I was dealing with was physical issues. I had to show up in pain a lot of the time and to have people accommodate me, or help me, or literally holding onto Vlamis' shoulder while walking to set to shoot. Those little things just make you feel... I'm going to get emotional. They make you feel safe. Because at the end of the day I wanted to uphold my responsibility and the agreement that I made on this show. And I had to fight through some shit, but I felt supported. And that was so important for me to validate, and let people know that what goes on behind the scenes is also really important too. And the humans on that show, I say humans almost jokingly, since this is a show about aliens, but seriously though, everyone was so great on that show.
And Michael, I'm guessing your social media for most of the season was just people asking, "Where's Alex, where's Alex?"
Michael: The whole time.
What's that been like for you?
Michael: Well, I felt bad because I knew that they were going to continue to ask, and they weren't going to get what they wanted. Just like I wanted more Alex. But I care about Tyler more than I care about Michael Guerin and Alex. And we end up having a great ending to this season and I think it all worked out the way it was supposed to and everything came together. I could just go on and on about how much I love working with Tyler. So I wanted it too. I was there feeling the same, "Oh, it'd be good to do a scene with Tyler today. Haven't done one with Tyler in a while." I honestly just felt bad for him, because I knew how long it was going to be. And I couldn't say anything and people have been asking for, they asked for eight or nine episodes straight, but that's what happens.
In last week's episode where you had the makeshift wedding ceremony with the "Malex Forever" banner behind you, what was it like filming that scene?
Michael: That scene was really cool. It was just fun being in that barn. It was fun to be at a wedding that you really want, but at the same time you have to deny. I was like, man, he's so close to this finally happening, and now I just got to do this. So, it was cool just to have [co-stars] Zoe [Cipres] and Quentin [Plair] there. I became close with both of them. And having Tyler back, it was a fun scene. It's fun to play in the turmoil of it all. I enjoy those scenes more sometimes than the really lighthearted ones.
And without giving much away or anything, can you tease what's ahead for the series finale?
Michael: Oh. What could we say to tease?
Tyler: I would say it's a happy ending. Let's just say that.
Michael: Yeah, I think that's a great thing to say. It's a happy ending. Finally.
When you were filming these episodes, did it feel like this could be the end? What was it like on set?
Michael: People weren't really acting that way, but I had this strange feeling. It was so weird, because every season you say bye to everyone. Some people give wrap gifts to each other. The actors, we usually get the cast and crew something. And when we were giving those out and saying our goodbyes, it felt like goodbye, goodbye. And I didn't really understand that. But part of me was like, well, the way the season ends, a lot of storylines... Yeah, there are some cliffhangers, but a lot of the storylines get to a place that people are going to be really happy about, and they're going to be comfortable with where we're leaving characters. So yeah, I felt like it was time. It was time that it was going to be done. I was still a little surprised when the cancellation happened, but I also wasn't. But once it happened, I thought back to those feelings I had on that last week of shooting. It was like, "Oh, I think this is it."
Tyler: But I think also too, one big difference was between [seasons] two and three, we knew before we've wrapped that we were going to be coming back. So then this was like, we didn't know. And we didn't know when we were going to know. It did feel a little bit ominous, but I'm a strong believer in ending something on a high note. I think for me, even if I was just viewing this show, I'd be like, I think this is the right time. I feel like it just felt right. I don't know if the writers wrote with that in mind. I think they had to, in case we didn't get picked up, they were like, we have to end this in some way that's really great. But I agree, I think everything is kind of wrapped up in a nice bow.
And Tyler, I'm guessing we aren't going to hear you sing on the show again?
Tyler: No, but it's great because I feel we each get our moment with music. You're [Michael] playing guitar in this last episode. I think it's fun that we shared that commonality as well as characters.
I was also sad that we didn't go back to the gay bar, Planet 7.
Tyler: I never got to go there.
Michael: I was going to say, why didn't we get to go there?
Tyler: The two out, outwardly gay characters don't even go to the gay bar!
That should have been in Season 5.
Michael: We'll go with Kyle Valenti.
Tyler: Guerin could have been wearing only chaps and a cowboy hat. You have a nice ass.
Michael: Thanks, man. Appreciate that, you too.
When the show began, Liz and Max's relationship was the central love story, but as the seasons went on it seems like it became Malex. Was that talked about on set or between you and the other actors?
Michael: That's interesting. People on set did not talk about it. Of course, you get Liz and Max on the billboards around town and all that stuff. So you just think about that being the couple, that's the relationship. But from the beginning, social media has been going crazy [for Malex] in a way that was so surprising, and it was so fun for us. I don't know if it was surprising for Tyler, but for me, I had never experienced anything like this before. It has felt like we were always loved by the fans, and not that we were the number one ship on the show or anything like that, but that we were loved and supported. That has never felt like it's changed at all. Every year it just feels the same, and maybe it is growing and becoming more intense, but it's always been that way since the beginning. It is amazing how hard the fans came out immediately.
Tyler: I think that's just indicative of how times have changed too. The fact that a gay relationship is something to celebrate, and talk about, and root for. I think it came at the right time in television. So I think that has a lot to do with it. I think, how many times have you heard older actors say, "I wish there were more people out when I was growing up and had someone to look up to, it's like, now that exists." So you have a platform where all of these younger people, who are queer, can watch and celebrate. Then you have people who are not queer, who are watching and celebrating even, because they realize how valid it is, and how important it is. At the end of the day, you have two human beings who are so deeply in love. And if you're at all a normal human being, you know that feeling. So you watch two people on screen, and you feel that.
Michael: Yeah, no matter who they are.
Tyler: So I think there's a lot to it. But I was surprised. It was just celebratory, and sort of soothing for me, once I realized it was a really big deal. But you know what's funny, is in the pilot when we shot the scene where we kiss, do you remember all the people at video village were just like, cheering, literally cheering?
Michael: Yeah, I do remember that.
Tyler: As if they had already been watching this relationship, and it was like they were celebrating it already. This was the pilot.
Michael: That's a good point. Everybody was there because it was the last thing we shot I think.
Tyler: Yeah, yeah. So it was an interesting moment because I felt like, I don't know, maybe it was a little foreshadowing.
Michael: That was the beginning, dude. That's crazy to think about.
Tyler: I know, I know.
Well, it must be cool because I think Malex is one of the great queer relationships on TV in recent years.
Tyler: I know. And I wonder sometimes too, and this is in no way a dig at all towards anyone, but I just wonder if this was a more, I don't know, adult network or show, would it have been a bigger deal even? I feel like a lot of people turn their nose up at the CW, or a show about aliens, and it's like, at the end of the day, we're pulling out some dope shit. We're fucking bringing it hardcore.
Michael: We did. There were times where I was just like, man, this scene is so fucking real. So truthful. This is happening on shows that are getting Emmy noms, and the scenes between us, the acting that we were doing, the chemistry that we had, the stuff that we were representing, I can only hope that more people find the show as it progresses, because it deserves that. Our scenes man, we put some stuff down where we were exhausted, we were sick, we were depressed. We felt... We made it real dude. We made it real, and I believe that deserves to be watched. But if it's never watched, we put it out there for us, and that's all that matters. So we'll see what happens.
Tyler: It lives on in this day and age though.
Michael: It lives on.
Tyler: It's somewhere. Yeah. But no, I mean, I agree with that so much. I think... And it's also a testament to the writers, and how they were able to really tap into the foundation of what the relationship was. I mean I just, I hope that people feel the importance of it for sure.
Michael: Shout out to [creator and former showrunner] Carina MacKenzie... Malex is her baby.
Well, hopefully, she likes how it ends, however it ends.
Michael: I think Carina will be happy too. We can tease that.
So is there a Roswell group chat going on, or are there any plans for a Roswell real-life reunion? Have you all been keeping in touch?
Michael: A bunch of the castmates are actually teaming up with us on our next Vlambase merch launch actually, which is cool. But other than that, there's still a fantasy football league that's going around. I don't know if you're in that Tyler, but I got that email.
Tyler: I literally don't know one thing about football.
My last question is: Is there anything that you want to say to these Malex fans now that the series is ending?
Tyler: I think that they should know they were pivotal in the way that we played the characters too because I think that we listened to what they were saying. I think the writers did as well. I think that they love the ship, they celebrate the ship, but the ship became what it is in large part to their support. So it's this cyclical dynamic that I hope they understand how important they were in that.
Michael: Yeah, I think straight up, the fans in a way, changed my life. That sounds pretty dramatic, but truly, over four years, you're going to change regardless, right? But they were always there supporting, pushing us, driving us in a way with love and care, and compassion to do the best work we can. So we just continued. I couldn't wait to see what people thought about scenes that I knew meant a lot to both of us. It was such a joy to know that I can go on Twitter, whether stuff is bad or good. I remember when the first trailer came out for Comic Con, and it was so funny. I got stoned and read all the comments. I had never been on TV before, and I'm just getting trashed as the new Michael Guerin. I thought it was awesome. I'm not offended by any of that stuff. Just bring it, I'm still going to do my thing. But the fact that you could go on Twitter and see what is resonating, see what they're turning into gifs and special moments. That was so cool, and so propelling for me specifically as a younger actor, new to the game, coming up. So it's just a big thank you to them.
I love that. Well, Michael, Tyler, I always love talking to you, and I guess this will probably be the last time, until there's a Roswell revival or something in 10 years.
Tyler: The Malex spinoff!
Michael: Yes, yes!
The Roswell, New Mexico series finale airs Monday, Sept. 5 at 8/7c on the CW.