Exclusive: Adam Copeland on Big Changes Coming to Haven

Adam CopelandTonight Syfy airs an all-new episode of Haven. The series, based on Stephen King's The Colorado Kid, takes place in a town where many of the ihabitants have strange abilities they call Troubles, which wreak all kinds of havoc in the small town. Adam Copeland plays Cheif of Police Dwight Hendrickson, whose mission it is to get rid of the Troubles and keep the town safe.

Copeland recently talked with Jamie Ruby of SciFi Vision in an exclusive interview about the series.

There is a lot of great stuff going on in season five of Haven, and as Dwight is a bullet magnet, it makes for some fun action scenes. "It's always safe to say that Dwight at some point is going to take some bullets. I don't know how fleshed out the character was [originally]. I don't think Dwight was supposed to be around for a while, so I think we're in this situation now where it's like, okay, he attracts bullets. How does he survive? So there's always going to be at some point where Dwight will probably get hit with some bullets.

Adam Copeland"I'm just still waiting for the time where it's the bullet, and there goes Dwight, but I still think when it's all said and done, he's such a tragic character, either he needs to walk away into the sunset, or he just needs to die. I don't think there's any in-between with the character, because he's so for the good of the town and kind of such a good moral compass for the town. Either it has to work out for him or work out with even more tragedy."

Copeland thinks that Dwight's storyline might have been expended upon what was originally a shorter story arc. No one knew originally how it would work out. "No one on either side knew whether it was going to be a good fit. I didn't know if acting was going to be something that I wanted to go after, and even if it was, if I was, you know, the guy that they would want to pursue after. So it just worked out that we were both interested, and I think probably half way through the first episode, I think production and I both understood that, hey this is a lot of fun, and this could work. And thankfully they've been so awesome to let me grow into this and not throw me in the deep end right away, and kind of let me start in the shallow end and wade my way little by little by little to where I could hopefully take some of the heavy lifting.

"And this year I feel like I'm helping, and that's great, because I'm having such a great time. So it really helped groom me, to get me comfortable, and realizing that in being comfortable then I'll start making some choices, and once I'm make the choice to commit to it. And I wouldn't have had that luxury on any other production I don't think. I think I've been very spoiled with how they've treated me, and written for me too. You know, it's been great; it really has."

The actor was excited this season by a lot of the scenes he was given. Some of them are quite pivotal to the central storyline. "I have to say a lot of the things that do happen this season were things that I was hoping would. From my perspective, from Adam's perspective, there were some scenes that I really, really was looking forward to and really got to sink my teeth into that even producers and directors were saying that day, like these are scenes that actors beg to try and get, and I had a feeling that they were those kinds of scenes, and very pivotal also to the whole story of the town. And that's what anybody wants, is that kind of opportunity. So I didn't necessarily know that those were going to come though, and in reading the scripts, I was like, "Whoa, this is pretty big. Awesome." So this has been big for Dwight."

These pivotal scenes will bring a lot of challenges for Dwight. "In the first half there's a huge pivotal moment that comes in the final episode of season 5a, or what could be season 5, or maybe it's split into season 6, I don't know, but the final scene of like the first half that Dwight has, is massive, and I realized kind of how big it was. I was like, "Whoa that seems pretty huge," like all the way back to the first episode, it's something that hasn't happened. And that was the one that I was really looking forward to doing. So it will be interesting to see, because I haven't seen it. I did it twice; two takes and that was it, so I'm hoping it turns out good."

There have been challenges for Copeland himself as well. This season production has changed in that Haven is filming in double episode blocks, which can cause some difficulties. "It's an amazing amount of work you get done in fourteen days. What can be a challenge and a difficulty is maintaining the thread of where you just came from in the script, because we could shoot episode 507 scene 2 and then move to episode 508 scene 24. So you have such a big jump in there, it's like, wait a minute, where did the characters just come from? What was the last thing Dwight did? Because that has to fuel where you're going in this this scene. And thankfully, there're people that keep very detailed track of it, but I've learned if I always just bring my script with me in the morning and study that aspect of it, not just my lines, but the reason for the next scene and where they came from, no matter what the continuity is in our shooting, that helps with that, but it definitely can be confusing sometimes for sure."

Adam CopelandThere are a lot of other changes coming to Haven besides the production being different. "There are a lot of changes this year, and we're in the midst of a huge change right now, so I don't even really know where it leads yet or how it all plays out, but I know in what we've already filmed, there're a lot of changes. Everything gets just thrown topsy-turvy, and the Haven that we're filming in right now is a completely different town than it was at the beginning of the season. It's pretty huge; all the changes are pretty massive and all-encompassing."

Obviously the biggest change in season five is with Audrey (Emily Rose) being Mara. In the most recent episode, Dwight let it be known what he thinks of her. "With Audrey, I always thought that Dwight looked at her like a sister. And Mara is anything but that, and actually [in that] episode you get a true sense of what Dwight thinks of Mara, and his idea on what Mara is and what should be done to her all comes to a head. There's actually some pretty pivotal stuff that changes."

Nathan (Lucas Bryant) knew about Mara and lied to Dwight about the fact that Audrey/Mara created the Troubles, and is also only looking out for Audrey. That will cause some tension between the men. "For the first time really I think there will be some friction between Dwight and Nathan, because, as I said, I think Dwight always kind of thinks almost of Nathan as a little brother and Audrey as a little sister, or a cousin or something, but he always understands that Nathan has the best intentions, but I think he's starting to see this season that it's always about Audrey for Nathan. And Dwight's mentality is, it's for the town. He sees a greater and bigger picture, and Nathan is always about Audrey, and so far it's always been that in saving Audrey or helping Audrey it helps the town. But I think Dwight's starting to see that that's starting to get in the way of helping the town."

Getting rid of the Troubles is what's most important to Dwight. "When I try to think of Dwight I always think of two things: he lost his daughter one, and two, he lost his daughter because of the Troubles. Those are the only two things that I, as an actor, need to kind of know, and that gives me the creative direction for every scene involving Dwight. All he wants to do is get rid of the Troubles. That's it. He wants the entire town to be rid of it and the reason is because he lost his daughter. So there's not much more you need to know about the guy. You know, he found out that he attracts bullets when he was in Afghanistan and that his dad didn't tell him, and his dad knew. So there're enough of those things that you kind of already know. And there are a few little points that you'll find out throughout the year, but they just kind of add small layers to what we already know."

Adam CopelandSomething else that may get in the way of protecting the town of Haven is the new character of Dr. Charlotte Cross, played by Laura Mennell. She and Dwight will be working together this season. "There's a working relationship, and it's very - not combative, but they don't see eye to eye, because once again Dwight is thinking of the town and the greater good and trying to protect the secrets and the Troubles of the town from the rest of the world, and he sees this character as putting all of that in jeopardy."

Copeland always enjoys getting to work with someone new on the cast. "Anytime someone new comes on the show, whether it's for one or two episodes or a longer story arc, it's always interesting, because everyone works differently. So you get to experience new things and experience how someone else does things or approaches their character. So for me, it's a great learning experience to just get as many directors, as many actors, as many different everythings as I can at this point kind of in my career. So it's good anytime I can work with someone new. I always enjoy it just to see what they bring to the table and go, "Oh, wow, they made that choice; that's interesting," and then picking people's brains on that too."

Another thing that has helped Copeland with his acting skills is his wrestling career. "If there's a small fight scene or whatever, I'm like, "Okay, well this is much easier than getting thrown through two tables off of a twenty foot ladder; I can do this." And if it's a fifteen hour day, it's like, "Okay, well I had to stand for fifteen hours, big deal." It's not as hard physically.

"And it was also great preparation, because with WWE, you're live, and you're in front of a live camera; you're on in over one hundred countries, and there's a lot of eyeballs on that, and you have a microphone, and you have no net. So I did realize how good the training was from that job, to be able to translate it into this.

"There're small differences, you know, mannerisms aren't as big; you have to pull back your facial expressions, and things aren't as big, because the camera is so tight, they can see if you have a nose hair. So there're differences there, but it was great training from the aspect of knowing how to hit your marks and just being prepared for anything, because I came from an industry where it was live, and you just had to figure it out as you went along. This is great, because I have multiple takes and I have a script."

Copeland will continue to pursue an acting career after Haven. "That was a decision that I made before last season. I started actually taking classes and studying and not in between seasons just riding my mountain bike. I still did that, but I actually put work toward it, because I realized that I needed the creative process still. When there was nothing creative going on, I was growing big beards and just painting a lot, and pretty soon I was starting to look like the Unabomber. So I realized I better do something creative, and this is something that I enjoy, and it's here; I'm doing it, so I want to get better at it now. And then I've always been the kind of person that when I decide that's what I'm going to do, then I kind of latch on like a pit bull. So, yeah, I plan on doing more going forward for sure."

You can catch Copeland Thursdays on Haven on Syfy.

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