Actor Terry O'Quinn has sunk his teeth into a new mysterious character named Gavin Doran, the owner of the sinister yet posh New York apartment building The Drake. The character, who we'll meet in Sunday's premiere of ABC's 666 Park Avenue, seems to have all the makings of one of O'Quinn's best roles.
However, he may have more in common with the Smoke Monster than John Locke from Lost, said O'Quinn in an exclusive interview with Blastr.
"My character is mysterious to me as well as to the audience," said O'Quinn, whose character, Gavin, seems to have an evil streak and is intent on getting the residents of his building to agree to a Faustian contract that has great rewards and a terrible price.
"The building is some source of power. I think the devil seems to be showing up there a lot, but that's kind of arbitrary. I don't know who the deal is with. I'm not sure it's with the devil. If you ask me if I'm the devil, I have no idea. I don't know where it might go, because the possibilities seem to be limitless," said O'Quinn.
"I haven't yet been told or discovered the parameters of this power or [the building's] limits. But I find it shocking how willing this character is to do whatever to have things go his way. That's a little bit frightening. And I'm looking forward to seeing what his vulnerabilities and what his weaknesses might be. Because he'll have to have some," said O'Quinn.
666 Park Avenue begins with the arrival of a young Midwestern couple, Jane Van Venn (Rachael Taylor) and Henry Martin (Dave Annable), who are hired by Gavin as the building's new managers. However, they quickly discover that The Drake isn't your normal ritzy historic New York apartment building. Meanwhile, Gavin and his equally mysterious wife Olivia (Vanessa Williams) begin to seduce the couple with the kind of lifestyle they've previously only been able to imagine.
"I think it might have elements of Lost simply in the supernatural element of it, but the difference between the two guys—I mean, when we meet Gavin, he's at a completely different place than John Locke was. John Locke never got to where this is. It seems like Gavin has an idea of what he's doing. He knows that there's a power. He manipulates the power or is in league with power. And John Locke was almost purely faith. He wanted to believe in something, and he was going to do anything to prove his faith. This guy is a whole other cat, this Gavin guy," said O'Quinn.
"He's not unlike the Man in Black was, John Locke in the last couple seasons. A little bit clearer and a little bit darker. This guy is pretty forward and cold and dark," he added.
The story has impressed O'Quinn up to this point, and he has hope that Gavin Doran will be his next rich character, and that 666 Park Avenue will be his next great series.
"I'm always surprised by the imagination of the people. I was surprised on Lost too, where all of a sudden you saw the pilot and then they opened up that bag and all this story fell out. And I think I'm already starting to be impressed by these guys, by David Wilcox and the guys. They're opening the bag, and it's going in different directions. I think they're starting to maybe sustain an arc with Gavin and Olivia and Jane and Henry, and yet there are other stories that are coming in and coming out. Little undercurrents come and go. That's a really delicate kind of balance to try to maintain without it looking like a predictable pattern," he said.
"The idea is to keep an audience interested and somewhat satisfied and wanting more. So far, I think the guys are doing a good job. It's a tough balance with this kind of show, because to a certain extent I think you have to tell a whole story in a night, or maybe over two episodes. You have to start and finish some stories and let other stories take their time and run their course," said O'Quinn. "I'm still waiting to get a fix on the shape of this thing."
However, playing a mysterious, possibly evil character who just might be the devil isn't easy. O'Quinn admits that he has to work to give Gavin layers.
"My biggest challenge at the moment, at the outset, is to have him be some other color than simply dark. To try to give some subtlety and some variety to the playing of him, rather than just a wicked smile all the time. If you're going to say, 'Gavin smiles wickedly,' to look for some variety in the singing of that song, rather than the one note. I'm sure that over time that his weaknesses and whatever will develop, so his range will expand. I'm hopeful of that. So at the moment right now, it's trying to wear those clothes comfortably, to have people believe that I could be somebody who actually was a mover and shaker in New York, which isn't me by nature. And to give some variety to the playing of the character," said O'Quinn.
"I'm actually much closer to John Locke than I would be to this guy by nature. That challenge is there and should be welcomed. I'm hoping I can get comfortable in his skin and he in mine."
Here's a look at 666 Park Avenue:
666 Park Avenue airs on Sundays at 10 p.m. ET on ABC.
Could Gavin Doran be Terry O'Quinn's next great character?