'Salem' Interview: Shane West and Seth Gabel on 'Love Story Gone Wrong'
'Salem' Interview: Shane West and Seth Gabel on 'Love Story Gone Wrong'
Carla Day
Carla Day
Contributing Writer, BuddyTV
Are witches real? While Salem pulls from historic events and people, it takes a lot of creative liberty to tell the story. First of all, witches are real, even if not everyone in the town of Salem believes they exist. As time goes on, it becomes more difficult for them to deny the possibility.

During the Television Critics Association Winter Tour, Shane West (Nikita) and Seth Gabel (Arrow, Fringe) spoke about their roles in the new drama for WGN America. It's a scary, sexy, and intense drama that pushes the limits. 

West plays a soldier, John Alden, who returns home to find his love, Mary Sibley, married to another. And, Gabel plays a puritan leader, Cotton Mather, who struggles with his own identity.

Shane West interview

Highlights from the interview: 

  • Why will Nikita fans like Salem? It has a feel of an action show with a love story. It's also a genre show with horror. 
  • John Alden is a lot more emotional than Michael. Character doesn't have as much action, especially because it's the 1690s. It's mostly a character story about a love story gone wrong.
  • He will interact most with Isaac. He's the freak in town and becomes a sidekick.
  • John becomes rivals with Cotton Mathers.
  • He interacts with Mary more than you'd think since they are at odds.
  • John is an innocent person at the start. He's dark after he comes back from war, but he brings innocence to the story.
  • He was religious growing up, but he's not as religious when he returns to town. 
  • He doesn't believe in witches and wants to prove they don't exist. He starts to see things that begin to change his beliefs.
Seth Gabel interview

Highlights from the interview:

  • Cotton Mather is trying to be good, but he has a "Count Vertigo" in him.
  • Mather wants to be a good Puritan, but he wants to have sex.
  • He's a theologian and a scientist which at that time was a heretical. He believes there is a creature out there that wants to have your soul. 
  • He's tormented by hunting down witches, but feeling like he's hunting down himself.
  • The town sees him as the son of a great man and he could be great. But, he's a lessor man than his father. His father is an ominous figure.
  • Cast is awesome and he doesn't believe there are any weak leaks. They use real fire on set. It really feels like it's 1690 in Salem.
  • Gabel assumes Count Vertigo is dead, "I took three arrows to the chest." Arrow EP Marc Guggenheim told him, "No one ever really dies on Arrow."
  • The one place Cotton can be himself is in the brothel. 
  • "It's creepy. It's intense," regarding the initial sex scene in the pilot.
  • He likes being on a new network. They're being bold and smart.
Salem airs on Sundays at 9 pm ET on WGN America.

(Image courtesy of WGN America / Video: Carla Day)