Did Emily VanCamp’s hunky, blue collar childhood crush look familiar in the premiere of ABC’s Revenge (Wednesdays at 10/9c)? If so, you probably spent some time watching a little show called Roswell and recognized Nick Wechsler from the late WB/UPN alien drama. Yep, that’s an all-grown-up Kyle Valenti playing Jack Porter, one of the romantic leads in Revenge‘s nascent love triangle.
While Wechsler is “excited” about channeling his inner white knight, he confesses it’s not a role that comes naturally to him. “There is part of me that will always feel wrong for any leading man-type, charming guy or whatever,” he tells TVLine. “I am not that guy. I am so weird. I say inappropriate things, and if I have any charm at all, it’s in my utter lack of charm.” But he welcomes “the challenge of trying to find that likeable, charming part of myself and play it.”
Mission accomplished. The almost perfect Jack, who named a boat after Emily (a.k.a. Amanda) and still takes care of her childhood dog, is almost impossible to resist. That could prove troublesome for the blonde beauty, whose revenge scheme relies on her cover remaining intact and not implicating innocents like Jack. “If I recognize her and stupidly say something, it’s not necessarily all over, but that means I’m on board and am part of her dirty tricks,” says Wechsler, perhaps hinting at the pilot’s bloody opening minutes. One would think that’d make Emily want to keep her distance, but the actor thinks “she’s not going to be able to help being drawn” back to Jack, who represents “a happier, simpler version of herself.”
“As the need for revenge dies or she sees the futility of it – that it doesn’t change her circumstance – I’m going to look a lot more attractive,” suspects Wechsler. But he’ll have some competition for Emily’s affections from Daniel Grayson (Joshua Bowman), the rich golden boy of the Hamptons. “She’s getting close to Daniel to get close to Victoria,” adds Wechsler. “But in the process of getting close to him, she’s realizing he’s actually a genuine, nice guy [and is] maybe developing some genuine [affection] for him.”
Whoever Emily picks, Wechsler is just happy to be back on TV. While he often hears from fans that Kyle was their favorite character on Roswell, he admits that he “didn’t get the career from it.” After the series ended its run on UPN in 2002, Wechsler guest starred on everything from Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles to Without a Trace to Tru Calling. But nothing hit like it did for his Roswell co-stars such as Katherine Heigl, Colin Hanks and Shiri Appleby. “It’s just that they had a larger role [on the show],” he offers candidly. “And were more likely to get people to develop some interest in them…and really nurture their careers. I was just low enough that it was like nobody really got that excited about me.”
“[You have to] strike while the iron’s hot and take advantage of this career momentum and all this s— that I just didn’t want to do or I didn’t do,” he continues. “So I made some choices that didn’t help me.”
But then Weschler almost landed a role opposite his buddy Sam Witwer in Revenge creator Mike Kelley’s CBS drama pilot The Quinn-tuplets. “I have always liked Mike since then,” he says. “I actually did not put together that it was the same [creator on Revenge] until I went for my first audition for it. I just knew that I liked the writing.”
Then, with his typically refreshing candor, he adds, “I wanted to work with Mike Kelly again, but to be honest, there was also a part of me that’s just like, ‘I need work.’”