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Actor Josh Holloway reunites with Lost Executive Producer Carlton Cuse for USA Networks sci fi drama Colony. Set in the near future, the story spotlights a family’s struggle to survive and overcome an occupied Los Angeles.

Holloway portrays Will Bowman, a former FBI agent who will risk everything to protect his wife, Katie (Sarah Wayne Callies, The Walking Dead), and his family, while he searches for their son, who became separated from them during the invasion.

Josh Holloway and Sarah Wayne Callies came to the TV Critics tour to talk about their new series, which premieres on January 14th.

Colony, 101 - Alex Neustaedter, Isabella Crovetti-Cramp, Sarah Wayne Callies and Josh Holloway
Colony, 101 “Pilot” – Bram Bowman (Alex Neustaedter), Grace Sullivan (Isabella Crovetti-Cramp), Katie Bowman (Sarah Wayne Callies) and Will Bowman (Josh Holloway) ©2015 USA Network, photo by Paul Drinkwater

After being on location for your other projects, what’s it like to shoot Colony in Los Angeles?

Colony, Season 1 - TCA, Sarah Wayne Callies
Colony, Season 1 – Sarah Wayne Callies at the TCA NBCUniversal Press Tour in August 2015 ©2015 USA Network, photo by Ben Cohen

Sarah: I spent the last six years of my career shooting on location. It’s weird to be here in L.A. and have a more traditional job. When you’re on location you don’t know anybody else, so you get very close very quickly with people.

To be honest, I was nervous about coming to Los Angeles, thinking we’re going to scatter to the winds on our off times. Are we going to be able to create the kind of company that I think really makes a great show?

Then I found out that I was cast opposite Josh. Josh and I worked together ten years ago. It was a relief to discover I was working with a leading man who I have a long personal history with, because we have to form a marriage that has a long history.

News flash. LA’s great.

Colony, Season 1 - TCA, Josh Holloway
Colony, Season 1 – Josh Holloway at the TCA NBCUniversal Press Tour in August 2015 ©2015 USA Network, photo by Ben Cohen

Josh: I’ve been loving it. No one shoots here anymore, and now I’m proud to be on a show that is bringing drama back to L.A., and for our show it’s a character in the (series).

It’s amazing to come home to my family. I have two small children, a year-and-a-half year old boy and a six-year-old girl, and to come home and be reminded of the stakes that I’m playing every day at work is gold as an actor.

I have to constantly protect my family in this show, and I come home and they’re there. That is just fuel.

Colony, 101 - Josh Holloway
Colony, 101 “Pilot” – Will Bowman (Josh Holloway) ©2015 USA Network, photo by Paul Drinkwater

In watching the pilot, Los Angeles is surrounded by this fence keeping everyone there with the controlling force and you’re trying to get out. Does it feel like you’re trying to get off the island again?

Josh: It’s a little different, in my other show (Lost, my character, Sawyer) would live for himself pretty much. He came from a different end of the spectrum. In this, I’m not trying to get off the island or out. I’m trying to get to my son. I’m trying to get him and get back to the family, reunite our family and ultimately to find a way to help the human race. But in my character’s eyes, family is first and he has to reunite his family and then save the human race.

But in the tradition of working with Carlton Cuse, I don’t know anything that’s going on, and that’s a wonderful discovery to what’s on the other side of that wall where it’s burned out. Los Angeles is separated into prison blocks, all communications have been cut off.

We don’t know if there’s a New York or anything right now. So everything is a discovery.

Colony, 101 - Sarah Wayne Callies
Colony, 101 “Pilot” – Katie Bowman (Sarah Wayne Callies) ©2015 USA Network, photo by Isabella Vosmikova

Sarah, can you talk a little about using allegory to tell the story. Do you feel like that gives you a more authentic storytelling venue?

Sarah: Well, that’s what science fiction does, right?

I know that the sci-fi aliens, to the extent that they’re aspects of this show, can consciously recall the great traditions of science fiction.

If you think about the first season of Battlestar Galactica, which I thought was brilliant, it was a 13 hour treatise on the Patriot Act, and on whether or not we’re willing to sacrifice certain things in order to feel safe.

What I love about the questions that are being raised in this (series) is they take the idea of we’ve got the good guys and we’ve got the bad guys, and you realize that you’ve got all of these zealots who are trying to fight back, ‘viva la resistance,’ and they don’t know thing one about what they’re doing. So passion and zealotry can be as dangerous as an occupying force.

So I think what’s exciting is this element of the proxy stories that you get to tell, the undercurrent that you’re allowed to explore with science fiction that would be a little too on the nose and would feel a little too much like CNN if you just put the story right out there.

How far do you have to push people down before they’ll stand up and go I don’t care if this kills me. I’m done. I’m going to stand up. And when is that an act of nobility, and when is it an act of idiocy?

Josh: And who would you put first, humanity or your child? Are you going to let them die? Are they going to be taken, burned, killed or shot –

Sarah: or brainwashed –

Josh: or brainwashed, because you’re standing up for humanity? I don’t know. That’s a big question.

Colony soundbyte

Both Sarah and Josh were asked about the physical demands of the show. Click here for their replies