Carter Jenkins,<EM> Surface</EM> Carter Jenkins, Surface

Poor Miles. Not only did the Surface teen have a brush with death after getting nipped by one of the sea beasties, and not only is his scientist buddy starting to diss him, but his first make-out session with the aquarium-gift-shop cutie got all icked up by ethereal goo secreting from his hands. (As if prepubescence isn't hard enough!) TVGuide.com spoke with Carter Jenkins about his character's crummy luck and Surface's race to the season-finale finish line, kicking off Jan. 23 at 8 pm/ET on NBC.

TVGuide.com: Dude, what's with the goo?! Miles finally gets to mack on the babe, and whammo, otherworldly messiness. And that's on top of the fact that his last near-kiss was part of a prank. But that hussy sure got hers when Nim ate her dog.
Carter Jenkins:
That whole dog thing was kind of weird. I heard from people who saw that episode and were sort of happy that her dog got eaten. Then you ask yourself, "I was just happy that a dog was eaten?" It seems a little wrong. [Laughs] But yeah, I keep getting close to the hot girl and then it backfires. That even happened on another show I did.

TVGuide.com: Then again, maybe you're like, "That's cool, I was nervous about my first on-screen necking session anyway."
Jenkins:
But I've had plenty of close encounters with it, so I'm ready!

TVGuide.com: So tell me, does Miles know more about his mysterious connection to Nimrod than he's letting on?
Jenkins:
Yeah, I definitely think so. Even I don't know everything that's going on in his head. I think that because of his almost "telepathic" connection with Nimrod, he obviously knows a lot more than the average person. There's this line coming up where he says, "It's like I know what they're thinking" that he knows what this species wants. It's very, very interesting.

TVGuide.com: Have the show's creators, Josh and Jonas Pate, given you a peek at the big picture, told you all about the underlying mythology?
Jenkins:
Not much. When we did the pilot, we had no idea what was going to happen next, and as we've done the series, we only know what's in each script. There are good and bad things to that  the good part is I don't know more than my character knows; the bad part is it could be sort of good to have an idea of where we're going. But what the Pates do is tell me anything I need to know. If I don't need to know it, then I don't.

TVGuide.com: Still, do you think you've been made privy to maybe one or two juicy secrets that viewers would be shocked to learn?
Jenkins:
Sure, yeah... and some of those things will be shown in the next couple of episodes.

TVGuide.com: Did I hear last week's end-of-show promo correctly? There are just three episodes left this season?
Jenkins:
Yeah. It was pretty confusing  because of the Olympics [coverage coming up on NBC], we didn't actually know how many episodes [we had to do]. We knew we got picked up [for the season], but they said it's probably not going to be your regular full season.

TVGuide.com: I've always wondered, is Nimrod 100 percent CGI, or is there a rubber "doll" version that you work with at times?
Jenkins:
The Nimrod you see is completely visual effects. There is a rubberlike "fake" Nim, but they only use it once in a while.

TVGuide.com: So you never get to "hang out" with him? What are you acting opposite then?
Jenkins:
Sometimes just a blank space, other times it's a piece of tape. The other day, it was a box of cereal or something they had me looking at!

TVGuide.com: Of course I want to ask you about Lake Bell, but do you two even see each other? Have you even met? Unless, maybe, you have scenes together in the remaining episodes  you don't have to say.
Jenkins:
Actually, I don't know if I can, but... we do see each other. For example, we were shooting in my character's house, and 20 feet away they were shooting with Lake at what was supposed to be the Pacific Ocean or something. So we definitely see each other and hang out. With Jay Ferguson, as well.

TVGuide.com: Do you get their script pages as well? Do you know what's going on in Laura and Rich's hunt for the species' origin?
Jenkins:
Yeah, I do.... I really like their story line, so I enjoy reading it.

TVGuide.com: But in a way, it's like you're starring in your own separate TV series.
Jenkins:
Right. I don't even have to read their stuff, and I'd be totally fine. A couple of times I've gotten the script for the next episode, but the next day I'm shooting it and I have a lot to shoot, so I just read my stuff. It is like its own different series.

TVGuide.com: What have been the best and toughest parts of your Surface experience?
Jenkins:
Well, in these last episodes, my character's getting into these fights, which are going to be awesome. Fight scenes are pretty tough I had pads on and stuff and I still ended up getting beat up a little bit. But they're awesome scenes, and they're going to be so cool. I really had a blast doing them. I really got into it and got angry.

TVGuide.com: Now you've got us wondering if you're mixing it up with some high-school punk or a nefarious government agent.
Jenkins:
You'll have to see....

TVGuide.com: Interestingly, you had a role on that "other" series, Lost?
Jenkins:
That's right. One of the characters [Kate] finds a time capsule that she and her friend made when they were kids. They had recoded this tape of them, and I played the younger voice version of the guy.

TVGuide.com: That's one way to be on another of TV's supernatural shows.
Jenkins:
Yeah, it was pretty strange because I had already done the [Surface] pilot, and everyone was already comparing it to Lost  even though we're really not much like Lost. But in the beginning, everyone was like, "It's just another Lost clone," and there I am doing that voice-over for the competition. [Laughs]

TVGuide.com: Tell me about the film you have in the can, Lucky 13.
Jenkins:
That just got picked up by Miramax as an indie, and it should be coming out sometime in May. It should be pretty funny because I shot it a long time ago, so my voice is a lot higher and I was a couple of years younger. People will be like, "Is that the guy from Surface?"

TVGuide.com: Has the whole Surface thing landed you on the covers of Teen Beat and such?
Jenkins:
Not too much. A little, but... not like Chad Michael Murray!

TVGuide.com: They're not all out promoting "Carter's Swoonworthy Dream Date!"?
Jenkins:
Uh, no... nothing crazy!