In the CW’s new supernatural drama The Secret Circle, from executive producer Kevin Williamson and paired with The Vampire Diaries starting on September 15th, actor Thomas Dekker plays Adam Conant, a member of the Circle. All descended from powerful witches, the Circle is completed when Cassie Blake (Britt Robertson) returns to Chance Harbor, Washington, after the death of her mother. As strange and frightening things begin to happen, Cassie quickly realizes that the residents seem to know more about her than she does about herself.
During a recent interview to promote The Secret Circle, Thomas Dekker (Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles) talked about his affinity for genre work, how nice it is to finally play a character that has some powers of his own, what he enjoys about the show’s love triangle, the pranks he loves to pull on set, and how he’d love to see his character turn evil, for however brief an amount of time. Check out what he had to say after the jump:
Question: Along with The Secret Circle, you’ve done Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, two Laid to Rest movies, the Nightmare on Elm Street remake, and Heroes. Do you have an affinity for the genre, or does it just keep finding you?
THOMAS DEKKER: The genre keeps finding me. I have an affinity for the genre. I love it. I love genre works. I like watching them. I like reading them. I’ve probably only done two projects that I’ve been offered, or that I looked for. It’s just work that comes my way.
Did Cinema Verite change people’s perceptions of you?
DEKKER: Everything I’ve done since Terminator has been a really different role. Before Lance Loud in Cinema Verite, I did a film coming out in December, called Angel’s Crest, where I’m a father with a two-year-old son, and I’m a hunter in Montana. Before that, I was a college student for (director/writer) Gregg Araki (called Kaboom). I jump around. That’s what I like to do. So, that HBO film was an amazing experience and I worked very hard to try to capture Lance, as much as possible, but I don’t think it’s made an adjustment, as to what people think I can do or expect I’m gonna do.
Is it gratifying, after being around other people with supernatural powers or battling things with supernatural powers, to finally have some of your own?
DEKKER: Yes, it’s very nice. Finally, I’m out there in the trenches, as opposed to just watching and quivering in fear.
Was there any discussion about what it would look like, or what you would physically look like, when you’re doing the magic?
DEKKER: We don’t really change our look. It’s not a “Bell, Book and Candle” type of witchcraft, where we’re kids who’ve sought through books and spells, and we have candles and an altar. We’re born with this ability that’s innately in our blood, so whether we want it or not is unknown. Some of us do, some of us don’t. Some of us want it for good, some for evil. So, it’s really about grappling with it. It’s about these kids trying to deal with this presence that they were not really prepared for. As actors, these characters have to focus their energy, so you have to get very drawn in to what you’re doing. But, as far as an effect that the series is doing, so far we haven’t had any of that, which is nice. They’re relying on us to deliver that.
If your character has to be tied to Cassie, in order to create big magic, how does he become his own man?
DEKKER: Well, it’s not that he needs Cassie to have power. He’s teaching her. Yes, the six of us, once we’re together, our power as a group is magnified. But, Adam seems to be the most even-keeled and the most aware of how to use these abilities, and thus he’s trying to keep the most level-headed sanity in the bunch, but he’s definitely his own man.
From what you’ve read and know of the character so far, do you have a favorite ability of Adam’s?
DEKKER: I just like that he’s very aware of how to control his abilities. Most of the other kids are completely out of control with it. He takes pleasure in the small things, like getting a pencil to stand upright, or getting a chair to move. He starts slowly, whereas the other ones are like, “Hey, let’s start a lightning storm.” I like his grace and his control. It’s a nice thing to play, especially playing a young character, who is younger than myself. To get to play him with a bit of maturity and wisdom is very invigorating.
Are there different levels of power between the two generations on the show, is it equal, or is it very different?
DEKKER: That’s a good question. Obviously, something went horribly wrong, years earlier, so I’m assuming their power was very immense. But, I believe what’s implied is that there was more of a war going on, within that circle, than there is with us, at this point. Obviously, the entrance of Cassie shifts my relationship with Diana, and we’re the two core leaders of the group. Who knows how that will make her react and behave? The beauty of this show is that none of us have to stay stagnant. We all have the possibility of any one of us turning good or turning evil, at any point. That’s the freedom of the storyline.
What do you enjoy about the love triangle between Adam, Diana and Cassie?
DEKKER: Well, Britt and I did a film together a few years ago, so we already knew each other. I’d never met Shelley Hennig before. It was a fun discovery, though, for all of us. Since the pilot, we’ve gotten to do some more interaction just between Adam and Diana, which has been really rewarding, to know their history. As far as the story goes, we’re finding out, more and more, that it’s not just a lustful teen attraction between the two of us.
It’s linked to our blood and our ancestry, which is the core of the whole show. There’s a destiny for the two of us, but there’s also a massive amount of loyalty between myself and Diana. It’s probably the central inner conflict for my character, dealing with this almost insatiable, physical situation with Britt, that’s very dangerous and very new, and then dealing with this very safe and comfortable devotion to this other character. It’s a really nice thing.
There is a lot of inner conflict going on for my character, in this whole season. I don’t think Adam would have been someone to choose to be a witch, but he’s also probably the most informed about how their powers work and, in many ways, becomes Cassie’s instructor. But, of course, that also brings them closer together, which is dangerous.
Who is the biggest prankster on this set?
DEKKER: I’m always the prankster. On fun TV sets, I’ve always been the prankster. There are lots of good tricks. My thing has always been to frighten the new directors that come in. I like to do the rehearsal really badly, for the first scene, so then they think that’s how I’m going do it and they panic. Then, we’ll do the first take and I’ll do what I’m really going to do, and you watch the relief. That’s a really good one. That gets them going for a while.
Doesn’t that make them want to fire you?
DEKKER: Exactly. But they know they can’t, so it just really bothers them.
What do you hope the showrunners will eventually write for Adam to do, that they haven’t yet?
DEKKER: I just dream that, for however long it is, I’d love to turn evil. That’s my dream. My joke is that I’d love to Natasha Henstridge’s character, Dawn, to possess me for an episode. How amazing is it, that she’s one the show? I’ve been a fan of hers since I was about eight.
DEKKER: Yes, ma’am! Yes, indeed. That was a childhood favorite.
If you weren’t acting, what would you be doing?
DEKKER: I’d be doing the two other things that I do, which are music and directing. Eventually, I hope that writing and directing will be what I do, full-time. That’s the eventual goal.
You were working on two films, as a director, a couple of years ago. Have those been completed?
DEKKER: There’s one project with Lena Headey that, with Game of Thrones and everything, we put to the side. And there, there is another one that is in prep right now. We actually would have been shooting, as of about a week ago, but when I took this series, we pushed it to when we’re on break. But, it is happening. We’re budgeted and that’s raring to go. So, that’s next.
Having started acting so young, when did you know that this was your career?
DEKKER: I don’t know. I had a crisis at 17, where I decided to quit, and I had an application in at Amoeba Music to sell records because I didn’t understand what I was doing or why I liked it. And then, I had an epiphany where I came around and realized I could do the things that I wanted to do, and not just the things that were available to me. Through that, I stuck with it. I go on the yardstick of, I know it’s right for me, just because I haven’t quit yet. There are still roles and projects that excite me and keep me going, for sure. But, it is a difficult question. People ask me, “What is your advice?,” “How did I get into it?,” “Why do you want to do it?,” and I don’t know what to tell them. I really don’t. But, I know I enjoy it.
Were you happy with the way Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles ended?
DEKKER: I loved the way it ended. I think the only thing that’s frustrating about how it ends is that it ended, at all. I think it was an ingenious cliffhanger to come back with. It was just sad that we didn’t come back with more, but them’s the breaks.