Easton Casts Out John's DevilsBy Mala Bhattacharjee Posted: Jul 13, 2005
Soap Opera Weekly: It seems like The Killing Club Killer is targeting John instead of Marcie now, much like the Music Box Killer targeted him last year. What's up with that?
Michael Easton: I'm not really privileged to what the writers are doing — but I think they're always trying to incorporate as many people as they can into a plot. With every good bit of detective fiction or murder mystery, there's good and bad — or at least there's a protagonist and antagonist. They're using the killings and The Killing Club as a way to manipulate John's psyche. This ends up leading to very difficult things for him. It builds up and I think the plot actually drives the character's story where, in the end of it, I think he's had just about all he can take. So, he's pretty close to snapping.
Weekly: Are we going to see John snap?
Easton: We're working on some stuff where he starts falling back into a lot of his old ways. He starts going back to things he used to do, like drinking too much and really starting to see a lot of demons and ghosts. He's starting to have visions of his father and the guy is a pretty haunted guy — which is pretty interesting because it's been about 18 months of not really knowing what motivates him. He just seems like a real mess.
Weekly: Does he find it easier to immerse himself in cases with serial killers than to be emotionally open with his love interests, Evangeline and Natalie?
Easton: Oh, absolutely. I think we all need an outlet for our emotions and he certainly channels all that energy into his work. I think he's afraid to expose himself, so it's much easier to work on other people. There's that Friedrich Nietzsche quote: "Be careful when you're casting out the devil, you're not casting out the best part of yourself." It's easier for him to get in the mind of a killer than it is for him to deal with his own mind. Sometimes the people who are the most screwed up are these experts. These guys who have a great understanding of the human condition are not even aware what's going on in their own head or in their own back yard. And John's definitely one of those guys. He's definitely pretty uncharted waters.
Weekly: There's another Nietzsche quote about being careful looking into the abyss because it also...
Easton: Looks into you. That's really true and I think he's done that too much — which was nice because he was starting to seem pretty infallible there for a while. And now it's really building up on him and the killer has achieved something by bringing this too close to home. It's forced him to face a lot of things and John, who's pretty good at facing a lot of truths is not really willing to face a lot of truths in his own life.
Weekly: Do you think that this game with the killer will lead John to commit to either woman?
Easton: I think we're all just happy that something is happening. He's had a hard time ever committing to anybody and he can't commit to Evangeline but he made progress with her — and Natalie opened up his heart initially. I don't think he was even open to having that kind of relationship and she opened his heart. And then he realized when that wasn't going to work, between his guilt over Cristian and her still being married. Then, they brought Cristian back and that's always going to hang over them. And then he moved a little farther with Evangeline than I think he ever thought he would go again. Each time, I think he opens up a little bit. That's what I've always tried to work on — because, in all honesty, I don't see anybody lining up to fight over John.
Weekly: Police work seems to be where John's most comfortable, where he thrives.
Easton: The show needs to be, at least from our standpoint, somewhat plot-driven and it needs to be about something. Robert S. Woods (Bo), is such an integral part of the show. It's nice to be able to work with him, to be a part of the police department and do "real" cases instead of always walking around and accusing Dorian Lord of doing something she never did. It's nice to be trying to do something right because cops are pretty amazing people. And I think they've done a nice job of showing how committed and hard-working they are.
Weekly: And now Rex is in the mix with Bo and John, too.
Easton: The scenes [with Woods and John-Paul Lavoisier's Rex] were a lot of fun when they were going through the Daniel storyline. I think it's like your worst nightmare when you have to start working with an informant. We have a terrific guy, the technical adviser on the show, who is a New York City detective and he's told me a few times about how he's had to deal with some unsavory characters to get cases solved — but in the end you'll do what it takes to get justice or solve a case.