Chris Hollier serves as showrunner for The CW’s hit series Roswell, New Mexico. The show first premiered back in 2019 and is now heading into its third season. Season 3 premieres on July 26 and new episodes will continue to air Mondays at 8:00 – 9:00 PM. Roswell, New Mexico was already renewed for a fourth season as well!
With Max Evans (Nathan Dean) coming face to face in the final moments of Season 2 with an alien that looks like him… Season 3 will find him, and his alien siblings, tasked to uncover who exactly this mysteries figure is. meanwhile, we’ll find our intrepid Liz Ortecho (Jeanine Mason) living out her dream job, high paid and changing the world in at a lab in California with an ocean view. But a series of events will prove that our one-time lover’s connection might not be severed for good. Which is good timing, as in addition to a mysterious alien that looks just like Max offers context to why our heroes are on Earth in the first place, a mysterious radio signal begins broadcasting across Roswell, Alex Manes (Tyler Blackburn) finds himself in the crosshairs of a new clandestine organization and Michael (Michael Vlamis), Isobel (Lily Cowles) and Rosa (Amber Midthunder) all begin exhibiting new powers. Confusing things even further is an eerie glimpse Maria (Heather Hemmens) gets of the future…. Someone they love is going to die.
I spoke with Hollier about all things season 3, the one year time jump, getting renewed for another season, which episode he’s most excited for fans to see, the show’s relationships, which new duos we’ll see on screen, and so much more! Keep reading to find out everything he told me.
First off, we ended season two with a big cliffhanger. So how can you tease and set up how the premiere is going to kick off and and resume from that?
Chris Hollier: Well, I think much like you said, we have to at least answer that question, we left him on; “howdy, partner” is quite a way to go out. So, we got to get our partners involved there. Then I think by the end, I want to tease out that much like in life, you don’t always know the best response right then and sometimes it takes a little time, and we gave our character some time to really evaluate all of their decisions with the jump, but also romantically.
The show will be doing a one year time jump; what made you decide to go this route, and is there a character that you were most excited to apply this to and see where they would be a year later?
I think that what we try to do is honor the decisions of people that age, which what I mean is sometimes you don’t know, you need distance and perspective for things, even if they’re good. You need to knock that against something, you need to go after the dream that you said that you want and stand in it for 10 minutes to realize, is this really where I want to be or should I jump ship before it gets to be too late? And time just does that to you.
Which of the characters’ storylines do you think after the time jump is going to shock fans the most?
Is going to shock fans the most? Interesting. I think ultimately throughout the season, what Liz realizes about herself is going to be a journey that they don’t quite expect; that as it gets up and running, it’s going to feel as the episodes roll on, and she is growing and running through a gauntlet to push her to places that I bet she never would have said, “this is what I want to do, say, and be,” in seasons one and two.
What can you tell us about the relationships?
What I would say is they’re on the poster; what I would say is also what we want to do is when we look at Max and Liz, we always look at them as two sides of the same coin. How are they the same? How are they different? But like two sides of the same coin, they are linked together in ways that you cannot pull them apart. So, we put that up on its feet to explore really what does that mean? It doesn’t mean that you end up loving that person or sometimes it means like this is the only person for me, and we put that larger question to them to really decide like, “Are we gonna make a go at this or are we better apart?”
Congratulations are in order as well because the show has already been renewed for a season four and season three hasn’t even premiere yet. So what was your reaction when you heard the news?
I found out on set– quick funny story, I called the two people that like, make the show with me there on the ground, my line producer and my producer/director, and I said, “I’ve got a problem that only the three of us can fix.” They said, “Oh no, what is it?” I said, “They’ve given us 13 more.” So, the greatest thing that I got to do though was go down when they announced it to tell the crew that all of their hard work meant something and that we can continue to employ all these families that I love, during a pandemic, which meant a lot to our entire Roswell group. We make the show together. I truly believe that and so that was the best moment for me is to say, “They’re responding to what we’re doing, they want more of it, and we all get to find a way to be together, even though times are crazy.”
You brought us to our next question because you all filmed this season during the pandemic, and that is such a huge accomplishment. What was it like filming with these insane circumstances and then finally wrapping?
The biggest thing I think it did for sure is that I think when you watch it for the most part, you’re not gonna feel that. We made that decision again to like– we didn’t even know where the world was gonna be by the time we got to a premiere date; we didn’t know who was going to be president, you know? We had to look at all of that. What I would say the biggest thing that it changed were some of our protocols of the closeness that people could be and I mean that like when it comes to kissing and fighting. I feel it really made us look at telling a story, leaning into telling a story more like a romantic comedy where it’s about longing, rather than necessarily like being together. So we leaned into romance as a way to bolster some of the things that our hands were tied with a little bit.
If you could do a crossover between Roswell, New Mexico and any other CW or Warner Bros. show, which would you pick?
Oh, that’s funny. I think I have to go back into the Plec universe, where I came from. We gotta mix them with the vampires. Aliens and vampires, I’m ready.
Well, going off of that question, which characters would you be most excited to see interact from those universes?
I would love to see Hope Mikaelson meet Liz Ortecho. Or Hope Mikaelson and Rosa might be a good pairing; I bet those two could get into some trouble. A little science, a little magic, what could go wrong?
If you could create a tagline or phrase to get fans hyped for season three, what would you pick?
I would say that this season is a crossroads moment for all of our characters. They’re going to have to make the next huge decisions of their life, and the villain that shows up is forcing all of them to redefine who they are as people and their relationships with one another.
Are there any themes that you’re excited for fans to see in this upcoming season or is there any sort of message that you hope to give them with the season?
I would say almost as a reaction to everything going on the world last year, while we made this, that we saw a lot of stories of people trying to divide people. We were drawn to ideas about how you’re tested to do that and how you still come together. So, these are stories about how there are always people and always ideas that will try to divide us, but a real hero, really good people stand up and find a way to still bond with others in that time.
Are there any memorable moments that when you look back on filming the season now that you’re preparing for the premiere, that really stick out to you as a nice memory from the experience?
There’s a nice memory where there was a moment in the middle of the season, around episode seven, where a lot of our characters on the show were all in one space together and that’s something that doesn’t happen. That’s also something because of COVID, we started off this season like we can’t really even do that. So, there was a moment where we’re all standing outside and we were gonna blow something up, everyone was there and there was a great energy that we were doing it safely, together.
Is there a favorite dynamic that you enjoy creating and seeing come to life on screen?
Let me answer it this way, for this season, we looked at characters on our show that never had scenes together and we found ways to put people together in ways that we never have. We looked around like Max and Alex have never had scenes together. So, we found ways to put them together. Rosa and Michael have never had scenes together, so we found ways to put them together. That was most fun and it added a level of joy to all these actors who started to realize like, “Oh my god, I love this person off screen. I get to act with them now!” So, it gets everyone invested.
Lastly, is there an episode that you are most excited for fans to see?
I think that episode eight is a highlight for me, it’s a Maria heavy episode. It’s an episode that a third of it takes place in people’s minds. I think that’ll be fun. I’m excited for where we’re going near the end with some of the crazy places that the show ended up in that I promise fans won’t see come episode one. We really just pushed what we could possibly do and how to get there; we continually, especially, I’d say the last half, wrote ourselves into corners that we couldn’t see the way out of, when we did that episode. So, I think that’ll be challenging for the audience to have to come back like, “How do they get out of this?”