Almost Human's most human character is also its least.
Android Dorian (Michael Ealy) made a splash during the series premiere of Fox's futuristic thriller last week for his uncanny ability to come off as more human than his new partner, the cynical Det. John Kennex (Karl Urban). That's because Dorian is a much different robot than the MXs partnered with other cops, making both the leading characters "almost human." To get the specs on Dorian, TVGuide.com sat down with Ealy on the set of Almost Human:
We learned a little bit about Dorian in the premiere, but give us his basic description as an android.
Michael Ealy: He was designed on a program called Synthetic Soul. So rather than operating on a place from mathematical equations and strictly data, he's actually able to process whatever he takes in and later on exert or exercise it as free will. What's interesting about him is that he's actually capable of learning. He definitely has feelings unlike the MXs. One of the things that we explore on the show is the themes of humanity, if you will: Death, friendship, etc. These all create feelings for him. He doesn't always know what to do with his feelings, but he does have them.
He is not a fan of the term "synthetic," which caused him to get very heated with Kennex. Are we going to see more of his flaws?
Ealy: Absolutely. Dorian starts out really awesome. But what he evolves to or how he changes over time is going to be one of the more interesting turns that's out there. And why he does it. He has issues. There was a reason why his model was decommissioned in the first place.
What would you say is his greatest flaw?
Ealy: As of right now I'd say it's his desire to be human. It's one of his more charming qualities, but it's also one of his biggest flaws because he's not happy with who he is. Anyone who's not happy with who they are, obviously that can create problems.
Are we ever going to see flashbacks to his time before being decommissioned?
Ealy: Absolutely. You'll see Dorian in his past. The thing about Dorian is this is his second shot. So I've waivered with whether he plays his cards differently the second time around. Was he different in the flashbacks? Was he more confident in what he was doing and saying? What is there for him to do differently to avoid going back to that place of being decommissioned? Usually when you get a second chance, you turn over a new leaf. Does Dorian need to turn over a new leaf? That's what we're going to find out.
Other cops in the precinct aren't too happy that Dorian is around. Could the pressure from those people be the thing that ultimately makes Dorian repeat his mistakes?
Ealy: There are people in the police force who don't like the DNR model based on what happened. I'll be honest with you, based on what happened, I don't know that I would like it much either. I don't know that I would trust it. That is something that we will definitely play with. It's going to be a fine line between those who don't like a droid versus those who just don't like Dorian because of the past.
There is someone working against them within the department. My money is on Maldonado (Lili Taylor).
Ealy: Most of us probably won't know until it happens, but it's funny you say that about Maldonado because my first impression of Maldonado was that she's dirty too. That being said it's fun to have this element of who's the mole, who's the leak, who's been compromised and why? Could it be Dorian? "Dorian was bad the whole time!" That's the fun thing about television shows, growing with the character and seeing where it all goes.
Kennex and Dorian have found some common ground, but they're probably not going to suddenly be best friends.
Ealy: They're definitely not best friends, but they're in a better place. I heard the term "robromance" the other day and I started laughing because I never thought it was a bromance really, but in a lot of ways it is simply because we have the relationship of two 6-year-olds. When you like someone, you make fun of them. To a certain extent, when Dorian and John get to talking about their feelings, that's their inadvertent way of doing it, to rib each other. They definitely have and they are continuing to grow a certain amount of trust for each other. That trust is being built every episode and is getting stronger and stronger. Dorian, ironically, is more human in a lot of ways than John.
What's been the best part about playing a robot in this futuristic world?
Ealy: It's exciting when you open up a script and you read something that says, "Dorian injects himself with the needle and downloads the information." When you open up a script and see sh-- like that, you can't wait to open the next one. Every week you're going to learn something new. What is fun is learning what Dorian can do, because I kept asking, "Can he fly? Can we get to that point?"
Almost Human airs Mondays at 8/7c on Fox.