‘Revenge’ Actor Nick Wechsler On Jack’s New Status, Playing a Good Guy and More
For three seasons of backstabbing, betrayal and plot twists, Nick Wechsler has portrayed Jack Porter, one of the few genuinely good guys on Revenge — ABC’s thrilling, sexy, Hamptons-based soap opera, loosely based on The Count of Monte Cristo. The former owner of the Stowaway bar, Jack has been the love interest of main character Emily Thorne (Emily VanCamp) since the series’ beginning. He’s known for never getting into anything too revenge-y, unless he’s been drawn into one of Emily’s series of long cons to take down the rich and powerful Grayson family. In the show’s fourth season, Jack has gone from bartender to cop, and in turn has provided Wechsler with a new side to his character’s persona.
Born and raised in Albuquerque, New Mexico, Wechsler, 36, first came to television prominence in the early 2000s with his Teen Choice Award-nominated role as Kyle Valenti in Roswell. Since then, the Los Angeles resident has had guest and recurring roles in numerous shows, including Without a Trace and It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, before scoring his series regular role in Revenge.
It remains to be envisaged whether Jack will become involved with this season’s unfolding plot, which has seen Victoria Grayson (Madeleine Stowe) using the long-presumed dead David Clarke (James Tupper) in her hopes to kill Emily — at the moment, David supposedly has no idea “Emily” is actually his daughter Amanda. But it looks like Charlotte Clarke (Christa B. Allen) has already gotten a head start, leaving Emily unconscious in the Stowaway, which she set on fire at the end of the second episode.
Wechsler spoke to GALO via phone about whether he expected Jack to become a cop, some of his favorite TV shows, if he’s a Jack-Emily shipper and more.
GALO: Did you ever expect Jack Porter to go from bartender to cop?
Nick Wechsler: No, I did not. It was a pretty big leap. When I read that, I was like, “Wait, wait, wait…what?” It made a certain amount of sense at the start of last season because he could go after [Conrad] Grayson with the law at his back. This time, it didn’t drive as well. We talked about it and thought about it some more, and there’s an explanation we came up with and a line designed to reflect that. The explanation helped me wrap my brain around it. Him becoming a cop, I buy, because of all the injustice that has been done to him. My issue at the time was why now? Now that everyone he could’ve used it against is gone. The answer essentially is if he were a cop sooner, he would have had to have arrested Emily, or have been a sh—ty cop
GALO: With his new status in town, are we going to see a new side to his personality? Is he going to be not as nice as usual?
NW: I think he’s going to be the same nice guy. But whereas before, Emily was putting him in a sh—ty spot and it was bothering him, now he’s lying to superiors. He might be a bit more stern now, and tell Emily to shut up and keep him in the loop.
GALO: Last season ended with a game-changer, as we found out David Clarke was alive. Without giving anything away, can you tell us how Jack will be integrated into this plot?
NW: So far, there isn’t anything to give away. Jack knows that he’s [David’s] back at this point in our shooting. He’s aware of his return. There is some strange stuff surrounding his return, he’s aware of that. Charlotte, for a while, tries to create problems. I think that’s all I’ve got so far. But, you know, if I’m a cop and he happens to be involved in any nefarious sh-t, there’s a decent chance that Jack will be drawn into it, in that regard.
GALO: What do you enjoy most about the role?
NW: I’ve played bad guys my whole career, for some weird reason. The challenge for me is to play a good guy, and not being able to rely on any of my previous experience. You can have a twisted sense of humor as a villain, but Jack couldn’t have that. He’s pretty mainstream and down-the-middle. I feel more naked with this character. Jack is so even-keeled and that’s the hard part for me. And I enjoy the challenge in that.
GALO: If Jack was a real person, would you guys get along?
NW: I think we’d get along. I get along with all types of people. Do I think we’d be close? Maybe not; he’d be someone who, if I worked with him, I’d think he was a good guy. But he wouldn’t be my best friend. I’d need to have more in common. He doesn’t make me laugh, and that’s a huge bonding thing for me.
GALO: A lot of fans have shipped Emily and Jack since the beginning. Are you rooting for them as a couple?
NW: Yeah, definitely. I don’t see the point of my character [if they don’t reconnect]. To be completely frank, most people have only cared about Jack when it complements caring about Jack and Emily. Why the hell would people watch Jack have a separate storyline if there was no romantic consequence? I’m rooting for that. I am a big supporter of them wanting to get together all the time, and giving the audience reasons to root for them.
GALO: The show has had a huge fan base since the pilot. Are there any shows you’re a fan of that you’ve stuck with since the beginning?
NW: I used to watch The X-Files. I saw every episode, but then I missed the last few years. For like the first half or more, I watched everything. Eastbound and Down, the first season was one of the best things I’ve ever seen. I’m not totally current on It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, but I’ve seen all of seasons one through seven.
GALO: Aside from Revenge, are you working on any upcoming projects?
NW: No. Eventually I’ll be auditioning and trying. Believe me, I wish it were up to me. My career is only partly in my hands. When I have to look for jobs again, I’ll be up against bigger names than I was in the past. That makes my job a little harder now. I’m curious to see if this is going to work out, and if I’ll have a career at all after this!
Catch a brand new episode of Revenge this Sunday, October 19 at 10/9c on ABC.