Dark Matter: Alex Mallari Jr. on Four’s Machiavellian Move

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Russ Martin/Prodigy Pictures/Syfy

Dark Matter had one of its darkest moments yet in last week’s conclusion, when Four (Alex Mallari Jr.) took back the throne of Zairon and slit the throat of his enemies, including his half-brother Hiro, who had already allied with him.

In the wake of that devastating moment, the crew have impossibly bigger fish to fry as they use the intel they learned in the alternate reality to stop the corporate war from being waged in their reality. Can they succeed? That’s the big question we’re all wondering as we head into the Season 2 finale on Friday night.

The TV Junkies had the chance to chat exclusively with the new Emperor of Zairon’s portrayer Mallari Jr. on the dramatic turn his story has taken and his emotional reaction to Four fulfilling his goals.

The TV Junkies: Four has had a fantastic character arc this season. I’m curious, how early into filming Season 2 did you find out that he would be getting his memories back?

Alex Mallari Jr.: It wasn’t early at all. I think it was when we got the script for Episode 10. That was when at the end of that episode I realized, ‘oh crap, is he really going to do this?’ My heart was pounding, I thought, ‘What happens? Do I leave the crew? I don’t know!’

TTVJ: After that initial shock, what was your reaction?

AMJ: I was a little wary about it. I love being a part of the crew and it wasn’t explained to me what happens when he retrieves those memories, but immediately after that I was excited because I’ve always wanted to play a villain. I’m hoping that that’s what happens. Right now, just the way I’ve played Ryo and Four, I gave such a villainous air to him, so it’s been fun toying around with that.

TTVJ: You’ve been playing this character for two years, and now suddenly he has fundamentally changed. What was it like trying to create a new persona for him?

AMJ: I didn’t have to create much. All I did was make him whole. The way I played Four from the beginning was they gave him this type of feel where he’s attached to his past. I never really let go of that and there was this curiosity I would always play in Four. With the retrieval of the memories, all I did was make him more comfortable. You know what I mean? Because of who he is naturally, it’s hard for him to trust people from the get go. He’s hard-headed and he’s very particular with anything he does and who he trusts, the people he allows himself to open to, if at all.

With the retrieval of his memories I’ve made him more comfortable around people. He feels more safe with himself and the people around him because he has that knowledge of what happened then and what his plans were. It was all just about making him a whole person again without the caution and I gave him a lot more confidence.

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Syfy/Bell Media

TTVJ: Yes, you could feel the confidence exude from the screen, especially at the end of Episode 12. It gave me chills.

AMJ: That one took a few scenes to do. Once I got to the throne it took me awhile to turn around because the first few times it naturally made me tear up. I said, ‘dammit, no, this is not how I want to play this!’ You can’t help it. For two seasons you play this character and all he ever wanted was approval from his father, to help his home world, to receive the justice that he deserves and to stop running. It was very emotional for me playing Four during that scene on the throne. When we finally got the shot and I was able to put all that emotional stuff away and really give him that confidence he needs to exude.

TTVJ: A lot of people are calling that scene the ‘Red Wedding’ moment of Dark Matter. From your perspective, why do you think Ryo/Four decided betray his half-brother Hiro?

AMJ: One of the books I love is Machiavelli’s The Prince. I really related it to the one type of approach that Machiavelli spoke about. When you take over power by use of force you have to kill everyone that was in the line of power beforehand or else you won’t know who to trust. Trust is a big issue for Ryo, especially right now. There are some questions that are still lingering. I want to know why I didn’t let go of Misaki (Ellen Wong). That’s one question that I have in my head. I really want to know what the hell happened with Three (Anthony Lemke), why I haven’t conversed with him yet.

TTVJ: I think you really hit it on the head there. Four has always been such an interesting character because he internalizes so much, you get the sense that there’s a lot going on just beneath the surface.

AMJ: There is, and Joe [Mallozzi] and Paul [Mullie] play that really well. I just don’t know where they’re going to take him. It really excites me and I’m just happy I can give him that confidence he finally deserves. We got that closure for his father’s approval.

TTVJ: What can you preview for the finale?

AMJ: Oh man. Well, if you thought that Episode 12 had a twist, the season finale will blow your f**king mind.

 

Will Four become Dark Matter‘s new villain? Share your thoughts and your finale predictions in the comments below.

Dark Matter‘s Season 2 finale airs Friday at 10 p.m. ET on Space Channel and Syfy.

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