Thomas Dekker knows that a lot of people who saw him in his last two major projects -- as flamboyant Lance Loud in the HBO film "Cinema Verite" and as a bisexual college student in Gregg Araki's "Kaboom" -- are wondering what the young actor is doing in "The Secret Circle," The CW's new Thursday occult drama about a coven of teenage witches.

"Honestly, I find that any of these gives me a joy and a challenge in a different way," he explains. "After some of the bold choices I made over the last two years, I wanted to do something with more mass appeal, something that is pleasing to a larger audience."

He was drawn to his "Secret Circle" role of Adam Conant because the character has the kind of "duality" he always looks for in a role.

"It's interesting to play this very masculine, very 'American' strong guy who is trying to keep order in this group and is not out so much for himself," Dekker says. "He's a simple guy from a simple town, but on top of that he is very in tune with these abilities and powers he was born with, and in order to conduct those properly, you have to be in tune with nature. You have to be gentle and spiritual and sensitive, so there were two opposing things there that you don't often see in television, particularly in male roles."

Having a steady "day job" also affords Dekker the opportunity to explore his interests in other endeavors such as music, photography, writing and directing.

In fact, during his hiatus from "Circle," Dekker hopes to begin shooting a gritty indie film he wrote and directs about young people pursuing celebrity in Hollywood. He says it's "graphic," so don't look for that on The CW anytime soon.

Favorite book: " 'Death in Venice' by Thomas Mann. I just think it's a beautiful piece on aging and beauty. I remember reading it twice in one sitting at Jerry's Deli in Los Angeles, which is open 24 hours. I was there from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. and just couldn't move from my seat. I love that book."

Favorite movie: "David Lynch's 'Mullholland Dr.' I have watched it more than any other movie and I don't get tired of it. I love that it's like 15 different movies in one, and yet David Lynch never loses control of it. It takes you to a place that you weren't prepared for, and you don't know how to walk away from it."

Favorite record: "On the whole, I would say the album 'Homogenic' by Bjork. It's composed musically of strings and beats that she created out of the volcanic eruptions and sounds of Iceland. To harness this sort of 'wild,' natural soundscape into electronica while writing these incredible complex and gorgeous string arrangements (is amazing). That album probably was the biggest influence on me. I realized that was the path I wanted to follow musically."

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