Behind the scenes on “Men in Black”, Paul Hynek, Laura Mennell & next week’s Project Blue Book episode

Peter Graham-Gaudreau & Jerod Haynes

🛸He has a face you’ve seen all over TV, but you may not know his name. Actor Peter Graham-Gaudreau has been in dozens of film and TV productions, but Project Blue Book fans will not doubt remember him as the bigoted Sheriff Washington in “Men in Black”, a man who intentionally ignored Agent Banks until Quinn stepped up to rectify the situation. Peter got along fabulously with Jerod Haynes, as the photo he shared on Instagram (below) shows. Peter also posted several more pictures with cast and crew at that link.

🛸Paul Hynek was recently interviewed on the Fade to Black segment on February 17, 2020.

Some tidbits:

When asked about the artistic license taken on Project Blue Book, Paul said “It’s a very interesting  premise to take real people and real reports, not necessarily real events, and layer on… the first layer being visualization of what people report and then visual elements.” 

He says the show is not altogether accurate as it’s a dramatization. What’s important to him and his family is that the show portray his parents in an authentic way. He met with both Aidan Gillen and Laura Mennell so that they could understand what made his parents tick. “Their emotional core,” said Paul, and then the actors could add in their own interpretation. He thinks that the show portrays his parents quite successfully.

He said Project Blue Book was “An accurate foundation with a fictional overcoating.”

He was asked about his father’s pipe, something which UFO buffs have clamored to have represented on the show. Paul said one of the problem is that a pipe evokes “a feeling of stagnation” in film terms, plus it interrupts fast pacing and then there’s the smoke issues. It’s near absence “doesn’t really subtract from the essential core of my father.” He thinks Aidan is a “fantastic actor. Wonderful guy,” and mentioned how one time he saw Aidan on set, walking, and it truly felt like his father was there.  Note: another issue with pipes is that unlike a cigarette you can just whip out of your pocket, you need to take time to stuff and pack the pipe with tobacco.

When asked if his father would be predisposed to jump on a fighter plane that would crash (“Fuller Dogfight”), Paul replied enthusiastically “Absolutely!” His father traveled more than anyone he’s ever known, whether investigating UFO sightings, following eclipses, or helping set up observatories.

As to the ‘Men in Black.’ His father did talk about them, and felt perhaps they were just other members of another government branch. People think the government is just “one monolithic rational organization operating in lockstep” but in reality, the agencies are always fighting each other.

He said Harding is based on General Twining, and Valentine on General Vanderberg, but due to clearance (legal) issues, the studio created new names. “They play two guys who might kill my TV dad,” said Paul humorously, citing that here’s this “rogue professor” running off and possibly jeopardizing national security.

Captain Quinn is an amalgamation of several Blue Book directors. “Michael Malarkey is a fantastic actor,” said Paul, noting that Malarkey grew up just 10 minutes away from Wright-Patterson. Paul said that Air Force people would often come to his house while he was growing up.

Brew up a pot of coffee, sit back and relax, because the informative podcast is nearly two hours long.

🛸 Australian fans can now watch season 2 of Project Blue Book as this tweet from SBS on Demand shows.

🛸 Laura Mennell played a goofy Real or Fake game with @HistoryTVCanada.

🛸 Next week’s episode entitled “Close Encounters” will somehow cover Hynek’s time consulting on a movie, along with the famous Robertson Panel, a CIA-helmed panel investigating the UFO phenomenon. At the conclusion of the “Men in Black” episode, the Generals showed up with a boatload of file boxes and ordered Quinn and Hynek to read up in order to defend Blue Book from this panel.  Some of the guest stars in this episode include Jerod Haynes reprising his role as Agent Daniel Banks, Caitlin Mitchell-Markovitch (best known for the CW series Riverdale), and Dan Zukovic (The X-Files).  A write-up of the real Robertson Panel can be found at as well as copious other sites.

Photo of Peter Graham-Gaudreau and Jerod Haynes copyright Peter Graham-Gaudreau from his Instagram

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