I really enjoy watching “Almost Human.” Is Michael Ealy a sci-fi fan? He makes a great robot.
—Dawn Leung, Mahwah, New Jersey
Even though “Almost Human” is Michael Ealy’s second sci-fi series — the first was the short-lived “FlashForward,” he confesses that he is not the biggest sci-fi fan.
“At some point, I thought about being a vampire and that was probably in ‘Underworld’ when I was trying to become immortal,” the Silver Springs, Maryland-born actor, 40, says. “I never thought about immortality, so to speak, by being a machine. It’s an interesting concept for me and I’m still trying to wrap my head around it.”
So much so that in playing Dorian, an android with human emotions who is partnered with human cop Kennex (Karl Urban) on the Los Angeles Police Department, Ealy initially had difficulty getting the right balance of machine vs. human. He explains that normally as an actor, he is able to use his real-life instincts and background for a character, but Dorian doesn’t have those experiences to call upon. He is more of an innocent.
“One of the things I like the most about Dorian is his sincerity,” the former “Sleeper Cell” star says. “We’ve had some episodes where he has come to this conclusion that there’s an automatic protocol. When, for lack of a better term, the s–t hits the fan, he has an automatic protocol that takes over and he has to sacrifice himself in a lot ways. At the same time, it’s interesting to see him learn about friendship, or learn about death, from a human being. The themes of the show are defining what humanity is for us in this world.”
“Almost Human” takes place 35 years in the future, so it is a world that doesn’t exist yet, and for Ealy, discovering what is and what isn’t possible at that point in time is half the fun.
“It’s like, can you talk on the phone or do you talk through your com?,” he says. “Sometimes I can get a call from [our boss] Rudy [Mackenzie Crook], and Kennex can’t hear it and sometimes he can. So we’re trying to find out what the rules are of the world that we set up.”