Eoin Macken, who stars in NBC’s sci-fi drama “La Brea,” said the series’ “totally crazy” plot grabbed his attention.
Now in its second season (Tuesdays at 9 p.m.), “La Brea” follows one family’s adventure after a massive sinkhole opens in L.A, pulling people into a mysterious primeval land where they must band together to survive.
Macken stars as Gavin, a former military pilot who is desperate to reunite with his family, including his daughter Izzy (Zyra Gorecki) and his estranged wife, Eve (Natalie Zea). The show involves time travel and a portal that allows the characters to go to 10,000 B.C. — while they must also regularly deal with situations such as wolf attacks.
The Irish-born Macken, 39, who’s based in both LA and his native Dublin, starred in the BBC’s fantasy epic “Merlin” and the NBC medical drama “The Night Shift.” He answered some questions for The Post.
“LA Brea” is pretty wild. Was there one element that attracted you to the role?
It was actually because I didn’t know what was going on. I found that interesting, because I wanted to know what was going to happen with the mystery – why there were these sinkholes happening. I love that adventure element, and that kept going into Season 2. Every time I get a script, they’re all totally crazy and bats–t off the wall. That’s what’s made it incredibly fun.
What do you find to be most relatable about Gavin?
I don’t have kids, but I find that I really enjoy the relationship that Gavin has with his daughter Izzy, and [his son] Josh [Jack Martin]. We’ve become closer as friends and people working together. It reminds me a bit of my relationship with my little sisters and little brother. So that’s been a really interesting thing to explore. And I feel responsible for them [while filming] in Australia. I tell them that all the time.
Do you usually know the plot twists ahead of time?
I just find out as the story unfolds. But in a weird way that works for this, because that’s how the characters are finding out. In Episode 6, for example, there’s a big change that happens to Gavin which relates to why the sinkholes are happening and how to stop them. That’s a huge piece for his character development and [for] his family. I didn’t know that before, but the character didn’t know that, either.
What past role of yours do fans usually approach you about?
A lot of times “Merlin” and “The Night Shift” are the two which people seem to recognize. There’s a place I go around the corner for breakfast. The [employees] are really sweet and it turned out they all watched “The Night Shift.” I thought that would mean I’d get free breakfast. But it doesn’t! But they’re still really nice, and I still go there. I’m very lucky that those are shows that connect with people.
You write and direct as well as act. Do you prefer one over the other?
It depends. I like directing something every couple of years, and I write all the time; it helps decompress from acting. I’m lucky enough to meet loads of really cool actors who I work with — so then my plan is to just drag them into my own projects.