INTERVIEW: Alex Roe Teases ‘Siren’ Finale and Ben’s Arc

Siren will be taking a hiatus after this Thursday’s episode, which is sure to end on an explosive note. Star Alex Roe, who portrays local hero and mermaid lover Ben Pownall, discussed the epic hour of television with us. Along the way, he talked about the warm reception to the series’ romance between three people – or rather two people and one mermaid – as well as his expectations for Ben in the back half of the season. Check out his responses below before watching “Leverage” on March 14th.

First, what’s your favorite thing about playing Ben?
Alex Roe: 
I love that he rejects hypocrisy. I love the, he kind of rejects status, and that puts him at odds with his family. I love that he is a protector of creatures that can’t look after themselves as a marine biologist. Yeah, those things are my favorite things.

Speaking of his protectiveness, how much further do you think he’ll be forced to go in order to protect Ryn and the merfolk?
Alex Roe: I think that in this season finale that’s coming up, it’s going to become quite clear where Ben’s priorities lie and what he’s willing to do to keep Ryn safe, to keep the merfolk safe. And I think that he’s willing to do anything to keep Ryn safe. Like, I really believe that. So depending on the situations that Ryn finds herself in, depending on what happens with the military, depending on what happens with the oil company, depending on what happens with all of these things – I think that Ben is willing to do anything to keep Ryn safe.

Ben, Ryn and Maddie have really become an inseparable unit. What’s it like for you exploring such a different kind of love story?
Alex Roe: It’s really interesting. It’s different in so many ways. Because you throw a mermaid in there, and you have not only a relationship between three people that is complicated enough, but also a relationship between three people with one of them being a mermaid. I’ve got friends of mine who were in relationships with more than two people, and it’s a very time-consuming thing. There’s a lot of communication that is necessary there. So with something that is so complicated, you’re throwing that into this world where they can’t even really focus on that. What’s interesting about it is that relationship, which could be such a complicated thing, ends up becoming their solace. It’s like their place of refuge.

Give mermaids liberty, or give me death?

What’s the feedback been like for you from the fans and audience members?
Alex Roe: It’s been amazing. The fan base, it seems to be growing, seems to be so loyal and so into the characters. It’s really fun to see the hard work that you put in being enjoyed by people, and people really getting into these characters and what’s going on with their families and relationships, and just caring about them. It’s really, really exciting. We’re really grateful that this has struck a chord with so many people. The feedback’s been awesome. I haven’t had any complaints so far.

This is not a complaint, but the episode synopsis for the Spring Finales mentioned a “farewell” that perhaps has people concerned. Is there anything that you can say about that to ease their minds?
Alex Roe: Well, what I can say is that the plan that Ben is devising is a dangerous plan for both the mermaids and the humans who want to save them. So the result of that is explosive.

No matter what with the oil company, it seems like Ben’s family’s going to be deeply affected. Can you talk about and his dynamic with his parents, and where Ben and his father can go from here?
Alex Roe: How could they? How could they? I think that Ben semi-expected this of his family, but what really let him down was the fact that his dad kind of bold-faced lie to him when the oil company stuff came up. I think that’s really kind of driving a stake into their relationship. It’s going to be very hard to recover from this, there’s a lot of trust that has been lost there. It’s pushing Ben even farther into his new family, which is Maddie and Ryn and his desire to protect the mermaids. And I think that it only strengthens his resolve when making decisions to try and save them.

You’ve been filming the back half of the season right now, so is there any episode coming up that stands out the most for Ben as a character?
Alex Roe: Both season finales. This season finale is incredibly exciting, it’s emotional. It’s hard to get excited about it and not explain what’s going on with any spoilers. But I’m shooting the season finale for the back half of the season right now, and it’s just crazy. So I think my favorite episodes are probably the season finales. I also really liked episode four, as well. That was fun and had a lighter tone to it. But yeah, the season finales that these guys write are pretty epic and really fun to shoot.

Finally: how would you sum up Ben’s journey in the back half, in one sentence or less?
Alex Roe: Wow, that’s hard. The back half of the season is Ben realizing how far he will go to protect those that he loves.

Siren airs Thursdays at 8/7c on Freeform.

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