Louis Hunter Talks Sex, Teens And Secret Circle Magic
Louis Hunter is currently garnering attention as Nick Armstrong, the sexy boy next door in the CW’s The Secret Circle. However after just a few minutes in his company it’s easy to see that Sydney native Louis, softly spoken and deliberate in his speech, has put quite a lot of thought into what makes bad boy Nick (and teenagers in general) tick. In this Screen Spy exclusive, Louis tells us why Nick is so much more than the boy next door.
The Secret Circle debuted last week on the CW, introducing its three million strong audience to an ensemble cast of varied characters. Nick Armstrong is perhaps one of the more mysterious characters of the bunch. One episode in and we still know little about him. Faye can pop light-bulbs and open lockers. Cassie can lift water droplets (with a little help from Adam) and calm a storm (with no help at all). I ask Louis if audiences will get to see Nick manifesting an individual ability at some point in the season.
“Well that’s something that’s still yet to be explained – about whether or not we have individual powers, or if we can harness powers that are unique to us, or if we all have similar powers and we share the same kind of power,” he says.
“And that’s what I think it is. From the time we bind the circle, we actually all share our powers so there’s no ridiculously unique or special kind of power that Nick can do – unless I haven’t found out about it yet!” he laughs.
“So far it’s like we all share our powers in this interlocking web of magic. Nick doesn’t particularly like using his magic much anyway. He doesn’t do it much and the reason for that will be explained later on.”
“Yes I do. I really do,” he agrees. “I think he’s estranged and broken and cut. His parents died and then his big brother left him. It’s just not your typical upbringing is it?
“He doesn’t take it well. It gets to him and he decides that the best way of dealing with it is by pushing away these friends that he once held dear to him. And now he just kind of walks around as if he doesn’t need anyone, but he probably needs them the most.”
It’s easy to draw parallels between Nick and Cassie’s personal histories. Both characters have lost both parents. Does this fact give Nick a better understanding of Cassie’s situation?
“I think that Nick might think he does,” says Louis after some consideration. “But really, you never do because it doesn’t matter if you lose two parents or one parent or whatever, you never really understand what the other person is going through.
“I don’t think he really knows. He’s never really taken the time to talk to her. It doesn’t happen in the pilot and it doesn’t seem to happen soon after that.
“We’ll just have to see if Nick slowly gradually becomes bold enough to approach her and talk to her about these problems and these things they’ve both gone through, or if they both remain at a distance and have that knowing nod that they give each other once and a while through the window of each other’s house.”
I ask Louis the question on the minds of many Circle fans right now. What’s the deal with Melissa? Melissa likes Nick but does Nick like Melissa?
“I think so,” he says after a long pause, and then laughs. “The thing is, what people seem to forget about this coven of witches is that they are teenagers! I mean, all teenagers are attracted to each other if they’re good enough looking and they hang around each other for a while. That’s just the way it works. It’s hormones. Teenagers have these powers running through them. They have all these crazy ideas and everything’s kind of shifting beneath their bones. And they just end up in bed with each other. And that’s the reality of it. I think Nick and Melissa are just the first to do that and that’s just the way it panned out I suppose.”
“Adam and Diana have got a relationship sure, but that’s been going on for a while and that’s a bit more of an established thing and it works for them. And what works for Nick and Melissa at this point is,” he pauses laughing again, “Hanging out and doing what they do!”
I remind Louis that audiences have only seen the pilot to date and may have more to see on the Melissa/Nick front as yet.
“Well you’ll see a lot more this Thursday night,” he informs me.
“I read the first one,” he admits. “I read the first one because I needed to get a grasp of what the fans were expecting and how the pages brought Nick to life in the first place.
“After a while I realized the TV show was going to change Nick a little bit from the books. And if they weren’t going to stay exactly true to the books in the first place I didn’t think it would be wise to read on because from the point of view of being an actor I didn’t want to get confused between the two different Nicks.
“I thought it would be better to just stick to one idea of who this guy is and stay true to that instead of trying to cater to both forms of who he is, so I read the first one and then I left it alone from there.”
This leads me to wonder if there was ever a sense of there being a dichotomy between the Nick on the page and the Nick on the script?
“I do understand that the fans want their Nick – the Nick that they know from reading the books through. But I think this Nick that Kevin Williamson and CW have brought to life is just as exciting, if not even more cool and more mysterious. He’s got more aspects that make Nick who he is in the first place. He’s really an estranged broken down kid that’s been brought to life on the screen.
“And obviously as an actor I feel as though storytelling is at its best when it’s on film or television or theater. I feel that’s where storytelling really holds sway over people in life. I think my Nick – or CW’s Nick – is a pretty damn cool one.”
I tell Louis that there are a lot of fans out there who would agree with that statement and he laughs.
I have one final question for Louis. Is Nick a bad boy?
“Well it depends what you mean by a bad boy,” he answers. “If you mean he goes around killing people and hurting others then no, he’s not. Absolutely he’s not. If he’s a bad boy because he drives around on a motorbike and sells herbs and has … ” he laughs “… purely physical relationships with people and doesn’t care about the emotions, and doesn’t really talk to his friends, and spends a lot of time on his own then yes, he is definitely a bad boy.
“But all of that bad boy attitude comes from a place which is really just hurt. And all of those things that I’ve just listed are just bravado. It’s just a mask to make himself feel strong and tough in a world where he’s been really let down. It’s not fair and his way of dealing with that is by acting out this James Dean, Marlon Brando ‘what of it’ attitude.”
You can catch Louis Hunter as Nick Armstrong on The Secret Circle, Thursdays 9/8c on the CW.
All images courtesy and copyright of the CW.