After spending the better part of four seasons embedded amongst the poisonous backstabbing Upper East Siders that inhabited the not-so-wonderful world of GOSSIP GIRL, actor Connor Paulo knows a thing or two about revenge. Or so he thought. For as it turns out, the scheming likes of Blair Waldorf and Georgina Sparks have got nothing on the rich and powerful denizens of the Hamptons. So just what’s a boy to do? Well, we recently had the opportunity to catch up with affable actor to find out just that. See for yourself what Paulo had to tease about the pain that awaits his character — both of the physical and emotional variety — in ABC’s maddeningly addictive new series REVENGE, after the jump.
What was it that initially attracted you to this role on REVENGE?
Connor Paulo: The role itself, it was a character that I wanted to inhabit, understand better and see evolve. Declan is just awesome. He’s the type of guy that I’d be proud to call a friend, which was important, because when you, as an actor, decide to take a role on in television you have to be prepared to inhabit a persona for quite some time. It was important to me that Declan was somebody that I felt I could get behind, someone that I would support and respect and so far he’s earned it and I think will continue to. I try to say to people when they ask about TV, don’t prepare for it not to do well, prepare to for it to do well and I wouldn’t have taken this role if I wasn’t prepared to play it for the duration.
Did you set out to choose a role that was completely different from your previous work as Eric on GOSSIP GIRL?
Yeah. I like to look at roles with no look back to my past. The goal is always to play something different, that’s what I look for as an actor, living as many lives as possible, inhabiting as many skins, it’s certainly much more of a challenge and certainly that much more fun if that skin is a completely different tone and texture and that’s how it is with Declan.
Declan’s intrigue with the rich and powerful Hamptonites will get him in some serious trouble during tonight’s second episode. Will the character’s interest in Charlotte Grayson be a constant struggle throughout the season?
At the beginning of the movie “Say Anything” there’s a line that goes a little something like “You know, this girl’s going to hurt you,” and the character’s response is, “I want to be hurt.” I think it’s that kind of love where even if you told Declan this will absolutely end badly he’d shrug and say, “Great.” He just wants to end up with this girl and we’ve all been in that place, or hopefully we’ve all been in that place where the kind of the signs, advice just falls on deaf ears because you got your blinders on. If you’ve seen episodes two you’ll know that he’s had more than a couple of reasons to give up this campaign, but he holds pretty strong. It’s really what he wants.
Do you think it’s possible that what happens in tonight’s episode to Declan might have him siding with Emily in her quest for revenge?
It has yet to happen yet despite the fact that Emily is and will be a sympathetic character for Declan. I think he’ll understand where she’s coming from and support her, but someone he loves [Charlotte Grayson] will be collateral damage to whatever plan she has in store. So once that starts to rear it’s head and things start to go bad for the Grayson family — which I can only assume will begin to happen because that’s what Emily has got to do — now she has a stake in that family. The lines will be drawn and people will have to choose sides.
What’s been the biggest surprise about playing the character so far?
He’s not just a caricature. Declan’s a human with human contradictions and human levels and people aren’t just one thing all the time, They’re always changing. and what they experience and how they act in episode one isn’t at all what they do episode two. He’s funny, angry, sad, violent, peaceful, loving scared and all of those things are being explored.
REVENGE airs Wednesdays at 10PM on ABC (CityTV in Canada) and stars Emily VanCamp, Josh Bownman, Christa B. Allen, Charlotte Grayson, Madeleine Stowe, Henry Czerny, Ashley Dvaenport, Nick Wechsler, Gabriel Mann and Connor Paolo. Catch up on past episodes you may have missed for free online at clicktowatch.tv