The Viewing Party had the chance to sit down with Haven’s Lucas Bryant at the Showcase offices in Toronto last month, while he was in town for Fan Expo Canada. We had some hard-hitting questions for him—all about Big Bad Mara, Nathan’s destructive devotion, Nova Scotia, pancake toppings, and our favourite Havenite—Stan the Cop.
How do you see Nathan’s role in Haven changing this season now that his support system is mostly unavailable, with Audrey as Mara and Duke distracted by his troubles overload, and Jennifer missing? How does this change where Nathan’s at, in terms of his goals?
Well, nothing changes Nathan’s goals going forward. He has a single-minded focus. But, yes, there are all these obstacles; he’s lost his–for now anyway–his love, his best friend and his partner. But as we’ve seen in the past, nothing can deter this guy’s faith in Audrey Parker and his ability to somehow get her back.
So far Nathan’s pretty much had a thing for all the versions of Audrey–do you think we’ll see him fall for Mara? Especially now that Mara’s the big bad, are we going to see Nathan get swept up in that?
Umm… hmm… in a way. Something might transpire like this. But I will tell you if something like that were to happen, Nathan would have umm… have to have a very good reason for it.
We’ve noticed that more and more, Nathan’s love and devotion to Audrey brings out rather destructive tendencies, often putting her survival above that of Haven–can we expect that to continue? Or with Mara being more of a “big bad” will he maybe get a reality check?
Yeah, it’s a good question and, hmm, the fate of the town: I think that Nathan believes that the fate of the town is tied to his getting Audrey back. So him single-mindedly working towards his sometimes seemingly selfish goal of saving Audrey is, in his mind, for the larger purpose I think of saving them all. He has this completely stubborn and perhaps, hugely romantic idea that she is the way to fix things so, yeah his banging his head against the wall is, as selfish as it seems, he thinks it’s for the greater good. But that does put him at odds with characters like Duke and Dwight especially this season who finally start calling him on this single-mindedness.
What’s your favourite version of Audrey–as a fan, and to act against?
As a fan – what’s my favourite?
I feel like maybe it’s not a fair question because the original recipe is kind of an obvious…
That is… yes it is.
Okay, so maybe a favourite Audrey alter-ego.
That is the answer but…. um, as an actor it’s been, exciting and inspiring to see every incarnation that Emily gets to portray because she’s done, I think an incredible job with each of these alter-egos. But none of them probably as challenging as the one that now exists in season 5. Mara is quite an undertaking of a character and I think Emily’s done an incredible job with her. And to act with, it’s very easy and freeing because I just get to watch her and experience her psychosis through [Nathan’s] eyes. He’s looking at her, she looks exactly like the woman he loves, but everything she’s bringing is far from Audrey Parker. So that’s made my job really easy to react to this nut-job that Emily’s done such a great job bringing to life.
We’ve been hearing about a Freaky Friday style trouble happening you could have coming down the pipe this season. If you could choose any character in Haven to swap with for an episode, who would it be?
Well, there would be fun in each swap that’s possible. But I guess getting to be Vince or Dave would be a real blast.
We would love to see more about Nathan’s story. Are we going to revisit Nathan’s relationship with Sarah and their son at some point this season? Or is this something you would like to do?
That is definitely something I would like to do. It’s not gone away. But, the exploration to the extent that it would not be… umm… how can I answer this? That relationship is something that’s touched on still in season 5, and the Colorado Kid story still exists, but I don’t know yet at this point how much we will be getting into it.
Do you find that being on location in Nova Scotia has a specific impact on the way the story is told?
Definitely, definitely. Nova Scotia, standing in for Maine, is a huge character in Haven. And I guess being there and away from our homes contributes fully to the vibe that is Haven. I don’t know what exactly it is that it does it, but it’s much easier. I think that it would be a completely different show if we shot this on a lot in Los Angeles. Just investing in the small town weirdness, there’s a lot of day-to-day small town weirdness that happens just living in Chester. So that makes it that much more accessible for each of us I’m sure. But yeah the locations and where we shoot is maybe the biggest part of the show really, and that’s been made evident by the number of people who come to Nova Scotia to see Nova Scotia, because they see it on TV. And we’ve met more this year than ever before. People coming from all over the world, and it is a testament to how cool a character Nova Scotia is in the show and also a testament to the dedication of all the people who are making these pilgrimages.
And to see the lighthouse that keeps getting destroyed.
We’re going to get your directorial debut this season! What were some of the biggest adjustments being behind the camera?
Well I haven’t done it yet. I’m just started the beginnings of prep. I’ll be shooting in the second half of September, so it’s episode 17, right now we’ve just started episode 15. So, yeah, there will be it will be a wild adjustment to be in that seat. I’m so excited and slightly nervous but could not be more grateful that I get to have this experience with these people who I’ve done this with for so long now. Eric Cayla, our DP, is incredible and a great leader and teacher and with me and for me and yeah. It’s shockingly exciting and overwhelming.
If you could pick any trouble of the week for Nathan to face off against, what would it be?
What a Question.
I’m not taking it back.
Um, my favourite episodes have been the time travel and alternate reality Havens, so anything that would allow us to explore more of that. Any time travel or any other side of Haven. You know when we did the episode where I was the doctor and Duke was the detective? That was a lot of fun to shoot and a lot of fun to watch, I think that was a really cool episode. So yeah, I’m a fan of those alternate reality ones. Even–there was an episode in season 2 was it? “Audrey Parker’s Day Off” [S02E06], where she was reliving a Groundhog Day kind of experience. So that’s not giving you a specific trouble that I want to face off against, but any trouble that effects our concept of reality, those are the most fun for me to play with.
What’s your favourite pancake topping?
Well, I don’t know if you know this or not but, I’m from a town called Elmira, Ontario which is the Maple Syrup capital of the world. Every year we have the Elmira Maple Syrup festival, which draws thousands of people to the Mecca of maple syrup that Elmira is. So it might be just a boring answer, it might be the obvious choice, but I have a real connection to my answer.
Sometimes the obvious choice is the best choice. I think that’s a solid choice.
Elmira Maple Syrup.
Specifically Elmira Maple Syrup, there we go, that’s not just any old maple syrup, that’s a specific maple syrup.
Elmira Maple Syrup, specifically yeah. Lots of Mennonites in Elmira, that’s why I dressed all in black today and I didn’t get the car on the way here, I walked.
From Elmira, I hitched my horse and buggy in Mississauga and walked the rest of the way.
I know, this is your day – but we were hoping you might know when we’ll be getting a solid Stan-centric episode? If there were–maybe this is an alt-reality episode–where we’re going to see an episode that focuses on some of the background players in Haven, maybe Stan the Cop?
I love Stan, what’s not to love?
He’s the cop, he’s there, he’s doing his thing.
He is doing his thing undoubtedly. Stan the Cop has a fantastic moment, it’s a tiny moment that is so huge in this season, and I can’t tell you what it is. But, it just sort of summed up his whole existence and kind of sums up the series’ whole existence in a singular moment that when I read it out loud in the script–and I think everyone had the same experience–just laughed out loud for longer than 25 seconds. So, and it’s not necessarily an episode that focuses on Stan the Cop at all but you’ll know the moment I mean when it happens and it’s just awesome and I hope that there’s more. Glenn [Lefchak] is amazing. And I love Stan too.
I could talk about Stan even more. I think I’m going to talk about him at Fan Expo.
It was a real pleasure speaking with Elmira charmer, Lucas Bryant. We look forward to seeing all of Nathan’s exploits this season on Haven! Catch Haven Season 5’s special 2-hour premiere at 9 pm in Canada on Showcase (and weekly, Thursdays at 8 on Syfy).