Airing Mondays on FOX, “Almost Human” stars Karl Urban as troubled LAPD Detective John Kennex in 2048, where he is teamed with a human-appearing android prototype called Dorian (Michael Ealy).
Kennex already hates the emotionless MX-43 androids that are partnered with every human detective, and he’s not crazy about getting a discontinued model that displays humanlike emotions.
During an interview at a Beverly Hills hotel, Ealy’s facial expression betrays the answer to a comment about androids not having a personal life. Read on at your peril.
“I gave it up,” he tells Zap2it. “I gave it up quick, didn’t I? I was terrible. Yeah, he does. He definitely does. It’s a slow burn. It’s his own thing. I’m going to learn as we keep going, but there’s definitely a slow burn, something in Dorian’s past, what he’s been through, what he’s doing.
“What is he doing with this second-chance opportunity? There will be moments when Dorian goes away from John, away from the case and does his own thing. I think it’s his own thing. How do I word it? He’s looking for someone.”
Ealy recognized that, while Dorian’s apparent innocence is beguiling, underneath is a void that may upend the android’s future.
“A lot of people that saw the pilot,” says Ealy, “find Dorian endearing. There’s something kind of tragic, though, about a droid with feelings who feels he’s not enough until he becomes human … but he cannot become human.”
While the tin man may not have a heart, he may have found a friend.
“The audience is now more accustomed to the contrived buddy thing,” Ealy says, “lack of a real friendship, more invested in who’s sleeping with who, who’s shooting who. That’s not where we are at all.”
Favorite movie: “‘Beverly Hills Cop.’ At its core, it is simply a film about a blue-collar guy being the smartest kat [sic] in the room. Axel is the underdog you love and root for. Axlel is a kat with street smarts, but he uses them for good. As a kid growing up, this movie blew my mind, and to be honest, unlike many of the John Hughes films that inspired me as well, it still holds up today.”
Favorite book: “‘Native Son.’ Richard Wright’s masterpiece was simply a book that spoke to me at a crucial time in my life when I needed some guidance. The theme of predestination for a young black male was integral in helping me steer an alternate course by eloquently putting in perspective the struggles of being young, poor and black. Wright captured the timeless struggle that many young men still feel today.”
Favorite music: “I use music to define every character I play. I learned in acting school to use music as research for period pieces — as well as art and literature — to help shape the more finite details of your character. So far, it hasn’t let me down. Music is so powerful in shaping our moods on a daily basis.”