If you watched the latest episode of Syfy’s Haven, you were treated to an exceptional performance by Eric Balfour in his role as Duke. In the episode, Duke is exposed to something that has caused rapid aging and death in two other victims, and unless Audrey and Nathan can do something fast, (literally) old Duke will make an early exit from the amazing show.
Sorry, no spoilers here, but if you want to know what happened, you can catch an encore airing of the episode Tuesday at midnight on Syfy.
For that episode, Balfour had to undergo a lot of special makeup and the attachment of prosthetic pieces, sometimes taking four to five hours in the makeup chair every day, not to mention undergoing the making of a mold of his face for those pieces to be created. You can read more about that in my article at Rabid Doll.
In the conference call with Balfour, he shared with all of us his excitement and zeal for sharing with his fans on social networking sites like Twitter. Just the simple ability to know that if somebody is enjoying what I’m doing on the show or is a fan of mine and the ability to thank them as, you know, as simply as via a Twitter message, it’s amazing to see how that can change the way someone’s day or week or month or year is going to put a smile on their face and to acknowledge that person that basically is the reason that I’ve been able to continue having a career.
One of the most interesting tales Balfour shared with all of us was the one of how he got the part of Duke on Haven. It all started with a phone call between him and one of the executive producers, Shawn Piller, who he said is one of his oldest best friends.
We had actually gotten on the phone one day to talk about something else completely, and he’s sort of out of nowhere went, ‘Oh my God, oh my God, Balfour you should be playing Duke,'” Balfour said. “I’m like who’s Duke?
He went on to share that when Piller got on the phone with casting and Balfour’s agents, problems started to develop which required an end run that seemed like a plan that Duke himself would have thought of. Balfour talked about how they solved the problems.
Well, I’m going to go to Shawn’s office to ‘have lunch,'” Balfour said. “And I don’t know, we just may happen to talk about that. Was there a camera there? I had no idea. So we actually kind of secretly made the tape together and then they sent it off to the network on their own and that was able to get them to be convinced that I should play the role. And the next thing you know, the network got what they needed and my agents got the offer they wanted and, technically, I don’t think I ever auditioned. It just all magically happened.
When I asked him the kind of experiences he’s had on the different shows he’s been on, he expressed his happiness on being part of the team.
In some ways this experience has been unique to me because in some ways I have had, fortunately, a lot of experience being on TV shows and being part of a group of people who are creating something,” Balfour said. “So this experience, the producers and writers have been so gracious and really being open to my thoughts and opinions and valuing what I bring to the table. It’s been an amazing experience in that way to feel like I’m really part of the creative team.
I mean I can’t say enough about how talented they are and the character that they’ve created for me because of the response to the character’s been amazing and overwhelming … It’s been wonderful.