I watch Haven’s Eric Balfour for his mind – not his body
Although Eric Balfour is known for his sterling abs, curling dark hair and distinctive curved nose, after interviewing Balfour and Emily Rose about ‘Haven’ at the New York Comic Con press room, I sprouted a crush on Balfour’s energetic mind.
I’m secretly crushing on Haven’s Eric Balfour. I know, I know. It isn’t that much of a secret. And, yes, I know, I share that crush with half of North America, the UK, and more. However, here’s the kicker. I’m crushing on Eric Balfour not for his pretty hair, pretty abs or pretty face, but for his pretty mind. I know! I feel like I should hang up my lady parts in shame. I got a feel for Balfour’s intelligence on the Haven conference call at the beginning of September. However, it came across three-fold in the New York Comic Con (NYCC) press room interview with Balfour and Emily Rose.
Before I get into why I’m crushing on Balfour, I have a mini-story to share. I arrived five minutes late to the Haven press room as my Person of Interest press room table went over with Amy Acker. The PR reps at the front desk handed over my name tag and suggested I start at Emily and Eric’s table because the second table was full. Now, here’s the kicker. There was only one space left. It was beside Eric. Unfortunately, there was no chair in the chair-sized space beside him. Here’s the double-kicker. There was no space for me to easily carry a chair. Both interview tables were close together with only a small amount of space for one person to squeeze through. And, as both tables were engrossed in their interviews, I couldn’t exactly ask people to skooch. So, I figured eff it. I will kneel at the table beside Emily and Eric for 10 minutes until time allowed me to grab a chair.
However, Eric Balfour wasn’t having that and offered to get me a chair after I plopped at the table beside him. At that point I felt terrible. I couldn’t let Eric Balfour fetch a chair for little old me. When I’m in the presence of people prettier than myself, I assume they’re incapable of manual labor. So, this time, with more determination, I leapt up and seized an extra chair. Luckily, the second time around, the people at my table adjusted their bodies so I had space to carry the chair over. I noticed a lot of the male actors in the other press rooms were also incredibly solicitous towards the female journalists, but it was still a nice gesture and I thank him for it.
Inexplicably, Balfour’s chair assist isn’t why I’m totally crushing on Duke Crocker’s alter ego; it’s his energy. Balfour has an incredible enthusiasm which is engaging. At NYCC, with his casual white t-shirt, loose silver necklace and inner arm tattoo, he spoke through facial gestures, hand movements and physical, corporeal shifts. It’s slightly captivating when an actor is so active that s/he not only speaks with his/her mouth, but with his/her whole body.
When he responded to my question regarding Duke’s inexplicable horror at Audrey’s mercy kill request in “The Farmer,” Emily gave him a little look. Clearly, he discussed this point ad nauseam and Emily was prepared for the accompanying physical gesticulations. “So, OK. I’m so happy to talk abut this. I read the script of that episode and went ‘I don’t get it.’ I was like ‘why is this a big deal. This make’s no sense to me. You’re wrong. Duke’s killed people before. He is a morally questionable person. This is not a hard choice.’ I was pissed. Then, Sam in his wisdom and Matt in his wisdom said ‘you missed the point. It’s about his choice.’ His whole reality right now is fighting his so-called destiny. It’s not the killing part that’s hard for him. It’s the inability to get out of the maze. The idea that he doesn’t have control of his fate that became really what the turmoil was about.” If you’re interested in seeing his full response to the question, it starts around minute 8.
But, as you can tell, Emily isn’t any slouch in the mental department. To be an actor, let alone a convincing actor, requires determination, talent, professionalism, and intelligence. Emily clearly thinks about items from an actor’s perspective and a gendered perspective.
When we begged her for spoilers she pointed out that we really don’t want her to spoil it for us. She’s right. We, as writers/bloggers/journalists/fans, like begging. We like the tidbits. We like the hints. But, we also like the utter gobsmacked feeling of surprise when something kickass happens which we experience for the first time through the show. The one thing that disconcerted me about Haven’s third season surrounded Audrey’s sudden display of fear. I still complain about the number of times professional writer Rick Castle rescues honored police detective Kate Beckett in Castle, while using her gun. Haven actually provided a heroine who always rescued her town and colleagues and rarely, vice versa.
So, this season, watching Audrey’s early PTSD and relying on Nathan\Eric for support discombobulated me, as a viewer who enjoyed watching strong female characters. However, Emily enjoyed the new development: “I love it. It was one of the main things that was presented to me when I was there sitting trying to get answers from our writers. ‘So what’s her arc this season? Where’s she going?’ And, I didn’t really get anything except for an external threat which would shake her up and she would feel was always around and how did she handle that threat. Instead of her trying to figure out the mystery of herself. How did she react when there’s something actually not just going after people that she can help, but her specifically. It happens in her apartment. It happens in a place that she’s safe right in the backyard of one of her best friends. She’s used to being protected. And, all of that’s stripped away now too. I, as an actress, love that.”
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