Skewed & Reviewed Interview
June 14, 2016
With Independence Day: Resurgence coming soon, we spoke with actor Nate Warren about his career and working on the film.
What can you tell us about your character in “Independence Day: Resurgence”?
His name is Marley Sullivan. He’s an Area 51 Weapons Tech Officer and reports
directly to General Adams. He and his team are primarily in charge of researching
and integrating alien technology into human weaponry, but when things go sideways
he’s in the command center with the other officers executing the general’s orders.
He pops up a couple times during the course of the film.
How did you prepare for the role?
I had fairly minimal preparation actually. I was a pretty big fan of the first film
growing up so I was already familiar with the universe that Roland and Dean had
created. Marley is one humble cog in the great machine that is the story. When you
have a character that isn’t totally fleshed out in the script, you have some
flexibility in creating their backstory. I imagine Marley had a similar experience
as Dylan or Jake in that he was a small kid when the events of ’96 were occurring.
He lost friends and family and it robbed him of a normal childhood. But it sparked
his passion to defend humanity from another attack by joining the military. So even
in a limited capacity, I was able to invest in the story and really dive into the
How was working with such a cast of stars? Do you have any great moments from
filming you can share?
It was incredible! I worked mostly with Jeff and Bill. Not only are they both great
actors, they are awesome dudes. Working with them was such a treat. My fondest
memory from filming would have to be singing showtunes with Jeff backstage. I’m
pretty sure Roland had to ask us to quiet down at one time—our haunting rendition of
“The Impossible Dream” must’ve been too much for the crew—haha.
How did you get into acting and what was your big break?
Well, I had a penchant for performance from a young age. I was a very creative kid
and my imagination was very active. I loved watching films and television shows and
they provided an escape from my rather socially awkward adolescence. Ha. I knew I
wasn’t going to be a star athlete or an academic pioneer, so I threw myself into the
arts. I did it all; band, choir, plays, musicals. I even wrote a play in the 4th
grade and performed it for the whole school! I performed all throughout junior high
and high school as well, and went on to study Theatre and Music in college. I wanted
to start branching into the film and television industry, so I submitted to an agent
(a few times, actually) and finally signed with her my senior year. I booked my
first gig out of the gate, and the rest is history! I really don’t think I’ve had my
‘big break’ as of yet. I’m not entirely sure I’ll even recognize it as such if or
when it does happen!
When you consider a script or a potential TV or film project, what elements do you
look for in the story and character? What types of projects would you like to do in
I look for a personal connection to the material, first and foremost. Then I look
for substance. I need a project that has some meat and potatoes in terms of the
characters, the dialogue, and the overall arc of the story. I want to be intrigued;
I want to have a million questions about the characters and the story—the why’s and
the how’s. I want to be surprised. I also want to be challenged. Quite often, we
actors are cast in roles that aren’t a far cry from who we are as individuals, so
it’s very exciting to find a role that goes against your type. I’ve always been
drawn to independent film for this reason. I feel like independent filmmakers have
more creative license and authority over their work, and they usually have fewer
people to please. This generally results in more complex, multi-dimensional
characters and the unique, textured storytelling that we so often miss in today’s
cinematic landscape. Currently, I would love to work on a Netflix or an HBO series.
They both produce such high-quality work.
How was working with all the FX in “Independence Day: Resurgence”? How would you
describe Roland Emmerich as a director?
It was so. freaking. cool! All of it! The set, the costumes, the props, the action
sequences, the CGI—all top notch! I remember walking on set for the first time and
just getting chills. It was a surreal experience, having been such a fan of the
first film. Roland is wonderful! He’s so warm and goofy. He’s also very smart and
very skilled. He’s always looking for ways to improve the scene and the film as a
whole. He definitely has a vision and he knows how to execute it.
Do you prefer film or television more? What would you say are the biggest
differences between the two?
You know, I don’t actually have a preference. Although, I have done more television
than film thus far. I really just prefer a great story and a great character. In
terms of my process as an actor, the two aren’t significantly different. The
shooting schedule is a bit different; for example, you usually shoot an episode of
an hour-long episodic in the span of two weeks and then it’s onto the next episode,
whereas in a feature film you may shoot over a number of months and have various
chunks of time off interspersed. I think some actors argue that television provides
an opportunity to grow and develop a character more and give them a wider arc over
the course of multiple episodes and seasons. In film, you’re generally only given an
hour or two to squeeze in the whole essence of a character and their story. For me,
if the story is there and the character is appealing in some way, the medium is
When you’re not filming, what do you like to do?
I really enjoy exploring and traveling. I recently moved to LA and have been
exploring the different neighborhoods to get a feel for the city and its heartbeat.
I love traveling internationally and experiencing different cultures, regions and
people. There is such a big world out there, and I’m so excited to see more of it!
What other projects do you have coming up?
I have a small role in a film coming out this August called “The Space Between Us”.
It’s a sci-fi/drama/romance film about the power of love and connection and
belonging, partially set in space, and featuring a cast of truly fantastic actors.
It’s gonna be great! I’m also preparing to produce some of my own original work here
in the near future!