The Secret Circle's Chris Zylka on Romancing Faye, Renewal Optimism, and His Proudest Season 1 Moment

"Hey, didn't you JUST interview Chris Zylka back in March?" you may be asking your computer monitor right now. The answer is yes, yes I did. But sometimes in life you get a second opportunity to talk to Chris Zylka only weeks after the first one and in those circumstances you do not just say "No, thanks. Very tired of talking to Chris Zylka, just want to hit the snooze button and sleep for another week, bye." No, you talk to Chris Zylka AGAIN. And then you take a step back and realize that you have a pretty cool job. The kind of job where you get to interview Chris Zylka twice in two months!

This week the erstwhile Jake Armstrong kindly took a few minutes to chat about The Secret Circle's upcoming season finale. We also touched on both his and my favorite Jake moments from Season 1, in addition to important things like his upcoming film The Amazing Spider-Man and making out with Phoebe Tonkin. And oh, if you're a Faye-Jake (Fake?) shipper, you're definitely gonna want to read this.

Are you enjoying your quasi-summer break so far?

You know what's crazy about this "quasi-summer" break is it is so sh--ty in California right now. Are you in New York or California?

Culver City!

Oh, dude. It's so overcast. Come on. Can we get rid of it?

I feel bad because you probably came out of Vancouver expecting L.A. to be all sunny and warm.

[Laughs] Yeah, man. I just want to get a little vitamin D.

I guess I'm legally obligated to ask you about The Secret Circle. Everyone wants to know what we can expect from Jake for these last two episodes of the season. So tell me what you've been telling everybody else and then give me the REAL story.

Obviously Nick is back and he's back in a big way. He's more powerful than ever, he's the "traitor," and he has this plot against the circle. And so how is Jake going to react to that? You'll have to tune in. But you know, in the classic Jake style, he's going to cover up his emotions with some secondary dimwit emotion and then out of nowhere in the last act he'll show how he really feels. [Laughs]

That's Jake.

And then we have Jake and Faye finally getting together pretty romantically, which is nice. It was nice to finally talk to Phoebe [Tonkin] in a scene instead of just hooking up. [Laughs] It's really nice. People are going to really start to— I think one day on-set, I even told Phoebe, I was like, "People are going to freaking love this storyline now. If they didn't like it before, Jake and Faye will be in like Flynn with the fans." Just some of the sweetest scenes, and extremely romantic. Finally.

So Fake will be going full-blast. Has the original love triangle with Cassie and Adam kind of mellowed out, then?

Yeah Jake's going to mostly stick around Faye and I think for the most part the reason behind that is that Cassie's got a lot of stuff going on. And the last thing she's worried about is a dude, you know? She still feels for Adam, obviously, and those feelings are never going to go away, but she's got a little too much going on. To the point where if she WAS worried about a guy, then she's got some real problems.

You touched on it a second ago, but your shirtless-hug scene with Phoebe Tonkin in "Traitor" was really something, I gotta say.


From the viewers' perspective, we're like, "Oh, two hot people making out." But from your and Phoebe Tonkin's perspective, how do you guys look at scenes like that? Are you just trying not to laugh? What goes into taking a scene like that seriously?

Being totally comfortable. And Phoebe's such a professional that she's totally comfortable in scenes like that. We know it's going to look a lot better if it's just natural and just go for whatever The CW will allow to be on television. [Laughs] And it's worked out so far. They've been pretty sexy scenes.

Right. Congratulations on mustering the confidence to pull that off.


Now that you've had a full season (sorta) of The Secret Circle to reflect on, has there been a scene in particular that you're proudest of?

If there's any scene that I'm most proud of—narcissistically speaking about myself—it's in "Curse," that final Jake and Blackwell scene when Jake finally comes clean and you really see the self-hatred for the first time. Everyone else had talked about it, but you see he really does hate the person that he was— Or is. And I wasn't expecting to cry, because it was kind of weird letting go for Blackwell like that. Jake had only just met him a couple episodes prior. But it just happened and it just came out and it was a really great feeling.

I thought that whole episode was some next-level stuff from you. That forest scene! Like you were both dying and funny at the same time. How tough was that?

In an episode like that when it's so emotional and it's so heavy on his anger toward [Cassie and Adam] for hooking up plus he's dying, you have to really, really search for those moments where you can lighten it up a little bit. Just so everyone's not like, "God, all Jake does is bitch and whine." [Laughs] You know what I mean? So I tried to take the opportunity to show a little sarcasm.

So I know you and your co-stars and probably even showrunner don't know whether there will be a Season 2 yet, but what's the general vibe amongst you guys? Is everyone pretty upbeat about getting renewed or are you trying not to think about it?

Yeah. In order to not drive yourself insane you try not to think about it. You try not to think about it, but you constantly always will because there's "What if?" There's always "What if?" That's the worst part of our business, right? But everyone seems pretty optimistic and excited to come back. I'm stoked to go back... If we're welcomed back, of course.

Good thing you've got The Amazing Spider-Man to worry about in the interim.

Yeah, that's definitely taking a little bit of the load off. The press for Spider-Man plus Piranha 3DD comes out June 1st. And I'm honestly just a huge comic book fan in the first place, so this summer will be heaven for comic book fans. So just as a fan, all these comic book movies coming out in the first place is kind of taking my mind off things a little bit. [Laughs] Like, oh God, The Dark Knight Rises! I am so pumped.

The Secret Circle airs Thursdays at 9pm on The CW.

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