Actor Greg Finley says he feels like a very lucky guy at the moment, and for good reason! He is currently starring as a series regular on the CW's "Star-Crossed". Set a decade in the future, the science-fiction/romance show tells the story of aliens and their attempt to integrate into the human society after being segregated for ten years following their crash landing on Earth. Finley plays 'Drake', one of the teenage Atrians who holds a lot of anger towards the humans, which as he recently told me in an interview, will soon be explained and we will learn why his character finds it difficult to be more accepting to the idea of integration.
Best known for his role on the hit ABC Family drama “The Secret Life of the American Teenager” where we saw him play 'Jake' for five seasons, Finley says he is very excited about the stories he is getting to tell as an actor. One of those would be the story he told through his character from his guest-starring appearance on NBC’s “Law and Order: SVU.” Airing tonight, the episode will focus on a serious issue relevant in our world today.
In our interview, Finley discussed why the experience of working on “SVU” was invaluable to him, what’s ahead on “Star-Crossed” and which historical figure he would like to have the mind of for a day!
Congrats on “Star-Crossed”!
Greg- Thank you. It's a pretty fun show. It keeps getting better. What people were complaining about in the first episode was there wasn't enough Sci-Fi, since it was being promoted as a new sci-fi kind of show on the CW, but we hope people give it a chance because it really develops with the story-lines and delves into the Atrian culture a lot more. It's a love story, of course, but it does go into all that Sci-fi stuff, too.
So we're going to see more about the Atrain culture that your character is a part of.
Greg- Oh yes. Much, much more, which is good for me because it involves my character a lot and it will develop with Drake.
What are you most enjoying about playing Drake? He's a tough guy!
Greg- I just think as an actor he's such a funny character to play because there is a lot to Drake. He's of the warrior tribe, he's a tough guy, but he's got a lot of pain and a lot of emotional issue as we find out in the next upcoming episode. His number one goal is to get his mom out of this prison that she's been in. And that's why he has anger for the humans is so great. That's what his goal is and that's why he's got such a chip on his shoulders. Everything he had and everything with his family was taken away from him, mainly by the humans. He doesn't get why Roman is so fond of these humans or at least less angry about it than him, because he doesn't know about Emery yet and he can't relate to that at all. All he knows is that these humans want them extinct.
Is there a storyline you have had with Drake that has stood out to you?
Greg- Honestly, I love Meredith [Averill] and Adele [Lim] for writing me this stuff because they really develop Drake a lot and I appreciate that. The stuff with my mom is really cool because there would be times in an episode where I'm fighting and beating these guys up, and then the next scene I'm crying to my mom. So it's a cool arc and it's fun to play.
I do like that we get to see a softer side of Drake with your mom.
Greg- Yes, that's fun. I think always playing the angry, bad boy all the time would get kind of old and redundant. He does have a soft side. I think with some people he is very tough and he's got a very big shell, and then with certain characters, he softens up and he breaks. It's almost like the shell goes away. He’s almost humanized in that way and people can relate to that.
Are we going to see him have a love interest?
Greg- He possibly has a love interest, yes! (Laughs) I don’t know how much I can say about that!
“Star-Crossed” takes place a decade in the future. We see a lot of technological advances on the show. What do you think will be one major change in our future?
Greg- You know, I’m kind of old school with technology in the sense that I’m honestly scared of technology. I mean when you think about it, Google Earth: who would have thought there would come a day where we can just look up someone’s property! It’s kind of scary, everybody with their head down in their phones all the time. Kids are having trouble writing these days because everything is on computers now. So I just hope, especially the youth that they just get outside and climb a tree. Everything is done for you these days. It’s kind of a scary thing. It’s funny; some of my friends’ kids know how to work a computer better than I do! They’re eight-years-old, and they’ll whip my cell phone out of my hand and do all this cool stuff.
You have a guest-starring appearance on “Law and Order: SVU”. Tell me about your storyline in the episode airing March 5th.
Greg- I think it’s a really important episode. It deals a lot of with a lot of issues going on in the world of sports right now. There’s one really big twist that you see with my character that is very relevant to today. Without giving away too much, I’m very honored to play this kind of character. It’s some of the coolest stuff I’ve gotten to do as an actor. It’s a very intense episode. It was just on another level; just working with Mariska [Hargitay] and seeing just how she involved she is with the show and how passionate she is about getting it right. I had this really intense scene in the end of the episode and she and really helped me through it. It was really cool. And Danny Pino, my first role ever on TV was with Danny on an episode of “Cold Case”, and the first scene I ever did was with him. I was so nervous and he could read it on me. But he was so cool. He said, “After this take everything else is going to be smooth. You’re good.” He just really relaxed me. And six years later, we’re doing it all over again! It’s pretty cool! And he’s just the coolest guy. We did a celebrity charity baseball game together like a couple years back. It was really cool to work with him again.
Was there something you learned from working on “SVU” and with its cast that you think you will take with you to other projects?
Greg- What really got me the most was Mariska; she’s been doing the show for so long and she still has the passion to get it right and to work hard on each and every scene. Not take a scene off. She really wanted to get it right. For someone like to me to come in and be a guest star and see the passion; you want to do it right like that for each and every episode. I respect it a lot. And she taught me how every take, every day, you just want to be as prepared as you can and just do your best.
Since you are living in the future on “Star-Crossed”, let’s do the opposite for this question. If you could travel back in time and spend a day in the life of anyone from history, who would it be and why?
Greg- Leonardo DaVinci. He was just so smart. Everybody is either left brain or right brain, and this guy is both. He did the Mona Lisa and he also did drawings of modernized airplanes that we’re still kind of using the basis for today. I mean that’s on a whole different level. So if you ask me who’s mind I’d like to be in in the time, I’d like to be in his. That mind was probably all over the place! (Laughs)
Anything else you would like to share?
Greg- I’m writing and starring and producing a movie called DANNY BOY that I wrote six years ago. It is in pre-production. And we are attaching a director in the next couple weeks here. We’re doing the announcement within the month. It’s a project that’s very close to home for me and it’s something that I created, and it’s going to be fun to see it come to life. I can’t wait!
“Star-Crossed” airs Monday nights at 8pm est on the CW Network.
Greg Finley’s guest-star appearance on “Law and Order: SVU” airs Wednesday, March 5th at 9pm est on NBC.