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Adam Harrington Dishes On The Circle’s Secrets, Schemes & Surprises

By on January 11, 2012

Talking to Adam J. Harrington this week we can’t help but feel something big is about to go down on the CW’s The Secret Circle. Something big big. So big in fact that teasing details from Chance Harbor’s perennially over-talkative Daddy Witch is almost impossible.

The next three episodes Ethan goes through a lot,” Harrington tells ScreenSpy exclusively. “I’m really excited about them. At the same time, I’ve been sworn to secrecy more than any other time on the show, which is also really exciting. If you start to feel like this phone call is being tapped, then hang up immediately!” he jokes.

We have always maintained that town drunk Ethan Conant is wasted in that back room of the bar in more ways than one. We’ve seen him wax lyrical about messing with fate. We’ve seen him break Diana’s heart and we’ve seen him drink — a lot — but there’s still a lot of blank space surrounding this character that could be filled in any number of delicious ways. However, now with three Ethan-centric story-lines about to hit TV screens (starting this week) it seems the fire may be well and truly lit under Ethan Conant at last.

Ethan’s been the guy in the background,” explains Adam. “He’s the write-off. He’s the drunk father. He’s not really there for his son. He’s been saying things he shouldn’t and we just write him off as the drunk. What starts to happen is that what we’re assuming may be going on may actually not be the real truthEthan might not be a drunk because he’s a drunk. Ethan may be trying to forget a lot of things. Which is really exciting when we start to see what they are. Which I can’t talk about. Which makes it even more exciting!”

“We start to find out what he’s been desperate to forget.”

These three episodes were fantastic to shoot,” he says. “They’re really juicy. In the back half of the first season Andrew Miller and his team are really starting to explore stuff.  As Cassie explores her own dark magic the audience starts to see what really happened in the past. And who is actually behind it.

Is Ethan likely to remain a sympathetic character if we find out more?

We find out more,” he says simply. “I always considered that if someone is drinking that much he must be holding a lot of stuff back. And if that person stops holding that stuff back? Well it might not be so pleasant.

We’re curious to know more, especially regarding those recent juicy rumors that a future episode will delve into the boat fire of sixteen years ago.

The internet is abuzz with hints that Cassie and Jake will pull not just the other Circle members, but Charles, Dawn and Ethan too, into an extremely dangerous situation in an attempt to finally discover more about that day. Could the events of ‘Fire/Ice’ and ‘Witness’ act as a prelude to some enormous and cataclysmic event?

I can tell you that where part of the episode takes place was really spooky. I can’t tell you where or how it fits in, but it’s dark. It’s haunted. It’s wild. And it has to do with what happened 16 years ago. When we [the cast] were all there, we were just blown away by how this location fits in to the story, and by the things we discovered about what happened 16 years ago. We’ve always assumed – and this is something Andrew Miller has said – that Ethan had nothing to do with what happened 16 years ago. And we start to find out that maybe that’s not the case.

So what will Charles’ and Dawn’s involvement be, given that episode 12, ‘Witness’ sees both of them scheming to get Ethan on side as they go head to head against each other?

We see that Dawn is more Machiavellian than we imagined,” Harrington hints. “Maybe it’s not Charles that’s so evil. I can tell you one thing though. Ethan may have his own ideas about who he wants to ally with. So both Charles and Dawn, as they go head to head with each other, need to get someone else on their side to tip the balance of power. They think they’re just going to use Ethan as a pawn but Ethan starts to get his own ideas about what he’s going to do.”

Adam Harrington on the Secret Circle set.

With two scheming witches squabbling over him, which witch might Ethan be likely to view as the worst bet? Charles does have that crystal, and we’ve seen the evidence of what he can do with it. On the other hand, Dawn is just so completely ruthless it seems there is nothing she wouldn’t do.

I think what’s great is that they’re both proving to be pretty ruthless characters. Why they’re being ruthless is what everyone’s going back and forth on.

“What I like about what Gale [Harold] is doing with his character is that he’s really complex. We’re starting to see there’s a lot more going on than when we first scratched the surface with him. He’s juggling a lot more now too.

“What I love about what Natasha’s doing is that she starts out seeming to be scheming but now we’re finding out that she’s kind of desperate. I think people are always much more interesting when they’re desperate – and especially in a world like this.

“And with Ethan, we just start to find out that he’s been desperate to forget. And what he’s forgetting … oh it just gets really exciting.”

Will fans finally get to see an Ethan/Charles showdown this season?

How shall I answer this?” he ponders. There follows possibly the longest pause in telephone history. “I think my silence is actually a really good answer!” he laughs at length.

Fans that have been wondering about the Charles/Ethan dynamic will not be disappointed in the next couple of episodes. As always, Gale is fantastic to work with. Considering the information they have given viewers and fans about the upcoming episodes there’s a lot they haven’t said anything about. There’s a lot of stuff happening that they’re just going to let people be surprised by. There’s a lot of shocks. A lot of turns. And we find out even that what we thought about certain characters may not be true at all. And [the story-lines] start to tie together brilliantly.

“The more Cassie needs to find out what happened to her father, in order to prevent it happening to herself, the more Charles and Dawn and Ethan get pulled in. You find out what their involvement was sixteen years ago, and what actually happened and who caused what. And there are some BIG surprises.

“These next three episodes have been my favorite for Ethan so far. There’s big stuff happening for all the characters in each of them.”

Well Secret Circle fans, what do you think? Are you looking forward to a showdown? Just what manner of trouble will Jake pull Cassie into, and just who started that fire?

The Secret Circle continues on the CW, Thursday at 9/8c.

Stay with us for more as The Secret Circle’s Adam Harrington answers some burning fan questions!

SprueBox: Is Adam left or right handed? (This question was asked in the context of the game LA Noire in which Adam’s character Roy Earle appears at times to be both left and right handed.)

Adam Harrington: “I’m a leftie! Wow what a great observation Sprue!  I am left-handed. When we were creating the game [LA Noire] because of the motion capture process, they weren’t sure how easy it was going to be to make the bodies left or right handed. So what I decided was that because Earle is kind of a slimy shifty character that I would express that physically. So he’s kind of left and right handed. If you notice too, sometimes he smokes with his left hand and sometimes he smokes with his right hand. That was just me having some fun.”

Deepfriedarcangel: Does Adam own a fish tank?

Adam Harrington: “I do not own a fish tank. I travel around so much I don’t even own a plant! Taking care of something right now? Um … no. I’m lucky if I can remember to grab my mail. I do not want any fish gifts!” he jokes. “When I was a kid I had fish. I had those Siamese fighting fish.”

ScreenSpy: “Don’t they kill each other?”

Adam Harrington: “Well if you let them at each other they do. You can keep a male and a female together but you don’t keep two males together because they do their thing. They try to go all peacock against each other trying to figure out who’s top dog … although they’re fish … so no. No, like I said I’m not even able to take care of a plant right now, let alone a fish.”

Deepfriedarcangel: What’s been Adam’s favorite travel destination to date?

Adam Harrington: “I went to Edinburgh in Scotland the summer before last. Part of my background is Scottish. And I was able to go to the town that (I think) my great great great grandfather left to move to North America. And also on that same trip I got to spend time at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival which was just fantastic. It’s a beautiful city. The people are wonderful. I had such a great time. So I would say that over the last little while Edinburgh was fantastic.”

“I also got to do a dream trip once. I went to Australia and spent a week living on a boat and diving in the Coral Sea. That was one of those ‘I may never get to do this again’ trips. It was amazing.”

ScreenSpy: “What’s your favorite color?”

Adam Harrington: “Blue.”

ScreenSpy: “Every time I ask a man what’s his favorite color is he says blue. What is it about blue?”

Adam Harrington: “[laughing]  I don’t know. Just … blue.  I don’t know where the color blue comes from for me. The first thing I ever did was a career as a scientist and went through Grad school for Marine Biology so I always really had a great love of the water and the ocean and maybe it came from there. Or maybe it’s baby blue for a boy. Or maybe men just don’t think about these things too much,” he says with a laugh.



  1. A

    January 11, 2012 at 8:55 pm

    Really amazing interview here! It has me even more excited than I already was! I look forward to this and thank you soooo much! Looking forward to more interviews and articles in the future about The Secret Circle.

  2. Magpie

    January 11, 2012 at 10:20 pm

    Omg, this interview told sooo much and soooo little. Talk about teasing! Can’t wait to see what happens,

    Love your interviews Chevron One!

  3. Witchy Woman

    January 11, 2012 at 10:21 pm

    Such a great interview for us fans! Thanks Chevron One and thanks Adam!

    Love the secret circle….

  4. LUX

    January 11, 2012 at 10:23 pm

    I volunteer to water his plants 😉
    Great interview. Best Secret Circle one I’ve read in … like ever.
    Troubling thought. Did Ethan start the fire? Is that why he’s trying to forget?
    Can I also say the whole Charles/Dawn/Ethan triangle is so compelling. I can’t wait to see how it works out. Thanks to chevron one and thanks to Adam Harrington for being AWESOME.

  5. Fangirl

    January 11, 2012 at 10:24 pm

    I want to watch those episodes like NOW!

    Awesome interview!

  6. Meg

    January 11, 2012 at 10:32 pm

    Oh Ethan what have you done!

    The next ep can’t come quick enough!

  7. Spruebox

    January 11, 2012 at 11:10 pm

    Great interview! It works very well for getting me even more interested in the upcoming episodes of the show and it made me smile as I read it. And it couldn’t have been posted on a better day (for me, at least). 🙂 Looking forward to seeing more of Ethan’s past on the show and any future (and awesome) interviews and stories from CO 🙂

  8. Spacecadet

    January 11, 2012 at 11:28 pm

    What an awesome interview! Adam is such a tease! I can’t wait to find out what happens with Ethan on Secret Circle and find out about the fire from 16 years ago. I cant believe its so hush hush, it must be HUGE! So glad Adam could share some hints with us!

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  10. Deepfriedarcangel

    January 12, 2012 at 4:36 pm

    Haha! Him and his stories. Interesting though about the second question I asked. Did I ask that? Oh well.

    I live near Edinburgh!

    • Jennifer Griffin

      January 12, 2012 at 5:00 pm

      Cool! Didn’t you ask it? Over Tumblr? I got a bunch of questions via email, forum PM and Tumblr. I picked 5 from the hat.
      I hope I didn’t accidentally misquote you because that means someone else is out there thinking ‘Hey, I asked that!’

      • Spruebox

        January 12, 2012 at 6:34 pm

        Just to clear this up quickly, I don’t know if anyone else asked, but I remember bringing it up as a question at one point on Tumblr. Regardless, it’s no issue. I never noticed Angel’s name was on that until she pointed it out. I’m just happy the question got answered 🙂

        • Jennifer Griffin

          January 12, 2012 at 9:16 pm

          That must be it. My bad! Apologies to the pair of you.

          • Spruebox

            January 13, 2012 at 1:38 am

            No worries. I’d of contacted you about it if I was concerned 🙂

  11. Deepfriedarcangel

    January 12, 2012 at 4:53 pm

    Oh, and this makes me very excited for the new episode. I was hoping we’d get an insight of Ethan’s life and why he is why he is. Thanks for the interview Chevron! 🙂

  12. LUX

    January 12, 2012 at 5:56 pm

    Nooooooooooo please please please tell me Ethan did not start the fire.

    • Spruebox

      January 12, 2012 at 6:35 pm

      Start singing “We Didn’t Start the Fire” and hope, Lux :-p

  13. Pickled Waffles

    January 12, 2012 at 8:33 pm

    Cool, I may just have to start watching this series, it looks good.

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  17. Rhona

    January 16, 2012 at 4:34 pm

    I want it to be someone like charles. Let’s not forget that opening scene in the pilot. He’s set things on fire before.The reason I don’t want it to be ethan is because I like him and now that there’s more of him I don’t want to see him turned into the bad guy straight away. I don’t know about a showdown but if there is one this week or next I hope ethan gets to kick some ass. and by the way? those promo pics for Medallion? ethan you are looking F.I.N.E.

    • LUX

      January 18, 2012 at 11:53 am

      ^^ Totally.

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  21. verybookish

    January 22, 2012 at 5:08 am

    Nice interview. Can you please interview Gale Harold? He is the reason I’m watching the Secret Circle, and I love him as Charles Meade.

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