V's lizard sleeper agent rips off his skin for us

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Dec 14, 2012, 4:09 PM EST

If you watched last night's premiere of ABC's V, you saw it revealed that a couple of the main characters were aliens who have been living among humans as "sleeper" agents, at least a couple of whom may be on our side. (Spoilers ahead!)

One of the good aliens—at least we think he's a good alien—was Ryan Nichols, played by Morris Chestnut. Last week on the show's Vancouver, Canada, set, Chestnut told us exclusively that he put subtle clues in his performance to hint at his character's secret under the skin, so to speak.

"We did have to reshoot some things [for the pilot episode] just for editing purposes, and I did put a little something in there," Chestnut said.

Like what?

"I can't say," he said with a laugh. "Good try, good try."

And where does Ryan go from here, now that humans know his true self?

"He has a lot of challenges," Chestnut says, adding: "The hard part about Ryan at this point, there is a reveal that comes at [the end of episode four, and] almost everything that I'm doing or that I do in these few episodes kind of lead up to that. That's the hard part. ... I think by the fourth episode you'll have a pretty good idea of which side of the fence he's on."

Chestnut also talked a bit about how the lizard-under-human-skin illusion will be achieved in this new version of the 1984 miniseries, which used simple makeup effects. This time around, the illusion will be achieved in part with computer-generated effects, he said.

"There's visual effects involved with that," he said.

At the end of the pilot, Ryan suffers a large wound on his arm; in next week's episode, viewers will see him strip off some of his human skin to deal with it. "Obviously there's a huge wound, and how the wound is repaired is visual effects," he said.

Will we see Ryan eventually revealed as a full-on lizard man?

"I never want to see what my character looks like underneath," he said with a laugh. "I just want to see Morris." If he appears as a lizard, then "anybody can be me," he said.

V airs Tuesdays at 8 p.m. ET/PT on ABC.