Tyler Blackburn and Michael Vlamis Talk Malex’s Cosmic Love Story on ‘Roswell, New Mexico’

Tyler Blackburn and Michael Vlamis bring the beloved couple of Alex Manes and Michael Guerin to life on Roswell, New Mexico. The sci-fi drama premiered in 2019 and is currently finishing its final season. The series finale will air Monday, September 5 at 8pm ET/PT on The CW. This interview will include spoilers for episode 4×12, “Two Sparrows in a Hurricane.”

I had the incredible opportunity to chat with both actors about those emotional Malex reunion moments, what the couple’s dream ending would look like, Michael and Alex’s character arcs, the legacy they want the fan-favorite couple to have, and so much more. Keep reading for our discussion!

Photo: Chris Frawley/The CW

Tyler, we finally got you back! I’ve been waiting for you to be on my screen again, I’m so happy. I was just floored by your performance as well as Michael’s in the last episode. For both of you, which scene was the hardest or your personal favorite to film together for the reunion and why?
Michael Vlamis: Oh, wow. I know that, I think, on set the day that we shot that scene where like I walk away from you on the truck after you tell me you’re dying, and I walk a little bit and I turn around, it’s like right before Bonnie and Dallas pull up, I remember that scene being so interesting because it was like, what is the ultimate joy? Very rarely do you experience the ultimate joy of what you want, out of your partner specifically too, and then the lowest of lows within like a second. So that was a really, I thought — I mean, I say fun, even though it was like a gut-wrenching scene, it was a fun scene to do because you get to go super, super deep. I mean, it’s kind of some of the most simple acting that I’ve done as Michael Guerin because he’s just like, there’s nothing, he’s stripped away in that moment, you know? I really enjoyed doing that.
Tyler Blackburn: Yeah, that’s a good point that you brought up. I think that scene was interesting because I really hit you hard. I’m like, “I’m dying, let’s get married though,” you know what I mean? It’s like, “What the hell?” I think that was challenging even for me to navigate that trajectory and to watch you receive that, but I don’t know, I feel like it is funny to say, I mean, actors are ultimately like masochists in some ways, so I think to say we enjoy doing that is true because it’s the challenge. One thing I think you and I have in common, Vlamis, is we want to make things as real as possible and you know, we’re talking — we’re on a show in that heightened state, we’re in an alternate dimension, I’m dying, let’s get married though, and we still want to make it very real. I think we really got it quickly too, which was gratifying. It made me feel… it was like just really riding a horse, showing up on set, and all of a sudden we’re just pulling shit out like that. We’re just killing it, loved it.

In tonight’s new episode, you have those scenes in The Crashdown in the pocket dimension, and I was crying. What was that like to do acting-wise? You have Alex saying he’s not going to make it then you have Michael saying he’s going to get them home. How was it balancing those two different perspectives?
Vlamis: I remember that was a very difficult scene to do. I remember that that day, where you’re like in the diner, me and Dallas are working and I run up to the — you know, I haven’t seen this episode yet, right? I watch it live, I have no idea if I even did a good job with that monologue. I remember it being like… we did it so many different ways, I kept doing it differently, but I just tried to stay on Tyler because you just look at Tyler and he clicks you in it. His eyes just connect and you give him what he needs.
Blackburn: Yeah, that was intense. I mean, obviously pretending that you’re dying but trying to do the right thing for your partner, your loved one, that was challenging for sure. But I think it really — I don’t know, it was an opportunity for you to really like fight for me and fight for us. I remember on the set feeling like you were very invested every single take and stuff so I’m sure it came out great.

Photo: The CW

So I have to ask, were you both shocked when you found out it was Alex was who going to propose, circumstances aside? Did you have any guesses before of who would be the one to propose eventually?
Vlamis: I don’t know if I actually…
Blackburn: I didn’t really think about it either, to be honest.
Vlamis: No, no, it kind of just seemed like something would happen.
Nothing about our relationship is traditional. So it’s like we probably should have just gone to Vegas, Nevada. We should of just in the alternate universe, gone to Vegas. No, I don’t know, but I think it’s cool that Alex did that because, I mean, obviously the circumstances, he had to do it then, but I think in a lot of ways– I was gonna say Alex has been more passive, but I think throughout the four seasons, Guerin was always like, “show up, show up,” you know what I mean? And I was always just like, “I can’t do this.” I think it was great that Alex was like, “I know what I want now.” Obviously, when you’re dying, things probably click into perspective a little bit.

One thing that I really was laughing about in the best way and that I know the fans are gonna get a kick out of is that Malex forever banner at the wedding. What was your reaction when you saw it?
Blackburn: This is actually my honest, honest take, when I got to that set, I was like, “I’m so glad that he’s stopping this wedding because this is gaud as fuck. This is like the worst-looking wedding ceremony ever.” I mean, the gesture is sweet but like, this is bad. So I’m glad that you stopped it, to be honest.
Vlamis: They’ve never played into — have ever played into the ship name on the show actually up until that point?

No, I don’t think so. I was shocked.
Blackburn: Oh, wait, was that the first time ever?
Vlamis: Yeah, that’s why it was like kind of — I don’t know they kind of just went for it.
Blackburn: That’s so hilarious, I don’t even know if I realized.
Vlamis: That’s like if on Pretty Little Liars there was Haleb in the background. Can you imagine?
Blackburn: They might have to be honest. I don’t even know, that’s such a crazy concept. The ship name thing.
Vlamis: Yeah, but in the show? It’s insane.

Photo: Michael Moriatis/The CW

I haven’t seen it on the show. I’ve seen it on others. But this is the first time and I was like, “Wow, what a way to make a statement.”
Vlamis: I mean, it’s a fun thing, but it is kind of almost like breaking a certain wall, especially if no characters have ever said it before, but I’m not remembering. Maybe they have said it. I don’t know.

The fans will figure it out, they’ll let you know. No spoilers here so throw away what you know about the finale for a second. I’m personally, in my opinion, saying that Michael and Alex are getting married, whether it’s in the finale or future, they’re getting married eventually. So beyond marriage, beyond the finale, what is their happy ending? Do you see Malex having kids? Do you see them moving away from Roswell? In your head, what is their dream ending?
Blackburn: Please let them move from Roswell. I don’t understand why anybody would want to stay in a town where all this crazy shit goes down. I just don’t understand. I mean, to be honest, I’m like, “We need to figure out a way to go to space together.” I feel like there’s someplace better. I feel like that’s the case. That’s what I would like and then we can have alien babies and maybe we could find — oh, I’m gonna get kind of gross, maybe on that planet, it’s possible for two dudes to get pregnant.
Vlamis: To have a baby! We’re definitely going to have kids. I know that for a fact.
Blackburn: Yes.
Vlamis: How could we not?
Blackburn: Oh, they’d be so hot.

I’m just so sad that we’re not gonna see it. I’m heartbroken.
Blackburn: I challenge the fans to, in whatever format they want, create what they think our children would look like, whether it’s a drawing, a painting, digital. I think that would be cool, and they can just like put it on Twitter and tell us what they think our kids will look like.
Vlamis: Great idea. What about a Malex movie? I challenge the fans to just pitch Malex movies. I want to hear your ideas.

Photo: John Golden Britt/The CW

Do you think we won’t?
Blackburn: I’d do a movie.
Vlamis: I’d do a movie, yeah.

Could you imagine them as dads though?
Vlamis: That would be awesome.

I can’t wait to see what everyone comes up with now with those challenges. Next, I have a fun question: there are a lot of times that people get introduced to a show by a simple scene or clip. So if you both could pick a clip or scene to show just how special Malex is to a person who has never seen Roswell, New Mexico, and has no idea who these characters are, which would you show them and why?
Vlamis: Wow, that’s a really hard question.
Blackburn: I mean, I do think it would be some of the earlier scenes, I just feel like those are the most charged, they were the most telling of our dynamic, you know?
Vlamis: The “I never look away, not really” scene, when you like pull me into the trailer.
Blackburn: Yeah, I love that one.
Vlamis: That was a good scene.

Blackburn: There’s another one when I come to the junkyard, it’s mid-season, I come and…
Vlamis: “What do you want to say, Alex?!”
Blackburn: Yeah, exactly. I turn around and like, “No, I do have some shit to say.” I think that one is really…
Vlamis: Dude, that’s a good call.

Photo: The CW

What advice would you personally give to Michael and Alex as they close this chapter and move on to the next chapter in their lives?
Vlamis: Enjoy being happy. Allow yourself to be happy.
Blackburn: My advice would be get out of Roswell and go find actual happiness. Keep loving each other, keep listening to each other, and keep showing up for each other.
Vlamis: Keep listening, that’s right.

In these two episodes especially, but also just throughout the series, Malex have had such great callbacks and parallels to your earlier moments. Do you have a favorite that when you read it in the script you’re always excited to kind of play with?
Vlamis: Oh, the pieces want to be together is the one that always gets brought up to the point where it’s almost like a running joke how much it gets brought up.
Blackburn: Yeah, I don’t like that one.
Vlamis: You’re done with it now.
Blackburn: No, I don’t like how much it was used.
Vlamis: I know, yeah, it got used so much.
Blackburn: But I mean, I like the sentiment for sure and I think when it was first said it was pretty whimsical, but I don’t think it needed to be used that many times. I don’t know, I mean, I don’t think you said it that many times but “I don’t look away.” I think that one is simple cause I do think in relationships, it’s like you do have to remind each other why you’re there, you know what I mean? It’s like that at the root of our relationship, that’s what it is. It’s like, “I’m not gonna look away from this.”
Vlamis: Yeah, that line was awesome.

Photo: Ursula Coyote/The CW

What do you think either teenage or season 1, episode 1 Michael and Alex would think of how they end up in the finale? Would they believe it?
Vlamis: They wouldn’t even think it. They wouldn’t even know it possible.
Blackburn: Right, I mean, I do think as teenagers, I guess I could speak for Alex a little bit…
Vlamis: Teens maybe.
Blackburn: I feel like maybe Alex would definitely have that sort of fantasy or– not that you’d have to be young, but I do think when you’re young and you haven’t been extremely steamrolled by life yet, a lot seems possible. So I think, even if it’s in your own fantasy world, I feel like as a teenager, Alex would probably come up with that in his mind, but for it to actually happen, no, I don’t think he would really believe that.
Vlamis: I would say the same thing. I think everything when you’re younger, you know, is a little bit more fantastical, even though it’s all real, it can happen, it doesn’t happen the way you think it will happen, especially when your boyfriend’s dad attacks you after… like, that changes how you approach life. Everybody has their trauma. Everyone’s been changed by their past events, but everybody deserves where Malex ends up and I think that’s the coolest thing about our growth. We had amazing arcs. We really did, we really had cool arcs.

Right? The hardships your individual characters went through outside of their relationship were just unreal. It’s so rewarding to see that they get to be happy in the end. I say this all the time, but you both have created something insanely special that I’m so grateful to see represented on screen. What do you want the legacy of their relationship to be for fans?
I think just for it to be one step further into like normalizing a queer relationship and having it be really complex, beautiful, harsh, and all of the things that you’ve seen in all of the romantic movies throughout time, but it was always represented by a male and female. I mean, I’m watching a docu-series right now called, The Last Movie Stars, about Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward and I’m watching all of their performances in these clips, and there’s all this like, intense love and hate for each other in some of their scenes, and I’m like, “oh, that’s Malex.” I think for it to be normalized and be a part of that on television, in entertainment, I think for me, that’s a really proud moment. I hope that that’s ultimately the legacy.
Vlamis: Yeah, I think you said that perfectly. I mean, what do you want to leave people with? You want to leave them changed. You want to leave them different. You want to leave them better off than they were before, just like we’re better off than I think we were even before the show, right? So yeah, I think that we did some really cool things on this show that were groundbreaking in certain ways, even from like, I saw Harry Styles said that gay men aren’t having sweet, sensual sex in movies and film, that was in an interview that came out recently. I saw IndieWire was kind of going at him because they were like saying that he was wrong about it, and I have no comment on that at all, but just reading that made me think about me, like, sweetly caressing Alex’s leg, his missing leg. That was like — you never see that, not only do you not see queer men doing that, but you don’t see anybody showing a limb like that and in a loving way. I mean, that was pretty amazing. That was pretty wild, we’ve done some groundbreaking stuff in a way and that’s all on the writers and creators, and just grateful to be a part of it. So I hope people are just left with like, we did our best to honor the truth of love and make a difference.

Photo: Ursula Coyote/The CW

I have to talk about the GONE TOO SOON Vlambase merch that is going to be taking all of my money. Seriously, I’m going to be completely broke on series finale day, so thank you for that. But tell me about doing that, especially the Malex collab. You’re really honoring all of the characters with this drop and I think it’s a beautiful thing. What is it like seeing the response to everything and sharing it with the world now?
Vlamis: Oh, it’s so cool. They’ve heard me, they’ve seen — look, it’s all I wear, so it’s gotten to a point where everyone’s almost like sibling annoyed with me in a way and now that everybody wants to be a part of it, and seeing Lily’s design doing so well, Nathan’s a part of it, and we have other people that we haven’t even announced yet, but it’s so cool. I mean, Tyler and I, every time I do with Tyler, it’s more fun. I mean, everything from our photoshoots to whatever, it really feels like it’s a continuation of advertising for the show. We really like… they’ll see on our latest photoshoot what we did for the fans and they’re gonna enjoy it. You’re talking about what life is after the show, I mean, we have a lot of fun with this. I think more shows, more actors should be doing stuff like this. It’s so fun and the fans seem to really love it, you know?
Blackburn: I mean, yeah, I definitely think what he’s saying is so true. It’s just a way to connect even further, outside of the parameters of the show, and kind of have people participate. There’s definitely reward in it, and our photoshoots are so psycho and funny. Also too, I think it’s really a great way to spend some time together off set. I mean, I enjoy it. I enjoy it for sure. The response is crazy, the number of people that buy that merch is astounding. It’s amazing.

I am so not ready for the photoshoot. While I am 100% behind the Malex movie, I need to know when you two are going to be on my screen again. Is there a dream project you would like to do next?
Blackburn: That’s very hard for me to say. I think for me, I’m gonna take some time to really navigate what I want the next phase of my career to be. So I think I’ll probably be a little bit more patient and potentially picky. So I don’t know, I’m like really open to reading different types of scripts and you know, the majority of my career has been sort of in this YA genre. Roswell is not exactly YA but sort of and so I’m looking to, as a 35-year-old, actually graduate a little bit. I mean, I have a lot of things that I enjoy watching and reading, so hopefully, some of those will kind of, you know, I don’t know I can be in something along those lines, but I don’t know yet. I’m figuring it out.

Photo: John Golden Britt/The CW

But if Michael’s attached to a project, are you in?
Blackburn: Yeah, absolutely. I think it’d be so fun to do something outside of Malex together.
Vlamis: That would be cool, that would be very cool.
Blackburn: And I mean, what if we played enemies in something?
Vlamis: Man, it’d be so hard but fun.

I mean, they doesn’t have to last as enemies, you could do enemies to lovers. That’s a pretty popular trope.
Vlamis: This is not the Malex movie!
Blackburn: I know, that’s hilarious. It would be good, I know that.
Vlamis: Damn right.

Michael, anything for you?
Vlamis: I’m just really excited for my directorial debut to come out. Crossword is coming along great and yeah, I’m gonna go watch it right now actually, an earlier cut so we’ll see. We’re working on it in the editing room, there’s still a lot to be done, but yeah, it’s feeling really good. Hopefully, maybe that’ll be the next time you see me on screen. I don’t know, maybe before then, who knows?

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