Hailing from Drumcondra, Dublin, Ireland, Aidan Gillen, 50, has been acting professionally since 1982. After playing Petyr “Littlefinger” Baelish in the HBO fantasy drama series “Game of Thrones” from 2011 to 2017, the Irish actor is playing the lead role in the historical sci-fi drama series “Project Blue Book.”
Executive produced by Robert Zemeckis, David O’Leary and Sean Jablonski, “Project Blue Book” will make its premiere on January 8, 2019 on History Channel. Gillen plays the main character Dr. Josef Allen Hynek, a real-life astrophysicist and ufologist who investigated supposed encounters with unidentified flying objects (UFO) and unexplained phenomenon in the 1950s and 1960s.
The new History series is based on the real-life Project Blue Book, a series of systematic studies of UFOs conducted by the United States Air Force from 1952 to 1970. Hynek served as the consultant of the project, which concluded that most of the 12,618 UFO reports were misidentified natural phenomena or conventional aircraft.
“Hynek had written books and a lot of onscreen stuff that was available to watch,” Gillen told Fox News. “Of course, I read all that I could find and glean from that but we also were lucky enough to be able to have some access to the Hynek family.”
According to the former “Game of Thrones” actor, two of Hynek’s children Paul Hynek and Joel Hynek shared to them personal insights and family photographs. Joel is an Academy Award-winning visual effects artist.
Playing Hynek’s wife Mimi Hynek in “Project Blue Book” is “The Man in the High Castle” alum Laura Mennell. The actress told Brief Take that many scenes in the new History series are relevant today, including fake news developed to misinform the public and distill mass hysteria.
“We’ve also had issues recently with threats of North Korea, although in this show, it’s during the Cold War,” Mennel told the publication. “There’s issues of fear and paranoia surrounding the Russians, that’s been part of the new threads in today’s world so there’s a lot of neat little elements that we draw from that also easily fits with the past and the present, as well.”
Joining Gillen and Mennell in the main cast of “Project Blue Book” are Neal McDonough as General James Harding, Michael Malarkey as Captain Michael Quinn, Michael Harney as General Hugh Valentine and Ksenia Solo as Susie Miller. All of their characters will appear in the first episode titled “The Fuller Dogfight.”
Susie is a mysterious woman who is friends with Mimi. Viewers can expect their friendship to have consequences that are potentially dangerous.
Robert Stromberg directed “The Fuller Dogfight.” In the episode, Gillen’s character will be introduced as an Ohio State astrophysicist recruited into the Air Force’s top-secret program investigating UFOs called Project Blue Book.
Josef works against the wishes of General Harding, a prominent government official who helps manage the news about UFOs through Project Blue Book. The latter formed the project with General Valentine.
A decorated WWII Air Force pilot tasked with running Project Blue Book, Captain Quinn serves as Josef’s partner. The two disagree on several things since Gillen’s character sticks to scientific evidence while Malarkey’s character trusts his instinct.
Watch the first trailer of “Project Blue Book” from History here: