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NOV
14
2 YEARS

'Hart of Dixie' Actor Wilson Bethel: Wade and Zoe's Relationship Will Get Rockier

An unexpected appearance by an ex threatens Wade's very existence: "This old flame is potentially a lethal weapon," Bethel tells THR.

Hart of Dixie - Wilson Bethel Rachel Bilson - P 2011
Greg Gayne/The CW
"Hart of Dixie"

The CW's medical dramedy Hart of Dixie isn’t a flashy show, but the drama is just as rampant (if not, more) in the small town of Bluebell.

In the case of bad boy Wade Kinsella (Wilson Bethel), new doc Zoe Hart (Rachel Bilson) and good-natured lawyer George Tucker (Scott Porter), their love "triangle" -- one of several -- has been at the forefront of the series. But Bethel is quick to point out that his alter ego is leaps and bounds ahead of his rival six episodes in. "We all know that he’s pretty far out in the lead," the actor told The Hollywood Reporter.

But not so fast. With peaks come valleys and that's exactly where Wade's headed. Bethel took some time out to chat with THR about Wade and Zoe's rocky relationship, a problematic ex-girlfriend and why Wade just may be the most moral person in Bluebell after all.

The Hollywood Reporter: At this point in the season, Wade is farther ahead in the game of grabbing Zoe’s attention than George is. Fair?

Wilson Bethel: I think you’re being too gentle. We all know that he’s pretty far out in the lead. [Laughs] If Wade has established a commanding lead so far, we might be getting some stutter steps. An old flame is entering onto the scene, definitely some jealousy issues arising between Wade and Zoe. Whenever jealousy enters the picture, it’s interesting to see how different people respond to it. This old flame is potentially a lethal weapon.

THR: Can you describe who Wade’s old flame is?

Bethel: I don’t think I can go into it too much, except to say that we were once real hot and heavy and gone our separate ways. Things threaten to get hot and heavy again.

THR: There was a reason why things didn’t work out and that’ll be explored?

Bethel: Yes, exactly.

THR: We also met Wade’s drunk of a father. What does that mean for the future?

Bethel: Because of the small town nature of the show, a lot of these ancillary characters that are being introduced have a lot of potential to be recurring on the series and Wade’s dad is no exception in that regard. He’s one of those characters who offers another glimpse into another side of Wade and starts to fill out a more nuanced character than a swaggering bad boy. He will be back.

THR: Will there be more uncovered about Wade’s mother or other relatives? Who do you think his mother is?

Bethel: So far, I don’t know much about his mother. The sense that I got is that Wade didn’t grow up with much of one – these are inferences that you have to make as an actor to make the character but you don’t actually have much evidence for it. My understanding of the character is that he grew up with a father he took care of, instead of vice versa and was forced into a parenting role at a pretty young age. Wade has a brother who I still don’t know how and when he’s going to surface on the scene, but will certainly look forward to that.

THR: Is there a line that Wade won’t cross?

Bethel: The interesting thing about Wade is, while on the one hand he has a carefree, “every man for himself” attitude, on the other hand I think he’s a highly moral character and I think he’s shown himself as such. I don’t think the two are morally exclusive, I don’t think that you can’t be charming, fun and rogue-ish, you can also have a strong code of personal ethics. He has both of those things pretty well on lock, which isn’t to say he won’t get himself into trouble. Wade’s idea of what is worthwhile fun, it’s the transgressions in the name of having a good time or seeing his particular type of revenge exacted. In terms of the bigger quandaries of life, Wade’s got a firm grasp on what he believes in.

THR: More so than others on the show?

Bethel: I wouldn’t say more so. With any character on a show that you’re rooting for, you have to trust in them to know the limits, so that you don’t stop rooting for them. He has a real sweetness to him and almost a kind of benevolence to him where he goes out of his way to do nice things.

THR: Is there a scene that has been shot that is pivotal to where he’s going?

Bethel: I think it’s safe to say that a large focus of Wade’s drama, so to speak, Wade and Zoe. So the pivotal scenes are usually involving twists in their relationship. Who’s got the upper hand in any given moment? Who is falling for who harder and pulling back? Expect a lot of back and forth between Wade and Zoe, that’s all I can say.

Hart of Dixie airs Mondays at 9 p.m. on the CW. Tonight's episode features a guest appearance by Nascar driver Brian Vickers.