'Carrie Diaries': Brendan Dooling on Walt's Big City Dreams, Breakup Blues and Carrie's Bond
"Even though Walt breaks up with Maggie, he loves her very much and she loves him just the same. They're never going to be apart," Dooling tells THR.
Carrie Bradshaw hits the Big Apple on the next episode of The Carrie Diaries, and this time, she takes one of her best friends with her.
In Monday's Halloween-themed "Fright Night," Carrie (AnnaSophia Robb) and Walt (Brendan Dooling) attend a hoppin' New York City costume party -- via Interview editor Larissa (Freema Agyeman), of course -- and, for Walt, the trip into the big city is a momentous occasion. It's a move Walt discovers he's meant to make. "Once he gets a taste of that, he realizes that that's where he needs to be ultimately," Dooling tells The Hollywood Reporter.
Dooling talks to THR about what's coming up for Walt, the obstacles facing him and Maggie post-breakup and his unique friendship with Carrie.
The Hollywood Reporter: The Carrie Diaries is your first big gig. What has the experience been like?
Brendan Dooling: This is my first big lead, recurring role and my first steady job. I wasn't so surprised by it, but I finally learned that there's so much going on around you while you're doing a scene.
THR: Walt is going through a ton of changes on the show, starting with his breakup with Maggie. How does that affect their friendship moving forward?
Dooling: Even though Walt breaks up with Maggie, he loves her very much and she loves him just the same. They're never going to be apart. Obviously, they might not be involved romantically again, but the love they have for each other is true, and they'll always be there for each other. It's not like the demise of the Walt-Maggie relationship. You're definitely going to see them more.
THR: What sort of obstacles will they be facing?
Dooling: Maggie has been cheating on Walt, so that's going to be the biggest wrench in the cogs. Once Walt finally learns that, things definitely take a turn -- but as I said, they've been together for two years, they've known each other for longer, and that's not something that goes away. They are there for each other through thick and thin, even if one has feelings for the other and it's not reciprocated. It's an undying love they have for each other.
THR: How does Walt react to learning Maggie's secret relationship with the cop?
Dooling: Anyone who has gone through it knows that there's a lot of self-questioning when that happens. What did I do wrong? What am I not giving them? Does this mean they're not attracted to me? What could I have done more or better? There's all of those expected feelings from Walt. It's things like that that drives him toward the ultimate discovery, whether or not that happens I cannot say. It definitely paints a bigger picture for Walt.
THR: We know that Walt is beginning the discovery process in terms of learning what his true identity is. What should we expect there?
Dooling: In this next episode, he is introduced to the city for the first time, which is something he's always dreamed about, just as Carrie has. Once he gets a taste of that, he realizes that that's where he needs to be ultimately. He's very involved with Interview magazine. We learn he's very interested in advertising, which is one of the reasons why he is an avid follower of Interview. Carrie's helping him out in terms of helping him realize where he needs to be to feel most comfortable. She's his best friend, so she's the one providing him with [all of this] because she realizes something isn't right. She's there for him by taking him into the city and bringing him away from the droll Connecticut suburbia life.
THR: Walt and Carrie have a very unique friendship. What sort of experiences will they be going through together?
Dooling: Their core group of friends has been established for a long time, and they do confide in each other, they are each other's confidante. We see more and more of that in episodes to come. Carrie is a very caring person, even though everyone is a little selfish in high school. She's aware of what's going on in her friends' lives. Walt needs that, for sure. They have that ability to listen, and the loyalty is truly strong between the two of them.
THR: Is there a recent scene that you shot that sticks out for you?
Dooling: There is a scene in the next episode where we were shooting on 27th St. above Madison Square Park. Walt gets his first taste of the ugly New York City, and it also features a big revelation for Walt in this particular scene. He has an interaction with bullies that is like a step backward for him. The trip into the city was two steps forward, but when he realizes there are mean people out there, it's another step back.
The Carrie Diaries airs 8 p.m. Mondays on The CW.