Thanks to his star-making role on QUEER AS FOLK, actor Gale Harold knows a thing or two about playing the bad boy. Just don’t tell him that.
“Brian Kinney wasn’t an a**hole, I just think he didn’t care about toeing the line. He wanted to be himself, he simply wasn’t willing to take a back seat or entertain anyone else’s idea of right and wrong and he didn’t hesitate to let that be known,” explained Harold when asked during the recent Television Critics Association Press Tour about his penchant for playing the character fans love to hate. “So I don’t think he was a bad guy at all. In fact, he was a very very heroic character that took care of himself and lived to be what he thought what he wanted to be.”
Luckily for Harold, it’s that kind of conviction to one’s character that will certainly come in handy as the actor prepares to step into the shoes of Charles Meade, a respected Chance Harbor citizen and father with a witchy agenda of his very own in THE SECRET CIRCLE, the CW’s much-anticipated companion piece to THE VAMPIRE DIARIES premiering this Fall. But just what brought the artist formerly known as Brian Kinney back to the small screen in his first regular series gig since Fox’s appropriately titled mystery whodunit VANISHED?
“The bad guy villain gets really boring very quickly, but if you’re that bad while being perceived to be that good, everywhere you look there’s a potential disaster,” said Harold, who equates his character’s mission to that of juggling tables in a five star restaurant with a roomful of critics. “If you drop one thing, the entire night can go out the window, so it’s interesting because I have to maintain a certain persona in public and in society but that’s not really what I want. It’s a means to an end. There is a very serious power grab going on — where my character is, at least in the beginning — trying to reignite something through our children that we tried to do ourselves that went horribly wrong. But I’m really still figuring things out.”
Indeed, ‘figuring things out’ is something Harold will be doing quite a lot of this Fall. Particularly since the actor has made a conscious decision not to read the L.J. Smith book series on which THE SECRET CIRCLE is based upon in an effort to maintain an element of surprise for both himself as an actor and the audience watching along at home.
“I want the audience to be as surprised as I am so I don’t want to be indicating by knowing or assuming. And that’s the fun part, trying to figure out mythology, the history and what the stakes are because I think it’s a lot more dangerous than my character even knows,.” said Harold. “What I’m looking forward to most is learning how far down he’s going to go, how much trouble he’s going to cause and how he’s going to get himself out of it. I hope that he really gets under someone’s boot so he has to fight himself out of that while all the while trying to be a good father, handle some legal issues and walk down the street smiling. The duality of the role is going to be very fun.”
Considerably less fun, at least for the intensely private actor, is returning to the glowing spotlight of series television. A spotlight that thanks to Twitter, Facebook and the likes has magnified ten-fold since his time on QUEER AS FOLK.
“If someone wants to call you out they can three million times a second and they never have to answer for it, so that can be a little weird.” admitted Harold. “But there’s nothing wrong with a passionate fan base, ever, because that’s why we’re doing this. At the same time, the media lends itself to extreme passion because it’s so accessible all the time. I’m very flattered, I’m very pleased, I just hope the fans understand that it’s like a partnership. As much as you want, I can only give so much.”
THE SECRET CIRCLE premieres on the CW this Thursday September 15th at 9pm (Friday September 16th at 9PM on MuchMusic in Canada) and stars Brittany Robertson, Thomas Dekker, Gale Harold, Natasha Henstridge, Phoebe Tonkin, Logan Browning, Ashley Crow, Shelley Hennig and Adam Harrington.