Caleb Lawson is used to shouldering a lot of responsibility on This Life and his struggle to take care of his mother and siblings came to a head this week. While on the surface Caleb’s (James Wotherspoon) battles were mostly against a broken refrigerator, it was clear he had other battles raging, such as telling his mother the truth about dropping out of school, and whether to let his father David (Louis Ferreira) back into his life. Ultimately, Caleb told Natalie (Torri Higginson) that he’d testify against his father in the custody dispute, but his actions towards David hinted that he may not be able to follow through on that in the future.
In the past Caleb has always taken his job as “man of the house” very seriously and The TV Junkies recently caught up with Wotherspoon to see if that will continue throughout Season 2. He was able to give some insight into Caleb’s struggles, especially where his father is concerned, and why his struggles differ from those that his siblings are going through. He also shares whether or not Caleb will be able to hold true to testifying against David for Natalie.
The TV Junkies: Caleb finally told Natalie the truth about dropping out of school and she took it pretty well. Were you surprised at how well she reacted to that news?
James Wotherspoon: Yes and no. She gets a sense that Caleb has a good head on his shoulders and usually makes well-informed decisions. She can tell it’s genuine and not based on a feeling. He’s very methodical in his way and I think she can see that and is always going to support him.
TTVJ: Caleb really struggled in this episode and I think it’s safe to say those struggles were about much more than refrigerator repair. Can you just talk a little about where his head was this week?
JW: This episode is the calm before the storm for all the characters, but especially Caleb. He’s obviously being pulled between his mother and his father. His father is back on the scene and physically showing up at the house, so this is where he has to decide ‘am I with mom? Am I with dad?’ The idea under the decision about testifying is that he has to make it now and he sides with his mom. That represents him going back to that father figure role and taking care of the family. It’s not what he actually wants and it’s reverting back to the Season 1 version of himself. As the season goes on though we’ll see that might not last.
TTVJ: He did finally let David in, however small amount it was, this week. Why is what he’s feeling about his father different than what Emma and Romy are going through?
JW: Age plays a really big factor and the oldest child always knows things the youngest children don’t. They are there for the early years and he really saw what David did. He sees the true intentions behind everything he does, and he’s not blinded by the love of his father as much as Romy or Emma. He sees the truth and he can’t unsee that, which is making it really difficult for him to have the relationship with his father that he wants.
TTVJ: Do you think a relationship between Caleb and David is possible?
JW: I definitely do. In this episode you see a very small hint at that when he’s yelling at his father, sends him away, but then he thinks and says ‘wait we need ice.’ He lets his dad do something for them and I think that’s a big hint for what can come from their relationship.
TTVJ: Caleb seems pretty lost right now. So what’s next for him?
JW: He makes some really big decisions. He told his mom he’d testify but deep down he thinks that’s wrong and doesn’t want to do that. He makes a decision to become an individual and get out of that father figure role.
TTVJ: Do you have any other projects you’re working on that we should keep an eye out for?
JW: I just shot a movie called First Light, directed by Jason Stone, that’s a sci-fi and alien movie. It was really cool and awesome to do something so different from This Life.
What did you think lies ahead for Caleb this season? Sound off in the comments below!
Editor in Chief Bridget Liszewski comes from a long line of TV Junkies who fostered her love of television from a very young age. She's channeled that passion into covering both US and Canadian television shows, and is thankful everyday for the invention of the DVR. A graduate of the University of Notre Dame, she loves college football and is a fan of sports in general. Bridget is always up for talking TV and you can follow her on twitter at @BridgetOnTV.