Thomas Elms has starred in TV shows like Timeless and films such as I Still See You and Project Blue Book. He plays Hamish Duke, the leader of a pack of werewolves, known as the Knights of St. Christopher in the new Netflix series THE ORDER.
The show follows a college student named Jack who becomes a member of a secret society known as The Order. Some members of The Order use magic for questionable reasons, but the werewolves are always standing by ready to make sure that magic isn’t used for bad things. As the leader of the pack, Hamish tries to keep the other werewolves in line and when they aren’t chasing down rogue magic spells, he also makes a mean cocktail.
After watching THE ORDER, I thought Hamish and his werewolf brothers and sisters were the most entertaining part of the show, with their witty dialogue and intriguing storylines. In fact, I wasn’t very happy that the first season of THE ORDER ended in an insane cliffhanger and the future of the werewolf pack is uncertain. Recently, Nightmarish Conjurings had the pleasure of speaking with Thomas Elms about playing Hamish, being the leader of a pack of werewolves, Season Two of THE ORDER, and a lot more. Read on to find out what we talked about!
In THE ORDER, you play Hamish Duke, the leader of a pack of werewolves known as The Knights of St. Christopher. What appealed to you about the role of Hamish?
Thomas Elms: (laughs) Well, that right there pretty much sums it up! I mean even on paper the role sounded badass: a charming, swashbuckling, hard-drinking, laugh in the face of death alpha werewolf who’s war-weary from the long years of being a knight. The life and seeing his loved ones die in the line of duty had taken it out of him and now he was kind of stuck in charge looking after these young pups who didn’t respect him or his authority. It was so cool! I was excited to play a character who was a warrior and an old soul. I heard that every role is supposed to demand something different from you as an actor, for me, the challenge was to play a character who had all this power and status but exerted himself very little.
I just finished the first season of THE ORDER, and I have to say, the werewolves were my favorite characters in the show. How did you get into the mindset of Hamish and playing a supernatural creature?
Thomas Elms: Thank you! I think the dynamic worked out really well between everybody and I couldn’t have asked for better scene partners. It was great to evolve as these characters and as a cast. By episode six we were in such a groove and the writing was so much fun it made it such a treat to come to work each day. I think what’s great is they’re all kind of on different wavelengths: Hamish wants to drink and not wrinkle his cardigan, Randall’s got this great heart but doesn’t always think things through, Lilith is fearless and keeps them in line but the fierce lens through which she views magic and the world is difficult to work with, and Jack. Jack is just going: “What the hell is going on here!?” Somehow, they all balance each other out. I’m so glad you enjoyed the chaos.
As for Hamish, he always struck me as someone who was conflicted between love and survival. He’s got these friends that he cares about and wants to protect but underneath the hide, he’s a regular guy who is painfully aware of his own mortality and he’s tired of it. He’s still the alpha though, and I think he takes his position as a leader very seriously. He’s vigilant, he’s a guardian and he’s a killer, so wherever he is he’s always aware of where the exits are and of where the potential threats might be. He might be lazy and a bit of a dork but then you remember this guy’s been doing this for eight years and he’s still alive, that takes some serious wits considering the occupational hazards of hunting magic. We see he’s smart, he’s interested in philosophy and in the law, and if not for his werewolf double-life I suspect Hamish would be well on his way to a job in the Supreme Court. Instead, he’s still in college on his third Bachelor’s degree, his only friends don’t really take him that seriously, the love of his life whom he joined the knights for is dead, and it seems like things aren’t great back home. Basically it felt like a lot of zero-calories acting which sounds a little strange, but despite that I wanted Hamish to have a bit of a glint in his eye, like a little laugh he was having to himself or to the universe about his own position in life, so that he wasn’t always so stoic and serious all the time. I think Hamish likes being in control, he controls the alcohol, the big decisions, and I think he does it because he’s terrified of losing control and watching another person he loves be killed.
I watched a lot of wolf documentaries and there was something in the way wolves look through you that I wanted to use for Hamish. Imagine having supernatural strength and heightened sense like the knights do and never being afraid of getting stabbed or beaten up because you just regenerate, you would feel such a sense of animal superiority over everyone else in the room. Hamish was like one of those lions on the Savannah, you know if he wanted to, he could eat you, but he’s not interested in burning too many calories. When approaching the dialogue and voice of the character, I was really inspired by Clint Eastwood’s ability to deliver short lines that held tremendous weight, “Do you feel lucky?” “Man’s got to know his limitations.” There was something about the way Hamish usually did the least amount of talking but his words would often be expressing some deeper thought or idea that resonated for me.
We know that Hamish is the leader of the werewolves, has a calm demeanor, and he’s also really into making cocktails. Were you given a backstory for the character or did you create Hamish yourself?
Thomas Elms: Originally, I had auditioned for Jack, so playing the role of Hamish came as a total surprise. I asked for all the information available and I got sent a page of backstory on him and the plan for his story arc, so I did have a rough idea of what kind of character they wanted.
What do you enjoy most about working in the horror genre?
Thomas Elms: Getting to watch a stunt performer in a seven-foot-tall wolf suit tackle an extra onto a crash mat. Just how much fun adults can have to play with fake blood and other gross stuff. Horror’s a blast.
I don’t want to give away any spoilers, but I was not happy with the way the season ended for the werewolves. Can you tell me if there is going to be a second season and can you give me any hints about the future of the werewolves and The Knights of St. Christopher?
Thomas Elms: I feel your pain. Well, since the announcement is already out hopefully you and I can both look forward to some justice for our friends. Yeah, the ending really gets you in the feels. I can’t wait to see what the team cooks up for season two!
Can you tell me about your upcoming projects?
Thomas Elms: For me, it’s been back to the daily grind of day-jobs, auditioning, and going to class. I’m very lucky to be submitted for so many interesting parts so I’m hoping whatever happens to come along next will be just as amazing as Hamish was.