Lifetime's Devious Maids is back for a second season, with the addition of the fabulous Mark Deklin as the enigmatic Nicholas Deering. BFTV had the pleasure of chatting with Mark recently to talk about how much he knows about Nicholas's secrets, the comparisons between Maids and Desperate Housewives, and the other great shows he's made better (we still miss you, Lone Star).
Joining any show in progress usually requires some work for an actor, but joining a soap opera can be challenging, with the multitude of characters and plotlines. We asked Mark if he tried to familiarize himself with the entirety of Devious Maids or just the parts relevant to him. "I did a little bit of both, to be honest," he explained. "Obviously I had to catch up on season one, so I knew exactly who's who and what's what, so I did that.
"But when we're working, the storylines, in many ways they're so segregated. We all do our own thing," he continued. "So I just focus on what's going on with my storyline right now. Obviously there's stuff coming up - I know we're going to be maybe colliding with the Powells. Part of my backstory with my character is my first wife Dahlia, we were friends with the Powells back in the day. But apparently after my wife's death I just sort of holed up for awhile. I became a recluse. And it's really just meeting Marisol [played by Ana Ortiz] that reawakens me."
We obviously haven't gotten to know Nicholas very well yet, but is there anything in particular that we should look forward to as the second season goes on? "I'm really proud of the whole arc," Mark told us, "but I will say episode five was a really fun one for me. In that one, we're going to get to see a couple other colors in the palette of Nick Deering, and some sides of him that we haven't seen before. That was a particularly enjoyable episode. And I think episode seven also is a pretty exciting one for me.
"I like to think of it more in terms of the total arc. Even this next episode that's coming up on Sunday, objectively speaking, it's not the most exciting episode for my character, but it's very dear to me, because it was the first episode where Ana and I really kind of discovered what our relationship was."
There's still a lot of discovering left to do, too. After all, Nick is a character with at least one big secret on a show that's essentially about secrets. How much does Mark know about where he's headed, and how much would he want to know if it was up to him? "I wish I knew everything," he said. "They don't tell us in advance. At this point, we just got a draft for episode ten, and I don't even know if that draft is going to stay the same.
"The main thing for Nicholas, there's so many secrets and lies that he's telling [that] I said to the producers, 'There are a few things I have to know. I have to in order to play it.' One is what really happened in the past. The other thing is am I really in love with Marisol or is that some sort of long con? And they said, 'No. That's the one thing that is true. You are madly in love with Marisol and she's madly in love with you.'" So maybe he's not the Dave Williams of Devious Maids (yet).
In fact, that's a level of evil that Mark is aiming to avoid. "One of the things that was important to me with his character, because he's got such of a dark past, I didn't want him to become too much of a bad guy," he explained. "If we're going to believe that this intelligent woman is in love with him, we've got to see why...At the end of the day, in terms of intentions, Nick isn't a bad guy."
Yet it's also not hard to see why one might make the assumption. Devious Maids is the brainchild of Desperate Housewives creator Marc Cherry, and one of its other executive producers is Housewives star Eva Longoria. Mark, you may recall, guested on Housewives, so we asked him to weigh in on whether or not the two shows really are similar.
"I think the two shows are similar in a lot of ways and I don't think that has any sort of negative connotation," he told us, explaining that, "[Marc]'s found this great voice where he gives you a primetime soap opera, but with a wink. It's a sort of soap opera that knows it's a soap opera and sort of sends itself up at times. And I think that's really smart. Is it the same show rehashed? No. Obviously there are new stories, new characters and Marc - like any writer - doesn't want to just keep repeating himself."