Netflix viewers will head to Mars on Friday with the premiere of Away's first season. The space-centric drama features Hilary Swank and Josh Charles (The Good Wife) in lead roles as they highlight the strain put on astronauts and their families. The journey to Mars serves as the background of the series, but the characters back on Earth become equally important during the 10-episode run.
Prior to Away's premiere, series actor Adam Irigoyen sat down with PopCulture.com for an exclusive interview, previewing the first season of the Netflix series and providing some backstory about his character, Isaac Rodriguez. Irigoyen will not head to space in his role, but he will play a very important role back on Earth, helping another character deal with the stress of Swank's absence.
"I play Isaac, who Alexis — who's Hilary Swank's daughter on the show — she leaves fairly quickly after Emma [Green] goes on this three-year journey to Mars," Irigoyen told PopCulture. "We create this bond and really deep connection because of similar experiences that we've had. Obviously, they're not the same considering only so many parents can go off to Mars, but they're similar enough in that we create this beautiful connection and I sort of help her cope and deal with these just outstanding circumstances."
As a character that remains on Earth, Irigoyen shot his scenes in Vancouver, which was set as Houston, Texas. Though he didn't get to explore "space" with Swank and the other astronauts, that doesn't mean he didn't see the magic happen. He still made his way to the sound stages and noticed similarities to his time working on The Last Ship. Specifically, the actor mentioned that the minds behind Away put an impressive level of detail into the sets.
"When we were doing Away, most of my stuff was really on location," Irigoyen explained. "There was only a couple of times where I was actually on the sound stages where they would do the spaceship stuff. And I mean, I did get to sneak on set and go and see everything going on. And so that was really fascinating just because — and I say this about The Last Ship as well — the attention to detail and the set decoration, it really isn't lost. And that's, for me, always such an important detail in creating this world because you want to create it with as much believability as you possibly can."
Irigoyen didn't have to worry about recreating space during his time on Away, but he did deal with a unique issue while filming one particular scene. Vancouver and Houston's differences climate-wise created some problems, which Irigoyen said he experienced while chopping wood. The backdrop of the scene was supposed to be a bright, sunny day, but he filmed while it was dark and storming — not that the viewer would be any wiser, thanks to behind-the-scenes magic.
With the first season premiering on Friday, Irigoyen expressed excitement for viewers to tune in. There are several pivotal moments that occur early in the series of which he said that he can't wait to see fans' reactions. One scene, in particular, stands out as a favorite to him due to its impact on the overall storyline.
"There's also another scene, really, a whole other episode that I'm really excited and interested to watch, which is where I take Alexis to midnight Mass and it's kind of like the first time that I invite her into my world," Irigoyen said. "Leading up to that, you really don't know what Isaac's intentions are. You really aren't firm with him, I should say. That kind of really solidifies who he is, what's important to him and really, how much he cares for Alexis. I'm really excited to view that episode."
Away premieres Friday on Netflix with a 10-episode first season. Irigoyen stars alongside Hilary Swank, Josh Charles, Talitha Bateman and Ato Essandoh among others as they showcase a new mission to Mars and its impact on the astronauts' families. Irigoyen does not know if there will be a second season, but he "would be more than happy" to sign on for more episodes.