'Nikita': Shane West on Michael's past, potential romances
"This felt like a good time to get into why Michael is as dark and violent as he can be," West tells Zap2it about Thursday's (Nov. 11) episode "One Way." "Yet he still seems to have a heart and have feelings for Nikita and his job caring for the recruits."
At Division, Michael is second only to Percy ( Xander Berkeley) and possibly the mysterious Amanda ( Melinda Clarke). He once trained and harbored feelings for the recruit Nikita before she went rogue and now trains Alex ( Lyndsy Fonseca), who, unbeknownst to him, is Nikita's mole. Behind his dedication is the tragic story of what brought him under Percy's command.
"In this episode we get to see flashbacks of when he was younger and happier with his family before he was ever at Division," West says, adding that someone close to Michael betrays him. "That's what fuels Michael's fire. We'll be going back and forth from the past to the present. In the present that person comes up on the grid again, and now that Michael is part of Division, Percy has allowed him to do this on his own."
The flashbacks occur about a decade in the past, so expect to see a different Michael from the current one.
"My hair looks tremendously different, let's put it that way," the actor says with a laugh. "I do not have a wig but my hair is styled differently and colored differently with wash-out coloring. Also, in the flashbacks I'm clean-shaven."
As we can see from the promo, Nikita and Michael team up to find the person who betrayed him.
"He doesn't just call Nikita. She follows him and gets herself involved," West explains. "She knows who this person is and what he means to Michael, who'll be a loose cannon. Michael's always in control, but he's not in control in this episode because this person took away his life. It's not something that he's come to terms with at all."
Although the chemistry looks promising in the preview, don't expect a happy romantic interlude between Michael and Nikita just yet.
"One of the important things about this episode is that it drives a stake between the two of them," reveals West. "It brings them together but it doesn't end well. I hope the audience will be upset in a good way about it.
"It's not hard get Michael and Nikita together," he continues. "It's hard to keep them apart. This is going to make it a little easier to keep them apart for a while because that is, in truth, where the love story is."
And even though West doesn't know exactly what the writers have in store relationship-wise, he does have strong opinions about who shouldn't be together.
"I don't think they should go that way with the Owen character that Devon Sawa is playing," says West. "I feel it's a horrible idea because they've already written in that he killed her love, and he had his wife shot in front of him. It's just stupid. That just needs to be a friendship thing."
Also, despite the obvious chemistry between Michael and Alex -- even Amanda has noticed his compassion for the pretty recruit -- West doesn't want their relationship to become romantic.
"As much as I love that idea of a storyline, my one disagreement with Michael and Alex together is that it might just be cheapening Michael and his feelings for Nikita," he says. "Because what, does Michael fall in love with another recruit every time? Is this what he does? It's a little gross."
Check back for more of Shane West's interview when he answers Zap2it's Celeb Slam Book questions.
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Photo credit: The CW