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Mark Deklin talks bringing a mysterious charm to 'Devious Maids'

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A mysterious past, a possible scandal, a love affair; these are just some of the things involving Mark Deklin's character on Lifetime's “Devious Maids”. On the drama that tells the story of five Latina housekeepers of Beverly Hills' most wealthy and powerful, Deklin plays Nicholas Deering: a mysterious and charming millionaire with a closet full of secrets from his past. A past he tries to keep locked away from his romantic partner Marisol, played by Ana Ortiz. Can Nicholas keep the sins from his past away from his present? That battle is what Deklin says makes his role on this Marc Cherry/Eva Longoria executive produced series so fun for him. In a new interview, the actor discusses the possible twists and turns he is bringing to Beverly Hills making season two of this juicy show even more deviant!

Congrats on joining “Devious Maids”! How was it like being the new guy and coming into a cast that's already been together for a season?

Mark- Thank you. I am very excited. It's a treat to go to work everyday. Most of my stuff is with Ana Ortiz and Joanna Adler and I'm very, very lucky to be working with them. Great cast all around! We've formed a little social circle. We like to drink and eat good food and go out together. So it's been a great experience. If I have to work away from home, Atlanta is a great place to be. Really great restaurant scene there. Fantastic.

Tell me about your character. I know you play Nicholas Deering, a millionaire, whose his wife suffered a mysterious death. What are you most enjoying about playing him?

Mark- I have a two-fold answer. What I enjoyed about the idea of the character before I started working on it was just the idea that this was somebody who had a lot of secrets and layers. You'll see in the first episode, without giving anything away, the first episode for me is all set up. Not a lot happens; it's a lot of flashback and setting up of what happened in the past. It doesn't reveal the whole story of what happened in the past, but it sort of sets up the circumstances. So obviously this is a guy who is hiding a lot and the sins of his past may come back to bite him in the ass.
The second part of my answer is, what I have enjoyed the most is working with Ana Ortiz and sort of finding the relationship that Nicholas and Marisol have because even though he's a guy who has done some bad things, the one truth that we have come to - and I spoke to Marc Cherry and the producers about this very early on - I said is Nick really in love with Marisol or is this some sort of long con? And they said, “No that's the one thing; in the middle of all these lies and secrets, the one thing that is absolutely true is he is madly in love with Marisol. And she is also madly in love with him.” So that's the thing that she and I have really clung to and built everything around. And really all the secrets and lies that he is keeping are in the service of that. He feels like if she ever finds out what I did, she might not love me anymore.

So it's a really love story there between them.

Mark- It really is a love story. But it's juicy because like I said ultimately a relationship can't survive if it's filled with lies. So at some point he's going to have to pay the piper in some form or another. We just don't know what's that going to be. Obviously he doesn't know that either, and the audience doesn't know. They are sort of writing it as we go so I don't even know what Nicholas's penise is going to ultimately be. At some point the truth will out.

It definitely seems like he's a very mysterious character. What is it like playing someone whose background and story you are peeling back almost like an onion rather than all at once?

Mark- That's what's appealing about it as an actor. To me that's the fun of it. There was some back story that I sort of had to know- and I can't tell you what that is (Laughs). There are a few things that were hinted on early on and I went to the producers and said look guys you have to tell me at least what this is so I know what it is that I am covering up. There are some things that he has done. And I like the way like you said the onion skin is peeled back layer by layer. It's really fun. Every episode that I'm in you'll see a different side of Nicholas, and a different layer, and a different back story, and a different present story and a different emotional palette. As an actor, that's obviously really appealing; that you're not just playing the same person over and over again.

Are we going to see why he came to Beverly Hills? Since we didn't see him before, and you said he is close with the Powells, has he always been around this circle of friends even though the audience hasn't seen him?

Mark- Yes, from what I understand my first wife and Evelyn (Rebecca Wisocky) were very dear friends. And Adrian (Tom Irwin) and I were also very friendly. But I think after my wife died, I went into a sort of seclusion, and I think the idea is my character has been living in this sort of time capsule emotionally for almost 15 years. And then he meets Marisol, just by chance at a book store and they start talking and they hit it off. Then they start dating and his whole life just reopens. He was sort of shut down emotionally and she gives him a new lease on life. And so he's got to negotiate a lot of dark stuff from the past. So that's what we are going to be watching unfold.
I know I can tell you that it kicks off with a flashback to 1999. And we're going to revisit 1999 more than once during the season. We've shot a number of flashbacks. In terms of what we've shot so far, we haven't addressed why exactly he is in Beverly Hills. The assumption is that he has been there for some time. He is an established business man there and a philanthropist. And there was some talk at one point that Nicholas might run for office. I don't know if that's going to happen or not. Obviously all these things will be revealed over time, to the cast as well as to the audience.

Is there one moment you had with him that stood out for you as an actor? A scene or storyline that you found most personally filling?

Mark- Yes, and I'll give you a threefold answer this time! There was one scene in particular that for me was definitely as an actor the most satisfying. But sadly, I literally can't tell you anything about the scene because it was so pivotal and it would be a spoiler! But there were also other moments that were fun just in different ways. My first scene as the actor hired to play this role as well as Joanna Adler who plays Opal; it was our first day on the job and we were just thrown into the fire. And Eva Longoria was directing- and I've known Eva from before- we just dove right in and it was sort of an intense flashback scene and it was all-nighter, and it was outside and freezing in the middle of winter. It was just sort of intense and kind of wonderful. Because it was an immediate trial by fire, there was no dipping your toes in the shallow end of the pool, which was exciting. And then my third part of the answer, we had shot the first episode which is a lot set up for my character and a lot of exposition of his background, and when Marc Cherry and the producers gave me the answer about the fact that Nicholas and Marisol are really in love with each other, that gave me permission to really play that and really find that connection with Marisol. And so in the second episode not much happens for Nicholas, it's not his most exciting episode, but it was fun for me because it was one of the first episode's where you just see Nick and Marisol being a couple. Not a couple that are sort of troubled, or fraught, or trying to figure something out or hiding something; but literally just two people who are functioning under the same roof lovingly with this great sort of chemistry and that felt really good I think for both of us. It was just a moment where it was just a click. And Ana sort of went, “Oh, there it is! There's the relationship!” So that's satisfying too as an actor.
One of the things that was a concern of mine was I didn't want the sins of Nicholas's past to overshadow him so much that he just becomes a bad guy. And I'm not at all opposed to playing a bad guy, but the idea is if Marisol is in love with this guy, we've got to see why. If he's just this mustache-twirling villain, then why would she be in love with him? So it was fun to discover the other side of him: the part of him that really is a good guy and wants to be a good guy. That we sort of say hey I hope it works out for those two!

So we're going to see the good qualities in him, not just the bad.

Mark- I think we're going to see both. He's not a clean-cut good guy or bad guy. He's just a complicated guy. I think his intentions are generally good. He's not a guy who is saying I am going to do evil in the world. But that said, he's got some stuff in his past that he is going to have to deal with.

It's a very layered role and sounds very interesting.

Mark- Very layered, which is what turned me on to the role in the first place. I like finding either very good guys or well-intentioned bad guys. I like finding the gray areas. That's always interesting. More then black and white.

Anything else you have coming up?

Mark- I'm in the series finale of “Warehouse 13” and I think that's coming on next week. I shot that last year. They're wrapping up their whole storyline and I was brought in as a sort of old Frat brother to Eddie Mclintock.

Season two of "Devious Maids" premieres Sunday, April 20 at 10pm est on Lifetime.

@Meriamb

For more on "Devious Maids", check out my interview with Edy Ganem here!

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