Friday, September 2, 2016

Brant Daugherty: Noel Kahn a Misunderstood Villain

Actor Brant Daugherty, who plays Noel Kahn on PLL, had some interesting thoughts on his character. He thinks of Noel as a misunderstood villain. If he looked at the situation from Noel’s perspective, then he could see how Noel felt like the Liars were the ones who antagonized him. He brings up some good points about how the Liars kept accusing him of things he didn’t do. He also describes how they filmed the scene where his decapitated head rolled down the stairs. (In another interview, Brant Daugherty hints at what Noel's been through during the five year time jump and talked about Noel's ties with Charlotte.)

Brant Daugherty explained that they used his actual head for the decapitated head scene. It wasn’t a prosthetic head. “We wanted it to bounce down the steps, so they CGI-ed my body out but they had to have my head on a step and I had to bounce. It was very, very technically tricky and we had to do it about a hundred billion times to get it right. So I had to bounce my own head off the step, and then land, and then settle into its final resting position. It was one of the more bizarre days of my life” Brant said. It was so weird that the cast couldn’t stop laughing while filming. “We were all laughing between takes. We were like, what are we even doing right now?” Brant told Vulture.

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Brant thinks Noel’s death was fitting for the character. “If you look at it technically, he wasn’t murdered, he was complicit in his own death. It was an accident brought on by his own actions. And that sums up what Noel has been through throughout the course of the show, which is trying to control and manipulate situations that ultimately don’t serve him in the long run. He died the way he lived” Brant said.

So what did Noel mean when he told the Liars “You bitches never understood me”? Even though that line wasn’t explained in the script, Brant has his own theory on what his character meant. “Noel was such a great, complex character. Not just a great character in the sense of this show, but he was a good person, and he wanted nothing more than to be with Aria and have a healthy relationship and be a popular rich jock and throw parties and have fun. It was all very harmless. And then Aria betrays him for our teacher, and then I get suspended from school, and then this whole cascade of terrible things happens to him throughout the years. Some of them are his own fault, but a lot of them are not. And he’s not privy to the same information that the four Liars are about “A” and all of these things. So he’s been misunderstood his entire run on the show. He’s always been something that they don’t see him has. They see him as a villain, they see him as this, they see him as that. And then finally in the last season, he owns it, and he becomes that villain. And I think he means a lot of things by saying ‘you never understood me.’”

Brant tried to look at everything from Noel’s perspective. “Everything he was mistakenly blamed for, or felt ashamed for something that he didn’t do. He had a tough run, and it all culminates in this moment when he’s finally going to take these people out with Jenna. That was their plan. And I was just trying to run through everything that went into that moment from the start. So a lot of it had to do with Aria; a lot had to deal with the accusations from Spencer; the constant side-eye from Emily. The way they treated him over the years. If you look at this show from Noel’s perspective, which is what my job is, he’s not a bad guy. In a way, the four Liars have been antagonizing him for years.”


via GIPHY

I think Brant Daugherty’s theory on what Noel meant by “you bitches never understood me” is really interesting. Noel really was upset when Aria dumped him for Ezra in season one. And he brings up a good point about the Liars always seeing him as a villain, even before he did anything to them. I love how Brant said “the four Liars have been antagonizing him for years”. There was that time Spencer accused Noel of murdering Maya. And remember when Holden kicked Noel to “rescue” Aria from Noel? Wouldn’t it be awesome to watch a PLL spinoff showing PLL from Noel’s point of view? What do you think of Brant Daugherty’s analysis of his character Noel Kahn?

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