New Interview: Gale Harold takes us inside the mind of Charles Meade
Mandi Bierly of Entertainment Weekly interviewed Gale Harold about his character Charles Meade in The Secret Circle.“The Secret Circle”: Gale Harold takes us inside the mind of Charles Meade
by Mandi Bierly
With a full season pickup, the stars of The Secret Circle, The CW’s increasingly spooky multigenerational witch drama from Kevin Williamson and Andrew Miller, will have to get used to having a vague, but interesting, conversation about the show’s central mystery: What evil came to the town of Chance Harbor 16 years ago and caused a body count? If it was drawn by the power of a secret circle of young witches, does that mean two parents (Gale Harold and Natasha Henstridge), who’ve schemed to get their children to form a new circle, know what danger they’re putting them in? Why is it worth it to them? Do they simply want to get back the power they themselves were stripped of, or is it something different? Luckily, Harold, who plays the deliciously devilish Charles Meade, has already mastered that art.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: All roles require actors to have faith in producers, but, I imagine, when you’re signing on for a character like Charles, even more so.
GALE HAROLD: In terms of faith, it was not knowing which way [Charles] was gonna go. Was my character gonna lose his mind? Was he going to become overcome by some really intense force of power that he couldn’t control? He’s got this ongoing thing with Dawn [Henstridge], and there seems to be a level of, I don’t want to call it exploitation, but there is some sort of power struggle that seems to be slightly based on a fear that he has of her somehow. Either he’s afraid of what she can do to him, or he needs her more than he thinks he needs himself. That’s what I’ve been playing with.
Charles told his daughter Diana that he was dating Dawn to explain why they were spending so much time together. Charles seemed more okay with that lie than Dawn did when he told her about it. Should we read into that? Will it be addressed again?
I don’t know. The way that scene played to me, it’s sort of like Charles is just trying to cover his tracks, and the thing that made the most sense was to use that as the reason — there’s something going on between the two of them. He was kinda caught. Diana called him out. I think in his mind, there’s wishful thinking. That’s one of the things I really like, him having to react on the spot and just make it up as he goes along. It’s one of those moments where your excuse makes it worse. [Laughs] Now Diana has all these expectations.