Move over vampires: It’s time for witches to shine.
Thursday marks the premiere of The Secret Circle, a fish-out-of-water tale about an orphaned girl who discovers she’s part of a secret coven of young witches who are coming into their own and discovering their powers.
For those who haven’t read the L.J. Smith novels the series is based on — and even if you have, the Kevin Williamson and Andrew Miller-produced CW show will be quite different — we asked the actors portraying the six witches of the coven about what’s brewing with their characters. Let’s meet the witches:
Cassie Blake (Britt Robertson)
The new girl in Chance Harbor, Cassie was forced to return to her family’s hometown after her mother was mysteriously murdered in a fire. Thrust into the world of magic, Cassie also will be faced with a more puzzling challenge: Her future is “written in the stars” with fellow witch Adam. Whatever that means.
Good or evil: “A little bit of both,” Robertson says.
Power’s a-blazin’: “She likes to play with fire.”
Power Robertson would like in real life: “The power of flight.”
Struggles Cassie will face: “Initially the struggle is deciding to embrace the witchcraft or run from them like her mom did. Going further, you’ll find that her dad and her past have a more evil side. Cassie is taking on the role of Faye [see below] a little bit and starting to rub the sticks together and create a little turmoil with the circle. She’s trying to dive a little deeper in the magic world, a little too deep.”
Why viewers should like Cassie: “Because she’s pretty [Laughs]. Just kidding. Because she’s a superhero. The great thing about being supernatural is that they can literally do anything at anytime.”
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Let’s give the old wheel of supernatural fortune a spin! Vampires? No, well past their expiration date. Mermaids? Probably a little too progressive. How about witches? Timeless.
“The Secret Circle” is this fall season’s big otherworldly entry, and in a slightly shocking move, it’s also The CW’s only new teen soap. And they chose it carefully.
Based on book series of the same name by L. J. Smith, “Secret Circle” also follows the similarly-themed “Vampire Diaries,” giving it a built-in fanbase.
Finding a balance between the thrills of young love and newly-acquired superpowers, “Secret Circle” follows Cassie Blake (Britt Robertson). She loses her mother to an accidental fire in the opening scene (read: secret nefarious plot), which prompts her to move in with her grandmother.
This means a new town, a new school and a new group of peers — five of whom happen to be part of a historic coven of witches in need of their sixth (Cassie) to find their true powers.
As you might imagine, it’s not that easy. Cassie, being a rational teenager, is skeptical of the whole witchcraft thing, and her would-be coven isn’t in the best shape. Factions within the group are clear before they even start to use their powers, with docile Diana (Shelley Hennig) wanting to do good and take things slow and spirited Faye (Phoebe Tonkin) hellbent on starting fires with her mind and making it rain.
There’s also the inconvenient romantic lead in Adam (Thomas Dekker), who’s three years into his LTR with Diana.
And those are just the minor complications. The real foil here is the elderly set of local witches, who also happen to be one of the one of the show’s biggest selling points — “Queer a Folk” vet Gale Harold, in particular. From his first moment on screen, starting the fire that pushes Cassie’s mother out of the picture and her into his yet-to-be-revealed plot, he’s the perfect villain.
That’s not to say “Secret Circle” can’t stand on the charm and presence of Robertson. The CW is clearly invested in making the “Life Unexpected” star one of its flagship actresses, and this is likely her vehicle.
“Secret Circle” certainly does some things better than others — the climactic showdown in which Faye channels an out-of-control thunderstorm, for example, is epically cheesy — but it presents a pretty compelling pitch in its first outing.
Anxious fans should be pleased, and curious viewers outside the usual demographic might even be surprised.
Much like those pesky robots sent from the future to protect John Connor on Fox’s now defunct action adventure that was TERMINATOR: THE SARAH CONNOR CHRONICLES, Thomas Dekker is back. Yet unlike his previous role that saw the young actor spend the better part of two seasons struggling to accept the responsibility that comes with being singled out as humanity’s last hope, his newest character is only too happy to bear the burden. Which was just one of the reasons Dekker decided to return to the small screen as Adam, the de facto leader of the titular Coven on the CW’s much-anticipated companion piece to THE VAMPIRE DIARIES, THE SECRET CIRCLE. But just what else attracted him to the role following a two and a half year absence spent shooting movies? We caught up with Dekker at the recent Television Critics Association Press Tour in Los Angeles to find out just that. See for yourself after the jump.
Being an actor who seems to relish jumping from role to role and maintaining some semblance of anonymity we have to start off by asking just what brought you back to television?
Thomas Dekker: What drew me back was that I hadn’t done TV in two and a half years. Obviously my heart is kind of in indies, jumping around and experimenting with film and all that but I really was interested in doing something again that was — for lack of a better word — pulpy. Something sort of mainstream that was easy for young people to grasp hold. It’s fun to do that kind of stuff and I’ve always wanted to work with [SECRET CIRCLE executive producer] Kevin Williamson. I didn’t go out looking for TV, he brought the show to me and I just kinda went, “Yeah let’s do it.” As much as I am picky, I also tend to be a little bit impulsive, which is why I now find myself living in Vancouver [Where THE SECRET CIRCLE shoots].
Did you familiarize yourself with the L.J. Smith source material before the start of shooting?
No and that was one of the things Kevin Williamson and I talked about at the beginning. How much are we following exactly the rules and laws of these books and we sort of decided for my character it’s a bit of a diversion, somewhat different and we’re sort of playing with that. So I’ve not read the books kind of on purpose and am just kind of going with my own thing.
Right from the outset it would seem that the Pilot is setting up a love triangle between your character Adam, his current girlfriend Diana (Shelley Hennig) and newcomer Cassie (Britt Robertson). What can you tell us about that?
Diana is the lovely perfect innocent one in our Pilot and who knows where she’ll end up if it comes down to this love triangle business. But the really cool thing that we’re discovering is that Cassie and Adam’s affection is not just a crush, it’s written in their magical blood as it were, their family lineage, so it’s literally a physical fate that they cannot control no matter how they try.
Continue reading the rest of the interview here
Thanks to Craig at K-Site, we now have the title and official description for the fourth episode entitled “Heather”. Major spoilers! The episode will air October 6th!
CASSIE RIGHTS A WRONG FROM HER MOTHER’S PAST – Cassie (Britt Robertson) looks up an old friend of her mother’s named Heather Barnes (guest star Camille Sullivan) and discovers she has been in a catatonic state since the night of the fire 16 years ago. Feeling guilty that her mother and her Circle may have had something to do with Heather’s current state, Cassie tells Diana (Shelley Hennig) that she wants to use magic to help Heather. Diana refuses to help, but Faye (Phoebe Jane Tonkin) is more than happy to conjure up a spell – for a price. Thomas Dekker, Jessica Parker Kennedy, Louis Hunter also star. Dave Barrett directed the episode written by David Ehrman (#104).
Get a glimpse of what the circle holds!
It’s seductive, selfish, and dangerous. We’re sorry, but you have lost control. See for yourself below!
Spoiler alert! I’ve uploaded screen caps from Pilot 1.01 Check if you dare!
Home > The Show > Season 1 > Screen Captures > 1.01 Pilot
Clear your DVR queue and set your season pass, because this week marks the beginning of fall TV! We know, it’s been way too long. Thankfully, in addition to all of our returning favorites (hello, “Vampire Diaries” and “Glee”), the networks are ushering in a slew of new shows we couldn’t be more excited about, including The CW’s magical “Secret Circle,” which premieres this Thursday.
In anticipation of the witchy series, which stars Britt Robertson as an unassuming high school girl who discovers her mysterious powers, we hopped on the phone with co-star Phoebe Tonkin, who you’ll get to know as mean girl Faye Chamberlain. We talked with the Aussie actress (who does a mean American accent) about her character’s rule-breaking ways, potential love interests and all those comparisons to “The Vampire Diaries.”
Hollywood Crush: We know Faye is the resident bad girl, but what else can you tell us about her?
Phoebe Tonkin: Faye is unpredictable. If anything, you can’t really expect anything from her. She kind of goes back and forth from being really quite bad and then bringing it back and realizing there are actually consequences. So I think that’s what’s going to be exciting throughout this series, seeing Faye going back and forth from the different sides, good vs. evil.
Will we find out why Faye has such a chip on her shoulder?
Yeah, definitely. I think her relationship with her mother is very interesting. You know, she lost her dad when she was a baby, and the only parent figure she’s had is her mother, and as you see in the pilot, her mother has not got the best intentions. And, also, her mother is the school principal. So Faye is used to getting away with whatever she wants. She’s not used to discipline. So I think that’s one of the parts why Faye is the way she is. And the other is an ex-boyfriend that really broke her heart, and now Faye is really out to kind of avenge that.
Speaking of ex-boyfriends: When will Faye get a love interest of her own?
I feel like Faye needs someone as evil as she is to match it. But at the moment, they are so interested in these new powers and all that, so I think that’s her priority right now.
Had you read the book series by L.J. Smith before auditioning for the part?
I read the books when I was filming the pilot. I think we all did. There’s a photo of all of us holding the book. [Laughs] I think they’re brilliant. They’re such good young adult books. But it’s definitely different picturing characters on screen and then picturing a character in text. So I definitely, in the back of my mind, have different character traits about Faye. One thing—it’s so silly—in the book they always mention that Faye has red nails, so that’s something we’ve kind of maintained throughout the show. Faye always has red nails. Little things like that we can put in.
Because both are Kevin Williamson projects and based on L.J. Smith novels, there have been plenty of comparisons to “The Vampire Diaries.” What’s your take?
I mean, yes, both are helmed by the amazing Kevin. For me, I started watching “The Vampire Diaries” after I finished filming the pilot. I was just so impressed and so excited that we get to follow a show of that caliber because it is such a great show. It is so well acted and written and sexy and fast paced. It’s a cool show to watch. I think it’s one of the better shows of the vampire genre or any other teenage genre at the moment. So that fact that we get to follow it is awesome.
Would you be up for a “Secret Circle”/”Vampire Diaries” cross-over episode?
I would love that. I met Kat Graham at a shoot a couple of months ago. We were both like, ‘This could happen. And then you could come on and do this…’ I think Kevin is trying to keep them as different worlds. I think a crossover could kind of complicate things. I think Kevin is trying to make our show a separate show to “Vampire Diaries.” They’re different mythologies.
Just uploaded pictures from the CW Premier Party that was on September 9th, 2011. You can check them out in the gallery
Home > Appearances/Events > 2011 > Entire Cast > The CW Premiere Party – 9.10.11
“I think it’s most interesting when you see characters like Ethan, who are so broken– they are so tortured– they’re actually phenomenally strong, it’s just getting that back and using it again. So what I’m looking forward to is when Ethan unleashes it…I think he’ll give Charles a run for his money,” Harrington smirked when we caught up with him at the Paley Center for Media‘s CW fall preview night in Los Angeles.
Check out the rest of the interview here