Hunters TV series “really pushes boundaries”

Julian McMahon reveals all on Syfy’s new series, Hunters

Hunters 1

1) Novel inspirationsHunters 6

Julian McMahon plays an ever-changing villain in Syfy’s Hunters, and it’s a role that the actor is excited to talk about. “Hunters is a show inspired by Whitley Strieber’s best-selling novel, Alien Hunter,” he explains. “We’ve got a fantastic pedigree behind the series. Gale Anne Hurd is an executive producer, and I’ve been a huge fan of hers for a long, long time – for obvious reasons. The Walking Dead is a great show! Natalie Chaidez is our showrunner. She’s the genius behind the television series 12 Monkeys, and she worked closely with Whitley during the development of the show. The characters in the show and the book are similar, but the structure and the delivery is very different. I’m a huge sci-fi fan, and I think it’s a great story.”

2) Total annihilationHunters 2

Wolf Creek star Nathan Phillips and American Horror Story actress Britne Oldford join McMahon on Hunters. “We shot 13 episodes in Australia over a period of six months, but it’s very difficult to explain what the show is about,” McMahon admits. “We start our show on D-Day, when a terrorist organisation goes into action – but let’s transpose aliens for terrorists. They’ve been sitting in sleeper cells for the last 15 to 20 years, waiting for the right moment to take over the planet for two different reasons. The first reason is to get back to their own planet, and the other reason is to annihilate humanity.”

3) Under the skin Hunters 4

McMahon is no newcomer to the sci-fi genre, having played Doctor Doom in two Fantastic Four films, as well as Cole Turner in Charmed. “I play a character called McCarthy,” he reveals. “McCarthy is pretty much the main alien in the story. He thinks of himself as the boss, but he’s not… He goes into action to make a point; to destroy and destruct. All of our aliens appear to be in a human form – but underneath, they are oddly structured creatures. What they’ve done is found out how to manipulate the human cell and lather themselves in skin. We also see McCarthy’s need to continue this facade that he wears. He calls it a ‘meat sack’. We went through a whole slew of different looks with hair, make-up and prosthetics. There’s a bunch of looks that didn’t even make it into the show.”

4) Lights, camera, actionHunters 3

In the show, the disappearance of an FBI agent’s wife leads him to a secret government unit assembled to hunt a group of ruthless alien terrorists. “I’m not sure how much I’m allowed to give away about the plot, but there’s a lot of fighting, and I even get tortured in the story,” admits McMahon. “I know a lot of actors like to do their own stunts. That’s cool. But when it comes to action scenes, I usually try to find a good stunt guy to help me out, because that’s what they do. For me, these guys train every day, and they’re very good at action scenes, so why not let them take over? I like working together with a stunt guy to create a character that looks seamless when you see him on screen. That works well for everyone.”

5) Pushing boundariesHunters 5

McMahon reserves high praise for the show. “Hunters is really well written, and it’s really well shot,” he explains. “I think the show really pushes boundaries. It’s poignant, it’s incredibly current, and it’s very character-driven. You’re going to see an environment and a world that you’ve never seen before. You’re also going to see aliens in a way that you’ve never seen them before. It’s a piece that you can really invest in because the characters are so interesting. They are characters that will appeal to everybody, and they are characters that you will watch and think, ‘What are they going to do next?’”

Hunters premieres on Syfy in the USA on 11 April, with a UK air date to follow. For more news about the latest TV series, pick up the new issue of SciFiNow.