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'Secret Circle' Guest Star Chris Zylka on Chemistry with Cassie, Rivalry with Adam and Being a Witch-Killing Witch

by Laura Prudom, posted Oct 27th 2011 10:30AM
Chris Zylka and Britt RobertsonAs one door closes on 'The Secret Circle,' another door opens, and though Chance Harbor is currently down one hunky blond Armstrong brother, a replacement has already blown into town to fill the void.

Chris Zylka plays Jake, an enigmatic bad boy who outwardly seems to want nothing to do with his dead brother's circle, but whose presence in their lives is far from coincidental. As we discovered at the end of last week's episode, Jake is in cahoots with a ruthless group of witch hunters, and seems determined to exact revenge on the town's witches for the death of his parents. Drama!

Despite his thirst for vengeance, Jake seems undeniably drawn to a member of the circle he's targeting, and when we spoke to Zylka, we couldn't resist asking about his character's connection to the seemingly irresistible Cassie, as well as Jake's tumultuous past with Adam and Phoebe. Hit the jump for more.

Spoilers ahead.

AOL TV: In your debut episode last week, we saw Jake mixing with some fairly shady characters; can you talk about how he found himself tangled up with a group of witch hunters?
Chris Zylka:
He left town two years ago, sort of searching for himself and searching for some answers to why both of his parents were killed. He has this anger built up towards the town because he thinks that it's all the town's fault -- it's every witch's fault in Chance Harbor. He comes across these witch hunters and through Isaac, this man that you see me with in the final scene of the last episode, I think he has a father-son kind of relationship going on that he never had the opportunity to have with his own father. There's some of that going on, along with the fact that he wants to avenge his family's death and the best way to do that is witch hunters! [laughs]

Is the circle really his major target right now, or is he playing double agent a little bit?
I think there is one goal that the hunters have right now, and that is definitely going after the kids in Chance Harbor.

Even so, Jake obviously has some undeniable chemistry with Cassie [Britt Robertson]; are we going to see that evolve in coming episodes?
There's definitely chemistry there, there's no denying that. He hits her in a special place and she hits him in a special place. All these questions that she has for everyone else that they answer so generally, he just puts it all on the table for her and tells it to her like it is. He's like, "You seem like a pretty good witch, so we're going to deal with it," and she shows him remorse and a chance for a new start, and she's someone that doesn't necessarily look at his past; she sees who he is now.

It's really heartwarming being in a scene with Britt and doing this because she's so good at [bringing that empathy] and it just makes you feel warm -- you can't help but smile. There's definitely something brewing there, but we'll see ... He's been pretty set on avenging his parents for a while now, and I don't know if they'll allow that to get in the way.

Obviously, Adam [Thomas Dekker] is already jealous and struggling with Jake's connection with Cassie, given that there's some animosity from the past between them; how will we see that progress?
I think Adam's the guy that's held this circle together the whole time, and he's the guy that's obviously going to be overprotective. I mean, he lost his mother, and his father is an alcoholic. He plays the dad in the circle; he's always playing that masculine figure that no one else can. I think he takes on all of the burdens -- or he tries to -- within the circle. Every problem that comes to town, every single issue that the circle has, you see it on Adam's shoulders more than anyone -- and he doesn't even say the words, which, kudos to Thomas that he pulls that off. So I think with Jake coming into the circle, Adam feels a bit threatened, because it seems like he's a good guy and has changed, but Adam knows better. [laughs] He knows better and he's not going to allow like Jake to bulls**t and finagle his way into this situation and try to be the man of the circle. Basically, right now, it's two bulls in a circle just staring at each other, but eventually, there's going to be that collision, and we'll see what happens.



It sounds like Jake really did a number on Faye [Phoebe Tonkin] back in the day, what are his feelings for her now?
He must've been a real jerk to her! One thing that Phoebe and I talked about ... she's doing something with Faye that is so remarkable: she's making her likeable and she's making her fun to watch. A lot of times with her type of character, it's really hard to do -- you either really like to watch them, or you really like them, it's one or the other, but she's doing both and a fantastic job at it. So we sit down and we try to come up with "all right, what went on, what's going down?" Obviously, there were feelings, but more-so than anything is that Faye and Jake know each other more than almost anyone in this group, other than maybe Diana and Adam. Faye and Jake grew up together; they know each other really, really well, so it doesn't just only hurt her that he's back in town and it's an old flame, but it hurts that she didn't even know he was coming back, and he's just being totally standoffish. There's so much more to it than just the whole relationship thing.

Have you shot any more scenes with Gale Harold? Charles is obviously feeling deeply guilty for killing Nick, which led to an awkward encounter in your first episode ...
I have not had the pleasure to shoot with Gale again. Whenever I get on set, I feel his presence. [laughs] Such a wonderful person, such a wonderful person. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that before I leave, I get one last scene with Gale.

Can you talk about Jake's relationship with Nick [Louis Hunter] and how they felt about each other? Have you given any thought to that, or did the producers give you any background to work with?
Yeah, absolutely. I think initially, we were going to go the full bad-boy route, like he and his brother didn't get along; he and his brother hated each other, if you want to even go that far. He had to have had some sort of hatred to leave Nick alone with his aunt. But every time I went to either say something -- and the producers felt the same way and the writers felt the same way -- every time you go to actually say those things out loud, even if the line says something that's really mean, you can see that he doesn't mean it that way and he cares. He cared a great deal for his brother; whether or not they clicked or not, who knows?

But I think he sees a lot of himself in Nick and he maybe even wishes that he was more like Nick in the sense that Jake wears his heart on his sleeve, out for everyone to see, and Nick -- kudos to Louis Hunter who really ... I didn't see any of the episodes before coming out here, but watching them as they air, in episode 5, it's just like, "Oh, my God, I get it." He is Jake and Jake is Nick, and Nick just kept everything internalized, whereas Jake wants the world to know how angry he is. So there's definitely a strong, strong brotherly love that's just played off like, "Yeah, he's my brother," you know?

We were on set while you were filming a certain truth-or-dare scene in episode 8 -- can you tease any of the truths that may come out?
Oh, of course you were! [laughs] I think Adam's going to grow so sick and tired of knowing that Jake is up to something that he's going to try to call him out.


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

For more on 'TSC,' check out our recent interview with executive producer Andrew Miller here. Do you think Jake will change his mind about revenge and grow closer to Cassie? Share your predictions below.

Follow Laura on Twitter: @LauinLA

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Dekker and Zylka worked together before in the movie "Kaboom"; Dekker is a bisexual college student who has a bit of a crush on his surfer dude roommate Zylka ("Thor"), who doesn't help matters by trying stretching exercise to perform autofellatio and banging chicks while Dekker is trying to sleep.

October 27 2011 at 2:20 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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