Exclusive Interview with Dark Matter’s Alex Mallari, Jr
Alex Mallari, Jr. plays the mysterious amnesiac Four on the SyFy channel show Dark Matter, but Alex opened up for Talk Nerdy With Us to discuss acting, martial arts, and his role on Dark Matter.
How many different locations have you filmed at in your career?
“I’ve filmed in Toronto (and the surrounding areas), Vancouver, and am currently filming in Moscow, Russia right now.”
What has been your favorite location to film at so far?
“I loved being in Vancouver, I’m in love with the city. But professionally, Toronto has been my favorite place to film so far. I’m looking forward to see where else my career takes me though!”
You’re a vegan; is it difficult to find vegan foods to eat at every location?
“The beautiful thing about being a vegan is you can find food anywhere you go. I’m not much of a picky eater, for example, give me a stash of bananas and I’m a happy camper.”
How did you learn about the role for Dark Matter?
“How did I learn about the role for Dark Matter? My kickass manager came across the breakdown for the audition and said that I was perfect for it. [Lo and] behold, he was right… he usually is; actually, he’s always right.”
Were you aware of the comic book before you heard about the show? Have you read it?
“I’ve never been a graphic novel kind-of-guy so I was absolutely unaware of the graphic novel prior the audition. Once I was given the audition, I definitely made my way to a book store to grab a copy of it. I loved it. I wanted more but I soon discovered that there were only 4 issues produced. But anyways, I’ve actually started reading a variety of graphic novels now. I have our creator, executive producer, and showrunner Joseph Mallozzi to thank for introducing me to the world of sci-fi and graphic novels.”
From what you’ve told your devoted Dark Matter Twitter followers, the #FourClan, you’ve had to learn how to use many of the weapons your character uses in a very short amount of time. Approximately how many hours have you spent on new training for the show?
“[Laughs]. The legend of the weapons training continues to shock and awe, I see. I have an extensive background in martial arts and am an expert at hand-to-hand combat but weaponry was a whole new beast for me. That said, for some reason, the weapons that were placed in front of me, I always understood very quickly. The blind dual-katana scene was the scene that took the longest to learn. One reason was because I’ve never held weapons prior this show, another reason was because I was to do the scene with my eyes shut, and the last reason was because the aerial kick was new to me and required me to gain some extra athleticism. That scene I had a couple of weeks or so to have camera ready. One thing you should know is that I’m a perfectionist and am very adamant about doing things correctly and with extreme precision so I didn’t rely on cuts or editors to make me look good. For each take, I always do a full run to perfection. Anything less than perfect, I do it again! As for the other weapons… I usually had a few hours of training before having to be camera ready. John Stead, our stunt coordinator and my weapons instructor, was always shocked to find that I could pick up a new weapon and know how to use it within 15-20 minutes though.”
So far in the show, Four has been a man of few words. Does this make it easier to play Four with so few lines of dialogue to remember, or is it more challenging to convey the emotions necessary having so few words to work with?
“The thing about acting is that it isn’t about the amount of words you need to memorize and deliver. Us actors are required to be alchemists, to create someone’s entire life and reality out of another person’s (the writer’s) imagination and some words on a page. We then deliver this performance that allows the audience, for that moment they’re experiencing with us, to get lost in this world and life we’ve created. So it wasn’t “easy” because it never is. Being FOUR, every detail was attended to; from his voice to his mannerisms to his stature to his silence and even to his thought patterns.”
Four may be a man of few words, but you are very vocal on social media, even recording an inspirational video for the #FourClan July 8th, telling them to “Wake up” and conquer the world. Do you enjoy the connection with fans that social media provides you?
“Personality wise, FOUR and I don’t have much in common. [Laughs]. He would be quick to call me boisterous! I do enjoy the connection with fans that social media provides me. I truly feel that the days of being the untouchable/unreachable public figure are fading away. I love hearing from the fans as much as they love hearing from me because at the end of the day, they are what matter. This wouldn’t be possible without the fans; I do this for them!”
Do you have any special message to convey to the #FourClan right now?
“When don’t I have something to say to my #FourClan?! But, right now, I want to give them a big ol’ thank you from the bottom of my heart because their support has been so inspiring and so motivating. I’m just a man living out my dream and they’re giving it life. Lastly, if they love FOUR now… I can’t wait for the season to progress because I promise FOUR’s story and presence only gets more and more exciting along the way. The clan is mighty and it will continue to grow – #FOURCLAN!”