San Diego Comic-Con 2011: Kevin Williamson, Andrew Miller, and Richard Hatem Talk The Secret Circle
Casting always plays a huge part in the success of a project so we were curious what it was about Britt Robertson that made Williamson pick her as his heroine. It was easy, he said, "'Life Unexpected' got cancelled! I sort of had my eye on her, and then when we were casting Scream IV, I remember going, 'Yo, Wes, this girl. She's in 'Life Unexpected'. So they brought her in, and they were really considering her for a bigger role, but her schedule wouldn't let that happen so she did a little part. But when this came around, I was like, 'Oh, this should be Britt Robertson. She'd be perfect for this.' Then I heard the network had their own person in mind. It turned out when I said, 'Who is it?', they go, 'Britt Robertson. She was on a show of ours.' I went, 'Wait! That's who I'm talking about!' I thought it was going to be a problem, but everyone's been on the same page. And then when I found Thomas Dekker was available, I went to Warner Brothers - he worked with them on 'Sarah Connor [Chronicles]' - and they loved him so it was a matter of just having him audition. He was wonderful."
Speaking of Britt's character, can the "good girl" Cassie be tempted by the seductiveness of magic, or is there always the one morally incorruptible character? Williamson opined, "There is. I think there should be a moral compass. What I really love about making characters is I want my heroes to be flawed and I want my villains to be understood. Whether you agree with them or not, you understand why they're doing what they're doing, and you can almost empathize with them or you can sympathize with them or you can have some sort of compassion for them. And that to me always works the best. I feel like in 'Vampire', for instance, Uncle John was such a hated character, but I knew if I could just do it right, I could make you at least by the time he died go, 'Yeah.' A lot of that's going to happen with this. You are going to understand Natasha Henstridge, you're going to see her be a wonderful mother, you're going to see her be a great principal. [Same with Gale Harold's character] - he's a lawyer, he's an upstanding person in this town, he loves his daughter, he loves her more than anything. And the mythology goes deep."
Without getting too much into it since we knew the producers couldn't reveal a lot, we asked how much destiny is going to play a part in the love story between Britt's and Thomas' characters. Is it addressed immediately, or does it continue through the series? Hatem told us, "It gets addressed, but it also lives throughout the life of the series. And the great thing about that … it's kind of like the earlier question … when you're 15 and 16 and you meet someone, the word 'destiny' comes up in your mind a lot because it's huge and it's the first time and the feelings are so big. And the fun thing about this show is that the feelings are there, but then there's also this weird mythology that seems to suggest those feelings aren't being experienced completely without reason so yeah, that's going to go on for a long time. There will be ups and downs and all kinds of things with those two."
Lastly, because we're such big fans of Williamson and just about everything he's ever done, we wondered if there are any new big screen projects in his immediate future, but the answer was no. "I'm doing this this year because I want to really focus on making this as good as it can be, and I am so excited about this year of 'Vampire Diaries' because I have so much I want to do with that. I've learned my lesson about getting spread too thin, and I feel like between these two I'm in a good place and I should just shut up and work."
Keep writing, Kevin, and we'll keep watching!
Our thanks to Warner Brothers for arranging the interviews and especially to Kevin, Andrew, and Richard for their time.
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