Michael Malarkey Spills All On The Second Season Of ‘Project Blue Book’

Michael MalarkeyPhoto Credit: Ed Araquel/HISTORY

At the end of the History Channel‘s inaugural season of “Project Blue Book,” extra terrestrials hover over the Washington Monument, a nod to the real-life “Washington Flap” UFO incident of 1952. The series is based on the real-life Project Blue Book, a series of studies on unidentified flying objects, revolving around secret U.S. Air Force investigations into supposed UFO encounters undertaken by astrophysics professor—and eventual ufologist—Dr. J. Allen Hynek (Aiden Gillen) in the 1950s and 1960s. Together with Air Force Captain Michael Quinn (Michael Malarkey), the two investigate sightings across the U.S. Haute Living chatted with Malarkey, a British-American actor and musician who’s otherwise known for playing the role of Enzo in the series “The Vampire Diaries” about what to expect from the series’ second season and whether he, like Captain Quinn, has had a real-life alien encounter of his own.

Michael MalarkeyPhoto Credit: Ed Araquel/HISTORY

How has your character, Captain Michael Quinn, evolved in his thinking and loyalty from season one to season two?

Over the course of Season 1, we saw Quinn start to question the real purpose of Project Blue Book and the Air Force’s involvement in the UFO phenomenon. Quinn becomes much more aware of the conspiracy through Season 2, though he is still on the fence as to whether it would be a good idea for the masses to know this sort of information or not. The events that take place during Season 2 push him into a place where he gets to questioning why he’s doing what he’s doing. He’s at a point of awakening, in a way, and because of that there’s always this element of unpredictability and danger with him. It’s a multi-layered and high-stakes journey this season for Quinn.

What makes Captain Michael Quinn different from any other character you’ve played before?

This is the first time I’ve played someone in the Air Force, so I was excited to delve into that world and to rewire myself in that way. The things Quinn would have seen during the war caused a lot of people to lose their minds and of course too many to lose their lives – and he’s carrying that with him all the time; the things he’s seen. He doesn’t let his guard down much and, I think, has a hard time allowing others in because of that. Quinn may be suave and sharp, but he’s also deeply wounded. People who have experienced the atrocities of war, killed people and have had people killed in front of them have a much different experience of reality and understanding of the fragility of life.

Michael MalarkeyPhoto Credit: Ed Araquel/HISTORY

Fans have really been loving the on-screen relationship between you and Dr. Allen Hynek. They even came up with the name #HyneQuinn. What do you think it is about this unconventional pair that fans are really loving?

HyneQuinn…it’s complicated? People have always enjoyed watching ‘odd couple’ relationships like this. The contrast in character keeps things in balance. Though, it’s not your stereotypical ‘brains and brawn’ type of thing even though that’s what it may look like on the tin. Both Quinn and Hynek are clever and unorthodox in their own ways. They’re also very independent and have very strong internal compasses – at times complimentary and at other times conflicting – and care deeply about the truth, so there’s always this intensity to everything they do. These are two men in the 50’s we’re talking about as well, so they’re always impeccably dressed, and I think that also helps add to the allure of the pairing.

Why do you think there is an audience appetite for UFO series like HISTORY’s “Project Blue Book”?

The UFO phenomenon has been enticing people for generations, arguably millennia. We’ve always been fascinated by what exists beyond our comprehension and with all of the recent news and events continuously emerging on the subject this show is as timely and relevant as ever. More and more people are starting to take this subject seriously or at least are becoming more interested. It’s also just damn good television with a high-caliber standard in all departments.

What should we expect in general from season 2? Will the show evolve in some way or give fans more of what they obviously already love?

We kick off Season 2 six months down the road with the investigations going on as usual, but also our duo is working under the radar to uncover the real stories – as we teased at the end of Season 1. Now that we have the setup, we really get to delve into these characters more. We start to understand them a lot better and it makes for even more dynamic and nuanced scenes. We deal with some massive cases like Roswell, Area 51 and Hopkinsville and the characters journeys quite cleverly match the scope of the cases and the stakes are higher than ever. It’s also a visual feast. We did a lot of exteriors in different elements; there’s the desert, the open water, the deep woods and so much more. It’s a huge step up on all counts in my books and you can really see how the show is evolving in a great way.

Michael MalarkeyPhoto Credit: Ed Araquel/HISTORY

Do you believe in UFOs?

On the most basic level, I’ve always assumed that there is life outside of our planet. As much as I am more believer-leaning, until I personally have seen or experienced anything for myself, I like to keep one foot on both sides of the argument. In a way, I think it’s just too far beyond our comprehension as a species. Life outside of our earth would be made up of entirely different elemental structures, so who’s to say we could even see it with our own eyes and everyone sees things differently, you know? This conversation all boils down to our search for meaning and purpose and identity as a species really. The eternal question being: Why are we here? I guess we still have yet to find out.

What to you is the greatest luxury in life and why?

The greatest luxury to me in life is silence. I am not only an actor, but also a singer/songwriter. My new record ‘Graveracer’ comes out January 10th and I’m about to embark on a full European tour for it. Not to mention, my wife and I have two young boys at home, so my days are always very full. The rare moments of silence in my life – when I’m actively doing nothing – are the greatest luxuries. They’re the moments you have to tune in, to draw strength and stay balanced. I take them when I can. Also, coffee…

Michael MalarkeyPhoto Credit: Ed Araquel/HISTORY