The 30-year-old 90210 alum stars as Roman, an Atrian who crash-landed on Earth 10 years ago.
He and six of his Atrian friends are integrated into the public school system, which creates all kinds of drama, especially considering his connection with a human named Emery (Aimee Teegarden).
We caught up with Matt to find out more about his character, the language they speak on the show, the love triangle, and more!
Star-Crossed premieres on Monday, February 17 @ 8PM on The CW!
JustJaredJr: Hi Matt! So we’re really excited about the show. We feel like we’ve had to wait so long for it! What’s it like finally getting close to the premiere?
Matt Lanter: It’s exciting. It was almost a year ago that we filmed. To try to contain that for a year was really difficult (laughs). But yeah, it’s coming up and we’re all excited. We shot 13 episodes and it kind of feels like a movie in that sense. It’s like you film for a long time and you have to wait so long before anyone knows about it, and it comes out. We’re excited to share it with everyone and we’re hoping everyone digs it and is as excited as we are.
JJJ: We got a sneak peek at the first two episodes and loved them. The pilot is great, but wow are there some even bigger things going on in episode two! Just when you think one thing, you realize there is a bigger plan at play.
ML: Yeah, absolutely. Our showrunners were telling us some of the stuff that was going to happen very early on and we got episode two, three, four, and there was so much stuff happening. Each episode is so intense and each one has a new revelation. I was thinking to myself, “How can we keep this up for 13 episodes? How do we keep this intensity and energy level up?” But they absolutely do it, amazingly. I think that’s also what is fun about it. You have to really pay attention. Like you said, in episode two, there are a lot of things to get a grasp on and understand. We’re diving into this preexisting world. This is not just a group of friends at a high school or whatever. There’s a lot of complicated, real-world problems and conflicts happening. There are people who are not to be trusted. There are lies, and deception, and political power moves. All kinds of stuff. It’s definitely something you have to pay attention to. Give it a few episodes and you understand the characters, where they come from, and their motivation. You get a better grasp on that. But the intensity level and the revelations…that keeps up. Every episode, there are new things happening.
Click inside to read the rest of our interview with Matt Lanter…
JustJaredJr.com Interview – Matt Lanter
JJJ: We’re excited for that. And it seems like The CW is the perfect place to introduce this world considering how successful their supernatural and sci-fi shows have been in the past.
ML: That’s another cool thing about the show. That in itself, as a sci-fi fan. The mythology of the Atrians alone is enough to keep you coming back and keep you intrigued, to find out who these people are, where they came from, how long have they been out there, why did they come, what is this language they’re speaking, and what kind of powers do they have. There’s so much that goes on just discovering this new species, and that enough is fun to dive into. You have them mixing with this whole human world and it makes for some interesting situations.
JJJ: We were going to ask you about the language. Is it a real one? How does that work?
ML: It’s a real language and it was built specifically for this show. As a matter of fact, the same guy who invented the Dothraki language for Game of Thrones invented this language. He actually built it from scratch and it’s real. It’s a written and spoken language. He’s very serious about it, so every time we speak in – they call it Sondiv – we have the translation sent over from this guy on pronunciation, phonetics, spelling, and then we sit there and drill it until first of all, we can say it, and then second of all, make it mean something behind the words. It’s really difficult, but I think it makes it feel authentic and more fun. I’m sure there will be some sci-fi fans out there who, by the end of the season, will have picked up on several words and phrases. But as an actor, it’s definitely difficult (laughs). It’s a language that’s very harsh on your tongue and doesn’t really flow all that well, so I sit there and drill it the night before and in the morning before I go do it. Luckily, I didn’t have that much. I feel like other people around me had more.
JJJ: That’s pretty cool! So let’s talk about Roman and Emery. They clearly have a strong connection. What draws these two together?
ML: The first is obvious in that Emery saved Roman’s life when they came and crashed on the planet years ago when they were little tiny kids. He’s always remembered that. That was his first glimpse at humans. They had all this chaos going on around him, and probably wasn’t understanding everything going on, as a young boy. So to have that person there, almost as an angel who saved him, I don’t think he could ever forget that. Cut to ten years later, they’re in high school and he sees her. Is it sort of destiny? Yeah, maybe. I also think that Roman sees Emery as his beacon of hope in this world. He has the weight of the world on his shoulders and feels like a bit of an outcast among his own people. I think Emery represents an escape and hope for the future that Atrians can be free and treated as equals. And be able to love who they want. So I think she represents all that to him.
JJJ: Definitely. And what about Grayson (Grey Damon)? What do you think draws Emery to him?
ML: Personally, I don’t know if it’s the same kind of deep-seated passion or love, but I do think that Grayson represents a sense of normalcy and normal teenage life. Emery is an outcast too. She spent her whole life in a hospital. She’s just coming back into high school too. Roman and Emery are both outcasts from their own people, and I think that’s also why they find each other and latch on. But I do think Grayson represents normal for her, and an easy way out. And I say that because obviously, there’s not going to be hate groups knocking down her door if they’re on a date, or whatever it is (laughs). I think he is a kind person who takes her under his wing in a way, as she comes back to high school. But yeah, Grayson has a hidden agenda too. There are a lot of things that will come out about him that makes it very…iffy…if we should like him or not.
JJJ: Fans get pretty heated with these love triangles and with shipping certain couples. Do you plan on keeping an eye on that with Twitter?
ML: Yeah, absolutely. I plan on doing some live-tweeting, Q&A’s, and that kind of stuff on Twitter. So yeah, obviously I’ll see all that (laughs), as you were saying. I’ve seen some already. I think I’ve seen “Romery.” I think that’s the shipper name for Roman and Emery, if I remember right.
JJJ: Oh wow, that was quick! Romery, got it. Now as for the school itself, there is a lot of cool technology that these kids have now. What’s something you wish you had when you were in high school?
ML: Oh man, let’s see. You’ll come to find out that they actually learn off 3-D models and holographs, which I think is pretty freaking cool. So I wish we had that stuff when we were in high school.
JJJ: Your buddy Titus Makin Jr. actually said the same thing when we asked him. We agree! And finally, if you could give your character any piece of advice, what would it be?
ML: Geez, that’s the first time I’ve ever been asked that question. That’s really interesting. I would tell him to take the girl and run away (laughs). No, I don’t know. He does have the weight of the world on his shoulders. He’s trying to unite these two kinds of people. I guess I would say to stay on the course of what he’s doing with valiance, be stand-up through it, and persevere. I think that passion and hope is driving him and there’s a lot he can accomplish.