It’s a long move from Pasadena to the Big Apple, but now, with his new series 666 Park Avenue, Dave Annable is doing just that. Best known as youngest son Justin in Brothers & Sisters’ West Coast Walker clan, Annable has now moved East both on-screen and in real life, playing the upwardly mobile Henry Martin on ABC’s New York-based supernatural series.
Recently, Wetpaint caught up with the actor at the semiannual TCA convention in Beverly Hills to get some scoop on 666 Park Avenue’s upcoming scares, as well as what’s in store for Henry.
Wetpaint Entertainment: What attracted you to your new show, 666 Park Avenue?
Dave Annable: It’s really exciting. Even though it has the supernatural elements, it’s still grounded — in that the characters are real. I think that’s what they’re trying to portray. There’s still that real story of the characters, but they live like the Henry and Jane [Rachael Taylor] characters, but now in this crazy, supernatural building. Who’s Gavin [Terry O’Quinn]? Is he the devil? Does he work for the devil? It’s really exciting s---.
Who is more corruptible, your character Henry or his wife, Jane?
I think, where we stand right now, it’s Henry. I think Jane is sort of the eyes of the audience. She’s the one discovering the building. Like in Rosemary’s Baby.
Exactly — in that film, the husband Guy was more corruptible.
Right. Henry is on this path I think to become Gavin’s protégé, and he’s grooming him to potentially work with him. He’s got a plan for Henry, and I think Henry is drinking the Kool-Aid on the lifestyle.
What is Gavin promising him?
We don’t know yet. That’s the exciting part. The scripts are just coming in, but each one, I promise you guys, has been better and better. It’s scary and it’s good. In the third episode, the script we just got, it’s very Devil’s Advocate-y. I’m off on my own with Gavin, and he’s grooming me to be whatever he’s grooming me to be.
There are so many movies this show seems to be modeled on — now Devil’s Advocate too!
And The Shining, in terms of the building. But still, it’s something really new, and it’s really exciting. I think ABC took a chance on this. Of course I’m in it, but I’m saying this for real as a fan: They have something special here, and I hope people will tune in and stay the course. Because the writers are genius for the fact that they’re going to release these answers, but over the course of the season, and the series.
How much do you know about Henry’s backstory?
I think we’re going to learn as the audience learns. The only thing that they told us about is our relationship, Henry and Jane’s. That you want to cheer for these characters. Because if you don’t care for Henry and Jane, you might not care for the show. I think in terms of backstory, Gavin and Olivia — Terry and Vanessa [Williams] need to know more. But Henry and Jane are the audience. We’re discovering everything as the show is, and as the audience is.
Do we know what it is Henry really wants out of life, other than career success? What could the building be offering him?
We don’t know that yet. I think as of now, Henry’s a boy scout. I think they’re going to test him, and in the second episode, I think Gavin puts out a little test to his moral character, to see if he’s going to cross that line. I think he passes with flying colors.
Passes good, or passes evil?
I think over the course of the series, he may be turned to the dark side. Obviously, Henry’s incredibly ambitious, which is why he moved to the city. He’s chasing his political aspirations potentially. And I think there might be a reason why Gavin has taken him under his wing. I think there’s a reason why Henry and Jane end up at the Drake. I don’t think it’s by chance.
Are you a fan of Gabriella Pierce’s 666 Park Avenue books, from which the series was adapted?
I have not read the books. But from what I’ve been told, the show is very, very loosely based on the books. I think [666 Park Avenue series creator/executive producer] David Wilcox has made this show his own, as something different. He’s taken the sort of Park Avenue aspect of it, but I think this is his own baby right here.
Are you a fan of the horror and suspense genre?
Absolutely! That’s why, when I first read the script, I was like wow, this is great! To get to be a part of this horror genre, coming off Brothers & Sisters, it’s so different, and something for me as an actor, to play Henry versus Justin. They’re night and day. So I think it’s great for me, and they shaved my beard off, so I’m like this new guy. I wear suits in the show. I put away the flannel shirts. I’m ready.
Which part do you prefer — Henry or Justin?
I loved my experience on Brothers & Sisters, and wouldn’t trade any moment. I literally had the best time on that show. The people I got to work with on a daily basis are genuinely my family. So I can’t compare and contrast. As actors, we’re onto the next.
How do you feel about working in New York?
I love it. I’m originally from New York, from upstate — Orange County. Walden, New York. So to be back home, it’s great. New York is such a big part of this show, and thank God we’re not in — nothing against Toronto — but Toronto on soundstages, recreating New York. Because it’s its own character in the show. The architecture and the energy, and being outside. It’s very different as an actor. We were on the Disney lot for Brothers & Sisters, and it was like a warm blanket. But out in the city, you have tourists shouting your name. There are paparazzi, there are fans. It’s crazy! You have to stay focused.
Your co-star Terry O’Quinn said he has people yelling for [his Lost character] Locke on the street. Do you have people yelling for Justin?
Yeah! Thank God, I get a lot of Justin love, which I’m very thankful for. But everyone’s very excited to be onto the next — as Terry is, too.
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