Witches of East End star Eric Winter says he’s happy with the direction his character, Dash Gardiner, has taken in season two of the popular Lifetime series. And in San Diego for the 2014 Comic Con, Winter also said he felt right at home among comic book fans and we quickly found out why as we sat down in the Tipsy Crow bar to chat about the second season of Witches.
Eric Winter Witches of East End Interview
Are you accustomed to Comic Con or interested in it?
Eric Winter: “You know, I was just saying to somebody else, I was here as a comic book fan probably 25 years ago before it was all this and it was just a comic book convention. You go, you buy, trade and sell comic books. It was a much different experience. I enjoyed it. This is now the Hollywood spectacle so it’s interesting.”
What were your comic books?
Eric Winter: “I used to have all the Batman: Year One, Two, I had Killing Joke. I traded them all for a Joe Montana rookie card. I had Akira, I had so many frickin’ great comics. I was just discussing this on the flight down, all the Wolverines.”
How do you live with yourself after making a trade like that?
Eric Winter: “It’s really hard, really hard. I still have that rookie card that’s not worth half as much as that collection would’ve been. I had a really solid collection.”
This season is darker, the tone’s different. How are you enjoying it?
Eric Winter: “I’m loving it.”
Is Dash better to play in this second season?
Eric Winter: “Much better. For me in particular, my character, it’s been huge and really, really an amazing jump for me to explore what Dash is going through emotionally. I’m trying to walk this line of being good and not so good, having these powers and not always having the intention to use them for the right reasons. It was so much more of just a soft, nicer, more pushed-over guy last season. He really has come into his own. I much prefer this version.”
The brothers are discovering powers without a support system or teachers.
Eric Winter: “And it’s led to me developing this relationship even with Ingrid, just to come to her and ask because we share this similar brain map. It’s been something that was a bond for us and a connection and it’s helped guide Dash.”
But she’s still a novice too. What trouble will come up?
Eric Winter: “That’s the fun that’s going to come. That’s the fun that’s about to ensue. It’s definitely a bumpy road and Dash might not be the best listener. She might give him advice but he has different intentions so it also complicates things.”
Are we going to find out their real connection this season?
Eric Winter: “I think you’ll learn more about it. Their true connection is the similarity of obviously being witches together. I think the type of knowledge that they have within that witch spectrum or world. And they tend to bond. It’s as if you found somebody that’s like a lost soulmate in a way that you find a connection with as a friend. It escalates into an interesting story.”
Considering Dash’s history with the Beauchamp women, how will his history complicate things with Freya?
Eric Winter: “I think it’s definitely going to complicate and it does to a degree right away. Even if Freya, her feelings are always for Killian, I think no matter what you’ve still got the whole ‘it’s my ex-fiance thing’ so it’s still awkward, right? And now you’re hanging out with my sister all the time and you’re not such a good energy in general around them in what my real intention might be, so she’s protective of Ingrid and really wants to keep her safe. But Ingrid’s a good girl and thinks she can handle herself, and that’s also a dynamic that plays out.”
How do you fit your masculine energy into the female energy?
Eric Winter: “As a character, they’ve done a really great job integrating us a lot stronger into the show which I think a lot of fans were asking for, at least fans of mine and fans following Dash and Killian wanted to see that storyline and wanted to see strong women deal with strong men and have them come together as a unified or non unified group, one way or the other. So I think that’s been fun. And then as an actor, these girls are all strong but they’re all softies so it’s easy to get in there, play with them and have some fun. They all like to laugh.”
Do you have any idea what’s coming up next season?
Eric Winter: “No idea. No idea. I know there’s a big cliffhanger that they’re tossing around, at least regarding Dash and Killian for this season. It’s a big, big twist that would lead to a very interesting start to next year.”
Are there any other powers Dash will have?
Eric Winter: “Right now, it’s his powers that we’ve displayed and everything comes from an anger, comes from a rage kind of a place at times, but now he starts learning how to harness it. But yeah, his power stems in the form of electricity.”
Is there any connection to Norse mythology?
Eric Winter: “I’d like to know that myself. That’d be a good writers question, but I love his choice of power. I think it’s really cool so I’m all about it.”
As a comic book fan, how deeply have you delved into the mythology of the show?
Eric Winter: “I did at the beginning. I got into it quite a bit at the beginning and then they really tried to make it clear, ‘You guys aren’t gods like the book. It’s going to be different.’ So I dove in a little bit to understand the books, but at the same time you have to pull back a little bit and follow what they’re writing for you and create your own character within that world. So there are some parallels and with the guys there are some hints, but it’s still all food for thought that you can use to process the journey.”
Why are people fascinated by stories about witches?
Eric Winter:You know, I think because they just played out through time so well. Not only that, there are the natural true beliefs in witches that existed through time. Are they real? Aren’t they real? Is magic real? Is it not real? It’s like aliens. Everybody always wonders. Can you do something like that or do they exist? I think with that hope or that idea of it all keeps you invested. If it’s told correctly and told in an interesting way and we try and keep it clever, it’s a fun ride.”
How has Witches changed your relationship with fans?
Eric Winter: “I mean, I’ve been involved with a few genre things that affect you in the same kind of way. Genre fans are the best. They stick to their stuff.”
-By Rebecca Murray
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