Tonight, Haven begins its fourth season on Syfy chronicling supernatural troubles that’ve been historically kept in check by the life and sacrifices of Audrey Parker (Emily Rose). This year, however, that tenuous balance has been severely thrown off by an unprecedented turn of events.
Instead of the troubles abating for 27yrs in line with Audrey’s absence, they’ve actually increased in frequency and ferocity due to her premature expulsion from the mystical barn after only a few months.
Last week Lucas Bryant, who has played Audrey’s partner and closest confidant Nathan Wuornos over the past three seasons, spent over an hour with the press answering numerous questions about the new season in an informative and entertaining conference-call that Press Pass L.A. attended.
*Minor Spoilers Ahead*
In light of Audrey’s disappearance, it’s naturally going to be a sad, even frantic time for her friends left grappling with the upheaval back home. One of the first questions Lucas addressed was whether Nathan will enjoy any real measure of happiness this season, to which he assured, “There are definitely some happy moments for Nathan, but sadly, they seem to be fleeting. That’s just the way it’s got to go. When things start looking too good, you have to just smash it all to pieces. Especially in the first half of the season, Nathan’s outlook is pretty bleak, pretty dark, but getting to explore that ruined side of him was a lot of fun. You learn in the season premiere what he’s decided he needs to do and the deal that’s made about his short future. So, no, things aren’t looking too good there, but I will tell you that there may be very exciting lights at the end of that dark tunnel.”
Colin Ferguson (Eureka) joins the show this season as the mysterious character William, alongside Haven newcomers Emma Lehana (as Jennifer Mason) and Christian Carmago (as Wade Crocker). Bryant offered insights into these new characters, all of whom show up in tonight’s season opener. “The character of William is very important throughout Season 4 and just exactly who he is and what he knows becomes a large part of this season’s story. We also meet Jennifer in Ep.401 and learn about her relationship to the barn. What she’s capable of is a story that’s woven in throughout this whole season and becomes very important as well, especially as we get into the end of it. Having Christian come on this year was so cool. He is a great actor and a really lovely guy. Unfortunately, I didn’t get to interact as much with the character of Wade as I would have liked to. He’s tied in more to Duke’s storyline and, well, you know the possibilities of the Crocker Family.”
With production already almost done for the season, I asked if Lucas had the opportunity to work much with Colin and how he found him as a person? “I have worked with him this year, more so in the second half of the season, but I can’t really tell you anything other than that his character brings out a lot of emotions in Nathan. Colin is such a charming guy and he brought a whole new dynamic to the show. He’s a blast to work with because he’s got a real great sense of humor and he’s a total pro. Colin is fantastic.”
I also asked him to comment on co-star Kate Kelton, who plays the untouchably intense Jordan McKee. “Kate is great. This season her role in the story is something quite different, and Nathan’s relationship with her is a complete about-face from last season, so having that animosity – in light of the history that we have from Season 3 – was really fun to play.”
Haven’s cleaner and resident bullet magnet Dwight Hendrickson (played by wrestler Adam Copeland) has a larger role this season than in any season prior. Bryant discussed Dwight’s new role in the community and how that impacts their characters’ relationship. “The relationship with Dwight is fun and we got to play around a lot with him. He’s in a bunch of this season, which is a blast. I always felt that he was kind of like an older brother to Nathan, although I’m actually ten years older than the actual actor, he was someone who knew a lot more about what was going on in the town but was also someone I kind of needed to corral. Now the tables have been turned. Now Dwight gives Nathan some new leeway to not have to always follow the rules and since Nathan’s no longer the Chief he’s able to get a bit more dirty.”
Of course it is Nathan’s interactions with Audrey that fans are most interested in. Assuming their characters eventually reunite, how will their relationship be changed since Audrey reappears as an entirely new person this season? “Yeah, well that’s a tricky thing,” Lucas explained. “Let’s just say she does make it back to Haven and let’s just say hypothetically that there is a reunion of sorts, you know she has changed. So, as far as Nathan is concerned, she looks like Audrey Parker and seems like the person she was, but it’s pretty quickly clear that she is not. This new side of her character is wildly different from Audrey which is troubling and difficult for him, so that is a challenge. She is much more sassy, outspoken and tough and Nathan has a more humorous and challenging relationship with her.”
Commenting on the tone and central theme of Season Four, Bryant shared, “In many ways the danger has been raised again this season and each of us are wrestling with how little we understand and how ill-equipped we are to deal with it. Things have all gone badly in the past but there was some faith that we would somehow, maybe be able to deal with it. Not that we’ve lost all faith now,… but I think this season all of us have been shown that this thing is so much huger than anyone could have guessed. So I think we are sort of adrift in a lot of dangerous possibilities this season. Maybe the theme is about all of us questioning ourselves, but I guess questions have been the central theme of Haven since the beginning. But it’s like a whole new rug has been pulled out from under everyone’s feet.”
When invited to name his favorite episode from last year Lucas declared, “The episode that I enjoyed most last year was Episode 9, the time travel episode titled “Sarah.” Nathan and Duke were stuck back in 1955 and Nathan got to meet Sarah. I think a lot of things happened in that episode which pushed the story along in the end of Season 3 and it’s all tied into where we are now in Season 4.”
Asked if the acting challenges presented to him this season were in any way more daunting than last year’s, he readily confirmed, “I think so, yes. First of all, it feels fast. This season has flown by and I can’t believe that we are almost done. That’s an indication, I think, of some good momentum. Last year we had the ticking clock with Audrey’s inevitable, apparent departure and so this year we sort of continue that momentum as well. Nathan is sort of a wild man initially, with a one-track mind and we are all dealing with a new level of self-doubt and desperation. I think those factors can sometimes lead to more irrational behavior that only further speeds up this inevitable whirlwind of madness that is Season 4. All of the new characters and new elements feel like they’ve been woven very nicely together for a quick, fast moving season. And this season transpires over a really short timespan, it moves really quickly.”
What aspect of portraying Wuornos has most inspired Lucas and pulled him into the character? “It’s been exciting to get to explore a darker side of Nathan who is completely lost in the first half of the season. Because he feels responsible for what happened at the end of the third season, he feels every new death and problem in Haven is sort of on his head. To get to play that side of him where every death he’s had to deal with just made it worse and worse brought a real desperation that was really fun for me to play. Midway through the season, though, there are big changes for him. I won’t tell you why or what, but these writers are perpetually putting us in pretty crazy situations. Every time we get to show a new side of this character has been a blast. Nathan’s been someone who has gotten to really grow up in this show, so that’s what inspires me – getting to go on this journey with him.”
Is there a side of the character Bryant would like to explore more deeply? “I would love to see more of Duke and Nathan’s relationship when he was younger,” he answered, “or learn more about Nathan’s adopted family – especially the family story stuff. I would like to explore that; that would be very cool to me. And also Nathan’s house. Where is his darn house? Where is Nathan’s freaking house?! That is a mystery in Haven. I would like some exploration of that one. I will give you this; we do get a hint. We do get a little taste of Nathan’s living situation in this season.”
Many fans are curious what the new season holds for the complicated, often-strained relationship between Nathan and Duke (Eric Balfour)? Lucas revealed, “In Season 4 Nathan and Duke have a lot more trust of each other and faith in each other, so we see more of their “friendship” I guess. You know, the relationship is always the same but I think some of the animosity has been left behind through their shared goal of finding Audrey. We did get to work together a lot more this season, so that was a lot of fun. Anytime that those characters are put together to try and achieve something together, I think it’s a great matchup. I have a lot of fun with Balfour.”
Pondering on what’s made the series as successful and popular as it has been, Lucas confided, “I think that there is just a lot of heart in the show and people respond to that and all the things around it. It’s such a pleasure to shoot here in Chester, to be in Nova Scotia and to have such a fantastic local crew and such great people involved. It’s really a tight ship and a tight family. There’s such joy in making this, and in some way, that can’t help but make it onto the screen – hopefully that’s felt. As dark as it can be and especially as we are moving forward, the show has gotten darker, I hope people still get some joy out of the relationships of these characters and the fun of the story and the beauty of the locations. Of course we were also lucky to be a Stephen King related show, we won some of his fans and then the fans who found the show initially have just been so loyal and supportive and wonderful; they told their friends and together, they and their friends and their friends have kept us on the air. We’re not a hugely promoted show but the results that the show has been getting, the numbers and support that the show gets, is in no way proportionate to the amount of money that we have. It’s just a real joy to be a part of and I’m so thankful that we’ve done four [seasons] and can hopefully do four more.”
If you’ve been trying to persuade a friend or family member to give Haven a look, consider relaying the answer Lucas Bryant gave when asked why he thought new viewers should try it. “I think this show has such a great blend of all sorts of things that I find very cool. It has weird mysteries, this gorgeous town and setting and you just don’t see places like this on TV that often, there’s also the dark and creepy Stephen King factor. And though it’s not a comedy, there is a lot of love and light in the relationships of our characters. I think the show really has a unique blend of all of these things and I’m really proud of its originality. It walks a lot of lines. There are love stories, friend stories, scary stories, and really intense emotional stories – it kind of packs them all together. I’m really proud of how this show has somehow been able to do that.”
Meet this season’s new characters and revisit a troubling callback to Audrey’s first day in Haven tonight @ 10/9c on Syfy. And don’t forget to check in at GetGlue while you’re watching to score an exclusive Premiere sticker featuring Lucas sporting a beard.
Visit Haven on Syfy.