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TVGuide: Meet Phoebe Tonkin, The Secret Circle’s Bad Girl

The Secret Circle’s Faye may be labeled the show’s resident bad girl, but star Phoebe Tonkin insists that’s she just misunderstood. “She’s not really evil; she’s just misguided and pushes people to their limits without realizing what the consequences would be,” Tonkin tells TVGuide.com. “And she’s not trying to hurt anyone; she’s bored, and she likes doing magic.”

The Secret Circle, which debuted on Sept. 15 to 3 million viewers, introduced us to a secret coven of young witches that includes Faye, Adam (Thomas Dekker), Diana (Shelly Henig), Melissa (Jessica Parker Kennedy), Nick (Louis Hunter) and new girl Cassie (Britt Robertson). Together they’ve joined forces as they discover newfound — and apparently hereditary — powers. Faye’s mom Dawn (Natasha Henstridge) is the main reason Faye struggles with morality.

“Faye’s mother is not the most ‘good’ character on the show, and that’s the only kind of mentor that she’s had growing up,” Tonkin says. “There’s a bit of a power struggle between the two of them when Faye starts realizing her mom isn’t who she seems. There’s going to be a bit of a moral dilemma and she’ll either rebel or join forces with her.”

Tonkin says that Faye has very different relationships with each of the literally powerful young women on the show. “Melissa is her sidekick,” Tonkin says. “She’s very used to bossing Melissa around and doing what she tells her, but as we delve into the series, Melissa is going to start getting a bit more confident.” Tonkin calls Diana, who Faye has known since they were toddlers, the complete opposite of her and labels her the “goody-goody” of the group. “All of the other characters are concerned with the power and responsibilities and Faye can’t understand why no one else realizes that we’re these 16-year-old kids with witch powers. How is that not the coolest thing in the world?”

While the initial episodes focus on the witches fine-tuning their capabilities, Tonkin says the series will eventually delve into the circle’s connections to the past. “There are people that want this power stripped from us and we’ll see what the older generation of witches’ intentions are. There’s a whole backstory about what happened to the parents who died when we were really young,” she says. “Everyone’s going to change sides. The characters you think are good may end up being bad and the bad may turn good.”

Published September 21, 2011
by Robyn Ross