The Secret Circle's Chris Zylka Previews Jake's 'Dark' Agenda

Imagine, if you would, joining a show with a passionate fan base. Now imagine joining one with a fan base as crazy-passionate as that of The Secret Circle (Thursdays at 9/8c). Scary, right? So, needless to say, Chris Zylka was nine kindsa nervous when he was introduced as the CW series’ newest hunk.

“I have never been so anxious to know if [viewers] were going to like me, if they were going to hate me,” he says. “But so far, it seems as though they’re accepting Jake.”

Exclusive: Secret Circle Recruits Friday Night Lights‘ Grey Damon for Some Dark Magic

Fans may be warming up to the new hottie, but it’ll take a lot more for the circle to accept the bad boy. Even with Cassie fighting for Jake’s inclusion, his portrayer acknowledges that “there’s no chance they’re all going to welcome [Jake] back in right away. [But still] he’s going to try to show them that he’s changed, and that [after] being gone for two years, [he] realized where his home was.”

Particularly tough for Jake to win over will be Adam (who’s still hurting over what he did to him and his dad) and his brokenhearted ex, Faye. “Adam will stop at nothing to make everyone realize what a bad seed [Jake] still is and how he really can affect the circle in a bad way,” previews Zylka. “Faye and Adam are definitely the ones that see he’s not the same, but they don’t know if it’s in a good way or a bad way.”

Then of course there’s the pesky fact that Jake is actually out to kill all of the town’s witches. Um, what is it that he hopes to accomplish by bumping off his own kind? “It’s sort of self-satisfaction,” explains the actor. “He blames what happened to his parents on this town and every witch in this town.” While the other members of the circle probably just cried a lot when their parents died, and were too young to know about their powers, Jake was older and wiser. Unfortunately, he also “dealt with it in a very dark, very dangerous way and left town.”

Halloween Hot Shots: See Who’s Dressed as What on Secret Circle, HIMYM and 9 Other Shows

“[He] found that it’s not magic,” he continues. “It’s not witches. It’s dark magic. It’s where that dark magic can take people that is dangerous and that he hates.” Now, Jake is back because “there’s something about this town that’s very dark, and he needs to take care of it.”

But how does one reconcile being a witch with being a witch hunter? “Why not fight fire with fire?” laughs Zylka. Even if doing so means extinguishing a possible spark, so to speak, with Cassie? “I think there’s something that may be brewing [between them] – no pun intended – [but] Jake’s no dummy,” he says. “He’s not going to allow one person or one thought or one feeling to spoil something that he’s been working at for quite some time now.”

That said, he adds, “If there is anyone that could change Jake’s actions, it could be Cassie.”