Monday, April 19, 2010

12 Days of EMPIRE: Chris Douros Interview

Chris Douros plays Thomas Haven on the indie soap EMPIRE. As part of the We Love Soaps "12 Days of EMPIRE" countdown leading up to the April 27 Season Two premiere, today's feature is an interview with the actor conducted at the first read-through of the script earlier this year.

On EMPIRE, Thomas is currently serving time in prison for statutory rape after an affair he had with Jake Harper, a then fifteen-year-old prostitute who he tried to pass off as his son. His engagement to long term girlfriend Marin Lively abruptly ended when she walked in on Thomas and Jake in a very compromising position. He still owns 50% of family business, Empire, the society magazine his grandfather created which he successfully transformed into a modern day tabloid.

We Love Soaps: Thomas had many dirty secrets exposed in the first season of Empire.  What is it like for you to play someone who has so many faces he is hiding from people?
Chris Douros: I hope it doesn’t reflect negatively on me, but it’s kind of natural [laughs].  I think literally it’s natural in modern society because we tend to compartmentalize.  We say, “It’s okay for me to be like this at home, but I can’t say this about people in public.”  Especially in acting classes, they have to break that down so they can be 100% full.  But Thomas carries that with him all the time. 

We Love Soaps: After all the secrets that came out in Season One, does Thomas have any left?
Chris Douros: No comment specifically.  But yes.  He is always going to have secrets because he is in the media, he controls his image, and that came down in a bad way at the end of Season One.  He’s still very strongly intent in being a mogul. 

We Love Soaps: Some people think Thomas is a pretty mean guy.  Is he mean or misunderstood?
Chris Douros: He’s just misunderstood.

We Love Soaps: How do you see his actions?
Chris Douros: He’s a guy with a lot of pain.  Growing up as he did, knowing he can’t be accepted by his father and his family for who he is.  He’s very sensitive, not in that he treats people well, but in the way he picks up everything.  He picks up everything, he sees everything, and he wants power.  So even if you’re a sensitive guy, at the end of the day you will have to make decisions.  Some decisions will benefit people, some will hurt people.  He sees that.  So he’s says, “Okay, I’m a sensitive guy, I’m just going to go and fucking do it.”  And that’s where his pain is.

We Love Soaps: His pain comes from making decisions that hurt others?
Chris Douros:  It’s from that, and knowing that he’s not accepted for who he is.  He can’t be who he is in the world he is in.  I thought that drives him.  And you get that with angry people who are abusive to other people.  They lash out in ways that are not appropriate, but their pain is very real.  That’s where he is. 

- The Hunks of EMPIRE
- 12 Days of EMPIRE: Harlan J. Strauss Interview

Damon L. Jacobs is a Marriage Family Therapist practicing in New York City at Mental Health Counseling & Marriage And Family Therapy Of New York.   He is also the author of "Absolutely Should-less: The Secret to Living the Stress-Free Life You Deserve".

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