On the ABC drama series Revenge, currently in its fourth season, actor Nick Wechsler plays Jack Porter, everything that Emily Thorne (Emily Van Camp) wishes she could have, but is to clouded by her own desire for revenge for that to be possible. After a long line of tragic events, Jack is now a cop, hoping to not only protect Emily, but all who are suffering from injustice.
During this exclusive phone interview with Collider, Nick Wechsler talked about what most surprises him about Jack’s journey, his character’s motivations for becoming a cop, whether Jack could ever arrest Emily, seeing himself in the police uniform, the addition of Brian Hallisay as Jack’s partner, whether he’d want Jack and Emily to actually get together romantically, and where things are headed this season. Check out what he had to say after the jump, and be aware that there are some spoilers.
NICK WECHSLER: Well, I don’t think being a cop was ever a dream of his. He wanted to go off and do good things in the world, like going to Haiti to help rebuild. Helping people could be related to an impulse to protect people, but I don’t think it was ever really his goal. That’s just how these events changed him. His life, for the last three years, has been completely up-ended, and he was helpless to do anything. But, he’s not helpless anymore. It’s a commitment to staying where Emily is, and to protect her and the people he has remaining in his life that he cares about, and just innocent people from bullshit injustice.
Obviously, Jack was in a very different place at the end of last season than he is now. When you found out what his journey would be in Season 4, what was your reaction?
WECHSLER: My initial reaction was, “What?! Why now?” It would have made more sense to me, at the beginning of last season. He knew that Greyson could pay everyone off, but then, at the end of Season 2, they lost their fortune. He might have still had some means of paying people off, but if Jack had become a cop to go after the guy who had freshly killed his wife and brother, it would have been his version of what Emily is doing, except the legal way. But then, Greyson became a politician and was just as untouchable as when he was rich, or even more so. Then, if Jack had become a cop, he could go after him from the inside, as this cop that can’t be paid off or corrupted by Greyson, but could still go after him. That would have been awesome, but they didn’t want to do it then. When they did it this time, they came up with an explanation that I could wrap my brain around. It’s essentially that, if he were a cop back then, he would either have had to turn a blind eye to everything Emily was doing, or he would have had to have arrested her. She would have forced him to be a shitty cop, arresting other people but not her, or in order to be a good cop, he would have had to have arrested her. And he couldn’t have lived with himself, either way. So, he waited until she was done.
WECHSLER: Good question. My guess is that if he heard that she did something, like if she killed someone, which she’s never done, so far, he would probably go talk to her first and say, “Please tell me you didn’t actually do this.” He’s not just gonna go, “Emily Thorne, you have the right to remain silent.” He’d try to go sort it out and see if he had to arrest her. If he had to, I think he’d do it, but it would break his heart. He would do it, if she left him no choice. I’m just making this up, but I could see him arresting her, if it was one of the only ways to keep her safe, in a certain moment. If she was about to kill someone and he knew it, and they didn’t really deserve it because it was just rage, in the moment, or even if they did deserve it, I could see him arresting her, just to keep her safe. He might also do it, if he knew someone was coming after her.
What was it like to put on the uniform and see yourself in it? Does it make you stand up any straighter or carry yourself differently, in any way?
WECHSLER: Not at all. I’m not much of an actor, I’m realizing. It didn’t have a physical affect on me, at all. My thinking is that he’s still the same guy. I like to project a little bit more confidence, in certain ways, though I’m not sure I’m doing it yet. I just haven’t incorporated that component yet. I still walk like me ‘cause I feel like that’s what I would do, if I became anything else. I think I’d be the one to still act like myself. I’m still that same idiot, I’m just there to uphold the law.
What can you say about your partnership with Brian Hallisay’s character, and how he’s fit into the show, as an actor?
WECHSLER: He’s been great. We get along really well. I wish we could take advantage of that more and incorporate that more. I wish that was some improv that reflects how well he and I get along, which would probably be good for this kind of relationship because he’s my partner and we’ve gotta convey that he and I work together, all day, every day. It would have been cool to reflect how seamlessly he’s blended in.
Are you surprised that on a show as crazy as Revenge, a relationship between Emily and Jack was teased at the beginning of the series, but here you are in Season 4, and it still hasn’t actually happened yet?
WECHSLER: I know! I do wish we’d had more moments to remind the audience of them being a thing. I think we’re missing some opportunities to remind the audience that they’re a thing. That being said, I do think it’s the right decision to almost never go there. I think it’s more important that we always want them to be together than if we get them together. If we get them together, then you’re like, “Oh, they’re together! Now what?” It’s just not as interesting as making people pine for that. I think it’s the right move, for however long the show goes, to have them maybe only ever get together at the end, or if they get together, have it not work out, for some reason, and not because they’re incompatible.
What can fans expect from Jack’s journey, this season?
WECHSLER: Jack is going to be put in some tough spots, having to lie. Emily is going to keep him in the dark again about certain things because he’s a cop. He’s like, “Are we back to this bullshit, where you’re going to pretend I’m not a part of this?” She always needs to know if she’s talking to him as a friend or as a cop, but there are just certain things he needs to know, regardless, because if they’re going to affect her, he’d like a heads up. With the return of David Clarke, Jack will interact with him. Of course, there’s more to his return than he’s letting on. He’s a little off, but he’s mild-mannered, so it’s hard to now what’s real. Charlotte gets really antagonistic with Jack because she believes that he kidnapped her, and she gets really volatile and weird and starts creating a lot of problems for him. His partner starts to become a little problematic, here and there. There are moments of tension when he shows a little interest in Emily, and Jack has to warn him off.
Revenge airs on Sunday nights on ABC.