Haven Preview: Eric Balfour Talks Season Four, Part 1 [INTERVIEW]
[Warning: there are some general spoilers for season four throughout the interview. If you want to be wholly pristine for the premiere, come back and visit us later tonight!]
As if getting to chat with Lucas Bryant werenâ€™t enough of a treat, Syfy alsoÂ made Eric Balfour available for a press call this week. He was as lovely and thoughtful as ever, going into great detail on what we can expect this season on Haven and the larger themes in play. Hereâ€™s part one.
When Havenâ€™s fourth season went back into production, Emily Rose had just welcomed her first child, so shooting began without her and then she was woven back into the episodes she missed. Balfour says it was an interesting twist. â€œ[It] was a really sort of fascinating timeâ€¦from a character standpoint [and] simply logistically [since we were] going to spend the first six weeks without her here in Nova Scotia. So it was going to be a challenge,” he says.Â â€œ[Everything] happens for a reason, and I think we were really lucky because [it] force[d] us to get out of our comfort zoneâ€¦to think outside of the box. And what we end up with is something really exciting. The show has a whole new energy this season and a whole new sense of playfulness.â€
Balfour says the biggest onscreen change this season will be Nathanâ€™sÂ different role as he deals with the Troubles, and how Duke relates to Nathan and helps him in a way that heâ€™s previously been reluctant to do. â€œI really think that the audience is going to love this season because [while] we try very hard to stay true to what is great about the showâ€¦ it’s just always exciting when a show has to reinvent itself to a certain degree,â€ he suggests.
â€œI think the way that we see the cable landscape today, you can’t sit on your laurelsâ€¦audiences are too dynamic, Â today, [too] intelligent andâ€¦too sophisticated to not want to see characters and television shows grow. And I am so proud of how much we have managed to do that this season.â€
Balfour has high praise for the two new actors whoâ€™ve joined the show this season–Emma Lahana, who plays Jennifer, and Christian Camargo, who plays Wade Crocker. â€œThey were both an absolute breath of fresh air. They’re incredible actors. [Emma’s] character, Jenniferâ€¦creates a whole new dynamic for Duke. It’s going to reveal a side of him that we’ve never completely seen. And I loved having her on the set. I love working with her, she is a really playful actress. She brings a lot to the table,â€ he says. â€œI know that the fans of the show are going to love Emma’s character. They are going to absolutely love her and love what she brings to the show.â€
â€œWe were really blessed to have two people thatÂ we really enjoy having on set. [You] want to like the people that you’re working with. And they were so much fun, and they were so easy going, andâ€¦ready to become part of the family. And we just loved having them.â€
He continued the love for Colin Ferguson (which was evident at SDCCÂ and Nerd HQ). â€œ[Heâ€™s] just an awesome guy. He’s a complete professional, he’s smart and funny, and it was great. [There’s] a lot of excitement because he’s sort of part of the SyfyÂ family and he’sâ€¦been a part of a highly successful SyfyÂ show,â€ he says. â€œAnd so it’s always fun to cross-pollinate the worlds. And we’ve just been having a blast. It’s been the funnest season of new characters. And they really fit in well. And it’s just exciting.â€
The idea of â€œone true loveâ€ plays out over this season, and I asked Balfour about a scene in the premiere between Duke and NathanÂ where Duke suggests Nathan might not be that for Audrey–whether he says itÂ for himself or out of concern for his friend. In short, he says itâ€™s complicated. â€œ[The] greatest dynamic of this show and whether [it] was serendipitous or just geniusly plotted out by the writers, and I wouldn’t put it past them because we really do have fantastic writersâ€¦this triangle that exists between Duke and Nathan and Audrey is pretty magical. [Lots] of shows try to create love trianglesâ€¦but ours sort of happened…organically and it was very sincere,â€ he says.
â€œAnd so at the beginning of this seasonâ€¦the question of destiny and true love really become a huge factor in the show. [The why of Dukeâ€™s challenge] is something that’s really going to reveal itself over the course of the season. There are many levels and dynamics to what you’re asking and what Duke is saying. [It’s] such an interesting thing, because I think in some ways one of the greatest love stories of this show is actually between Nathan and Dukeâ€¦almost like a brotherhood and a familial relationship.”
“[If Duke] even could have a relationship with Audrey, could he handle it? Would he really want it? Is he meant to be in a relationship? [There] are people in this world who [are] meant to be aloneâ€¦on their own. But that’s something that I think Duke struggles with.â€ Balfour adds that he believes Duke genuinely cares about Nathan and wants him to be okay and happy, but that may come at a price.
One of the neat tricks of the premiere is that Emma asks a lot of questions and Duke answers them. It works to help catch up new viewers in an almost Shakespearean commentary kind of way, and Balfour says that was somewhat intentional. â€œ[There’s] always the trick of television in wanting to be able to include new audiences every season. [Somebody] who’s never seen Seasons 1 through 3 could jump into the show in Season 4 and get caught up pretty quickly and be able to enjoy the series right along with the people who have been watching since Season 1. There’s always going to be a level of having to educate new fans and new viewers from season to season, and even from episode to episode. And you know, there are times when it happens smoother than others,â€ he says.
â€œ[But] we’re always trying to reward our loyal fan base and audience with the intricacies of what’s occurring. [You] could walk on our set almost any day and see the actors battling [over what viewers will and wonâ€™t know]â€¦but it’sâ€¦part of the dance ofâ€¦allowing people to enjoy and embrace the show who are new.
We love that because so many new viewers have found the show!
The HavenÂ season premiere airs tonight at 10/9cÂ on Syfy. Weâ€™ll have part two of our interview next week!
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