If you had a mess to clean up – a really big mess – you would call in a professional, right? Well, the small seaside town of Haven has dealt with more than its fair share of big messes over the years thanks to the “Troubles,” a supernatural curse that afflicts some of its townsfolk. Haven’s former sheriff, Garland Wuornos, who also suffered from the Troubles, had Dwight “The Cleaner” Hendrickson take care of such matters. Now his son and Haven’s new sheriff, Nathan Wuornos, also employs Dwight’s services.
Although The Cleaner’s work has become second nature to him, for professional wrestler-turned-actor Adam Copeland, who plays Dwight, the supernatural world of TV’s Haven was brand new to him and his initial involvement in it came as a welcome surprise.
“I had just retired from the WWE [World Wrestling Entertainment], and two days after that I received a phone call from the WWE offices asking if I’d be interested in doing a part in Haven,” recalls Copeland. “I was still under contract to the WWE at the time and I thought, ‘Sure, that would be great,’ because now I had time to actually pursue other things. It [acting] was never part of my mindset before just because that type of work requires a tremendous commitment. It doesn’t really leave you the time or energy to do anything else.
Dwight Hendrickson (Adam Copeland) makes his first Haven appearance in season two’s “Sparks and Recreation.” Photo by Michael Tompkins and copyright of Syfy.
“I thought this would be the perfect time to jump into something almost right away and give me another creative outlet. So that was the genesis of how I became involved in Haven. I can’t speak for sure, but I think initially it was only supposed to be a one or two episode type thing. However, it grew and blossomed from there, and thankfully, too, because I’ve really enjoyed the acting process.”
The Cleaner makes his first appearance on Haven in the second season episode Sparks and Recreation. Dwight arrives to repair damage caused by a severe electromagnetic discharge during a local little league baseball game. After Haven’s mayor is killed in another electrical mishap, Nathan (Lucas Bryant) and his partner Audrey Parker (Emily Rose) discover that the two incidents are connected to the Troubles, and with Dwight’s help, they try to find and help the person responsible.
“I remember coming onto the Haven set and not feeling like the new kid in school, which was nice,” says Copeland. “My first scene was actually with Lucas Bryant. The two of us got to talking and realized we had grown up half an hour from each other. We shared a very similar sense of humor and were familiar with a number of Southern Ontario-type references that unless you grew up in that part of Canada, you wouldn’t even understand. It’s funny, because right from the get-go, Emily looked at me and Lucas and said [jokingly], ‘Oh, no, there are two of you now.’