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SYFY WIRE Resident Alien

'Resident Alien' stars Corey Reynolds & Liz Bowen open up about the show's improv-happy set

"When it feels more collaborative, you're further invested and you're more deeply connected overall."

By Josh Weiss
Resident Alien Star Corey Reynolds Talks About Improvising On The SYFY Series

How much improvisation is there on the set of SYFY's Resident Alien? The short answer is a lot! Chatting with Jackie Jennings and Juan Cadavid (co-hosts of the official Resident Alien After Show), a pair of cast members — Corey Reynolds (Sheriff Mike) and Elizabeth Bowen (Deputy Liv) — praised showrunner Chris Sheridan for fostering a creative environment that encourages input from the actors.

"There's not a lot that needs to be 'punched up' in our scripts because they're spot on to begin with," Reynolds explained. "But having that freedom, as an actor, to throw in your little things here and there, it makes it feel more collaborative. And when it feels more collaborative, you're further invested and you're more deeply connected overall."

He later continued: "I've been on other shows and worked on other projects, just like Liz has as well, where you don't have that type of freedom. In a lot of other gigs I've done, I tried to improvise as much, but nine times out of ten, those things ended up on the editing floor because they didn't match the character. I've never had the ability to say anything that just pops in my head."

In other instances, a director will request one of the actors to refrain from improvising dialogue, a directive that sometimes coaxes more physical comedy out of a particular scene. "One of the struggles I had not saying anything ended up being a look in the first season that was turned into a .gif because there's about five thousand different facial expressions because I'm dying to talk," Bowen recalled.

The first half (eight episodes) of Resident Alien Season 2 is now streaming on the SYFY app and Peacock. Be sure to check back in with SYFY WIRE every week for more bonus content that takes us behind the show's sophomore outing!

Season 2 is expected to return this summer.