Exclusive Interview with Salem’s Oliver Bell

Photo Credit: Brad Buckman

We are already five episodes into the new season of WGN America’s Salem and fans have been completely consumed with Salem once again. The main plot this season is that the Devil himself is living among Salem’s citizens in the form of Mary Sibley’s son, John. Sadistic and emotionless, Little John obviously has big plans to bring hell to Salem no matter who gets in his way. We’ve seen him delight in torturing Anne Hale, plot to take down the closest person to him, and relish in the fact that his devious plans will cost everyone their lives.

John is played by the hilarious and poised Oliver Bell, a twelve-year-old Floridian actor born to British parents. Bell is best known for his role on Salem as Little John; He’s also been seen on Westworld (Little Boy) and Once Upon a Time (Young Killian). Oliver may be young, but he holds his own this season of Salem as the Dark Lord. We were lucky enough to catch up with Oliver about what gets him into the Devil’s mindset, his dream costars, and his huge DC Comic collection.

The writers have taken Little John to a very dark place this season since he became the devil’s conduit. When you read the season three script, what were your initial reactions?

Well, I only get one script at a time and I mean you’ve watched the show enough to know that he only had a little bit of power last year. Once I read a few of these amazing scripts I was like, “This is great; this is me being powerful!” I got to imagine that my character would become so strong and powerful. He’s such an evil person. (laughs)

How do you get yourself into the Dark Lord’s mindset? I suppose it would be a difficult place to get to since he seems to be your polar opposite.

It’s the costumes, just going to costumes because they’re not clothes I would usually wear. And the set is just incredible. It’s just so easy to fall into that mindset, that character and being able to be in power. I just put myself in that world and become the person.

Last episode, John revealed that he’s been secretly working with Tituba the entire season and that he has a new and difficult task for her… Can you tease what John’s true plan is for Salem?

Well, he’s quite an evil person really, so things are just going to get worse. It’s going to get darker.

John seems hell-bent on bringing hell to earth and is quite obsessed with getting back at his father, God. Do we have a heavenly face-off in our future?

(laughs) He is quite mad at his father as you said. God doesn’t really make many appearances on this show, does he? (laughs) I feel like he would be pretty outnumbered if he came into Salem. I think you just have to keep watching and get into the episodes to really find out.

You’ve had the opportunity to work alongside some incredible actors (Janet Montgomery, Pierce Brosnan, Jessica Alba, etc.) at a very young age! Is there anyone you’re dying to work with and learn from in the future?

I have worked with some incredible actors, and I’m so thankful. I’m a huge fan of action films and TV shows. Anything really with a good story and a thrill. I’d quite like to work with Christian Bale because, you know, he did Batman, and Robert Downey Jr. Anyone in that genre because they’re the best at what they do.

What’s your favorite thing to do when you’re in between scenes on set?

Fans would laugh if they saw these mid-century people just gathering round, coming right off set and onto their phones and into their cast chairs. It’s actually quite funny because we all just hop on and are usually just tapping away.

At TalkNerdyWithUs, we’re all about what gets us excited and what we freak out about. What do you like to nerd out about?

(laughs) That’s probably the best question I’ve ever heard because I am a huge, huge DC Comics fan. At my house, over the last couple years, I’ve been enhancing a collection of over five hundred DC Comic Books; I have statuettes and even models from the Christian Bale’s films. I’m a huge, huge DC Comics fan.


You can see Oliver Bell as Little John on WGN America’s Salem, Wednesdays at 9/8c

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