Nick is Back: Louis Hunter Exorcises Some Inner Demons
I’m having a little Déjà Vu moment with The Secret Circle’s Louis Hunter. The last time I spoke to Louis I asked him if Nick Armstrong was truly dead. Today I find myself in the position of asking if Nick is truly alive. Fans who tuned into last week’s episode of the witchy teen drama will know that the mysterious traitor secretly working with the Witch Hunters was revealed to be none other than Nick himself, deceased brother of Jake and former boyfriend of Melissa. So exactly how did Nick survive a drowning at the hands of Charles Meade? And is he back for good?
“He is definitely back,” says Louis emphatically, echoing the theme of our previous interview, but in reverse. “In terms of how he comes back, who he is when he comes back or how long he will be back for, those are questions I don’t want to spoil. Fans will have to tune in. But I can confirm that yes he has definitely returned.”
But is it really Nick, or are we looking at something which is a little more than just Nick? Demon-possession has been a recurring theme this season and judging from his mental state in the closing moments of ‘Traitor’ there seems to be a distinct supernatural element at play.
“It’s kind of a hard thing to say if its more than Nick or less than Nick,” says Louis. “I think it’s less than Nick. He’s not 100% there. He’s not wholly controlled by whatever is inside of him but he’s being influenced by something. He’s a different version. He’s Nick 1.5!” he jokes.
There’s no denying that Nick has come back … different, and many fans want to know just how different.
“Nick wasn’t the kind of guy who wanted to use magic for every day tasks back before his demise but now he’s a little more reckless. He doesn’t mind doing certain things. We’re going to see super strength. He’s fast. He’s more aggressive. Things like that,” Louis explains.
I ask Louis whether or not Nick is now evil, and he considers for a moment before answering. “Well,” he says, “what’s your definition of evil? It depends on your perspective. I think it’s a mistake to play any character from the point of view of just being evil. No one really truly thinks of themselves as being evil. If they do something that’s completely insane or go on a rampage or hurt or murder people I think that they have to have some sort of justification in their mind as to why they’re doing it. So even if Nick’s actions seem wrong – or evil as you say – I still wouldn’t call it that.”
There are so many burning questions surrounding Nick’s return to Chance Harbor’s land of the living, but perhaps the biggest surrounds why he craves a crystal so badly and what his bigger game plan involves.
“Well, as you know, all the crystals have this immense amount of power within them,” explains Louis. “They have these special qualities of being able to bring people back to life, or heal people, or give huge amounts of power. Nick wants it for one of those three reasons. Which one? You’ll have to wait and see,” he teases.
Will we get to find out how Nick survived his drowning?
“It’s not something they’ve specifically addressed in the writing,” he admits. “It wasn’t there on paper but I’ve got my own views on how that happened. It’s one of the great things about scenes that aren’t actually on the screen. Whenever you see a scene that cuts to something else everything in between is a film that the audience gets to make up in their own way. So I think that’s something that people can discuss for themselves. I’ve got my own views but it wasn’t directly addressed on the show.”
On the subject of Nick’s drowning, I comment that it was surely one of the show’s most shocking and memorable scenes to date. It also raises the question as to whether Nick will be coming after Charles (Gale Harold) at any point? Many fans have expressed their hope that he will.
“I would love that as well,” he confesses. “Even purely from the fact that I loved working with Gale. I think he’s a great, great guy. I think he’s an amazing actor and that scene that you’re talking about – the drowning scene – was one of my favorite scenes to film. So if I get to work with him, whether it’s to try to track him down and kill him or whether it’s to work with him, or for him, I would love to do more stuff with him. We’ll just have to wait and see if that comes to fruition.”
“It could make for a very interesting storyline,” I comment.
“Charles’ character is still so mysterious and suspicious,” he observes. “We still don’t really know his motives. It seemed to be clear early on, but then towards the end of the season it became unclear again. It wasn’t precisely explained what it was he really stood for – what part he’s playing. I think with Nick now coming back – now that he’s slightly different,” he adds with a laugh, “we don’t really know what he’s about either. What’s he doing? What does he want? Those two characters are left a little in the dark. You could do a lot with them in terms of bringing out their character arcs again.”
I recently spoke to Gale Harold (Charles Meade) who mentioned the potential for an interesting storyline if Nick were to pursue Charles at some point.
“Perhaps! I can’t give you a solid answer either way but I can tell you it definitely be a very problematic thing for Charles to have to sort through if he finds himself interacting with the kid that he drowned. That to me would be very very interesting. I don’t know if that’s gong to happen but it would be great retribution. A great payback!” Harold said in a recent Chevron One interview.
Make it happen Andrew Miller!
Prom is an episode which sees a high school dance gone wrong, a grab for the last remaining crystal and the return of the deadly Eben (Sammi Rotibi). With so much happening (and with only one remaining episode to go before the season finale, Family) how much of a reunion can Melissa and Nick shippers expect? And how poignant is that reunion going to be for both of them?
“Remember in ‘Curse’ where Cassie and Adam drank the love potion to save Jake’s life and they woke up and found that they weren’t in love anymore? Magic got in the way of their true feelings, and their true selves,” Louis says. “With Nick and Melissa they’ve kind of revisited that idea of how magic can be a force for good – something that helps them save lives – or it can be something that gets in the way of something quite real and genuine and something that’s beautiful and amazing and powerful. Love, to me is the most epic thing that could ever happen to someone and when that goes off course because of some devilish, evil magic it’s so depressing. And that concept is revisited with Nick and Melissa in Prom. Their friendship changes because of what’s happened and how I’ve come back.”
“And of course Jake and Nick finally lock eyes on screen, which is really exciting! There’s some good fun to be had there. I can’t say how exactly but it’s pretty epic edge of your seat kind of stuff. Chris [Zylka] is a great actor. I mean, they’re all so professional. They’re willing to give everything that they have to make this show successful. Any scene that I get to do with Chris – whether it’s brothers reconciling and finally making peace with each other, (which is something we never really got to see) – is something I hope they continue into, because as much as I know I’m not really Nick as I was before, they’re still brothers and there’s still hope. I have to think positively. I have to think they might get to talk things out, even if it’s just ‘Look we had some trouble as kids, but we’re adults now. Let’s talk this out.’”
I point out that there aren’t actually that many siblings on the show as a whole, discounting Cassie and Diana’s newly discovered secret sibling relationship. Nick and Jake shared the same biological parents, and the same history. There’s an interesting bond between Jake and Nick with plenty of potential to go in a lot of different directions.
Louis agrees. “Cassie and Diana have only just discovered the truth about each other, so their relationship as siblings has only just begun, whereas Jake and Nick have all this rich history to draw from. There are so many possibilities. So much dirt that could be dug up. I hope it’s something that the writers might decide to touch upon,” he says.
So how did it feel to be back on set again after all these months?
“Everyone up there is so nice and so welcoming,” says Louis. “It’s a really homey set. All the crew are lovely. I get along with all the actors. It wasn’t hard to fit in again. That wasn’t a problem at all. Coming back to a project was the unusual thing for me. I wasn’t sure if I was coming back in the first season, the second season or at all. So to revisit that, and try to get back into the mind space as Nick – Nick 1.5 – that was a little different. I’ve never done that before. I’ve never left a project and come back to it. I’m used to following a project through to its end, so that was a little different for me, but it was great fun. It wouldn’t have been so much fun if it wasn’t for that great cast.”
“It’s funny,” he adds as an aside, “I was actually talking to one of the drivers up there on set and he was saying all the other crew members from different shows and films around Vancouver always try to get work on Secret Circle because it’s known they have the friendliest set around. It’s a good testament to what they’re doing up there.”
I ask Louis if Nick’s story going to continue into the season finale episode and he laughs at my attempt to draw him out. “It’s the season finale!” he exclaims. “If I ruin that, I ruin the whole show! I can’t do that!”
“Oh go on. Ruin it a little bit!” I suggest.
He laughs again. “I almost don’t even want to say it out loud for my own sake. As crazy as it sounds I want to keep it secret to myself so that I can watch the finale when it comes on TV. I wish I could tell you. I wish. I wish!”
“Oh don’t worry about it … I’m just going to bet that it probably is,” I say.
“Well there you go! Place your bets ladies and gentlemen. Place your bets!”
(I tried Secret Circle fans. I really tried.)
I tell Louis that some fans have requested that he tweet more.
“I have a bit of a love hate relationship with Twitter to be honest,” he admits.” I still haven’t figured out how I should use it in the right way. Social networking is the way of the future and it’s something I feel I have to keep up with. But it’s a funny medium. More and more people will spend hours of their day reading tweets from different celebrities and other people around the world other than picking up a good solid novel and reading that. It’s kind of a shame. There’s a lot of good reading out there in to be had in more than 140 characters.”
On the subject of language and reading, Louis confides that he’s a fan of Oscar Wilde. “I’m an Oscar Wilde freak. I love him. Have you read ‘The Picture of Dorian Gray?'”
I tell him that I have. “Do you have a portrait in your attic?”I ask.
He laughs. “I’ve always wanted to have a portrait like that.”
“Stay young forever!” I add.
“I’ve always wanted to have one big night out then put all the hangover and the tiredness and the drunkenness into the painting and come out fresh and new,” he laughs.
Secret Circle fans can catch Louis Hunter as the demonic Nick Armstrong, looking not so fresh and new but no less intriguing in tonight’s episode of The Secret Circle, 9/8c on the CW.