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October 9, 2015

'The Secret Circle' EP Andrew Miller Talks Overwhelming Fan Reaction, Cassie's Father & Nick's Bad Boy Brother

by Laura Prudom, posted Oct 19th 2011 4:15PM
Andrew MillerLast week's shocking episode of 'The Secret Circle' (Thursdays, 9PM ET on The CW) elevated the supernatural drama series to a whole new level, proving that it's not afraid of killing off a beloved character to drive the story forward. Since then, fans have taken to message boards and Twitter to react to Nick's demise -- both positively and negatively (and loudly) -- and their passion has obviously taken the producers by surprise.

Earlier this week, I spoke to executive producer Andrew Miller to gauge his reaction to the outpouring of online opinion -- suffice it to say, he's pleased. During our chat, Miller also touched on the ever-evolving love triangles that populate the show, discussed the arrival of Nick's troublemaking brother Jake (Chris Zylka), and teased a little more about the role Cassie's father will play in the ongoing story.

We also have an exclusive preview clip from this week's episode to whet your appetite for tomorrow night, so hit the jump for the video and our conversation with Miller. Warning: Spoilers ahead.

Were you expecting the huge reaction you received from the fanbase when you killed off Nick [Louis Hunter]?
To be honest, no! I mean, my assessment of fan reaction is so limited to what people tweet to me. We've been so bogged down with making of the show that it's tough to gauge, and then something like this happens and you really get a sense of how passionate people have been about the show and about Nick as a character. It's been really overwhelming, and ultimately very touching and gratifying.

But no regrets?
No. I mean, it's something that we had planned from the very beginning and was incredibly tough for us to do. We ended up chickening out a little bit because we had planned for his death earlier in the season, even, but we just so loved his relationship with Melissa [Jessica Parker Kennedy] that we wanted to take it further. As a fan of shows like this ... I don't think people come to a show like this because they want everything to be wrapped up in a neat bow at the end of each episode.

I think doing something like this just gives a message to the fans saying, "We're taking all of it very seriously." Emotionally, we are trying to ground it and root it in reality, but these guys are messing with some very dark and dangerous elements and there are consequences in their actions. We're taking those consequences seriously, because I think that if you don't do that then the show risks flying out into this Never Neverland of fantasy, and then it becomes less and less relatable. The things that we wanted to hook into with the fans were really strong, emotional things that people deal with all the time. Death unfortunately is just one of those things; if you have a show about people fighting between good and evil, it just seems like that has to be a part of that.

This week, Chris Zylka is coming to town as Nick's older brother, Jake. Can you give us a little background on their brotherly relationship and why Jake's been away?
Well, first I can tell you that he is incredibly sexy.

Chris Zylka and Britt RobertsonI had noticed that, yes ...
Intimidatingly so. Intimidatingly tall and sexy, but it's gotten him into a little bit of trouble over the years in Chance Harbor. He's been away for a couple of years. The members of our circle all know him and hate him for who he was before he left, but specifically Faye [Phoebe Tonkin], who had an intense and tumultuous relationship with him and who got her heart broken by him. She's the least happy of all of them about his return. Second to her is probably Adam [Thomas Dekker], who has a very negative history with Jake, because a couple of years ago he sort of betrayed Adam and his father, which we will get into in the next episode. So, his return is not a welcome one. The idea that he's Nick's brother and that he may or may not have a role in their circle is just about the worst thing that these guys can imagine right now.

As you mentioned, Adam and Jake have a complicated past, so is Jake setting his sights on Cassie [Britt Robertson] because he knows Adam likes her, or is there a real connection there?
I mean, it's easy to set your sights on Cassie, because she's adorable. I don't think he needs that extra incentive at the top. I think ultimately because Adam drives him crazy, it just makes it that much more fun [for Jake] to like Cassie.

They have a lot in common, oddly, in that Cassie is kind of an outsider, and although Jake was born and raised in this town, he feels like an outsider because everyone hates him. Cassie, despite that fact that she's been taken in by this group of people, still kind of feels like an outsider; her mom died very recently, now Nick has died even more recently for Jake. More than anything she never knew the version of Jake that everyone hates, so she is meeting him fresh and she has the chance to kind of develop her own opinion of him. It's something that he just hasn't experienced in a while. I think the idea of someone looking at you honestly for who you are can be so attractive, and I think that kind of intrigued him about Cassie to begin with ... and then her being so incredibly awesome just keeps him intrigued.

We were on set a couple of weeks ago and saw a certain Truth or Dare scene being filmed, including a little bit of kissing. How is Jake's growing relationship with Cassie going to affect other members of the circle, especially Adam and Faye?
Well, you know, the show's about a circle, but it's really just filled with a lot of triangles, and that's one of them. Faye has a very specific agenda when Jake comes back into town which is, "I am going to get him back for breaking my heart." It should work, because there's just nobody sexier or more intimidating than Faye. Then Cassie gets in the way, as she always seems to, and he's not paying enough attention to Faye to make her revenge plan successful, and that sets the three of them in a triangle.

But in the scene that you are referring to from episode 8, there's that triangle, but then
Shelley Hennig and Thomas Dekkerthere's also the way Jake reacts to Cassie, which is something that Adam is infuriated by, because I don't think he would be great with anybody reacting to Cassie this way, but especially this guy that he can't stand and doesn't trust. It makes it difficult for him, and then that causes problems between him and Diana. So the Jake character, he's not fun for the gang.

Shelley Hennig [who plays Diana] gave us a very cryptic answer on set when we asked if Diana would be relieved that Cassie's attention had wandered away from her boyfriend -- she said "maybe not." Can you elaborate on why that might be?
Oooh ... that's a more intriguing answer than I could ever come up with! Well, I think that Cassie could fall in love with a lamppost and she would be relieved, if her big blue eyes are looking at something other than Adam. But the problem with Jake is that he represents trouble for them. Diana understands how much of a threat he is as much as anybody because of Adam, and of all the guys [for Cassie] to be attracted to, Jake is maybe the worst for them.

How long do you foresee Chris Zylka being around at this point?
Things change fast in Chance Harbor, as we've come to learn. We're not totally sure, but he's there for a little while, at least, and he's been doing an amazing job. We love him a lot on the show, so hopefully he can hang around.

To touch on last week's episode: Now that Cassie has opened up to her grandmother, Jane [Ashley Crow], will she take on more of a mentor role for the circle?
Yeah, a little bit. On one hand, what's so great is to have someone older, someone with more experience to help them with what they are going through. But at the same time, she's a grandmother and as much as we all know that our parents and grandparents know more than us, we never really want to believe that. We are sort of playing the same line here, that Cassie will go to Jane much more obviously than she has been, but at the same time, no matter what anyone tells you, you're just kind of compelled to make your own mistakes and she definitely does.

Gale HaroldI'm enjoying where you're taking Gale Harold's character; in the pilot he seemed so remorseless over killing Cassie's mother, but it's obvious that Nick's death hit him very hard. Is he going to start questioning his motives and what he's doing with Dawn [Natasha Henstridge]?
He's a complicated guy, Charles Meade [Harold] -- and as we see in the pilot, he's capable of such cold violence. And then one of the things that's so tragic about Nick's death is just seeing how it's almost as painful to him, experiencing that, as it was empowering to murder someone else. He's an interesting guy. But what I like about Charles, and what I love about how Gale plays Charles, is that he's just a father first, and his love for Diana is so strong and so deep. I think that's what hits him so strongly about Nick's death is that, as a parent, it's inescapable. You just cannot compare that kind of experience to your own child, and I think that will haunt him for a long time and will cause problems between him and Dawn as they both react completely differently to Nick's passing.

Fans of the books know what an important part of the mythology Cassie's father is; I think Thomas said that we'd start to see hints of that story from episode 9 on. Is that accurate? Can you tease anything about it?
I think he will be woven in even earlier than that. When we meet Cassie, she's so much dealing with the death of her mother and it's only now as she's coming to terms with it that this idea of her father is going to start seeping into her mind. As she starts asking more and more questions about it, she'll realize that so much of who she is is based not only on her mother's side of the family, but also on her father's side. As fans of the book know, she is going to encounter some very interesting things about her dad and the role he plays in her life.

'The Secret Circle' airs Thursdays at 9PM ET on The CW.

Check out our exclusive clip
from this week's episode, 'Wake':

Will you miss Nick in the circle? Are you intrigued by the sound of his troublesome brother, Jake? Share your thoughts and predictions in the comments below!

Follow Laura on Twitter: @LauinLA.

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Love the Secret Circle so far! Last week was a great episode, so intense with Charles drowning Nick to kill the demon. Can't wait to see what happens this week. Love Gale Harold and love how he can make me pity a murderer.

October 20 2011 at 12:58 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

yeah i would miss nick but his brother is kind of cute so i really don't know yet i am just going to have to wait and see for myself what happens next on the secret circle. the secret circle is getting interesting by the day and it is kind of to watch drama. i like cassie and adam together because they have those special moments. diana gets jealous when cassie is with adam because she think something is going to happen between them but she never admits it which is getting juicy. adam is getting jealous because cassie likes nick's brother and diana is a little bit worried.

October 20 2011 at 11:11 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

yay thank you!! loving this show!

October 19 2011 at 4:53 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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