Interview: ‘Revenge’s’ Nick Wechsler Details On Script Surprises And What’s Next For JackPosted: November 10, 2011
Revenge has become the guilty pleasure of the season that’s not so guilty anymore. Its story lines, characters and Hampton’s roots that are about to be torn at any given moment is nothing to feel guilty about. Break out twists, deaths and actors is what has come from the ABC hit series and Ology was lucky enough to chat with the best of them all. Nick Wechsler. He’s the usual collared shirt wearing bartender Jack Porter who we’re all dying to see get with Emily Thorne all the while wanting him to find out about her Amanda past. These are some details for those of you who don’t know, which means you are clearly missing out, by the way.
Nick was beyond any other interview. Giving details, humor and a bit of a Jack Porter vibe himself. His relaxed conversation and details on his own life could make anyone feel like they were talking to a long time friend. He may have had other plans than acting, but lucky for us the show snatched him up. He might say he’s just going to ‘ride it out’ but something tells me this whole Revenge gig will last quite awhile.
Hey Nick, thanks for talking with me today.
So bare with me because I’m obsessed with the show and have so many questions.
Of course. I might not have great answers but I’ll try to help you out. [Laughs]
[Laughs] Well, when did you know you wanted to become an actor?
I went and saw a play in high school and I thought everyone was terrible. Maybe it was my interpretation that I didn’t like everyone. [Laughs] I felt…they deserved attention. It was like, ‘No, you weren’t really good.’ I was like ‘I can do it and I’m not even any actor.’ So basically I started acting out of spite. [Laughs] I think I’ve always had an interest in it in a sense. I always liked sitting around and joking around with my friends and that was just a form of performance or something. I didn’t have like a dream of being an actor or anything.
What drew you to Jack Porter’s character and wanting to be a part of Revenge?
Well I’d like to say that I had all of these amazing options and that was sort of the one I chose. But it was really hard. I’d been out of work for a while with a guest spot here and there. In the past few years or so. The show really took a chance on me. And also Mike Kelley. No bullsh*t, I really did want to work with Mike because I almost was cast in his previous pilot…ever since then I’ve been a fan of Mike and I had no idea he wroteRevenge.
Wow! That’s crazy.
Yea, when I got the pilot script and went and saw him I went ‘Oh my God!’ And I saw his name on it. So I was really hoping to work with him. He’s just so good at what he does.
Would you consider yourself like Jack? How are you different?
Interesting. [Laughs] Here’s my dirty little secret about acting. Or maybe it just shows in my lazy performances or something. [Laughs] I play every character like me. Basically I don’t build some character from the ground up. I just start with me being myself, and then if he’s supposed to be different I try to fit that part and think how I would end up in that situation. Other than that, I would love to be a character that’s nothing like me and completely different than me but I’m not. I’m just a dude that’s me in everything. Actually when I went into the wardrobe fitting they were like ‘Yeah can we just use your shoes and your pants…’ So I guess I’m a lot like him in ways that I didn’t have any control over. They just thought him.
Well everyone clearly loves Jack! What’s your schedule like? Is all filming done in L.A.?
I think they do some exteriors, like some of those aerial shots, which are f*ckin gorgeous actually. [Laughs] I love it. I think it does a lot for helping us believe that it’s there because the rest is shot on sound stages in Manhattan Beach and the boats that we do are shot in Marina del Rey. We’ll leave occasionally around L.A. Some establishing shots are real shots from the Hamptons. They do an amazing job of. In particular, we have Emily’s house built on on a sound stage and the Grayson’s mansion built on a sound stage. On Emily’s place she walks up onto the deck—in the background you can see water sometimes. And sometimes I imagine that’s supposed to go all around the house. We didn’t actually build a whole house [though]. And then they’ll just change out the background. Once they took this water shot they got I think in the Hamptons and composited it in the background using the green screen on filming day—its f*cking amazing! I couldn’t believe it, at first it was like ‘Oh God this is not going to work or convince anyone that we’re in the Hamptons. Like its going to look so phony.’ But I was really impressed on how convincing it was. I couldn’t tell it was a composite shot unless someone pointed it out to me.
They are gorgeous and the storylines are insane, but so good! Are they just as much of a surprise for you and the rest of the cast when you first get the scripts?
I don’t have any idea what’s going to come. [Laughs] I think certain others might because they talk to Mike or Joe [Fazzio], who started out by the way as Mike’s assistant and graduated full fledge as a writer and he’s great. So some of them contact them and try to get information out of them. [Laughs] So I just kind of wait until it comes.
Now when it comes to the deaths and freak accidents–your dad, Lydia, Frank and of course the shooting of Daniel. Are any of you ever nervous your character will be a surprise kill-off?
[Laughs] I think there was a little talk of that in the beginning but we all know, we know who. I think we know some stuff by now. The audience doesn’t know but we do. Like I have an idea where they hope to take my character over the course of the season, or the course of the show if it goes for another season. So I have some idea of a couple of major things. I knew in advance that they were going to kill our dad off. Which it’s a bum because I really liked Brian [Goodman], the guy that played our dad. And by taking out his character, audiences didn’t get a chance to care about him. They could have had him stick around for a while but at the same he was used as a way for basically giving a difficult decision to my character and Declan. Once he’s gone then there’s this huge burden and decision for us to make. Are we going to move on are we going to stay? So that made it so I’m stuck taking care of everything.
Yea, it was almost like to develop the story line.
Now I know you probably can’t give too much away so its going to be hard to even ask, but do you think at this point Jack is starting to pick up that Emily is really Amanda? Have you filmed an episode like that yet?
[Laughs] We have not filmed an episode like that yet, no. He doesn’t know yet.
Is there a specific way you’d want Jack to find out? The plot is so intertwined its hard to know how it would even be revealed.
God, I haven’t thought of that. I mean I’ll tell you—what they’ve got, the way I imagine they’ll have to do it—its pretty good. I know some of where it’s going. I don’t know all the details before we get there but I know sort of longer-term plans where he might find out by the end of the season.
He might find out by the end of the season?
I think so. I’m not positive but I think so. But nothing we’ve shot so far reveals—like I don’t find out by episode nine. Actually, we just got a script for episode 10 which I’ve not read yet because I’m going to a table read later today and I’ll just read it there but unless there’s something revealed in there we won’t know by episode 10.
Well Jack and Amanda share Sammy in a way. Do you and the cast joke about how he would really be dead by now? You’ve definitely heard of this I know it.
Oh yeah. We talk about it all the time on set. [Laughs] What people keep saying is—they have a problem with the idea that this dog shouldn’t be alive anymore. He’s clearly way too f*ckin old. [Laughs] But also, would a nearly dead dog be walking three miles to the Hamptons from Montauk? Because it runs away twice and she brings it back to me, and the Hamptons is like 40 miles away from Montauk. [Laughs]
I didn’t even think of that! So is it kind of just brushed to the side at this point?
I think so. I’ll say this–now we haven’t seen Sammy in many episodes at this point and nobody’s said anything. Its not like there’s been a line that he’s gone. He’s not dead as far as I know. We just haven’t used him in awhile and I don’t know if it is a response to it.
So maybe it’s just like okay, Sammy was used to bring Amanda and Jack together and now we’re moving on from it?
[Laughs] It might be, it might be. It might be to get to Jack and then ‘Oh yea, we don’t need him as much anymore.’ It might be that. It might be that it’s expensive to hire the dog. [Laughs] But it also might be a response to the fans noticing that the dog should be dead by now. I don’t know.
So is it so far off that you don’t even know why exactly you shot Daniel? Will we be left with that scene as this season’s finale?
I don’t know for sure but I think they want that to be the end of the season. I think the hope of the show is—the pilot starts us off with this dramatic, shocking scene. And then spend the rest of the series catching us up, showing how this is how they ended up in that situation. This is how that ended. So I do think that by the end of it we will. I think that’s the idea at the end of each season. Like if we get picked up I think they want to start the second season with another dramatic scene where we’re like ‘what the f*ck?’ [Laughs]
That is amazing! This show is too good. Like as a fan I want to find out so many spoilers but at the same time it would ruin it.
And that’s the thing! Friends of mine are asking too. They’re like ‘Okay so your character and with this person’s character, why are they doing this? Like who did it?’ [Laughs] And I’m like I can’t tell you. And they’re like ‘tell me, tell me’ and I’m like, do you really want me to tell you? I could tell you but I’ll ruin it for you. Friends of mine keep asking me information and its always ‘I can’t tell you.’
And then some parts you yourself don’t even know about.
Yea and then it’s like look, if I tell you then I’ll blow the whole thing for you, that whole moment for you. That’s a reveal later and you’re actually watching a show you’re interested in so don’t ask me this.
The show has to get a second pick up too, there’s no way it can’t. So being that Jack did what he did to Daniel in the last episode, you’d think his story line will be increased even more next season.
Well, I hope but they told me how it would go. [Laughs]
No! What are you saying?
No, no! Its not like you’ll see less of me but where they let him go—basically we’re not going to lose my character. What they told me early on, I’m like ‘Oh sh*t’ that means I’ll be kind of in my own little world. I don’t know, I don’t know, I can’t go on beyond that!
Oh no, you are going to prison or something like that!
It’s nothing like that. I’ll say that! Its nothing like that, but I’ll just leave it there.
You’re killing me but okay fine. What do you think you would be doing if not acting?
I’ve had some lean times here in LA. I’ve had some years where I was pretty much out of work. I would get like a guest spot a year or something but I had some f*ckin lean times. Recently, sometime in the last two or three years, I decided to go back to school to college for the first time to pursue a degree in psychology, one that would allow me to be a therapist.
Yea but I only took some GE classes… I was supposed to do a movie with some friends, which fell through. I put school on hold for the movie and hadn’t gotten around to going back yet and then started getting auditions.
I feel like Revenge is a good fit for you then in a sense and so great that you landed the role.
Yea. Yea. What every actor in this situation has to remember is–especially in my situation, because I wasn’t a name. I was the least namey person and I just won a lottery–I got really lucky. Its not like I’m so brilliantly talented and I’m where I deserve to be. There are a lot of talented people that are as talented as me if not more so, and that’s not hard to do. I’m not that great but I’m the lucky one. So I’m going to ride this out.