The Curious Case of Duke Crocker – A Q&A With Haven’s Eric Balfour

In tonight’s episode of Haven, “Ball and Chain”, a woman is mysteriously sucking the life out of the men she has relations with, causing them to age at an alarming rate. One of her victims happens to be resident bad boy Duke Crocker.

Eric Balfour joined us to discuss Duke’s transformation for tonight’s episode, and shared some of his thoughts on the character’s nature.

From the previews of this upcoming episode, you went through quite a transformation. Can you share with us the process of creating that look?

You know, it was actually really crazy. Even in prepping for it we were so under the gun because we were in the middle of shooting another episode. They had to fly me from where we shoot the show in Halifax on a redeye to Toronto. I flew in, had a few hours sleep and then I went to the visual effects artist’s studio and they started doing the face mold and cast. It’s that weird process where they put a bunch of plaster on your face and alginate, and you sit there with a little straw coming out of your mouth trying not to get claustrophobic. So we had to do it really, really quickly.

They had a few days to prep and then they showed up on set with these different prosthetic pieces. We’d been talking about it for a few days before about how the aging would take place and the different stages of ages I would go through, the first one being a light prosthetic and mostly just makeup use that would age me about 20 or 30 years. And then from there you go to about 75 or 80 years old, and then to about 95. It was a pretty intense process. I mean it was about four or five hours every day in the makeup chair.

To be honest, it was so helpful once you started getting into the prosthetic because we had talked about the different physical attributes that come along with the way that your body can degenerate over time and the physical abilities you lose and the joint dexterity and your voice changes. The minute we started putting on the prosthetics it makes that whole process so much easier. It was crazy.

It was a little scary at times because you’re looking at yourself going is this really what I’m going to look like in 30 years, 40 years? But in some ways it was interesting because some of it was very correct. You could see wow, that’s what my face is going to do.

It was interesting to see even the makeup artists themselves, the visual artists, they’d look and go, “Oh, you know what? Now having spent a little more time looking at the way you use your face, these two wrinkles won’t really happen to you, but you’re going to get a wrinkle here not there.”

I had to show up hours before everybody on set and sit in the makeup chair and try to keep myself awake all day. Then it’d take about an hour and a half after everyone left at the end of the day to get it all off. We did three or four straight days of that. It’s so much fun. To be perfectly honest, I haven’t gotten a lot of opportunities to dive into that sort of heavy a character development as far as totally taking on a different character. Although it was a character I play, it’s at an age that I’ve never played or at a physicality that I’ve never played. So even getting that opportunity, even if it’s only for a few days, was really special to me.

Does this aging affect Duke and his personality, as well as his relationships with Audrey and Nathan going forward?

This event is going to have an enormous effect on the character, and on the show and Duke’s role in it. I don’t want to give it away so you’ll have to tune in when it airs. But there is beyond what happens simply to Duke. There is something else that happens that whether Duke lives or dies completely affects his legacy and his life. It was pretty shocking when we read it, and it’s pretty cool to see what’s going to happen. Duke has been so much fun for me to play because he is rooted in an ideology that is very unique, and he is a guy who doesn’t take no for an answer, who doesn’t believe that rules exist, and has always managed to survive by looking out for number one. So this really put some perspective, I think, into his character.

In last week’s episode, we saw Duke given the lease to a restaurant. Will this be a turning point for him, or will he continue his rebel ways?

Well I can say this, given what happens in the next episode Duke’s fate is certainly unknown. But if he was to survive, I can guarantee you that Duke will never be on the straight and narrow. It’s just not in his DNA. He is a modern day outlaw for sure. And I don’t think he’ll ever be a 9:00 to 5:00 guy. And, you know, I doubt Duke would keep it as a restaurant. I think he’s more of a bar man. But I think it only allows Duke another outlet for what he inherently already likes to do. And, you know, I think what’s interesting about Duke is that I’m sure he could do lots of other things and he could probably make money doing any number of things but he’s chosen to live his life as an outlaw and not only out of necessity but he likes it, you know, he likes the lifestyle.

Many fans are speculating on the relationship between Duke and Nathan. Will we see more of this revealed over the course of this first season, or is that going to remain one of the town’s mysteries?

Well obviously we’ll have to see if Duke makes it out of this episode first. But I know the writers have hinted at a long history between Nathan and Duke, and it’s been hinted in the episodes that have aired even. But honestly, I don’t know exactly when those things are going to be revealed and how quickly.

Be sure to tune in to Haven tonight at 10 pm on on to see this transformation come to life. And for you Canadian readers, we’ll get to see it this Monday at 10 pm on Showcase.

Photos Courtesy of Syfy

One thought on “The Curious Case of Duke Crocker – A Q&A With Haven’s Eric Balfour

  1. Thank you! I think Duke is an interesting character and am curious to see how the dynamic develops. Maybe an interview with some of the writers or show runners? Haven has gotten my attention!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *