Nick Wechsler is getting his revenge on TV.
Yes, he happens to star in a show called that, which airs its bound to be explosive season finale tonight. And this season, his character Jack Porter is definitely part of Revenge‘s ruthless plotting. But more importantly, people are finally getting what a tremendous actor he is, and a very cool individual off-camera besides. BFTV had the pleasure of connecting with Nick recently to discuss how season three of Revenge has treated Jack and what his own modus operandi is.
Don’t expect him to reveal anything about the season finale. “Basically, some crazy stuff happens,” he teased, “that will change things forever.”
But really, that’s all he needs to say, because there’s no shortage of things to talk about when it comes to the story of Jack Porter. Recovering from the deaths of his wife and brother in season two, Jack has been on the warpath in season three, and is even more dangerous now that he knows Emily Thorne’s real identity.
“I get more involved,” Nick told us, describing his character’s arc. “He’s decided to commit to this revenge thing with her, fueled by all the wrong that’s been done him by the Graysons. He’s having to get his hands dirty in ways that make him really uncomfortable.”
As if that wasn’t enough drama in one man’s life, Jack also discovered that his mother was Stevie Grayson – Conrad Grayson’s first wife – making him a part of the family whose machinations have been just about as ruthless as Emily’s. What did Nick think of that sudden reveal?
“It surprised me,” he admitted. “It was a bold move, and it meant that it was a more insecutuous group than I realized. The fact that my mom had anything to do with the Graysons, that anyone in my family was involved at all, it was a genius thing to have happen. What it did was give me a new fire under my ass.”
Not that he was lacking for fire in the first place. Watch any episode of Revenge and you’ll see an actor who knows how to make even more out of what he’s given. Even before his character found himself going off the deep end, he was quietly smoldering, not putting up with anyone else’s nonsense, not playing the typical childhood friend slash possible love interest role. Instead, he provided a crucial piece of the series: the normal person that Emily – and by extension the audience – could hold onto in the midst of all the scheming and betrayal. And while his character is now in deeper than ever before, that doesn’t change the fact that Nick plays him so damn note-perfectly.
So after a truly heartbreaking, headache-inducing season for Jack, what would Nick say is his favorite moment from the entire affair? “My favorite moment of this season is my first scene, when Jack and Emily, they see each other for the first time since she’s told him the truth,” he reflected. “I love that moment. There’s a lot of hurt in it, and there’s also a lot of love. I think it’s got a lot going on.”
Three seasons – soon to be four – is a fair amount of time to inhabit any character, and at 65 episodes to date it’s already the longest gig that Nick has ever had, four episodes more than his time on The WB/UPN’s Roswell more than a decade ago. Especially with the demises of people around him, did he expect Jack to still be standing?
“On a show where anyone could die, and because I’ve been without a steady gig like this for a long time, there’s a part of me that never believes that I’m coming back,” he admitted. “Killing Jack could do some really interesting things for the show. There are many interesting directions it would open up. But I tend to feel like it would be hard…We’ll see, obviously, but it would be hard for them to get rid of Jack because of what he is for Emily. He is, in a way, a moral compass.”
Not to mention, bumping Jack off would mean losing one of the unsung heroes of the Revenge ensemble. He may not be the most popular or the most acclaimed cast member, but Nick is certainly one of those actors that if you’re lucky enough to land for your show, you do everything in your power to keep. Whether he’s in an episode for two minutes or two acts, you know that you’re going to get a good performance out of him. He’ll never be accused of phoning a role in. And maybe that has to do with his attitude – he’s straightforward, calling it as he sees it, speaking thoughtfully and with an obvious respect for his craft. Jack Porter would approve of Nick Wechsler.
Take, for example, when we asked him to talk about his past parts, and characters he’d love to have played. “My favorite thing on my resume is It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia,” he told us, with obvious enthusiasm. “Because it’s the thing that I watch. It’s the thing that I’m like, I think it is incredible.”
And at the same time, he’s honest – maybe even overly critical – about his work: “It’s one of my least favorite performances,” he continues, “because I feel I was so off the mark and I could’ve done more with it.” We’ll agree to disagree with him, but it’s rare to find an actor who will volunteer that kind of honest critique.
Maybe it’s comedy that’ll be in Nick’s future whenever Revenge wraps up its freight train of a story. “I would love to be one of those guys on [It’s Always Sunny]. I would love to be a regular on something like that. That’s sort of the dream,” he continued. “There’s no one who can do these parts better than the way they’ve been done. It’s just that I love these characters so much.” It’s a sentiment from someone who loves telling stories, the type of person we need more of in this business.
When he’s not working, he’s actively out trying to make the world a better place. Nick participated in last month’s Toyota Pro/Celebrity Race to benefit Racing For Kids, and he’s part of another special event next week. “I’m going to AIDS Walk New York,” he told us. “I did last year’s having no personal stake in it except I think it’s preventable. If I could help just by attending somehow, then why wouldn’t I? If someone else sees my appearance there as somehow helpful then I’m like absolutely…And then I heard a bunch of stories from people at AIDS Walk and that made me more personally invested.
“I’m probably going to get involved now in an anti-bullying campaign, because it’s sickening to me,” he added. “It breaks my heart. I have a huge number of gay friends and I want to get the message out there, we haven’t completely eradicated homophobia and I want to be able to do my tiny part.” You can join Nick by getting more information at the AIDS Walk New York website (aidswalk.net/newyork).
Hopefully Jack Porter will live to see season four of Revenge. Hopefully he’ll become an even larger part of the twists and turns in the Hamptons. But even if that isn’t to be, or even if the whole show goes completely insane, he’s served his purpose. We’re now on notice that Nick Wechsler is a talented actor – and an equally compelling individual – who shouldn’t be underestimated.
The Revenge third-season finale airs tonight at 9 PM ET/PT on ABC; the series has already been renewed for a fourth season. For more on Nick, be sure to follow him on Twitter (@Nick_Wechsler).