Warning: This story contains spoilers from the season 2 premiere of Charmed. Read at your own risk.
Harry (Rupert Evans) has always been a source of comfort and protection for the Charmed Ones, their white light (literally) in a dark world. But the whitelighter is about to get dimmed with an infusion of darkness in season 2.
With new showrunners Liz Kruger and Craig Shapiro steering the magical ship, Charmed kicked off its second season by hitting the reset button. While Maggie (Sarah Jeffery) and Macy (Madeleine Mantock) yearn for a fresh start, Mel (Melonie Diaz) is determined to engage them in their new responsibilities as the de facto Elders. But before she can so much as freeze time, the Charmed Ones face off against a new foe — a mysterious hooded figure who shoots to kill. The assailant destroys the Book of Shadows, prompting an emergency portal to open that takes them to a command center and effectively enters them into witchness protection (get it?). Not to mention, it relocates them to Seattle — have we mentioned this show shoots in Vancouver?
But their safety comes with a huge cost — namely, their magical powers. Macy was also struck by one of the assassin’s darts, which is causing her to hear voices calling her home (never a good sign) and to hallucinate a much sexier, seductive version of Harry. After discovering the command center is essentially a witchboard (this is never going to get old) to track endangered witches around the world, the Charmed Ones have to decide what they want next. Will they seek to find answers to their predicament and help other witches? Or will they take their clean slate and start a new, non-magical life in Seattle? Witch, please — clearly they’re going to try to save the world.
After a season premiere which essentially upends everything we thought we knew, the episode has one final surprise in store — the mysterious hooded figure who set the events of the season in motion is none other than Harry himself. As Harry fought for his life and to protect his charges, he was astonished to discover the man he was battling shared his face (and voice!). A fact he has yet to reveal to Maggie, Macy, and Mel.
It sets up a huge mystery for this season amid other big questions like who or what is killing witches? How will the Charmed Ones survive devoid of their magic? And does Seattle have enough hot guys for Maggie to date?
So to get the answers to some of these questions, we called up the man behind the magical hero to talk the pressures of being the only whitelighter left alive, what on earth this masked reveal means, and if the sexier, more dangerous version of Harry we saw in Macy’s hallucination might be shaking up all those paternal season 1 vibes. So let’s make a perfect cup of tea, set out some rat poison just in case, and magically materialize this new version of Harry.”
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: What is going on with this hooded assassin and Harry? Has he been cloned? Is he having an out-of-body experience? We know demons can shape-shift to resemble others. There’s a lot of possibilities here.
RUPERT EVANS:There’s a lot of possibilities. As you know, at the end of episode 1, I see myself. As the series goes on, particularly into episode 5 and 6, we get a greater understanding of why there is another half of him out there, seemingly a darker half, and how that came about. You’ll learn how this darker half was created and why he was created. It’s sort of all wrapped in the mythology of whitelighters. It’s a really pivotal part of the season about looking back into Harry’s life and how he found himself as a whitelighter. A part of that is this other half. It’s a really exciting storyline for me personally because I obviously get to play two parts. And that’s really, for an actor, that’s the biggest treat, to play the good part and the bad part.
How soon might Harry let the Charmed Ones know about what he saw behind the mask?
Inevitably, it does come out. What’s interesting about these characters is we start to find they have secrets. Every character has secrets, but particularly for Harry, one of his biggest secrets that he is dealing with internally is the fact that it was him [under that hood]. He doesn’t really understand it either, and so, he goes on a journey of discovery. In doing so, obviously, the Charmed Ones find out along the way. But it’s a surprise to them.
We’ve seen the cost of secrets in this world before, so how much might his withholding that information endanger them in terms of mistaken identity or anything like that?
Well, exactly. Mistaken identity and who to trust and not to trust. Trust is a big element of the show this year and that certainly comes up. Mistaken identity, that’s a big part of episode 3 or 4 where it gets Harry and the Charmed Ones into big trouble.
Is there a connection between the voice Macy is hearing, the vision of Harry she saw in Seattle, and the assassin?
Yeah, there is a connection. This assassin, he is of the magical world, so he can infiltrate people’s minds and play games with them. He is this assassin-like person who’s another half of me somehow. He’s playing lots of games to try and lure the Charmed Ones. But we find out later why he’s doing this, and it’s one of the bigger arcs of the show this season about what his motivations are. So, they are all connected.
There were definitely some vibes that suggested romantic tension in that hallucinatory interaction with Bizarro Harry. So far he’s been a paternal figure, but will we see that develop further?
Harry’s relationship with the Charmed Ones has changed. They’re kind of starting again. They have new identities. And they have to create new lives. The relationship between Harry and the Charmed Ones changes dramatically from the moment they find themselves in Seattle. So it’s not so much a teacher/father figure. They’re more equal in many ways. They find themselves as a band of brothers who are trying to all deal with their new surroundings. [There are] certainly emotions running high with this assassin-like creature also out there. People’s emotions and love interests and all that stuff emotionally does get messy.
We’ve really only seen Harry in failed relationships — most notably, with Charity (Virginia Williams). There’s a lot going on, but might we see him get another shot at love this season?
We’ll see. I don’t know really. I always believe characters have an ability to be happy. I think at various times in our lives we all seek love or companionship in some form. So I’m holding out and hoping that Harry finds a connection with someone or something. I’m hopeful. We’ll just have to wait and see how it all pans out. We’re filming right now. We’re edging into episode 8, so we’re really only one-third of the way through right now. There’s a lot to play with, so not even I really know what’s going to take place. The only people that really do are the Elder showrunners — Liz and Craig know far more, but they’re being reticent about telling us.
Will we get answers about why Harry didn’t die and how he came back to life? And is it possibly a sinister reason?
Actually, there isn’t a sinister reason. It’s a mythology. We talk about it briefly at the end of episode 1. Because in season 1, I was banished by the Elders, and then I was given my powers back by Fiona. I am an independent whitelighter at the beginning of season 2. I am not attached to the Elders. I’m in this extraordinary place where I stand alone as a whitelighter, so I still have my powers, my abilities, but I am not connected to them. All the other whitelighters in the world are connected to the Elders. When the Elders die at the end of season 1, whatever happens to the elders happens to the whitelighters. So all the whitelighters die, except me. Because I’m not associated with the elders, I can’t actually die. So when I get stabbed, I then go back to the grave where I’m James Westwell and then I’m just regenerated straight away because that’s what whitelighters do. I’m in this weird place where I’m sort of immortal actually in many ways.
Harry is the only whitelighter left. How much will that weigh on him? That seems like a lot of pressure, protecting all of the witches on earth.
Whitelighters are there to protect witches and are assigned to protect witches, and this particular [underground bunker] is a center for that. We have the witchboard where we can see where witches are in trouble. It becomes incumbent upon Harry and Macy, because although she’s been stripped of her powers going through the portal, she does have some demonic power, as we saw in episode 1. So, she and I are the only ones that can help and protect witches. The weight, the responsibility of that, certainly weighs heavy on Harry and Macy. [But] I’m actually not the last whitelighter — even that has a twist this season, so there we go.