Harper's Island Star Talks Killers and Conflict
Starring on CBS' Harper's Island — which now airs Saturdays at 9 pm/ET — is a death sentence waiting to happen. The closed-end, 13-week mystery series takes place on an island where guests of an impending wedding are being killed off one by one. Adam Campbell, who plays Cal Vandeusen, spoke to TVGuide.com about what it's like to work on a show where your fate isn't sealed, what we can expect from upcoming episodes, and why none of the wedding guests have yet to notice their friends are disappearing.
TVGuide.com: You have a pretty comedic past. How did you end up on a mystery series?
Adam Campbell: When I first read it, the role was written quite funny actually. They certainly wanted it to be more of a comic role than the other roles, but it wasn't slapstick or anything.
TVGuide.com: Were you nervous to read the script each week, and find out if you're dying in that episode?
Campbell: It was one of the most stressful jobs I've ever done. The other actors probably say they read the whole script as a story, but actually every single actor I know read the last page or the last few pages to see who died and when. Everyone wants to know how much longer they're going to be working for, or how they die.
TVGuide.com: So cast members found out their fate week by week?
Campbell: We all knew that we'd find out by one of the producers telling us, so the name of the game was to try to avoid eye contact with the producers — it was like the kiss of death. When I started working, the first thing I wanted to do was keep my head down. It's always the squeaky wheel that gets the grease, so I thought if I just keep quiet and shut up then maybe I won't get [killed off].
TVGuide.com: Tell me about your character, Cal.
Campbell: Cal is an English doctor and from the very beginning he's viewed as not really fitting in— he's an outsider. It's not just because he's foreign, but because he's different from the other guys. He's got sort of loser tendencies.
TVGuide.com: And the other guys are all frat boys...
Campbell: That's right. Cal doesn't know anything about American football and he doesn't play beer pong and things like that. He likes a nice glass of port and a good Dickens novel.
TVGuide.com: How was it hanging upside-down for a scene in the second episode?
Campbell: Did you know that hanging upside-down is actually supposed to be a cure for baldness? They say it stimulates the hair follicles. In reality, it was one of the most painful things I've ever done because all the blood rushes to your head. It seemed to last about two days but it was only probably a couple of hours. But my hair has never been thicker!
TVGuide.com: What can you tease about this week's episode?
Campbell: Well, this episode is about the bachelor/bachelorette parties and all sorts of shenanigans happen. From Cal's point of view, it becomes more and more apparent that he doesn't fit in with this crowd. There's this fishing trip and he isn't invited on it, so he feels quite left out. There is this rivalry between Cal and Sully centering around [Cal's girlfriend] Chloe, and that becomes more apparent in this episode.
TVGuide.com: So who do you think the killer is?
Campbell: All I'll say is it wasn't possible to predict. Anything else I could say will give something away. Um, it was Freddy Krueger!
TVGuide.com: I have to ask, how has no one yet wondered why some of the wedding guests have disappeared?
Campbell: Well at my wedding, some people came to the wedding itself but didn't show up to the reception, and then some people showed up to the reception but didn't show up to the church... I think it's quite common for people in weddings to wander off. It's a very emotionally charged time, so some people can't handle it and ... wander into the woods. You're right, it is certainly a bit strange that people don't notice that other people are disappearing.
TVGuide.com: It must have been a blast shooting the series.
Campbell: It was amazing. Every morning you'd get a boat out to Bowen Island [in Vancouver], which is just an amazing way to start your day. You're out on this fishing boat, in pitch darkness, then as the sun comes up you're then in this gorgeous, beautiful part of the world. It was wonderful. We're all really good friends now, so it was like a big party.
TVGuide.com: Anything else coming up for you outside of Harper's Island?
Campbell: I'm filming a pilot as we speak for NBC, called Day One. And it's an apocalyptic, end-of-the-world, crazy experience. And I play a geek!
Head here and here for video interviews with the cast of Harper's Island.
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