INTERVIEW

Quick Take With James Patrick Stuart

Valentin was in the thick of all the drama at the doomed double wedding. What were those shows like to film? “They were exciting. I’ve known Fin [Hughes, Anna] a long time and we talk off campus and send each other texts, and the same with Wes [Ramsey, Peter], and we say, ‘How are we going to make this extra-compelling?’ So it’s really one of those moments where I feel like all the burners are at full flame and it’s very exciting. There were so many nuances to it and there’s such a sophisticated conflict at play with the characters of Valentin and Peter because Valentin and Anna feel partially responsible for [Peter’s actions]. That’s the fun part of the dynamic and watching that play out is really great. We always try to play the tragedy and how much it hurts to know that, ‘If not for me, this kid could have had a much better life.’ ”

How would you say his dynamic with Anna has shifted over the past few months as they’ve been sharing secrets on the subject of Peter? “It’s sort of a deeper connection. As Valentin has matured, the process of losing everything actually made him stronger, I think. He’s able to have a more sophisticated connection with Anna that never really loses the understanding that there will always be a current in those wires. The ink is not exactly dry in that story, ever. There will always be a nod [to Valentin’s past feelings for her], like on the episode where they’re talking in the hallway and they’re caught by the commissioner [Jordan] and he looks in her eyes and says, ‘I’m in love with her,’ and she looks back like, ‘Don’t you do that, don’t you go there!’ I think it’s fun that he’s found sort of a hubris with that. I think Valentin would be the first to tell you that he will never be 100 percent over Anna!”

Recently, after Valentin offered to give ELQ back to Michael in exchange for Michael letting Nina see Wiley, Ava made a comment about Valentin trying to get back into Nina’s good graces. “Well, she didn’t stick around very long — Ava just kind of harrumphed and disappeared into a corner! She’s just lucky she wasn’t near a parapet. She’s all tough when she ain’t on a parapet! I’ll always have that; whatever she does, I’ll be like, ‘Yeah, but I threw you off a parapet!’ ”

But, given that Nina is split from Jax, do you think Ava is right that Valentin sees an in there to possibly win Nina back yet again? “Of course! Love is forever. I think he knows that she has feelings and he has feelings and there’s always something there; there’s always something there, even if it’s not physical. I love the whole idea of letting her come to me. Cynthia [Watros, Nina] had a great moment where she chose to take a step toward me, just a gesture of grace and kindness, even if it isn’t a foreshadowing of, ‘Oh, we’ll be together one day.’ It was just sort of a kiss on the cheek, her stepping forward toward me as if to say, ‘I’ll never be completely out of your life.’ I loved that. I thought it was a really sweet moment and again, it’s a moment where Valentin, through losing everything, matured a bit, and he realizes, ‘Maybe all these years trying to force everything, I just pushed everything away, and maybe just putting my hands down, things might come to me.’ ”

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