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October 24, 2014

'Nikita' Star Dillon Casey talks Mommy Issues, Seducing Alex and Confronting Nikita

by Laura Prudom, posted Nov 18th 2011 11:00AM
Dillon CaseyWhen he's not busy making hilarious viral videos for Funny or Die, Dillon Casey spends much of his time being mysterious and deadly on The CW's 'Nikita' (Fri., 8PM ET).

As the enigmatic Sean Pierce, former Navy SEAL and current Oversight-elected overseer of Division, Casey is living out many a macho fantasy; he's kicking ass, handling weapons, and (somewhat ineptly) attempting to seduce a troubled rogue agent who just so happens to look like Lyndsy Fonseca. Not a bad job if you can get it.

Casey features heavily in this week's action-packed installment of 'Nikita,' in which he once again comes face to face with our titular heroine. Yesterday, I spoke with the actor about Sean's motivations, his impending showdown with Nikita and whether his questionable seduction techniques will improve over time ... Light spoilers ahead.

AOL TV: Last week, Sean put his plan to seduce Alex into action, but she didn't really take the bait. For a spy, it doesn't seem like Sean's too great at seduction; is he going to get better with practice?
Dillon Casey:
[laughs] I wouldn't say that Sean is bad at seduction; I would say that Alex is just tough to seduce. It's always a case of trial and error and I'd say that he's in her head now and who knows what other tactics he'll try down the road? But you know, Sean tends to be like a dog on a bone -- when he wants something, he gets it.

Sean's been placing great emphasis on his morals and how he's having doubts about Division, and yet he's prepared to use Alex to get to Nikita -- how does he rationalize that?
Well, this is where Sean's conflicted. It's very tough; he always wants to do what's right, but he's a man of honor, so he wants to protect his mother -- I think that's the bottom line for him. He's discovering a lot of things about Oversight and Division which are not sitting well with him, but he's not really sure who's right and who's wrong. What he's sure of is that somebody is trying to kill his mother and he will do whatever it takes to protect her. So if that means using Alex to protect his mother, to protect his family, then that's what he has to do ... doesn't mean he's proud of it. But sometimes we do stupid things that we're not proud of in order to get the best outcome.

In this week's episode, Sean goes head-to-head with Nikita in a more direct way than we've seen thus far; what's their interaction like?
It's an interesting interaction, sort of like two Titans clashing. It's tense. I mean, I'm not really sure how much I can give away, but I know that there is a big face-to-face with them. They're pretty evenly matched, so they're both kind of leery of testing each other in sort of a full-on confrontation, so it's a very tense, cool way of these two clashing. Sean has Birkoff, Nikita has the Black Box so basically it's Nikita and Sean trying to make a trade and the whole time they're sizing each other up.


Beating on Birkhoff seems almost like shooting fish in a barrel, given how weedy he is compared to Sean; is Sean comfortable with Amanda's decision to capture and torture him this week?
Well, if you remember in an earlier episode, Sean discussed how his partner was tortured and slaughtered, so torture doesn't sit well with Sean -- that's not a means that he's willing to use. I don't think that any of this sits well with Sean and I don't think that he realizes what is happening. So no, I wouldn't say that this is something that Sean would allow if he had control over the situation. It's another one of those things where ... I guess Amanda's doing something here. I don't know if she's proud of it or not, but she does whatever it takes to get what she wants.

Sean's got a very complex relationship with his mother -- can you give us any further insight into the dynamic between them and how it's progressing?
I think we all discover things about our parents, as we get older, that we are surprised about and Sean, he comes from a background where he's very patriotic. He always wants to do what's best for the country -- nobody becomes a Navy SEAL without loving their country. So I think that those morals were instilled in him so when he finds out these things that his mother is doing in order to-- she says that's it's to protect the country, she says that it's to protect the ideals that they grew up with, but he's starting to pull away the pieces and discover that, that may not necessarily be true. So that creates a lot of tension between him and his mother, but the bottom line is that she is his mother and he would assume that what she's doing is done with good intentions. He needs to rationalize it to himself and I guess some of the things that she does, some of the actions that she's taking are very hard for Sean to rationalize ... That creates a conflict within him and even more tension between him and his mother. It's hard to say what's going to happen down the road, but I think that the bottom line is that he wants to protect his mom.

We're almost halfway through the season, what can you reveal about what's coming up for Sean?
You know, it's funny, I just finished reading the script for episode 12 and I got goosebumps, it's incredible. It's so tense, there's so much going on -- I can't give away too much, but it's the same. It's Sean, he's still after the same things; he is still using Alex; he's still after Nikita; he's still protecting his mother, but he's given a lot more information in this episode, which raises a lot of doubts. Some doubt that he can't ignore any more, so he's teetering.

What about further down the line, depending on how much you've filmed?
I have no idea! That's the thing about this show is that we're all kind of rolling with it. I have no idea what's going to happen with Sean until I get the script, but a lot of the writers like to make jokes with me like, "Do not sign a year lease in Toronto because you never know what's going to happen ..." Even they don't know. It's all about what relationships are working, what storylines seem to be working, what the audience is interested in.

We know that Alex is heading to Russia in pursuit of Semak, might Sean be following at some point to offer back-up, or will he be staying closer to home?
Wouldn't you like to know? [laughs] I think Sean feels some compassion for Alex and he respects her for her loyalty for family, so I think that he sees that in her quest to go after Semak. So I think he wants to help her in that way. Now, how far he'll go with that, I can't tell you. I seriously don't even know.

IMDB tells me that you know Kung Fu; does that kind of training help or hinder you when shooting a show like 'Nikita,' which has its own stunt coordinators who presumably have their own style of fighting and choreographing?
I don't know anything near the amount of Kung Fu or martial arts that Maggie Q. knows, or a Navy SEAL or any of these guys would know; I practiced it a little bit in Los Angeles. I would say that it's given me some of the footwork so I don't look like I'm a total amateur when I'm doing these things and I can work with the fight coordinators and stunt coordinators and sort of come up with a way of making it look like I know what I'm doing, but I wouldn't say that I am skilled enough in order to make myself look like I know what I'm doing without these guys helping me. It definitely helps!

'Nikita' fans love their flashbacks; will we see any for Sean and his time as a Navy SEAL?
I would love for him to fill in the blanks. He's a very mysterious guy, he's a bit of an enigma, so it'd be nice to get some flashbacks and to know exactly where he came from. I mean, I've tried to fill in the blanks, but the writers keep telling me that I'm wrong!

'Nikita' airs Fridays at 8PM ET on The CW.

Do you think that Sean will succeed in seducing Alex? Will his mission start to become more personal, or is his mother's safety his main priority? Share your opinions and predictions below.

Follow Laura on Twitter: @LauinLA

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