Much like those pesky robots sent from the future to protect John Connor on Fox’s now defunct action adventure that was TERMINATOR: THE SARAH CONNOR CHRONICLES, Thomas Dekker is back. Yet unlike his previous role that saw the young actor spend the better part of two seasons struggling to accept the responsibility that comes with being singled out as humanity’s last hope, his newest character is only too happy to bear the burden. Which was just one of the reasons Dekker decided to return to the small screen as Adam, the de facto leader of the titular Coven on the CW’s much-anticipated companion piece to THE VAMPIRE DIARIES, THE SECRET CIRCLE. But just what else attracted him to the role following a two and a half year absence spent shooting movies? We caught up with Dekker at the recent Television Critics Association Press Tour in Los Angeles to find out just that. See for yourself after the jump.
Being an actor who seems to relish jumping from role to role and maintaining some semblance of anonymity we have to start off by asking just what brought you back to television?
Thomas Dekker: What drew me back was that I hadn’t done TV in two and a half years. Obviously my heart is kind of in indies, jumping around and experimenting with film and all that but I really was interested in doing something again that was — for lack of a better word — pulpy. Something sort of mainstream that was easy for young people to grasp hold. It’s fun to do that kind of stuff and I’ve always wanted to work with [SECRET CIRCLE executive producer] Kevin Williamson. I didn’t go out looking for TV, he brought the show to me and I just kinda went, “Yeah let’s do it.” As much as I am picky, I also tend to be a little bit impulsive, which is why I now find myself living in Vancouver [Where THE SECRET CIRCLE shoots].
Did you familiarize yourself with the L.J. Smith source material before the start of shooting?
No and that was one of the things Kevin Williamson and I talked about at the beginning. How much are we following exactly the rules and laws of these books and we sort of decided for my character it’s a bit of a diversion, somewhat different and we’re sort of playing with that. So I’ve not read the books kind of on purpose and am just kind of going with my own thing.
Right from the outset it would seem that the Pilot is setting up a love triangle between your character Adam, his current girlfriend Diana (Shelley Hennig) and newcomer Cassie (Britt Robertson). What can you tell us about that?
Diana is the lovely perfect innocent one in our Pilot and who knows where she’ll end up if it comes down to this love triangle business. But the really cool thing that we’re discovering is that Cassie and Adam’s affection is not just a crush, it’s written in their magical blood as it were, their family lineage, so it’s literally a physical fate that they cannot control no matter how they try.
What’s it like being only one of two guys in the Coven?
Being the main guy, the guy who takes care of the Coven, that was one of the things that really attracted me to the role. I always try to find — and this is so weird to say — duality in every role I do, find kind of two opposites and put them together. And what I liked about this guy, this all-American-strong-take-care-of-the-group kind of guy, is that to be a witch he has to be in tune with nature, with spirituality and have sensitivity somewhere in there so it’s fun to fuse those two ideas.
Knowing your affinity for things out of the ordinary, would it be safe to assume that practicing magic was something that might have interested you growing up?
I actually must say that growing up I was obsessed with the 90’s movie The Craft. I thought it was the coolest thing I had ever seen and was really into it as an idea and I think I bought a Wiccanism book one time. I’ve done the Wiji board and sayance and all that but I’ve never done the full deal. Never caused a storm or anything.
What’s it like working so closely with Britt Robertson?
Well, Britt and I did a film together years ago where I played a witch and she was trapped in a burning car, so apparently we just keep repeating ourselves. But we’ve kept in touch throughout the years and Britt’s just awesome. It’s weird because Britt and I have a very brother sister relationship in person but I feel that we have a very kind of strong chemistry once the camera rolls where as Shelley Hennig who plays Diana, my girlfriend on the show, we’re not so brother sister in person. We’re more — I don’t know how to put it — but then on camera we’re very chilled out so it’s a weird thing that happens.
With THE VAMPIRE DIARIES as its lead in, it’s not hard to imagine THE SECRET CIRCLE playing a fairly substantial part in your life for the next six or seven years. Does the prospect of that terrify you?
Absolutely. I can stand here and be honest and say I love the show and I’m excited about it, but at the same time whenever that kind of talk comes up, and it could be anything if you said “could last seven years of your life” just sounds petrifying to me. But who knows we’ll see what happens, it could be magical. No pun intended.
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. Download the series premiere for free online by clicking here.