Interview: How Eric Balfour keeps Haven fans guessing

Interview: How Eric Balfour keeps Haven fans guessing

Eric Balfour talks about the new season of Haven.

Eric Balfour is no stranger to walking the fine line between good and bad on Haven. As Duke Crocker, audiences are constantly wondering exactly what he’s up to. As an actor, it’s up to Balfour to always keep audiences guessing.

When asked about the dichotomy of the character of Duke, Balfour answered, “It’s why I love playing the character. 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.’ He is – in some ways – the most honest character on the show.”

But that’s not to say that Duke is a perfect angel. As fans of the series know, Duke can often be a lying self-serving bastard. “It’s never simple for him,” Balfour said.  “He’s not written to be a sort of caricature of the earnest hero. He’s just more dynamic than that. And so his choices are always veiled with his own selfish desires with, what I believe, is his inherent nature to do the right thing.”

As an actor, though, how does Balfour create a character with so much ambiguity? It starts with working with the writers of Haven. “I challenge the writers a lot of times,” Balfour said, “to allow me to infuse things that I think are inherent about the character. I always try to 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 singular in thought.”

Season 4 will bring even greater challenges for Duke. “He [Duke] is going to be pushed harder than ever towards a decision,” Balfour said. “And he is going to be forced to choose sides in a battle that is almost Shakespearean in nature. There are impossible choices to make.”

“Duke is going to have to completely redefine himself in many ways,” he continued. And that rebooting of sorts, or redefining of his entire life, is really going to affect who he is.

There is also a budding bromance growing between Nathan (Lucas Bryant) and Duke on the show. In fact, Balfour believes this could be one of its best plot points. He said, “I think, in some ways, one of the greatest love stories of this show is actually between Nathan and Duke. And 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.”

Balfour believes the the new season of Haven will keep fans on their toes. “It’s just always exciting when a show has to reinvent itself to a certain degree,” he said. “I think the way that we see the cable landscape today, you can’t sit on your laurels. The days of the the old paradigm of the procedural television show that basically is the same show episode to episode, week to week, season to season –  audiences are too dynamic today. They are too intelligent and they’re too sophisticated to not want to see characters and televisions shows grow. And I am so proud of how much we have managed to do that this season.”

Don’t miss the season premiere of Haven tomorrow night (Friday, October 13th) on Syfy at 10/9c.

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