As the Dark Matter premiere draws ever closer, allow me to introduce you to our cast – and the characters they’ll be playing. Today, let’s talk about Alex Mallari Jr., Dark Matter’s FOUR.
This was part of the original breakdown that went out for casting:
“Possessed of a quiet strength and dignity that belies an exacting ruthlessness. The part is written as male but could be female. Written as Asian but can be open to all ethnicities.”
This character pays tribute to the many inspirations that helped shape the creation and development of the series: comics, t.v., film, and directly, in this case, anime. The latter was a particularly big influence, specifically, a show called CowBoy Bebop that offered a wonderful mix of humor and scifi in it’s all too brief 26 episode run. The sword-wielding character of FOUR is a tip of the hat to SF-themed anime, from classics like Gundam to more contemporary titles like Code Geass. Fans of the genre will no doubt recognize many familiar elements. FOUR is Lupin III’s Goeman, Berserk’s Griffith, One Piece’s Rorona Zoro.
In creating the character, and his storyline, I consulted with many of my friends in Japan and girlfriend (who also happens to be Japanese) who were absolutely thrilled at the prospect of a North American scifi series with recognizable anime trappings. FOUR was as much a tribute to them as it was a nod to those early inspirations.
As stated above, we opened the role up to all ethnicities and genders. One of the early front runners was a young actor named Alex Mallari Jr. What really made him stand out was his performance in what I dubbed “the interrogation scene”. Unlike a lot of the other actors who came in to audition, his read was incredibly cool and controlled. There was a sense of quiet menace about him I found wholly enthralling.
When it came time for the call-backs, I got on the phone with each and every actor to prepare them, talking them through the context of the scene and what we would be looking for. It was also a great opportunity for me to learn a little about the actors – and after my conversation with Alex, I knew we could have something special in him. He was intelligent, humble, and very enthusiastic. I wanted him to succeed. But it would all come down to that second round audition.
Which he nailed.
You’d be hard pressed to find a more dedicated individual. Here’s a guy who’ll wake up at 3:00 a.m. to get in a workout before his early call. Under the tutelage of our fantastic stunt coordinator, John Stead, Alex has trained and become proficient in almost every weapon in the training room, from swords to sai’s.
This tweet from Alex nicely sums up who he is: