January 23rd, 2015   Backstrom No Comments

Backstrom premieres tonight in the US, on FOX! If you’re like me and outside of the US, I’m sure the wait will be worth it…

There’s plenty of buzz surrounding Backstrom, including a few great articles with Thomas. And don’t forget to follow his twitter @thethomasdekker where he’s been on a spree…

THE BACKLOT have posted a great interview with Thomas, about his character Valentine. Read the full article and interview here.
The BackLot: Valentine is definitely an interesting creation. How did you connect with such a crazy character?

Thomas Dekker: And he gets crazier as the show progresses.

Is there some of Thomas in him?

TD: Absolutely. I would say the Thomas parts of Valentine were the parts that came into the character when I was cast, and the parts that aren’t me at all were already there. The initial writing of Valentine in the original script– though obviously a lot has changed in the show– was he was sort of in pastels and totally over the top. Kind of a pure, comedic, kind of joke character. When I read it, I read that he had been a prostitute and was a thief, and lived on the streets, and I just felt that you can’t sort of really live that lifestyle and come out on the other side without some kind of edge.

So, when I went in to audition for [Executive Producer] Hart [Hanson], I remember saying to my friend on the way out, I was like, “Well, they’re either going to love this or they’re going to hate it” because I went and did the sort of Mohawk thing and the eyeliner and I wore my own ripped up punk clothes, which all that kind of Goth punk world is something that I’m personally into. Sure enough, a couple days later Hart was like, “I don’t know what the hell that was that you came in with, but we really like it.” And so from there the character became this combination of the parts that are me, and the parts that are very not me. He certainly gets around a lot more than I do by the end of the season, I can tell you that much.

Hart told me that he told the network right off the bat that they want a guy who is sexually active, not a relationship kind of guy.

TD: I have to be honest. I was shocked a couple times with what we were allowed to get away with on a network TV show. I mean, really, even while shooting it. There’s a scene in a later episode, with a character that was in juvie together [with Valentine]. He comes back and we have this sort of physical scene and both of us were like, “really? Really? On a Fox show, really? All right.” But it’s great.

We’re at a time when a show like How to Get Away With Murder got a lot of buzz this fall because there was a lot of gay sex. And it’s a mainstream show.

TD: The thing that’s most edgy and controversial about my character in this series, if we’re kind of on that topic, it’s not like its revolutionary and sort of that they’re declaring, yes, this is an openly gay character, and yes he gets around. That’s fine because I feel that’s pretty prevalent right now in entertainment, period. But where I feel that Valentine is really special and important in that universe is that I’ve never seen a gay character quite like him. What I like is that we’re not focusing on him being a gay character. We’re focusing on this sort of oxymoronic concoction that is his personality.

Hart will tell you that… we both say that… Valentine is the toughest character on this show. He’s the scariest character. He’s the harshest character. He will kick your ass, and then on the flipside be able to be flamboyant, and funny, and quippy, and sort of whimsical. You know, like we ad-libbed this whole bit, Kris Polaha and I, about how he loves Dorothy Parker, and so it’s a really unique character, but I feel like that’s what’s exciting. We’re not pandering to any one side or the other. He’s just Valentine, which is really great to play.

Tell me about Valentine’s wardrobe in the show, which represents everything you just said about him. For all the unconventional outfits, I hear we’ll be seeing him in a tux, too!

TD: It is a shock, believe me. We see him in a cowboy outfit. We see him in a tux. We see him in a bathrobe. We see him naked. We see him in his little underground beanie and black coat and sort of covert look. I mean, that’s the other great thing about playing this part: he’s a different person based on who he’s dealing with at what given point– and what he has to get out of a situation. So that, as an actor, is so thrilling. But yes, the wardrobe, for the most part, is sort of his usual look. That was definitely our great costume designer and I working a long time on trying to find genuine, kind of real street punk, kind of cool stuff. A lot of black, a lot of gray, a lot of leather. I joke he’s like the boy with the dragon tattoo, but funny.

Would you say his clothing and his look are kind of his armor?

TD: Yes. Absolutely. It’s his armor, but I think it also represents who he is. He is tough and he is smart…I think the last thing, ironically, that Valentine would like to be thought of ever, is like a sissy. So it is his armor, but it is definitely his edge. And I think what’s really great about Backstrom and Valentine’s relationship– and Rainn and I talked about this a lot while we were shooting it– is you’ve got these two characters who are both putting on a hard edge in their own way and are actually both very vulnerable. There is an episode called “Boogeyman” and it was the turning point in the show that it’s really not a comedy episode. It’s really serious, very, very dark. So we’ll see how the audience does with that.

But for Valentine, we find out about these really horrific things that happened to him when he was on the street. And it’s crucial because Valentine’s guard completely goes. There are a few moments throughout the season where– and for Backstrom it’s the same– we’re together. It’s like we’re the only ones that we’ll allow into that realm of honesty.

Would you say that Backstrom and Valentine are more alike than maybe they’d ever want to admit?

TD: Absolutely. It’s so hard to describe. They’re the most polar opposite types of people on paper, but personality wise, deep personality wise, they’re identical, you know? And that’s what has been the joy. I mean, until the end of the season I didn’t really have a single scene with anyone but Rainn, I mean a really sort of a one-on-one scene. By the end I do get integrated with the rest [of the cast], which is great. But until then, Rainn and I always felt like we were kind of of on our own little private show. On our own little private barge, and that was a great way to work. And I love the man. We’re horrendously mean to each other, but we love each other.

Best friendships are like that, right?

TD: That’s the real friendship, the real deal. He calls me number seven, because that was my number on the call sheet. And every day on set I’ll be like, “aren’t you that guy from The Office?”

I know Valentine is not about relationships at the start, but does he have a type? What attracts him to someone else?

TD: I think he’s a lot about physicality. He also is usually most attracted to someone he thinks he could get something out of. Meaning, whether that’s money, whether that’s something that he could steal, you know? I think Valentine absolutely has a heart, very much so, but it really only comes out with Backstrom. I don’t think he allows himself to really get close to too many people.

Rainn Wilson had some lovely things to say about Thomas and his role in the show, talking to Screen Spy.

Rainn Wilson: Yes, there’s definitely something going on there. There is some juicy connection between those two; between Thomas Dekker’s character, Valentine, and Backstrom. You will definitely find that out. That’s one of the great things about what Hart has done on this show is you go on a wonderful little story arc for the first 13 episodes. You get to know Backstrom’s father [Robert Forster] you get to know his ex-fiancée, and these kind of mysteries of who he is and why he is the way he is are revealed and that’s one of the interesting mysteries of it. Thomas Dekker is truly one of the very best actors I have ever worked with in my life. He’s astonishingly good. He’s so quick and he can go from high comedy to deep tragedy on the drop of a dime and he’s just a fascinating person and he creates fascinating characters. And so it just was this rich world of this relationship between the two of them. We always knew that it was there, but it just really blossomed and grew over the episodes. So you’ll see more and more of Valentine as this series goes along.

Finally, KSiteTV posted a cool little interview with Thomas too. Read the full article here.

“Valentine is kind of an anomaly,” Dekker says of this new character he is portraying. “He lives with Backstrom and is Backstrom’s underworld connection, so he becomes integral in solving cases when they come up, just due to all his bad behavior and illicit history. He is always kind of an integral key element into Backstrom solving a case that he wouldn’t be able to do just in the police department, but that said, he’s also his friend, he’s a thief, he is a punk rocker, he is gay, he is – he’s a lot of things, and the beauty of Valentine is is that he’s a sort of a different person from moment to moment,” Dekker explains.

“Even as an actor playing him, you know I never really know quite where he’s coming from, which is really exciting for me to play with, and ultimately, his purpose is to help convey who Backstrom is, because they’re both exceptionally different people,” he continues. “You’ve got one young, gay, punk rocker, ex-prostitute, ex-drug dealer, and you’ve got another middle-aged curmudgeonly cop, but the thing they have in common is that they both have very little belief in humanity and they’re very bitter and very dark and very acerbic and very satirical people and sort of the only people that they trust in their lives are each other.”

“They’re actually both very caring people, they just can’t admit it. And the mutual issue also is that Backstrom is afraid of everything, and has to hide it. Valentine’s problem is that he’s not afraid of anything and that gets him into trouble over and over and over again,” Dekker explains.

Thomas says that his own relationship with Rainn Wilson, who plays Backstrom, is similar to the one you see on TV. “Rainn and I have formed a very strange [relationship] in a sense that it it actually is really close to Backstrom and Valentine’s relationship. We do nothing but ridicule each other and make fun of each other all day, and it’s done with the most adoration and affection,” he says, before saying some very positive things about his costar.

“He’s one of the most exceptional actors I’ve worked with, certainly in television. He has an incredible ability for improvisation. There’s no two takes [that are] the same,” Dekker says. “There’s a great ease to when he and I work together, and I know that there’s a lot of respect, mutually, from both of us to each other.”

As for the characters, Backstrom’s a heterosexual cop, and Valentine’s a gay criminal. That will inevitably lead to conflict. “There’s an episode quite early on where Backstrom basically wants to throw me out, and it’s probably a very wise decision, but on the flip side, you’ve also got a young guy who takes care of him, and a young guy who provides answers that he couldn’t get any other way,” Dekker tells us. “Everybody’s kind of got a story, which is what’s great. There’s really no just generic character to explain what’s going on. Everybody is very detailed. That’s why I love the show so much.”

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Current Projects
Thomas as Gregory Valentine
Quirky crime drama featuring Thomas as a former gay prostitute and Backstrom's connection to the criminal world.
Genre: Drama | TV Series
Airdate: January 22 / FOX
More Information Photos Website

Fear Clinic
Thomas as Blake

Thomas plays a damaged young man checking into the Fear Clinic.
Genre: Horror | Movie
Airdate: DVD Release in March
More Information Photos Website

Enter The Dangerous Mind
Thomas as Jake

Thriller about a mentally ill musician.
Genre: Thriller | Film
Airdate: Unknown
More Information Photos Website

The White City
Thomas as Kyle

Moving story about a pair of troubled young artists in Israel.
Genre: Drama | Film
Airdate: Unknown
More Information Photos Website

My Eleventh
Thomas as

Thriller about a kidnapping.
Genre: Thriller | Film
Airdate: Unknown
More Information Photos Website

Thomas as Jacob

The story of a love triangle between Jacob, Josef and Aimee.
Genre: Drama | Film
Airdate: 2015
More Information Photos Website

The Potters
Thomas as Asher Potter

Animated story of a girl seeking memories of a forgotten life.
Genre: Animation | Film
Airdate: 2015
More Information Photos Website

Thomas doesn't currently have any official sites other than the following:


Site Information
Site Name: Thomas Dekker Source
Established on: August 2008
Owner: Sarah
The webmaster(s) of this website claim no ownership to any material seen on this website and is used, to the best of their knowledge, under the "Fair Use" copyright laws.
Musical Projects
Into the Night
Thomas has produced a brand new electronic album, new for 2018.
Official Site | Twitter.

Zero Times Zero
Thomas's brand new musical venture is the art collective 0X0.
Official Site | Twitter.

Thomas has 2 songs featured on the Official soundtrack for Plush, which he co-wrote. "Half of Me (Enzo Remix)" and my personal obsession, "Ultraviolet".

iTunes | Amazon

Thomas's eccentric but inspired debut album Psyanotic.
CD Baby | iTunes

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