- Tiny Pretty Things -Damon J. Gillespie Reacts To Caleb’s ‘Tiny Pretty Things’ Cliffhanger
Warning: Spoilers for Season 1 of Tiny Pretty Things to come.
The first time we meet Caleb in Tiny Pretty Things is at The Archer's gym, when he and Oren are working on their abs and their alibis for the night Cassie Shore was pushed off the roof. There, they spot Caleb's roommate, Nabil, being questioned by detective Isabel for a second time. "She must smell blood," Caleb says. The implication points to Nabil's guilt, but, 10 episodes and one cliffhanger later, viewers may just be sniffing in Caleb's direction. Just ask the actor who plays Caleb, Damon J. Gillespie.
"I think by the end of the season, [Caleb is] confused, hurting, and definitely out for blood," Gillespie tells The Dipp over email.
But just how far is he willing to go? Following the sudden ousting of Madam Monique DuBois, the director of the Archer School of Ballet, Caleb vows to help her regain control of the school. But pay particular attention to his words when he bursts in her office: "I just settled one score. You wanna fight these fuckers? I'm in."
While the moment seems to set up a potential storyline (and continued partnership between Caleb and Monique) for a second season, don't sleep on the fact that he says a "score" has been "settled." Hmm. And then there's also Ramon's dead body over in the dance studio. Double hmm.
The Dipp caught up with Gillespie to break down Season 1 of the show, Caleb's relationship with Monique, and his take on that final cliffhanger. Read on to see what he had to say — and who he thinks is more than capable of killing Ramon.
How familiar were you with the novel Tiny Pretty Things by Sona Charaipotra and Dhonielle Clayton ahead of filming?
Before auditioning, I’d actually never read or even heard of the book. I read a few chapters before venturing to Toronto to film, but when I heard that my character wasn’t in the book, I stopped. I didn’t want to spoil the story. I’m also really bad at memorizing things and reading at the same time.
Did you know throughout filming who was going to be responsible for pushing Cassie?
We had absolutely no idea who pushed Cassie. The writers and producers kept all of us in the dark except for Tory [Trowbridge, who plays Delia]. We all did our investigative work, and tried to figure it out. We all had our suspicions and it truly could’ve been anybody. We didn’t know for sure until we got the final script. Then we started to get all of the twists and that’s kind of what shocked us.
When I read it was Delia, my response was, “It had to have been an accident." But when we found out that Mrs. Whitlaw knew the whole time, that’s what had me screaming.
Can you speak about the friendship that forms between the Nabil and Caleb throughout Season 1?
I honestly don’t think that they’re friends yet. I think they have a mutual respect for each other. Caleb is a very loyal person, and it takes a lot for him to let people in. And I think that even with Nabil going through his situation, and turmoil, he is still in the way of Caleb’s greatness. I don’t think he’ll be pushing him in front of busses anytime soon, however.
Caleb's relationship with Monique influences his choices throughout the season, especially when he moves forward with making the video. How do you view their relationship?
I think it’s a toxic relationship. You have two people who are desperately hurting, and dealing with trauma, and they chose the wrong way to deal with it. Any relationship that you can’t share with your peers and/or friends is a red flag for something unhealthy. If you take the power dynamic and the age difference out of the situation, it’s still not a great relationship. However, in seeing it, I think it’s shining a light on what toxicity can look like even if it appears innocent and healing.
There's a moment in the season when Monique tries to break it off with Caleb. From your POV, what do you think the motivation is there? Is she trying to do the right thing?
I truly think she is. I think Monique has been dealt an unbelievably terrible hand in the community that she was raised in. When someone is hurting, and they’ve finally snapped out of the traumatic induced behaviors, they start to see things clearly. She knows what it’s like to be taken advantage of and she finds herself doing the same thing years later.
Obviously Bette is prepared to take the fall (no pun intended) for Delia pushing Cassie. Is that as black and white as it seems? Who do you think has the upper hand in that situation?
Honestly, I think about that a lot. If a person falls from four stories, and remembers everything that happened, including everything while she’s been in a coma, what can you actually do? Bette was drunk and doesn’t really remember what happened the night before. I think Bette has her back against the wall. I don’t know if she’s prepared, but I think she knows it’s what she has to do. And she’s terrified.
Do you think Cassie still reigns over the school and has something planned? Or is she bluffing?
I don’t think Cassie still reins supreme over the school, but I think she’s about to. I think she’s about to set that place on fire, figuratively speaking. She has dirt on everybody, especially the ones who visited [her in the hospital].
The season ends on a major cliffhanger. Caleb has some major motives for killing Ramon (especially considering Ramon's relationship with Monique). Do you think he's capable?
Caleb tried to push Nabil in front of a bus and instead pushed him into his friend, [who was pushed] in front of a bus. I think Caleb is capable of a lot. I think by the end of the season he’s confused, hurting, and definitely out for blood. I have no idea if he did it. But I know that he could.
What would you want to see should the show be renewed for a Season 2?
I want to start to see their family lives. I wanna know about Oren’s family, Shane‘s family, Nabil‘s family, etc. I really want to see where these people came from. And why they behave the way they do. I want to know more about the characters.