Programming note: In case you missed it last week, Haven has moved to Fridays. Starting tomorrow, it will air at 7/6c and repeat at 1 am/midnight c. Plan accordingly.
Last month, we had the chance to participate in a wide-ranging press call with Eric Balfour as he talked about season five, shooting 26 episodes straight, and balancing the series with his new clothing line, Electric & Rose.
The decision to double up on production wasn’t just a surprise to the fans. Balfour had to wrap his head around it, too. “My initial thought, when we were presented with the 26 episodes was ‘oh, sh-it,'” he jokes. “In a good way and in…a terrified way.The fact that the producers were able to pull this off is really a testament to how creative and driven they are. And itâ€™s an amazing feat, to convince any network to shoot 26 episodes of a show that is normally 13 episode. Thatâ€™s impressive.”
“It was very scary [to balance everything]. I am wholeheartedly invested in…this thing that I’m building, this clothing company, Electric & Rose. And itâ€™s my baby. Itâ€™s my dream that Iâ€™ve had for so many years…I knew it was going to be a challenge. But the producers were overwhelmingly supportive in figuring out how to give me the time I needed to take care of that and nurture that.
Folks who follow Balfour on Twitter might have noticed that he’s been back in California during the extended shoot (on the opposite coast in Halifax), but he says he will appear in all 26 episodes. “There was no discussion [of] not doing any episode. It was just a matter of…a few days here, a few days there. It meant a lot of travel and a lot of plane rides. And I’m very grateful to United Airlines for keeping me comfortable. But, you know, it worked out great. We all are just a few weeks away from launching the clothing line. We hit stores in the middle of October. And weâ€™ll be in Equinox Gyms all over the country and YogaWorks and Fred Segal in Los Angeles.”
He’s quick to point out that his work on Haven has enabled him to build his company. “It really is my dream come true. So, I’m so grateful, not only that the producers gave me the time I needed…to get things done, but the simple fact [is that] doing this show for the last four years, five years, has given me the financial ability to build this thing,” he says. “And I will forever be grateful for that.”
So far this season, we’ve seen a lot of one-on-one time between Duke and Nathan. Part of that is plotting, and part of it is what Emily Rose and Lucas Bryant shared with us previously–that the nature of the double season lent itself to more two-person set-ups. Balfour is happy that the bromance is alive and well. “Every season, this world that these characters live in gets harder and more intense and they become more invested in each other. So that, in and of itself, is going to put strain on Duke and Nathanâ€™s relationship. But, you know…if you ask me or probably even Shawn Piller, one of the truly great romances of this show is the love story that exists between Duke and Nathan,” he points out.
“[These] guys are like brothers. And theyâ€™ve been up and down. And this season is only going to push the dynamic of that relationship further and push it to its limits. [I] love Lucas like a brother. He is one of the most sincere, kind, gentle people Iâ€™ve ever known. I love his family. And so, that now, has transcended, I think, into [the] show because itâ€™s very difficult for me not to have that there because I feel so deeply [for him in real life].”
He’s also having a ball opposite Rose this season. “Itâ€™s just been so much fun watching Emily create this new dynamic of the character that she plays,” says. “I love the scenes with Duke and Mara. I think the audience is going to love them. They are filled with sexual tension and animosity and camaraderie and anger and confusion and nuance…itâ€™s absolutely been my favorite part of shooting this season.”
One of Balfour’s passion projects is preserving maritime wildlife and the environment, and he touched on that a bit when he was asked about fear and the supernatural. “[I] do believe in some form of supernatural. I do believe there is the unexplainable in our universe. And I do believe that there is magic in our universe. But to be perfectly honest, the supernatural doesnâ€™t scare me. The dark side of humanity scares me much more than anything supernatural,” he says.
“[Nothing] scares me more than the way that we are treating our planet and our oceans. And when you think about whatâ€™s happening in Taiji, and in the southern oceans, I’m so grateful that there are heroes out there like the Sea Shepherd Society…I don’t think people realize often how dangerous and how close we are to the brink of disaster. If we don’t protect our oceans and our oceansâ€™ wildlife, we will no longer be able to exist. If our oceans die, we die.”
As we know, Bryant is directing this season, and like Rose, Balfour was wistful that his US citizenship will keep him out of the director’s chair on Haven. “I am so excited about it for him and for us…I want to make his episode the best of the season. I love directors. I love directing. I love the art of directing,” he shares.
“Actors make fantastic directors. They understand the energy that it takes for an actor to do what he does. They are sympathetic to that. They have a language that they understand with actors….thereâ€™s nothing that I like more than working with a director who has been an actor…I have a series that I’m developing, which I hope to direct as it moves forward. I am developing several different features and I have a show that weâ€™re developing to be one that I would love to be able to direct. [It’s] where I would like to take my career in the future moving forward and [have it become] a huge part of what I do as an artist.
Haven airs tomorrow night at 7/6 on Syfy. Check back later for a preview of the next new episode.
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