GCE Exclusive: Interview with Haven’s Lucas BryantSeptember 16, 2014
By Reem Jazar.
Meeting Haven star Lucas Bryant is both a delight and trip. Not just because the Canadian-born actor is funny, a little quirky and quick on the draw, but also because he is the polar opposite of his strong, silent character Nathan Wuornos on the American/Canadian co-produced show. The Syfy cult hit series has an average of 2.3 million total weekly viewers according to TVline.com and was renewed for its fifth season by the network in January of this year, about a month and a half after season 4 wrapped.
With the premiere of season 5 set to air on September 18th, I sat down with the self-proclaimed “massive superstar of TV’s Haven and social media grandmother turned master of the universe” for a few almost spoilers, ‘dirt’ on the cast and a whole lot of laughs.
How did the filming of the fifth season differ from previous seasons?
So season 5 is 26 episodes, which is twice as many as we’ve done every other season. We’re up in Nova Scotia for nine months about this year, that’s a whole other world. We’re there for Christmas – you know, almost – we’ll be there for Winter anyway, but in order to get that many done in this amount of time they’ve double-blocked the episodes. We’re shooting two episodes at once and they’ve sort of stretched out the cases to span those two episodes, so it gives us more time to explore a specific Trouble, it gives the characters more time to interact and more relationship stuff, larger mythology stuff, so all the parts of the show and parts of the story that I really want to tell and explore are getting explored more this season, which is fantastic.
That’s amazing and the mythology that you’re exploring this season is all still within the Stephen King world or are they pulling from other mythology?
Good question. I think it is very much within the Stephen King world. We – well I don’t know if I can tell you – but you’ll see, I think, in the first episode, there’s something that’s introduced as a how can I say that – there is something that is very Stephen Kingy that is introduced in the first episode that plays out the whole season.
That’ll be huge for the Stephen King fans. Would you say that most of your fans are Stephen King fans? Because I know there are references to the Stephen King literary world in the show, would you say that is something that really lands on the viewers? Are they watching for it?
I think some of them it totally lands. Stephen King fans are superfans, dedicated fans and the people that know his stuff will see a lot of references in the show. That being said, there are people who watch the show that, I think, don’t have any idea about Stephen King’s material and they are into some other aspect of the show. I think that’s one of the cool things about Haven that it has something for everyone; some people like the love story, some people like the procedural aspect of it, the figuring out and solving the Troubles, some like the mythology. We have kid fans and grandfather fans and everything in between. So yeah, I meet a lot of Stephen King fans who like the show but I meet a lot of fans that like the show for other reasons too.
I’m sure a lot of people have asked you if you were a Stephen King fan before you started filming but have you become more of a fan after filming the show?
Hmmm… good question. I endeavor to be. Sadly, I can’t really say that I’ve had much time to get in to it. I am a fan of his stuff but I can’t call myself a real Stephen King fan because that would be a disservice to his real fans who are so dedicated. Okay, so I’ve read like two books and seen like four movies. He has like forty bajillion of them. Yeah BAJILLION! I want to see that word written down. I want to see it written, spelled in parenthesis with the number written out.
Bolded and italicized!
I’ll make a note to the editor.
Back to the production, how do you like filming in Nova Scotia? What’s that like?
It’s beautiful! It’s great; it’s difficult sometimes for those of us who live in Los Angeles. It’s far from Los Angeles. It’s different, but I grew up in small town Ontario, so I am used to the small town way of life. Not that Nova Scotia small town is the same as Ontario small town by any means but the fact that I get to split my time between having that really gorgeous fantasy world summer experience and then living in the city the other parts of the year, it’s a nice balance to have.
Do you have a favorite spot up in Nova Scotia that you’ve found over the years?
Well Nicki’s Inn and Restaurant in Chester has become my second home. Nicki who runs that place puts up a lot of actors that have come to shoot the show. They stay at her place and eat at the restaurant. She runs a very tight ship over there and makes incredible food and could not more highly recommend it. I don’t know what any of us would do without her.
So you were talking about growing up in a small town, Elmira Ontario. Was it anything like Haven? Do you pull from that small town experience?
Yeah, there’s something… I mean, they’re wildly different places but there is something about the weirdness that lies underneath. That seemingly perfect bucolic exterior. The color pallet is very different in Elmira than it is in Nova Scotia but Nova Scotia looks so perfect and looks so gorgeous, it’s so photogenic and yet there’s something – well, like Stephen King’s writing about Maine – there’s something beneath the surface that suggests a certain spookiness and think that exist in Elmira too. It’s not that we have lots of ghosts in small towns, that’s not what I’m saying, but just that the weirdness of mundane life day in and day out can be sort of seen in these little communities for some reason.
Are you anything like your character in the show? For example do you have a really high threshold for pain?
I am so strong. Well here’s what I have in common with Nathan, I look exactly like the guy. It’s totally weird but I do. We fit the same clothes, similar shoe size, similar, not exactly the same. Am I like him? Yeah, he’s got some lame jokes and I also am a fan of the lame jokes, though, I think I might have better delivery than he does, sometimes. But they’re still groaners, I like groaners and other than that, I was a police officer for seventeen years of my life so we’ve got that in common.
No, I was not. But by the time this is printed it might be true.
Who on the set would you say is the least like their character?
That’s an interesting question because everyone to some extent but at the same time, all these characters come from these people so there is no one that is more like their character than the person playing them. I would say people might say that is me, because Nathan is just so buttoned down and not expressive and I might be a it more expressive that him. Emily is nothing like this personality she gets to play this year, Mara is a super B****. Emily couldn’t be any further from Mara – and Audrey too and Adam is much more of a goofball than Dwight is, Balfour goes the other way, Duke is less serious than Eric is. Not saying that Eric is serious at all because he’s not and I can hardly take him seriously, but he takes his work very seriously. So I don’t have a good answer for you, obviously.
How has filming Haven for the past five years changed you as an actor and what’s it like to be with a character this long?
Good question, getting to spend this long shooting something, you get to see all sides of a character and see them in all sorts of situations and we spend so much time on set doing this, that it’s changed me just because of the sheer amount of practice I get.
The total number of hours that we’ve been standing there on set making this TV show is pretty remarkable. So that makes it that much more comfortable an environment and I think when you’re comfortable in an environment, then you can be much more free in your art, so hopefully that’s happened.
You guys were at Comicon last year, what was that like?
Great! Comincon is mental; we had a really good time. We did a panel that was a lot of fun. We met a lot of people. We hugged a lot of people – we did a lot of hugging – Comicon is wild. It’s gotten ridiculously huge and it’s hard to get around anywhere but the passion that everybody has for what they’re there for is infectious and contagious and amazing and you see some pretty wild costumes which is always fun and terrifying depending on the costume you’re looking at.
Did you have your own fanboy experience?
No because I wasn’t able to go and do anything. I just got whisked in through a back door and thrust in to this hall of beautiful screaming people and then whisked right out of there, sadly. That’s the problem though, even if I wanted to, there’s just so many people and so much going on it’s really hard just to walk.
Can you tell me about your best or worst fan experience?
Best or worst? I wish I had a good worst experience, like a super weird one, but I don’t. Best I guess is collective, this year in Nova Scotia people more than ever have come from all over to visit us and visit the set and see Nova Scotia because they got turned on to it by Haven. So every time that happens I think that re-inspires all of us and is an honor. There’s a family that travelled from France this year, the four of them it was her [the daughter’s] first time on an airplane. They had seen the show and decided two years ago that they wanted to come visit Nova Scotia so they had been saving up for two years to make the trip and they did it so that what just mind-boggling. That’s important and that’s happening all over the place.
Thank you to Lucas Bryant for his time! You can watch the season premiere of Haven this Thursday, September 18th on Showcase at 9PM and you can follow Bryant on his Twitter at @TheLucasBryant. This article was written for publication on the GCE by Reem Jazar.