Q: Jason, since we’ve only heard a small tidbit about Sean’s past, can you talk about what we can expect [to learn] about Sean’s back story?
Jason Ritter: I know the writers are planning to get into that in the future. But we haven’t gotten there yet. But we’ve only shot the episode that’s airing next Monday. So we haven’t found out too much yet. But we absolutely will in the future, they promised me that.
Q: Can you talk about how difficult it is to perform when you only know so much about what’s to come? Does that help keep things off balance for you?
Jason Ritter: I think there’s something that’s sort of exciting about that. I mean I think out of all of the actors, we know the least about what’s ahead.
We all got our character bios at the very beginning, so Sophia and Thomas and Ian Anthony Dale’s character assignment, they all know exactly where they’re all from and what’s going on with them. But it’s been fun to meet up with Sarah every day and we just kind of jump off into the unknown and it’s exciting.
Sarah Roemer: I think it is very exciting and I really love the show. So it’s kind of nice being in the dark and see how it unfolds along with everybody else. And it does keep things interesting and it is nice that we only really know what our characters know and I think there’s something nice about that.
Q: There seems to be an awful lot of action going on for both of you. Did you have to learn any skills before filming the scenes?
Jason Ritter: I’ve certainly learned a lot more about guns. This show marks my first shootout. I had never done that before so that was a lot of fun. And I think that my favorite stunt that I got to do was I had to pick up Agent Collier and put her in the car and then we had to drive away from this giant explosion. I had no idea exactly how giant it would be. And I started to drive away and then all three of my rear view mirrors just turned orange for about two seconds.
Sarah Roemer: I’m so fascinated with the way they’re able to rig everything like these big things that are exploding and then just all the things that go into making it happen. The special effects are awesome and the makeup they’re doing for the little girls and there are some things coming up… I guess I can’t say yet.
Q: Now that you’ve reached the halfway point of the season, are each of you pleased with the way your characters have evolved and with how everything’s tied together with the overall plot of the show?
Jason Ritter: Yeah. I’m excited for the next half of the season to see how more of our stories start interconnecting. I think we’ve been in our own little Sean and Layla story and that’s been so much fun. And I really have loved watching both of these characters transition from innocence in the world to kicking a little bit more ass.
It has been really exciting to make an assumption about where the show was going and have the rug pulled out from me over and over and over again. And next episode, episode 10, is really exciting and takes everything up several notches.
Sarah Roemer: It’s nice to be surprised episode-to-episode with what’s coming up soon. The next few episodes have really big huge things happening which I want to talk about but I can’t.
Q: So what would the two of you like to say about the [mid-season] finale? Obviously you can’t give away too much. But what sort of hints can you give us about Monday’s episode?
Jason Ritter: Layla makes a discovery about one of the cast members that is a stunning revelation that will change the way she views everything.
Q: At what point do you guys think your characters will interact with the President or Sophia?
Jason Ritter: The short answer is we don’t know. But I do think that three’s been a lot of setting up in this first half season. And it’s all going to start mixing it up in the last 12 episodes. So definitely excited about that.
Q: Are they going to explain how Sean ended up being on the cruise ship knowing about Michael’s assassination attempt?
Jason Ritter: I hope so. They’ve told me how that all worked out and I’m hoping that they will go back and explain that to the audience because it’s pretty cool.
Q: Do you guys know anything about what the Event is?
Jason Ritter: I don’t. I know that there are other cast members who do. Laura Innes does and Ian Anthony Dale does. I think Blair thought he knew and that’s frustrating because…
Sarah Roemer: And now he’s not sure.
Jason Ritter: Sarah and I keep having theories with each other but we get proven wrong.
Q: Does that affect your performance or does it not matter that you don’t know?
Jason Ritter: I think it might affect it more if I did know. There’s something nice about being in line with your character as far as their ignorance of a certain thing goes. It’s much harder to pretend you don’t know something than to just actually not know it.
Q: What do you think of the three-month space between episodes? Is that good or do you have any concerns about it being on that long?
Sarah Roemer: The last few episodes are going to be really, really strong and people are going to need to know what happens even if they have to wait a little bit for it to come out. But it’s going to go with a bit of a bang.
Q: Why should people tune in who’ve never seen the show before? Or people who only watched the first episode or two, why should they come back?
Jason Ritter: In the second episode, we said that these people are not of terrestrial origin. And immediately a bunch of people went, ‘Oh aliens. I knew it. I’m tuning out,’ and it’s without really examining how complicated that answer can be. It’s not a simple show because [they're not your typical aliens.]
There are lots of theories as to who they are. One of my favorite theories that I’ve heard is that they are from earth but in a different in a different time or a parallel [existence]. There are all these different things that are exciting to think about.
So it’s those subtleties that might have been glossed over by some of the people who were turned off to it. And I would hope that if they tune back in they would get really sucked into some of the more complicated elements of the show.
Sarah Roemer: I also think in the beginning – in the very beginning it was jumping around a lot which confused a lot of people as well. But it just showed so many different puzzle pieces to this massive puzzle and I think by this point they’ve been able to go so much deeper and do all of the different storylines and who’s who and what part people have to do in the grand scheme of things.
There’s less jumping around and less of the flashbacks having to explain. I mean it still does it but not to the extent, which I think threw some people as far as keeping track of what’s going on. But I think they’ve done an excellent job of explaining very quickly what’s going on. It still leaves questions but that’s the fun part of the show.
Q: What was it about the initial premise of the event that appealed to you that you wanted to audition for it?
Jason Ritter: I was really intrigued by the journey of the character of Sean Walker and that he goes from being this regular nice guy who’s about to propose to his girlfriend to a guy pulling out a gun on a plane and demanding to be led into the cockpit.
And I think on a show that goes back and forth in time, you get to jump back and forth between different emotional states much more than you do on a show that’s just continuous. So that was exciting.
I just was really just intrigued by everything else in the pilot especially the characters. I wanted to know more about every single character that I read. I wanted to know where the plane went, who these people were.
Sarah Roemer: I was intrigued by almost everything about it as well. But I flipped through it so quickly and to the end. I needed to know what happened. I needed to know how in the world are they going to explain this plane that just disappeared out of the sky.
I was so impressed when I saw it. I thought it all looked incredible and the rigging of all the tables and all being blasted away. I loved the script and I really wanted to be the first to find out what happens next.
Q: The Event does have such a big ensemble cast, are there any particular actors or cast members that you would like to work with more that you haven’t had the opportunity to do so as of yet?
Sarah Roemer: I think it’s such a terrific cast. I really want to work with Kristin, Laura and Blair and everybody.
Jason Ritter: I’m the same way. It’s hard to choose, but I would love to do some scenes with Blair and Zeljko and it’s hard to imagine at this point when I’m a fugitive on the run. It’s not like I can just waltz into the oval office and say, ‘Hey guys, what’s going on? By the way, I’ve got some information for you.’
I also really want to get to work with Laura Innes and Ian Anthony Dale. I keep having these fantasies about who Sean Walker is going to align himself with because there are two camps now. Actually there are sort of three camps. I mean maybe Clifton Collins Jr. and I join forces against Sophia and the President or whatever. I have no idea where it’s going. But I hope I get to work with every single one of them before the show is over.
Q: How challenging is it to work on a show with so much secrecy and to choose your words carefully? I mean does it ever feel like you’re involved with your own conspiracy with the public?
Sarah Roemer: It’s hard for me because we’re usually a couple episodes ahead. I do get nervous about what I can and can’t say because I lose track of time a little bit.
Jason Ritter: Yeah. I think that the secrecy part is great for all aspects of working on the show. I think sometimes the interviews are the hardest part, the answering questions, because I certainly in my life generally am somewhat of a blabbermouth. So it’s hard for me to rein myself in and keep from ruining it for everyone else.
Photo: © 2010 NBC Universal Inc.