Eric Balfour Talks Changes, Duke’s True Self, & Haven Season 4

Season four of Haven premieres in the U.S. on Syfy tonight, Friday, September 13th, at 10/9c! (Unfortunately, Canada must wait for the Showcase premiere on December 1st.) Star Eric Balfour spoke with a group of reporters earlier in the week about his character of Duke and the new season in general, and there are certainly some intriguing teases as well as a great perspective on Duke’s character and relationships. And hey, we wanted to give you a little something to read to help occupy your time until tonight’s premiere. Enjoy!

On this season’s changes, partially due to Emily Rose’s maternity leave:

“The show has a whole new energy this season and a whole new sense of playfulness. And there’s new characters that we introduce. The biggest change is, you know, initially seeing how Lucas Bryant’s character Nathan is going to have to change his role in how we deal with the troubles. And also how my character, Duke, is going to have to relate to Nathan, and how he is going to have to help him in a way that he, as we know, has always been reluctant to do. So especially in the first handful of episodes, things are completely different. And I really am excited about it. I really think that the audience is going to love this season because it’s obviously – we try very hard to stay true to what is great about the show, but it’s just always exciting when a show has to reinvent itself to a certain degree.”

About those new characters:

“We have two new characters primarily this season, in Emma Lahana who plays Jennifer, and Chris Camargo who plays my brother Wade. They were both an absolute breath of fresh air. They’re incredible actors. Personally, with Emma’s character, Jennifer, it creates a whole new dynamic for Duke. It’s going to reveal a side of him that we’ve never completely seen. And I loved having her on the set. I love working with her, she is a really playful actress. She brings a lot to the table. . . . And then obviously this season we have sort of a special guest star in Colin Ferguson. And Colin’s just an awesome guy. He’s a complete professional, he’s smart and funny, and it was great.”

A bit more on Duke’s brother Wade and the effect he’ll have:

“I mean purely the idea of family for the character of Duke is tumultuous. And so to actually bring one of those people into his life in such direct proximity was really challenging for the character. And then to have them be such opposites. And the audience is going to learn pretty quickly how and why they are so different. But it really made for a lot of fun, a lot of conflict. And I think for the fans of Duke, this season is going to be, I hope and I think, one of their favorites. Because Duke goes through so much this season. I mean we’ve obviously seen him go through a lot and struggle with his abilities and with his place in this world, but now there’s a whole new emotional context to what he’s going through.”

On the central love triangle:

“This triangle that exists between Duke and Nathan and Audrey is pretty magical. You know, lots of shows try to create love triangles, try to create these things between characters, but ours sort of happened in some ways organically and it was very sincere. And so at the beginning of this season, the question of destiny and true love really become a huge factor in the show. . . . It’s such an interesting thing, because I think in some ways one of the greatest love stories of this show is actually between Nathan and Duke. And although, you know, it’s not a romantic relationship and not a romantic love, it’s almost like a brotherhood and a familial relationship in some ways.

There is this question that I think we all ask ourselves about Duke, you know, if he even could have a relationship with Audrey, could he handle it? Would he really want it? Is he meant to be in a relationship? There are people in this world who, they’re meant to be alone. They’re meant to be on their own. But that’s something that I think Duke struggles with. And so I think there’s an element to it where as much as he may not want to admit it, Duke truly does care about Nathan and wants him to be okay and to be happy. But that may come at a price.”

Has Duke decided to be a “good guy”?

“Duke is in some ways – it’s why I love playing the character, because he is completely human and he is fallible. And in that human quality, it’s very difficult to simply say, “He is good,” or “He is bad,” or “He has decided to be good.” He is, in some ways, the most honest character on the show. And that’s not to say that he doesn’t, you know, ever lie or isn’t ever deceitful. And he certainly can be. But what I mean by that is he’s the most honest as a being, as a character, because it’s never that simple for him, you know? And he’s not written to be sort of a caricature of the earnest hero. He’s just more dynamic than that. And so his choices are always veiled with his own at times selfish desires, with his what I believe is his inherent nature to do the right thing. So I think in some ways his desire to be more earnest may be there, but because of the challenges that he faces this season, it becomes that much harder.”

Tune in to Syfy at 10/9c tonight for the season four premiere of Haven.

(Image courtesy of Syfy.)

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