Tonight is the season premiere of Syfy’s newest hit, Haven, and I recently had the chance to interview Eric Balfour, who plays Duke. Eric Balfour is adorable, sexy, and hilarious, and his character Duke is pretty much the same. Let’s see what he had to say about filming the series, his character, and his cast.
Jump ahead to read all about it.
On how important the online community is to the show’s success
Eric Balfour: The online community and Twitter is just a really wonderful fun way to communicate with the fans of the show and for people to become my friends through the show and to have an open dialogue.
As far as the show, because of the way that our show is structured, there’s like three people who kind of own it and different partners and…And so it’s really important for the promotion of this show, the online community. There’s only so much money that one single network can put into promoting the show. And so our audience and our fans have really been driven by word of mouth. We don’t have the luxury of a lot of like billboards or ad campaigns and things like that to promote the show.
And so the online community has been huge for us. So we really love them because they keep us employed. And the louder and more noise they make and the more they talk about the show, the longer the show is going to stay on the air. And it really is the lifeblood of our show.
What does he enjoy most about being on Haven?
I love playing Duke. I really do. I can’t tell you how much I appreciate the writers for writing this character because he’s so much fun to play. He has no boundaries. He can say what he wants. He can do what he wants. He doesn’t have to abide by anyone’s rules and I think that’s probably something I enjoy in my own life.
Is Duke still somewhat mysterious to you, or have you gotten a handle on him now?
It’s always interesting, because the writers are always throwing new little twists at us about the characters that we didn’t know. I mean from — not to sound corny — but from an emotional standpoint, I feel like I definitely do understand Duke. I love this dude. I just think he’s awesome. So in that regard, yes.
But there’s always – every episode there’s always some little twist the writers are throwing at us and little hints that they’re giving us and we find out some new twist about the show. I’m never completely sure of exactly who Duke, is but I think at his core I really do understand who he is and I like him. He’s fun.
Can you talk about the new character coming into your life?
So Duke has this woman come into this life. And Duke — is sort of, I guess similar to me in that way that he – Duke is attracted to dangerous women. And he one of those guys who doesn’t like anything that comes easily. He likes the challenge and he likes a certain amount of danger and game and suspense.
So this woman comes into his life and definitely starts to turn things upside down and really is a catalyst for a big part of where Duke is going this season and really in future seasons too.
Will the viewers get an answer as to why the town is the way it is before the end of Haven?
I do know for a fact that Sam Ernst and Jim Dunn, the creators of the show, definitely, 100%, know exactly what’s going on in this town. So some day, I know they.will, but I think it’s probably not going to happen for like Season 5 or 6. They’re going to prolong it as long as they can, but they definitely, definitely, definitely have an answer.
Do you have a guess?
Do I have a guess? I’ve always imagined, in my mind, that what’s going on in Haven is in some ways – it’s almost like global warming. As things shift in the universe of Haven and the world shifts and humanity shifts, things change. And while at one time, Haven, this town, was exactly, as its name ensues, was a safe haven for people that had these supernatural curses or troubles or afflictions.
And so as nature changes, something happened in the energy of this town that, you know, created this Molotov cocktail of supernatural occurrences. And I always felt that it was much more evolutionary versus being one single action.
You love your character, so what characteristics do you see in yourself that Duke also has?
I think the most obvious answer for me is that we both have an aversion to authority. Neither one of us likes rules very much. I think that would be the most obvious thing to me when I think about how me and Duke are similar.
It’s interesting. There’s a lot of similarities. I think Duke is innately more confident than I am in some ways, which has actually been really kind of a blessing for me in my own life (just) – (and) playing Duke, I have to get outside of myself and really have strong belief in who I am as Duke because that’s what makes Duke really kind of awesome is that he has a confidence and a charisma that I’ve sort of learned a little bit from playing him in my own life.
He walks through the world believing that he can do anything and that the rules don’t apply to him in that. Anytime somebody said you can’t do something, that’s just a challenge for him to do it. It’s a lesson that I’ve sort of taken in my own life.
On filming in beautiful Nova Scotia
Well, the pros of filming where we film are, without a doubt, the visual landscape of the place. We could never recreate this world on a soundstage or in Los Angeles or almost anywhere. It is vital to the visceral energy of the show. I mean this town is a character in the show. And the landscape is a character in the show. So in that regard, we couldn’t do the show with these towns that we shoot in, in Nova Scotia.
The downside is that it’s only summer about four days out of the year — that’s a little bit of an exaggeration. But I mean, literally in June, we redubbed the month of June, Jun-uary, because it pretty much rained the entire time. So it’s a challenge. I mean it gets cold and it gets rainy and it’s unpredictable. But we deal with that because it is so beautiful when the sun does come out — and even when it doesn’t it definitely has this really neat,soggy sort of other worldly feel.
[Note from Megan: I love the maritimes. I grew up in New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. I now live in Victoria, British Columbia, and we get a crazy amount of rain, but it’s always beautiful here! Hats off to Canadian landscapes! 😉 ]
What have you learned about yourself from working on Haven?
I would say that’s a really good question — a really good question. I think one of the things that I’ve learned about myself is that in playing the character Duke I realize how many insecurities I have myself, because Duke is so confident and because Duke carries himself with such gallantry and sort of grandiose behaviour.
It really made me look at my own life and my own insecurities in how, in some ways, I don’t live that way. It’s really forced me to look at my own life and look at my insecurities and look at the things that I carry around as baggage really, that in some ways holds me back. So that’s been one of the biggest things I’ve learned about myself. And honestly, that is really the thing that most profoundly stands out to me.
That’s all for this interview, but stayed tuned to the site for an interview with Emily Rose who plays Audrey Parker in the near future. Also be sure to tune in to Syfy tonight at 10/9c to see the second season premiere of this deliciously mysterious show.