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Feature: Charmed

Quenching Cole's Fire

Julian McMahon

He’s the demon who came in from the cold, saved by his love of a good witch. But now his days are numbered…

The 100th episode of Charmed, rather straight-forwardly titled Centennial Charmed, sees the final reckoning for the reformed demon who’s stolen for the show for the last two and a half years. Sometime in late January, Julian McMahon will make his last appearance as Cole Turner, to the dismay of the many fans who campaigned to keep him on the show last spring.

It was the actor’s own decision to leave, and it’s not one he took lightly. “This past summer I began thinking that I needed to push myself more as an actor,” he notes. “That sort of spun off into, ‘What else can I do as Cole?’ I thought it was best that he go out with a bang as opposed to a whimper, you know? This character has been so good to me, and producer Brad Kern and the show’s writers have been just terrific that I felt I had a duty to leave them in a way that made them feel, ‘Wow, that was good. I wish Cole were still around to write for.’ That’s a great place to be at with a character.

“After discussing things with Brad we both felt that we would be drawing things out if we kept Cole around. I not only believed that was unjust for my character but also the three girls. I didn’t want to hold them back in any way. After all, Cole has dominated their characters’ lives for the past three years. I also didn’t want the viewers to get bored with him. So Brad and I decided that it was time for my character to move on, and we more or less set in motion his demise from episode one to episode 12.”

That plot arc brings to an end a rocky romance. Phoebe Halliwell didn’t find it hard to fall for devilishly handsome district attorney Cole Turner when he first walked into her life, but then she had no idea that Cole was, in fact, a half-Human, half-demon assassin hired to dispose of The Charmed Ones by the evil Triad. Luckily for Phoebe and her sisters, Cole’s Human side fell in love with her, and after renouncing his former evil joined forces with Phoebe and her bewitching siblings in their fight against the forces of darkness.

“When my character was first introduced at the start of the third season it opened a new chapter for the show as well as the cast, producers, writers, etc,” says McMahon. “It was one of those things where everyone was running on a ‘this is all brand new for us’ type of energy. My concern was whether or not this could sustain itself for the rest of the season let alone beyond that. I needn’t have worried, though. Little by little, Cole pulled away from being so oriented towards Phoebe and began to establish his own identity. He became almost an antithesis to the three girls. This continued into the fourth year when they were also bringing a new sister, Paige, into the fold. Even then, I felt like the writers and Brad Kern continued to work really hard at maintaining my character’s initiative and steadfastness. I owe them a lot.”

by Steven Eramo

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Photo © Warner Bros
Feature © Visual Imagination 2003. Not for reproduction

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Xposé #76
February 2003
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