Devon Sawa discusses 'Nikita' and ... Jonathan Taylor Thomas
Devon Sawa makes his return to "Nikita," reprising his role as former Division guardian Owen, in this season's second episode, which airs Sept. 30. The episode finds Nikita and Michael investigating a former Division program named P9 when they come across Owen. The trio find themselves after the same man.
Show Tracker caught up with the former teen heartthrob. In addition to sharing more on what viewers can expect from the episode, the actor did a little walk down memory lane and answered a pressing question: Does he keep in touch with fellow former teen sensation Jonathan Taylor Thomas?
ST: What brings you back to "Nikita"?
DS: I’m running out of the Regimen again and I've got to find a way to get off of it — not just keep getting the pills, but to get off of it. it just happens that the place I’m looking for it, Michael and Nikita show up as well. Now we’re all kind of doing some stuff together.
ST: Some pictures from the set show you and Shane West (who plays Michael) in some pretty spiffy suits in one scene.
DS: Yeah, we got to put on some tuxes. And let me tell you, it’s hard to look good next to Shane West. It was fun. Usually Shane is wearing the nice, cool stuff and I have action gear on. But we got to dress up that day and there’s a big ballroom scene. Nikita, Michael, Alex and Owen are all there in different sections of the ballroom.
ST: Wait. So does it take a lot of persuading to get Michael on board to team up with you?
DS: The wall is starting to come down. Michael is starting to come around. In the end of the last episode I was in, I told Nikita to thank him. Owen’s got nothing against him. There might have been something in the past.
ST: There must have been. Has Craig given you any indications on what their back story is?
DS: I’m assuming they’ve had some experiences at Division. I know for a fact that [Michael] did hire [Owen] for one particular mission. But I think there’s a lot of past there. As far as Nikita and Michael goes, Owen is not getting in the way of that. So I don’t think that’s where the issues might stem from. From the very beginning, it’s always been that Owen and Nikita were more like brother and sister. I think the writers thought it would be too predictable to put them together. Nikita and Owen have just gone through a lot of the same things. We get each other. We’re hard-trained assassins with heart.
ST: Will there be a lot of action scenes in the upcoming episode?
DS: Yes, but it’s more Michael-heavy action. I get a little action there too. This episode does not slow down.
ST: And you’ll be coming back for more episodes?
DS: Yeah. The last scene is going to be a jaw-dropper. People are going to get excited and they’re going to try to predict where it’s going to go. It’s really clever. I’ve always loved doing the show and I’m open to doing as much as I can on it. It’s right up my alley. I’d do as much as they’d want me to do.
ST: What do you make of the TV world. Before this, you were mostly in films.
DS: It just a surreal experience. Everything’s condensed and a lot quicker, so its harder. I’d love to be on my own show. There’s stuff of quality now.
ST: You need to find a way onto "Pan Am" so you can be reunited with Christina Ricci.
ST: And it has that spy element!
DS: And I can come on and say, "Excuse me, ma’am, can I keep you?" That would be it. It’d be over! We’d get it done with.
ST: Do you know how many girls would die?
DS: You know, I was the first one to say, " 'Pan Am? How is that going to work?" And then I saw the preview for it and I thought it looked really good. I’d love to work with Christina. From what I remember, she was a sweetheart. Not only did we work together, but we did school together. We were becoming young adults together. She was a cool girl.
ST: Let’s stay on this journey back in time. You made the teeny-bopper magazine circuit along with fellow heartthrob Jonathan Taylor Thomas, who has totally came out of hiding randomly. He did that "Home Improvement" reunion for Entertainment Weekly and "The Lion King" (voicing young Simba) was re-released recently ....
DS: I think we all knew that’s he wanted to escape the limelight. When I was in grade 12 and he was a couple of years younger than me, he was doing the same work that I was doing. He was a smart young man. I think he just really wanted to focus on school. It wasn’t a surprise to me. He didn’t stop the business for any other reason than the fact that school was important to him. And he did it. Hats off to him.
ST: Well, but that’s sort of unheard of — giving it all up; it usually just slips away. What was it like, looking back, experiencing that sort of fanatical fame at such an early age?
DS: To be honest, as it was happening, I hated it. I absolutely hated everything about it. I came from a neighborhood in Vancouver, Canada — not a bad neighborhood or anything, just a neighborhood where you could get teased for that crap. Luckily in Canada those magazines weren't very popular at the time. I was against doing those magazines. But it didn’t matter what I did, my face was plastered all over them. It was surreal. They would find a way to get me on there. Now, I just sort of shrug it off. It got me to where I am today.
ST: But did it bother you when your face was no longer on every single cover? And do you even remember when that became a reality, when the new crop of young stars sort of took over?
DS: I don’t even remember the moment it happened. Maybe it was because I didn’t want to be on them anyway that it didn’t phase me? But it probably happened after "Wild America" where I sort of fizzled away. And when I came back I wanted to do something completely weird and different — that’s whan “Idle Hands” came around. I just wasn’t aware. I think JTT and I were replaced by 'NSync and Leonardo DiCaprio. Damn you, 'NSync!
ST: Now it’s Justin Bieber. Is it weird to sit back and watch how much more intense it’s gotten for young stars?
DS: Definitely. And that’s saying a lot because it was pretty crazy back in my day. I remember Jonathan and I were in a town car in London and girls chased the car. I felt like a Beatle.
ST: Do you guys still keep in touch?
DS: We did for a couple of years but then you kind of go your separate ways. It’s Hollywood.
ST: Like you said, you took on different roles. One in particular was a part in "Final Destination" ...
DS: I love that franchise. People keep asking, "Don’t you hate that it’s on No. 5 [in the series] now?" No. They have these young actors that come in and do a great job and they keep stepping it up with the horror. Three-D is the perfect medium to bring this franchise into .… It’s good. I love it. I’ve seen them all.
ST: Well is there a genre you'd like to tackle next?
DS: I’d like to go back and do a romantic comedy.
ST: Who would you cast as your leading lady?
DS: Hey, I’d like to work with Christina Ricci again. But this "Nikita" stuff is fun for now.
ST: For you or Owen?
DS: Both. This episode is going to send Owen into his own bizarre little world.
-- Yvonne Villarreal
Photos, from top: Devon Sawa in a scene from “Nikita”; Sawa graces the cover of BB, along with Jonathan Taylor Thomas, during their days as teen sensations. Credits: CW; BB