Star-Crossed's Matt Lanter Previews The CW's Alien Love Story (With a GoT Connection?)

matt-lanter-star-crossedFor 90210 alum Matt Lanter, playing an alien on TV is no night at the Offshore bar – and that’s just the way he likes it.

In Star-Crossed, which premieres Monday at 8/7c on The CW, Lanter plays Roman, a sarcastic teen alien whose species (called Atrians) is forced to integrate with the human race 10 years after crash landing on Earth.

Along the way, Roman catches the eye of a human girl (Friday Night Lights‘ Aimee Teegarden) with whom he shares a complicated history.

In other words, it’s a far cry from where we last saw the actor.

VIDEO | Star-Crossed Stars Talk Civil-Rights Issues, Crazy Fashion and Three-Way (!) ‘Shipper Names

“Some of our days look quite different than they did on 90210,” says Lanter about his latest series. “The show’s got all kinds of stuff – it’s got action, underwater stuff, flames, explosions, it’s got this whole new environment.”

Lanter recently spoke with TVLine to discuss his “conflicted” character, the show’s sci-fi love story and what the Atrians have in common with Game of Thrones‘ Dothraki.

TVLINE | The last time we saw you on a CW show, you were playing a bad boy on 90210. What’s it like to play an alien?
I’ve had a lot of fun with it. It’s a very different character – a very strong character. Roman’s got a lot of layers to him. He’s thrust into a leadership position without wanting it or asking for it, and that’s a really interesting position for anyone to be in. I think it says a lot about that person in how they deal with that. Roman’s got, quite literally, the world resting upon him.

TVLINE | In the pilot, we see Roman wants to integrate the aliens and humans, whereas his family is against it. What is that journey going to look like for him?
In a nutshell, his journey is that his father was a leader of the Atrians and also the leader of the human-Atrian relations committee on the Atrian side. He’s murdered. Now Roman is being looked to fill that position. He’s a young kid, he’s 16 years old; he didn’t want it. It was never in the cards. And now Roman has got this destiny, in a way, with Emery, who was this human girl that saved him when he was 6 years old. They reconnect in high school, and now he’s totally conflicted [about whether to] feed into that love and that destiny he feels with this one person, this soulmate of his, or do the right thing for his people.

star-crossed3TVLINE | What’s that going to be like for Roman, trying to do both those things?
What you will see is that it puts both Emery and Roman in an outcast position. Roman is an outcast because he’s got this love for this human girl, which is unheard of and really frowned upon by both sides. And you’ll come to find there are groups of people within both cultures — some are for integration and some are against it.

TVLINE | The aliens have markings on their faces. Will we find out what those markings mean?
At first appearance, what we really only see are the markings on the body. We know they have some different anatomy; they’ve got two hearts, two lungs, which obviously lends itself to different types of strengths and weaknesses. They have certain allergies not common to humans and actually age faster. You will see the markings do have a function [in that] we can  breathe underwater, we can actually breathe through our skin. I was trying to keep that tight but [series creator] Meredith Averill said it in an interview and I was like, “OK I guess we’re telling people.”

RELATED | TV Trailer: The CW’s Star-Crossed Lovers Can’t Deny Their Feelings

TVLINE | There’s a little mention in the pilot about Atria, the Atrians’ home planet. Will we learn more about that?
We learn a little bit. We learn a very small amount about it in Episode 4. But in general, we don’t know much about who these people are. One thing is the Atrians have their own language that they speak on their planet called Sondiv, and we speak that a lot in the show. It’s a real language built by a language specialist — by the same guy who built the Dothraki language for Game of Thrones.

TVLINE | That is really awesome!
He actually built our language the same way he built the Dothraki language – from scratch, from the ground up. It’s real. Every time we speak it on the show, we get sent the audiotape of him speaking the language and how it’s phonetically spelled out and how it’s pronounced. It’s pretty cool.

Star-Crossed

TVLINE | Final question. What would Roman think of Liam? Would Liam survive in 2024?
[Laughs] I think Roman would think that Liam is, I don’t know, perhaps unintelligent. I feel like Roman is a witty guy and he’s very smart, but Liam’s problems are so minute and ridiculous compared to Roman’s. Roman would think, “Man, you have it easy!”

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26 Comments
  1. spindae2 says:

    I like him, he is a nice guy but honestly he can’t put off a 16 year old teen. when he appeared in 90210 he was pretty childish, but with his hair loss and over athletic body it’s unreal no matter how fast they age. I like the aspect of 2 pair oflungs, 2 hearts etc. I’ll tune in for sure.

  2. Ally Oop says:

    I feel bad for this show. With its midseason premiere during the Olympics on a tough Monday timeslot, the show doesn’t have much of a chance. I’ve actually heard from a good source that it’s really very good.

  3. Dr. L says:

    90210 was a terrible show and maybe Matt couldn’t act because of the crap material they gave him. But maybe he does have acting chops and we’ll get to see them. But anyway, it’s pretty hard to but him as a 16 year old boy.

  4. mike says:

    I think this show a little bit of Roswell meets alien nation

  5. K. says:

    I don’t know about this show but I might try the first episode! For me he does not look 16 anymore and should move out of the teenage shows!!

    • James says:

      He did say that Atrians age faster. So 16 human years equals to 30 Atrian years probably. :)

      BTW: Liam+Rhonda+Corporate Invaders=Star-Crossed. :D

  6. Gemma says:

    Oh God, it’s like Smallville/Roswell mixed with 90210. I had a look at the preview and it was bad. Matt, as great as he is cannot pull off a teenager and the lead actress cannot act.

  7. bj says:

    Another example of a 30 year old playing a teenager. And they wonder why so many teenage boys feel inadequate. What’s wrong with finding a good teenage actor. This is the main reason I never watched Glee.

    I imagine all the girls are well into their twenties too.

    • Ally Oop says:

      Shows like the British-made Waterloo Road and the Canadian-made Degrassi prove using same-age actors can work.

      • James says:

        MTV tried this with Skins US but instead of getting praise o having same-age actors playing teens, they were accused of child porn by the likes of the PTC.

  8. Dennis says:

    Roswell, is that you?!

  9. Josh says:

    I don’t get why they had to make them high schoolers. Why not just have them be young adults? He does not look 16(and neither does Aimee)

    • JC says:

      Yes, this. Why do all these kind of shows have to be set in high school? This was one of my issues with TTP as well.

      • justsaying says:

        Agreed. I think tv execs think they won’t get young viewers if they don’t set something in high school. which is the opposite of true. especially since most teens want to be older anyways. and since in these shows, parents and school don’t usually play a real fleshed out role, why bother? Buffy is an example of one that had purpose behind setting it in high school and did a decent job of showing some home life for the lead

      • Midnight says:

        I think TTP realized the high school age setting was a mistake since we have seen practically zero high school scenes since the pilot besides the basketball episode. At least the rest of the characters like John and Cara are aged up a little bit to their 20s. IMO one reason Arrow is so good especially for the CW is that the characters are mostly in their 20s or 30s instead of being 16.

  10. hannah says:

    Two hearts?! Can they regenerate?!! Also, everyone has two lungs, so does he mean two pairs?

  11. jimmy woo says:

    Looking forward to this. College might have been better though.

  12. Lauren says:

    Am I the only one that read the whole article? Yes Matt only plays a 16 year old, and yes Matt does not look 16. BUT his spices age faster so it does not matter how much older he looks.

  13. wrstlgirl says:

    There is absolutely no room for another show on Monday night in my house :-(

  14. Naazneen says:

    I loved Roswell, so im definitely giving this a shot.

  15. SL says:

    Matt has potential but so far he is no Max and no Jason Behr…
    Aimee is no where near Liz or Sherri Appleby…

  16. tsevca says:

    By repeating in every possible interview that they had the language made by the same guy who worked on Game of thrones, it wouldn´t make both shows on the same level. The first time it was a fun fact, but now it´s trying too much.

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