‘Chilling Adventures of Sabrina’ Part 3 is out now and it wasn’t an easy journey for Nick. HL spoke with Gavin Leatherwood about Nick’s downward spiral, the devastating breakup, Nick’s ‘glimmer of hope,’ and more.
Chilling Adventures of Sabrina Part 3 physically and figuratively put Nick Scratch through hell. After sacrificing himself for Sabrina, Nick went straight there — literally. Sabrina managed to get him out but not without consequences. The Dark Lord/Lucifer was inside of Nick for a while, causing all sorts of emotional trauma. To deal with the pain, Nick turned to bad coping mechanisms. His journey back from Hell wasn’t easy and his relationship with Sabrina suffered greatly. Nick lashed out at Sabrina while consumed with turmoil over what had happened and their relationship came to an end for now.
HollywoodLife talked with Gavin Leatherwood about everything that went down with Nick Scratch in Part 3. From those heartbreaking and charged Nick and Sabrina moments that changed everything to the “glimmer of hope” fans saw at the end of Part 3, Gavin discussed it all. He also teased what he could about Part 4 and gave some insight into those wrestling scenes. Read our Q&A below. Spoilers ahead!
First and foremost, when you learned that Nick was going to really go down this downward spiral in Part 3, what was your immediate reaction?
Gavin Leatherwood: I didn’t really know what to expect actually. At the end of Part Two, Roberto [Aguirre-Sacasa] and I had a conversation about where this was going to lead Nick. And then we had another conversation over the big hiatus in Los Angeles, where we sort of discussed and touched on certain ideas of how Nick was going to handle things and what his situation is going to be like. But everything was a little loose at that moment. Nothing was quite definite. As we read the episodes, from script to script, it was really exciting to see some material to get to sink my teeth into. I think most actors enjoy a challenge. I certainly am one of those. It was just exciting to kind of see these words on a page and to have the opportunity to bring them to life.
In episode 4, there’s just that devastating breakup scene where Nick completely lashes out at Sabrina says that she wasn’t worth him sacrificing himself. Talk me through that scene and what that was like to witness their relationship come crumbling down.
Gavin Leatherwood: We have these big table reads with the cast, directors, producers, and the writers before we start filming an episode. That was the first time that I had been able to read that script. It had just come out and we were reading it on that day. To see that in the script was like, wow, this is a big scene. This is something to really dive into. I mean, the first thing is getting the words and memorizing the crap out of it so that you can rely on that as a vehicle for the emotion. Everything else is just a lot of trust between Kiernan [Shipka] and the director on that episode, and the crew who all feel like family at that point considering we’ve already filmed Part 1 and Part 2. There was just a level of trust on set to be able to go somewhere emotionally and to safely come out of it around a lot of love. That was probably my favorite scene to film in Part 3. It was a wonderful challenge.
The elephant in the room for Nick and Sabrina this season was obviously the Dark Lord. He was literally inside of Nick and got into his head for pretty much the entire season, whether it was physically or mentally. Do you think Nick can ultimately get past that?
Gavin Leatherwood: I think there will definitely be some scars. I think he will be looking for solace. Even in Part 3, we see him using poor coping mechanisms. I don’t think Nick will ever be quite the same. However, will he get back to a place where he’s able to exist in the world without having a dark cloud over him? Time will kind of tell. You see him and Prudence at the very end sort of having a bonding moment, a bit of reconciliation after all the aftermath. Part 4 will kind of get more into that, whether Nick can recover and where he heads from there. But he’s really going through it. He’s really put through the wringer.
There was also that moment where Nick tells Sabrina that he wants a break and doesn’t know if it was the Dark Lord who made him say those terrible things to her. I feel like in that moment, he didn’t think he was worthy of her even though she said she’d give everything up for him.
Gavin Leatherwood: Nick’s got to do some work on himself right now. The clarity he has in that moment after being clean and processing what had happened, he becomes aware of the fact that he’s not fit to be involved with someone else. He’s really got to learn deal with his own demons. He’s not ready for that kind of level of intimacy quite yet.
Do you think Nick will ever truly be able to separate Sabrina from her father?
Gavin Leatherwood: I mean that relationship is always going to have its own weight. There are so many outside forces that were already affecting Sabrina and Nick’s relationship that I think exactly what they need right now is some space and some time away from each other. If they continued, it would probably just become more toxic for both of them.
In terms of the Dark Lord and Nick, clearly Nick still harbors a lot of anger towards him and there’s a lot of trauma there. I feel like they’re due for another showdown at some point.
Gavin Leatherwood: I agree. However, wrestling Luke Cook in that first episode and then seeing flashbacks of it throughout Part 3, wrestling that man was a challenge. I mean, he is six-foot-five. He’s a very strong dude. So if we have a showdown, I would like to use some magic perhaps, and maybe send him flying in the opposite direction. But the headlocks and body slams covered in oil, maybe we could do another version of it. We had a choreographer and a stunt team for that. I wrestled in high school and Luke is incredibly, physically talented. He used to be a trainer. He’s very athletic. We were doing some crazy ass wrestling for a couple of days.
At this point, after the events of Part 3, do you still think that Nick is the right guy for Sabrina?
Gavin Leatherwood: I think that he lends himself really nicely to Sabrina. I think he’s familiar with the world that they are immersed in and he is capable to take on certain obstacles placed before Sabrina. He’s a really good sidekick in all those ways, maybe even more so than Harvey is, bless him. Nick’s got some powers and understands this world. I don’t think it’s the right time. But I’m not going to say they’re not right for each other either. I think there’s a lot of love between them.
What did you think of Sabrina’s Elizabethan transformation at the end of Part 3?
Gavin Leatherwood: I think it’s wicked. I think we have such a talented crew and cast and design team. That moment is super badass. She looks incredible. It’s kind of an exciting yet terrifying thing to see this protagonist that a lot of us can identify with going through these epic changes that are shaping her destiny and to see where it leads her is a hell of a ride.
Prudence and Nick shared that delicate moment at the end of Part 3 and they both admit they feel so alone. How do you feel about how Nick’s journey ended in Part 3?
Gavin Leatherwood: I think it’s great to see that he’s finding some solace with Prudence. They’ve known each other for a long time and I really love doing things with Tati [Gabrielle] as well. I think she’s very talented. To see that moment happen shows that there is a glimmer of hope for Nick kind of ingratiating himself back into society. I think Prudence is kind of his way back into some sort of familiarity or comfortability with where he is.
Do you think Nick’s downward spiral is over?
Gavin Leatherwood: He’ll always have a bit of that trauma deep within. Like I said about him using poor coping mechanisms throughout Part 3, you just hope that you find some other means of dealing with it. I think the number one thing dealing with any sort of trauma or turmoil within the self is to communicate with others. Again, that scene with Prudence is a glimmer of hope. He opened up. He communicated a bit. That experience will always be a part of his past, but Nick is also a strong, resilient warlock. He’s a tough cookie. Sometimes there are other matters that require one’s focus and attention and concentration beyond the needs of the self.
Is there anything else you can tease about Part 4?
Gavin Leatherwood: The obstacles and challenges get even crazier and more daunting. If Part 1 was the beginning of the roller coaster ride and Part 2 was the ascension, Part 3 was the drop and Part 4 is all the crazy, windy turns.