This fall, The CW is doubling up on their Thursday night supernatural romances. The new show The Secret Circle is joining The Vampire Diaries, from the same executive producer Kevin Williamson and based on books by the same author, L.J. Smith.
Britt Robertson stars as Cassie, a teenager whose mother is killed by mysterious magic. She moves to Chance Harbor with her grandmother, where a group of young witches teaches Cassie about her family powers. They need her to complete their circle. Adam (Thomas Dekker) is a predestined partner through family lineage. He’s dating Diana (Shelley Henning), who quickly becomes Cassie’s close friend. Faye (Phoebe Tonkin) aggressively pushes witch powers, setting cars on fire and causing thunderstorms.
Fans of the books, of Robertson and of Williamsons’ ouvre are already excited about The Secret Circle. Robertson spoke with us after a Television Critics Association panel for a preview of the new fall series.
Q: Were you interested in the supernatural before this show?
BR: No, once getting the part I obviously read the books and I’ve become more familiar with it. I didn’t want to do too much research in the witchcraft world considering my character’s so new to it all but I think learning as my character develops was probably the best decision at the time and still is. But I really didn’t have much knowledge of it at all. I knew Kevin’s work and I love scary movies, but I’d never really even seen Vampire Diaries up until meeting with him and I was like, “Oh, I’ve got to get into The Vampire Diaries.”
Q: Which book was your favorite?
BR: For me, the most helpful, because mainly it’s just research, that’s the way I would look at it, Part One was very helpful because I just got to know who my character was coming into this new world and that was the biggest thing. I just wanted to know who she was, how did she respond to all of this, what was her relationship with these characters? I try not to get too stuck on it because I feel like it could change at any moment because it is a television show and we do have to stretch it out hopefully if the show continues. It was nice to have a good, solid base.
Q: Are you prepared to answer Twitter fans’ Secret Circle questions for years?
BR: I hope so. Right now I’m learning Twitter. I just got one recently so I’m trying to slowly prepare myself for those kind of things I guess. I don’t know, I’m not very good at it so far so we’ll see how it works out.
Q: What is your Twitter?
BR: It’s @RealBritt_Rob.
Q: Who is Cassie in a nutshell and what are the earliest witchcraft she gets to do?
BR: In the beginning, in the pilot she comes into this city and she’s completely shell shocked by her circumstances after her mom passes. She meets Thomas’s character Adam and all these other people who are actually part of the coven and then she finds out that she is also part of this coven. She’s part of this new generation of witches. Her first experience with magic is when Cassie and Adam go into the woods after she just found out and he tries to introduce it to her. They make water float from a leaf. It’s very romantic and very sweet and sexy and cool. It’s such a beautiful scene, after watching it back, it was the first scene we shot of the entire show so there was a lot riding on it but I think it turned out pretty well.
Q: What’s her initial reaction to magic?
BR: To run away from it. If someone was to tell you that you were a witch, I think that it would be somewhat of like, “Okay, you’ve got to be kidding me, all right, I’m out of here, you’re crazy.”
Q: Does witchcraft freak her out?
BR: I think she knows nothing about it. Her mother was very guarded about that whole world. Her mom ran from it and didn’t want any part of it. I think she has no knowledge of what it truly is and that is her conflict, learning what it’s about and how to deal with it, to embrace it or to run from it or what to do. That’s her conflict.
Q: How long will she be resisting this power?
BR: I mean, you can only resist the power for so long when it’s all you have. She has no family, she has nothing else to reach out to so the circle has become her surrogate family. I think that very quick you’ll see that she steps up and becomes her destiny.
Q: Are you looking forward to playing the moment where she embraces her power?
BR: Yes, I truly am. We’re working with it now trying to figure out when that moment actually is. I think there’s probably a progression to it but also it’s about the relationships that she develops. The more she’s able to trust those within the circle, the more she’ll be able to stand up for herself.
Q: How dangerous is Faye going to be for Cassie?
BR: I think in these first couple episodes you see that Faye is a big force in Cassie’s life. She’s a big force in the circle and we butt heads. We butt heads all the way. Like in the books, you’ll see those relationships grow and develop and enrich.
Q: How is her friendship with Diana going to be tested by time she spends with Adam?
BR: Yeah, our relationship like Thomas said, it’s written in the stars. It’s in our history, it’s in our bloodstream, it’s in everything that we know, it’s inherent in who we are, in who these people are. I think Diana’s aware of that. She is just as informed as he is of this and I think she understands our tie together but ultimately trusts him and trusts Cassie to not betray her which ultimately could be a bad thing because you never know when people are going to stab you in the back. But hopefully that’s not the case so we’ll see what happens.