One of the biggest things was that a lot of these witches were burned at the stake, and that apparently wasn’t true.
There were hangings, there was stoning, drowning, but there weren’t actual burning. [My character] comes back from war, he’s been through hell and back, and he’s very wolf man.
I guess what I’m learning now is that it’s just a time of extreme paranoia. I can’t remember what episode it is, I think it’s around 4, where certain events happen that brings him to the decision to kind of clean up a little bit. How much freedom do you have to make the character your own?
You’re filming in Louisiana, but have you ever been to Salem before? The beard is still there, and the hair length is still there and it’s the same exact wig, it’s just pulled back a little more. We have a lot of freedom because the show — and we have to stress this to the viewers or critics — I like to call it historical fiction.
[Laughs] But it’s historically one of the most tragic periods of time in our American history and we all know that.
But there were some things that I just assumed that happened that did not happen back then.
Shane West, fresh off his role as Michael in “Nikita,” is the dark drama’s male lead, playing John Alden, a hardened war vet returning to Salem. How much did you remember about the Salem witch trials from history class?
You know, I didn’t remember too much, and also being 35, it’s been awhile.