HAVEN: Eric Balfour Teases How the Duke/Nathan/Audrey Relationships Change in Season 4 (2013)


After that infamous barn disappearing trick at the end of Season 3, we all suspected that there would be some big changes ahead in Season 4 of HAVEN.  After last week’s premiere episode, we have now see a glimpse of some of those changes.  Audrey is now Lexie (Emily Rose) and does not remember her former life as Audrey — nor the two men that she grew to love and they loved her in return.  In addition, Duke (Eric Balfour) found himself stepping out of the barn as it disintegrated around him and time had passed significant for everyone while he thought it was but mere moments.  Six months had gone by in the blink of an eye.  As Duke struggled to catch up on all that had passed and changed in his absence, we saw many of our heroes reunited again — but with Audrey/Lexie still missing.

In a recent press conference call, star Eric Balfour gallantly shared a few clues about what lies ahead in Season 4 for the complicated relationships between Audrey, Duke and Nathan (Lucas Bryant).

Can you talk a bit about kind of how things just are going to change, all the dynamics of everybody, considering that Audrey isn’t Audrey in the beginning, and right now isn’t even there?
ERIC: It was a really sort of fascinating time when we found out what was going to be happening this season, not only from a character standpoint but also simply logistically with Emily [Rose] having just had her baby and we were basically going to spend the first about six weeks without her here in Nova Scotia filming with us.  So it was going to be a challenge. At the same time, it was really exciting. And what it did do was create a lot of new dynamics between the characters, and how things would shape. I actually think people say everything happens for a reason, and I think we were really lucky because what this did do was force us to get out of our comfort zone. It forced us to think outside the box, and what we end up with is something really exciting. 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 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. I really am excited about it. I really think that the audience is going to love this season because 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.

Can you talk a bit about working with the new characters that are on the show and the new actors?
ERIC: Absolutely. We have two new characters primarily this season, in Emma Lahana who plays Jennifer, and Chris Camargo who plays Duke’s 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 both of them, I actually have to say, “We were really blessed to have two people that we really enjoy having on set.” You know it’s such an important part of any work environment really.  You want to like the people that you’re working with and they were so much fun, and they were so easy going, and they were so ready to become part of the family. We just loved having them.  And then obviously this season we have sort of a special guest star in Colin Ferguson. Colin’s just an awesome guy. He’s a complete professional. He’s smart and funny, and it was great.  You know obviously there’s a lot of excitement because he’s sort of part of the Syfy family and he’s been a part of a highly successful Syfy show. So it’s always fun to cross-pollinate the worlds. And we’ve just been having a blast. It’s been the funnest season of new characters and they really fit in well. It’s just exciting.  And I know that the fans of the show are going to love Emma’s character. They are going to absolutely love her and love what she brings to the show. It’s great.

About the “one true love” idea that Duke kind of challenges Nathan on, is Duke challenging him from a self-serving perspective of maybe it’s him and not Nathan? Or is he at that point more about protecting Nathan?
ERIC: The greatest dynamic of this show and whether this was serendipitous or just geniously plotted out by the writers, and I wouldn’t put it past them because we really do have fantastic writers, but this triangle that exists between Duke and Nathan and Audrey is pretty magical.  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.  So at the beginning of this season the question of destiny and true love really become a huge factor in the show. So when you ask, “What does Duke mean when he he starts to question what Nathan is saying,” and this is something that’s really going to reveal itself over the course of the season, there are many levels and dynamics to what you’re asking and what Duke is saying. 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 — although 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 is 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 to be on their own. But that’s something that I think Duke struggles with.  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.  So I think what you’re asking is all true in some ways. There are many different levels to this question and you’re going to see it revealed over the course of the season and right up until the finale. I mean it’s such a dynamic season.

As far as  Dukes brother Wade, they’re kind of extremes. They’re both totally different people. Their relationship is going to be very stormy during the course of the season.
ERIC: You would be absolutely correct. I mean purely the idea of family for 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. Then to have them be such opposites.  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.  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. And so, yes, I think it’s just going to be awesome.

So what new developments for Duke are you most excited about this year?
ERIC: Oh god, how do you answer that without giving anything away?  I think what I’m most excited about for Duke this season is he is going to be pushed harder than ever towards a decision and he is going to be forced to choose sides in a battle that are almost Shakespearean in nature.  I mean they’re impossible. They’re impossible choices to make. And so watching that journey has been really exciting this season.

What is maybe the biggest or most surprising change we can expect in Duke’s character from the beginning of the season to the end of the season?
ERIC: There are two really huge changes that Duke is going to make this season and, unfortunately, I can’t actually say what they are. It would be giving away too much.  But I will tell you that it’s going to leave fans either really happy or really frustrated.  Duke is going to have to completely redefine himself in many ways. And that rebooting of sorts, or redefining of his entire life, is really going to affect who he is.  Actually thinking about it, I don’t know that it’ll change who he is. I think we know who Duke is now. I think we understand who Duke is in his heart. But it is going to change his place in this world and his choices in his life. So that really to me, is going to be what fans are going to be most excited about.

The family bond between Duke and Nathan, do you think maybe that might be kind of a definition of the “one true love” — that it’s much deeper than one or the other, it’s something that encompasses all kinds of love?
ERIC: Absolutely. That’s actually a beautiful way of putting it. Yes, there is the idea of the greatest good.  What is the greatest good? And that’s a question that all three of our heroes or main characters, or whatever you want to call them, are going to have to answer. And they’re constantly battling their own desires with that of this family, as it were.  So, yes it’s so not simple. And I think that’s what makes the show fascinating and what makes it compelling. So, yes, I agree.

Over the past three seasons viewers have been kind of confused as to whether Duke is a good guy or a bad guy. He seems to have a very dichotomous nature. Is that something that we’re going to continue to see in the new season, or has Duke finally decided to be the good guy?
ERIC: That’s a very difficult question to answer. 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 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.  And he’s not written to be sort of a caricature of the earnest hero. He’s just more dynamic than that. 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.

How do you walk that gray-line so that fans are always trying to guess what Duke’s motives are?
ERIC: In all honesty, it’s something that’s always talked about. I ask a lot of questions of the writers. I challenge the writers a lot of times, to allow me to infuse things that I think are inherent about the character.  And for me as an actor, there are times when you want to simply play the emotion that is in front of you, and then you deal with the consequences of whatever the next page that is written that’s put in front of you. But as the show has grown and become more complex, you really do have to sort of, in some ways map out where you’re going and what you’re going to do with these things.  So I always try to just weigh all of the different facets of his emotions and try to be very vigilant about keeping them in my mind. Because his emotions are never simple. They are never sort of singular in thought.

Lucas [Bryant] mentioned an episode where everyone plays kind of wild versions of theirselves. Can you talk a bit about that?
ERIC: Yes. It was a really fun episode.  Because of Audrey and Duke’s sort of place in this world and the abilities they have, it affects them differently than maybe the other characters. So for Duke, he’s forced to sort of juggle a lot of balls in that episode. And one of my favorite things about Duke is getting to see him be the dancing bear in a way, or be the court jester almost. So that episode was just a really great opportunity to play on some of that stuff. So it was a lot of fun.

Duke is a survivor who always thinks on his feet pretty quickly and he will kind of do things around the law a little bit to survive and to kind of get what he needs.
ERIC: Your description is right on. I mean the beauty of Nathan and Duke as characters and the way that they work together is Nathan is very earnest and bound by his inherent trust of the law, and Duke is completely the opposite. Duke is a magician. He’s a tap dancer. And so it’s always fun getting to be the voice of unreason.

Is there is a little Lucas-Eric bromance going on? Or does that guy just have a really serious man-crush on you?
ERIC: Are you kidding me? I love that guy. There is an epic bromance going on between me and Lucas. Yes, I love him to death. He is one of the kindest, most sincere people you will ever meet. And I honestly, I couldn’t be happier to get to work with him every day. I’m in love with the dude.

Can you talk at all about any of the interactions that you have with Audrey or Not-Audrey or whatever you want to call her this season? Is there anything you can kind of tease about?
ERIC: I think one of the things that the audience is going to get to see this year, and understand is how deep the connection and bond is between Duke and Audrey. Now that may be construed in a way that people don’t understand or have a different interpretation of.  But if the audience is paying attention this year, you’re going to see some things that really start to indicate how well Duke really does know Audrey. And that’s going to have an effect on Audrey. It’s actually one of the more exciting things that’s going to start to reveal itself over the course of the season.  I’m really excited about the fans seeing how Duke changes this season and how these new characters are going to affect Duke. It really does start to put him into a completely different dynamic with people that we’ve never seen him in. That’s one of the things I’m most excited about.  Secondly, you always worry when you get into Season 3, 4, 5 about, “How do you keep doing these things? How do you keep coming up with new scary monsters and new Troubles?” And it’s going to be pretty cool how not only do we — and the writers, I’ve got to hand it to them — they came up with some really cool stuff this year — but also there’s going to be some greatest hits this year. And we’re going to see how past Troubles are going to affect this world today. And that was actually really exciting.

To see how Duke and Audrey get closer and whether Nathan is Audrey’s “one true love,” be sure to tune in for all new episodes of HAVEN on Friday nights at 10:00 p.m. on Syfy.  Love is in the air, but perhaps not in the way anyone expects this season.

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