Tag Archives: Emily Andras

Wynonna Earp: Melanie Scrofano talks directing, Mama Earp and Letterkenny

Fans of Wynonna Earp are still aching over the death of Xavier Dolls. And, understandably so. But last week’s new episode, “Colder Weather,” went a long way to healing those wounds with a memorable and emotional sendoff.

With a new episode coming later this week, here’s our interview with Melanie Scrofano, who talked about this season, the man who plays the show’s biggest bad, directing and her scene-stealing role on Letterkenny.

Despite the fact that it’s been fantastic to have a baby in real life, has it been kind of nice to not have to worry about your health while filming the third season of Wynonna Earp?
Melanie Scrofano: Yeah. There is such a freedom that came with having my body back, but also just not having … it was not just that it limits your movements, to do everything it was just less elegant. And it wasn’t as free as I wanted to feel, but it was also just hard feeling like everybody for lack of a better term, was babying you, because everybody understandably was like, ‘I don’t want to be the reason that she has a miscarriage on set.’

How fun has it been to come back into that world and to play this character for the third season?
MS: Well, funny you should mention that. I think Emily [Andras] wanted to start off with a bang and really remind people who Wynonna is and that for me was just so fun. I was scared in Season 2. I was like, ‘If we don’t get a Season 3, I won’t get to feel this free and have fun again.’ We just had the best time. I think there’s no better way to show people how not private I am any more than riding the mechanical bull and being drunk and having your shirt wide open.

A lot has been said about Megan Follows and the character. I know you’ve been asked this question before and I apologize, but I have to ask it, what was it like working with her?
MS: She is such an icon and you never know what you’re gonna get because she’s been around for long and done such iconic stuff. She brought her skills and professionalism and it really just reaffirmed my wanting to make the show the best it could be because that’s what she wanted to do. She questioned her character all the time and she always wanted to make it honest and authentic. You know, for someone going into Season 3 who could become a bit complacent, it was a great way to kickstart the season by really reaffirming all those questions why am I doing what I’m doing.

One of the big fears that Wynonna had back when we first met her in Season 1 is that she was crazy.
MS: I think any kid—don’t tell my parents—but you see your parents, and you want to emulate their good side, but more often than not we’re taken with what we don’t want to replicate. For Wynonna it’s one of her biggest fears is ending up … she was in a mental institution when she was a teenager. She was proven to be not crazy by the fact in Season 1 everything that she had been talking about turns out to be true.

However, there’s still an element of that all happened to her when she was so young and seeing her mom go to the psych ward, it never stopped being a part of her DNA to be afraid of it. I think it’s just a constant battle not to end up like her mom in a lot of ways. As a parent even.

Let’s talk about this character played by Jean Marchand. What can you say about this incredibly bad dude that has entered this world named Bulshar?
MS: It’s like everything else is a trickle-down of this demon so he’s like the scariest. The way Jean Marchand plays him, it’s just such an unexpected refinement. It’s kind of refreshing to have, it’s sort of like the scariest dogs are the ones that don’t bark.

He just oozes this sinisterness and doesn’t have to really say anything which is kind of cool.
MS: Yeah. What’s interesting is that he in real life is the most generous, like he will not stop giving me DVDs. He’s generous, kind, and a fan of the show before he was on it. He is exactly the opposite which is so often what you hear about these bad guys, but it’s so cool to see him play such a dark presence.

A quick question about directing. You directed a scene. Is that something you’ve always wanted to do? Is that a natural progression for you?
MS: I think it’s a natural progression. I think it’s something that maybe I didn’t know I always wanted to do but then once I did it, I was like, ‘Oh my God, this fits. It makes sense.’ I just love storytelling in general. I love being able to work with people and create … I think a lot of times as an actor the external really drives the internal. So being a part of creating the external down to just little details really help tell the story in a way that felt so, it was so satisfying.

I can’t talk to you without asking you about Letterkenny. You are fantastic as Mrs. McMurray. What’s it been like working with these guys and playing this character?
MS: It’s just so, they’re so fun. All you do, and I think you can tell when you watch the show like all we do is laugh and mess up takes. But that’s so fun and it’s nice to go from a show where I have so much on my shoulders—which I love and wouldn’t trade that for the world—but it’s nice to be able to breathe and play on somebody else’s show where they set such a great tone.

I just have fun with them and know that if Mrs. McMurray messes up, people are still gonna watch the show. There’s no pressure. So if Mrs. McMurray sucks, they’re still gonna watch Letterkenny. It’s an amazing show which is a breath of fresh air as an actor to not have an pressure.

Jared Keeso has created a really fun work environment. I mean, you all do work hard there, I know, but also they like to have a lot of fun.
MS: Yeah. And Jacob Tierney as well. As a team, they are just unstoppable.

Wynonna Earp airs Fridays at 9 p.m. ET on Space.

Letterkenny is streaming on CraveTV.

Images courtesy of Bell Media.

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Wynonna Earp: Showrunner Emily Andras sounds off on Season 3

Canadian Wynonna Earp fans have had to wait a few days longer than our friends in the U.S. That’s because Syfy offered up a special preview of “Blood Red and Going Down” this past Monday while those grumpy Guses at Space stuck to their guns (see what I did there?) and are waiting until Friday for us to see it.

Being a member of the media has its advantages. I’ve seen Season 3’s return “Blood Red and Going Down.” Simply put? It’s sublime. After a year away, sliding back into Purgatory alongside Wynonna (Melanie Scrofano), Waverly (Dominique Provost-Chalkley), Doc (Tim Rozon), Dolls (Shamier Anderson), Nicole (Kat Barrell) and Jeremy (Varun Saranga) has been ever so sweet. And with new characters via Kate (Chantel Riley) and big bad Bulshar (Jean Marchand), this pile of episodes promises to be a thrill ride.

We spoke to Wynonna Earp showrunner Emily Andras while we were at the Banff World Media Festival and she had the following to say.

The support behind Wynonna Earp has been incredible, especially from folks like Josh at Syfy.
Emily Andras: Yes, I feel like we are so lucky that we have tapped into something that we just can’t buy, which is kind of fan-driven passion. So I’m so happy people are leaning in. Even the excitement around the trailer, like ‘We trended on Twitter.’ I just think everybody’s kind of having fun with it and being like ‘OK, anticipation, here we go.’

I am constantly fascinated by the passion of the fans and how they really latched on and it’s beloved. So that said, can you not kill anybody on the show now?
EA: I think I have to still make the show be dramatic, how about that? Because … it is still a supernatural show with huge stakes and it’s terrifying. Yes, it’s terrifying, especially when you don’t have Walking Dead numbers. We kind of have a cast of six, maybe eight if you’re doing some funky Canadian TV math. Yeah, it’s incredibly challenging but at the same time, it’s a show about life and death. The metaphor I always use, I drive it into the ground is ‘I’m gonna drive the bus. You can get on the bus, you can be drunk on the bus and probably should be. You can scream at the bus driver, you can get off the bus and flip the bird and say I’m not riding this stupid bus anymore but we can’t all grab the wheel of the bus or the bus is going over a cliff.’ I definitely feel it’s a fascinating time for creators insofar as with so much immediate feedback, does that help or hinder storytelling? I’m like, ‘If Nicole Haught wears the wrong sweater, I’m gonna hear about it. My family is going to have to go to witness protection.

I’m only partially kidding. I went to a panel in Austin and I wanted to be really careful about this. It was about modern fandom and there was a lot of bemoaning from people about ‘Well the fans just don’t understand behind the scenes why decisions were made.’ And so often it’s budget or a network executive or an actor wants to lead is another thing that happens, a ton of times. But at the same time, as the showrunner, I feel like the buck stops with me and that’s the covenant with the fans. I have asked them to be on social media helping me push this delicious content so when they’re unhappy it super sucks but … maybe you just gotta weather it a bit. So remind me I said that. If anything terrible happens this year.

It’s true because you walk that line as a showrunner, a head writer and you’ve got a room full of writers, you’re writing the show for yourselves.
EA: Exactly.

But you also have to walk that fine line with the fans because you want to keep them entertained, you want them in your corner. You don’t want to anger anyone but you also don’t want to make a show that’s just for the fans to keep them happy because then you’ve got a boring show.
EA: Lots of people would like domesticated Wayhaught sitting on the couch making cookies and I’ll try to give you that scene if I can but that is not a Syfy show and Syfy’s not going to want that show. And you’re not actually going to love that show. It’s going into a third season because this is it. In the first season, we made the whole thing. We were running around the woods in Calgary and being like ‘Is there even film in this camera?’ But it kind of felt like we were doing some crazy demon hunting skits in the woods and then it dropped and people liked it.

And then in the second season, people were just so happy to have more of it. But now in the third season, there’s no doubt. People have expectations, people have wants, people have put their hopes and dreams on characters and storylines. I have done this dance before with Lost Girl … with semi-Canadian success comes semi-Canadian responsibly. So I’m ready, but I think the only rule I tell my writers to keep us all grounded when we’re kind of flailing and nervous is the one rule is the story has to be consistent with character.

The characters have to act the way the characters would act. Even if terrible things happened or they make mistakes, or they die, or they break up, or what have you, as long as it feels like, ‘Yes, this character would do it,’ even if you hate their decision as you would hate it if your friend made a terrible decision, I hope to fans are at least like ‘I don’t love this but it still feels like my show.’ That’s the only thing I can try to do. It’s not to do with story for story’s sake but to have it come from who these beloved characters are.

This third season, is this where you’re chugging along like ‘Yeah, this is where I wanted to be’?
EA: Yes, great question. The third season is batshit insane. So we’ll see if people like it. But there’s such a confidence to the performances in particular. It’s so delightful. Everybody just hits the ground running, very few people are pregnant this season, some would say none.

I’m just so incredibly proud of this cast because you feel it in the confidence. And their confidence with the material, their confidence to deliver both wit and quips while fighting a demon and hopefully getting the emotion and ending in tears.

Every year from the writer perspective, you have to be like, ‘How are we gonna up the stakes, what crazy cliffhangers are we gonna have?’ But there is a confidence this year that just feels like if you love the show, I just think you’re going to be so happy from the first moment you see Wynonna to hopefully the last.

Wynonna Earp airs Fridays at 9 p.m. ET on Space.

Image courtesy of Bell Media.
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Photo gallery: Season 3 of Wynonna Earp

Yes, I know that Entertainment Weekly already posted these exclusive Wynonna Earp Season 3 gallery images the other day. But honestly, I can’t get enough of them. So when Space dropped these puppies—sans the EW watermark and therefore PERFECT for downloading as using as my new wallpaper—well, I just had to post them myself.

As Wynonna Earp fans already know, Season 3 returns to Space on Friday, July 20, at 9 p.m. ET. We already aware Megan Follows will portray Mama Earp, Jann Arden drops by for a recurring role, Zoie Palmer will play Jolene and Frankie Drake MysteriesChantel Riley checks in as Kate.

Like I said, this was just an excuse to post these gorgeous images again. Enjoy, and update your wallpaper while you’re at it.

 

Wynonna Earp returns Friday, July 20, at 9 p.m.  ET on Space.

Images courtesy of Bell Media.

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Dani Kind sounds off on her memorable Wynonna Earp and Workin’ Moms roles

Just how tight were lips on the set of Wynonna Earp during Melanie Scrofano’s pregnancy? So tight that Dani Kind read fake scripts when she was auditioning for the role of Mercedes Gardner.

“They wrote these fake sides for Mercedes … she was even named something else,” Kind tells us on the line from Toronto. “She was this character who owned a bar with her brother and her brother was this big sleaze. She ended up handing her brother his own ass.” And while we’d love to have seen that project come to light, we’re loving Kind’s real role on Wynonna, that of Mercedes Gardner. A fellow former bad girl of Purgatory, Mercedes has evolved from real estate baron to flesh-eating monster after being possessed. Now Mercedes and Beth (Meghan Heffern) have captured two of three seals, meaning the future of the world is in jeopardy.

We spoke to Kind about Wynonna Earp, the role of Anne, the wonderfully caustic, heartbreaking character she plays on CBC’s Workin’ Moms and … playing Tori Spelling’s stand-in!?

We were delayed a bit in our chat because you were going through some wig fittings. I guess that’s for Season 2 of Workin’ Moms?
Dani Kind: Yes! It’s crazy. It feels like it’s come around so fast. I got two months off working on Workin’ Moms and then I booked the Wynonna job. And then I got two months off from Wynonna and I get to go back to Workin’ Moms.

I couldn’t let our chat go by without asking you about a credit on your IMDB page. It says you were a stand-in for Tori Spelling in Mind Over Murder?
[Laughs.] I was. I grew up in Ottawa and there is a production company there that just pumps out movies of the week. That’s kind of where I started. I got some parts and some lead roles. I was kicking around in Ottawa doing jobs and one of them was to be her stand-in for two movies. She asked me to come back for the second movie that she ended up coming and doing. She’s amazing. She was the coolest chick and has the greatest sense of humour. I know she has a whole celebrity image and stuff, but I was like, ‘I could hang with her.’ She has the exact same potty humour as me.

How did you score the role of Anne on Workin’ Moms?
I did a self-tape audition and then got a call that [creator and showrunner] Catherine [Reitman] had gone back to L.A. after doing some casting in Toronto. They asked me to do a callback Skype session with them in L.A., so I did another audition with them over Skype. Then, I flew out to L.A. to do a chemistry read. There were a bunch of women all reading for several parts. Then they called a few weeks later and said I’d gotten the part.

Did Workin’ Moms open the door for you to play Mercedes on Wynonna Earp or did you still have to audition?
I still auditioned. I went in to see casting, but the sides were totally different because everything was so locked down about Melanie [Scrofano] being pregnant. They wrote these fake sides for Mercedes … she was even named something else. She was this character who owned a bar with her brother and her brother was this big sleaze. She ended up handing her brother his own ass. I reamed him out during one scene and I felt great about the audition. The sides they wrote were so great. I got a call later saying I’d gotten the part, but I had no idea I’d be on as much as I’ve been on. I thought I’d only be on a couple of episodes.

It’s so awesome that you auditioned using fake sides.
I know! I got the [real] script and I was like, ‘Whoa, whoa, what’s happening?’ Also, for the longest time, Mel didn’t look pregnant. She’s one of those women who turn around and you’d like, ‘Wait, what?! You’re pregnant?!’ She was so stunning and her body is so petite. I actually had people on-set talk to me and some of them thought she was wearing a fake belly.

How ironic is it you’re on two shows featuring pregnant women?
I know! And, when I got pregnant, I was asked what I was going to do. Everyone is so scared they’re going to lose their jobs and careers. It’s so not the case.

Before Mercedes was possessed, I really liked her attitude and not caring what people thought of her.
You don’t see men apologizing for chicks that they’ve slept with. There is so much about male characters on TV that women have had to identify with for so long and now it’s being shown that, ‘No, we’re three-dimensional human beings who also sleep around and get drunk and have fun and it’s cool.’ It’s so refreshing and so great.

Is it a bit of a challenge to play a character enrobed in black with your face obscured? You have to use body language instead of your face.
I had a lot of questions for Emily as we were shooting and she was like, ‘I don’t know, I don’t know!’ I think that, per episode, I was finding her. We all were. As wardrobe was, as hair and makeup was. Thank God for my acting coaches because they really helped me. This is super-specific work and when you’re working in sci-fi, you have to ask questions and just try stuff out.

Is it important to have answers to questions when you’re playing a role?
I do, especially for a character who is as complicated as this one. And, especially because I thought I was playing Mercedes and would be playing Mercedes all season. And then I find out I’m a different character. I grilled Emily as much as I could, and that really helped. Workin’ Moms is a little bit different because I don’t have to but up Catherine’s ass about Anne because there is so much about Anne that I understand and love. And because Catherine has been so smart about the way she writes it, I can see all of the characters in her. And then it’s just about getting really personal with myself and asking the tough questions.

Let’s close out talking a bit about Workin’ Moms. Anne is such a wonderful, galvanizing character. She made a tough decision to have an abortion last season.
You do see abortion storylines on TV, but it’s a woman who is hard done by or finds herself in this situation. They’re never portrayed as anything positive, it’s always associated with some negative thing. What I didn’t know is that one of the top percentages of women who get abortions are married women with children. I didn’t know that. Catherine was so graceful about the storyline at the beginning of the season. She asked me about it and wanted to check in and see if I could represent it. I said, ‘Absolutely.’ The way she wrote it was so beautiful but also, ‘Yes, of course, this is a decision that [Anne and Lionel] would make together as a couple.’ It just made sense and I felt really proud to tell that storyline.

Did you feel like, when you were in production on Season 1, you had something special?
There were moments when a camera woman or someone in the props department would be emotional during a scene. There was stuff happening that, especially for a comedy, that felt really grounded. Everything felt so real and Catherine was so specific in her choices about cast and crew … it really starts from the top and trickles down. I want to do everything I can to make this dream of her what she wants it to be.

You were incredibly active on social media during Season 1 of Workin’ Moms.
I just think it’s cool if somebody tweets about the show. Some people ask me stuff … why wouldn’t I respond? People are being incredibly kind and are genuinely invested in it. We put a lot of work into the show—Workin’ Moms and Wynonna Earp—and I feel like that interaction makes a lot of sense.

Wynonna Earp airs Fridays at 10 p.m. ET on Space.

Season 2 of Workin’ Moms is in production now. Season 1 is being rebroadcast on Tuesdays at 9:30 p.m. on CBC.

Workin’ Moms images courtesy of CBC.

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Wynonna Earp: Alexandra Zarowny on “Shed Your Skin” and previews future cheerleading

Gulp! Clearly, there is something very wrong with Waverly Earp. That final scene of her chomping down on a dead spider—the crunch took the shot to all-new levels of barf—put the capper on one heck of a ride.

“Shed Your Skin” had everything we love in an episode of Wynonna Earp: sexiness, snarkiness, action and character development thanks to Jeremy and his inverted nipple confession. Oh, and we were given the gift of a wonderful guest star in Workin’ Moms‘ Dani Kind in the role of real estate agent Mercedes.

We spoke to Friday’s episode writer—and Writers Guild of Canada award winner—Alexandra Zarowny about everything that happened.

First of all, congratulations on your Writers Guild of Canada Award for the Season 1 episode “Bury Me With My Guns On.”
Alexandra Zarowny: Thank you very much. It was very exciting for the show to be recognized.

You did make a point of mentioning the show, the team and the fans during your acceptance speech. Is it important for you as a writer, to be recognized like that?
I’ll never say no to an award. It was very, very exciting to be recognized but you always feel like a little bit of an imposter going up there alone. A lot of my words do end up on the screen, which is great because I’m not super story edited and that’s a function of being able to get to Emily’s brain. But when we’re breaking the story, that’s all of us. It’s not like I walked away going, ‘I’m writing this entire episode on my own and I’ve come up with this story that’s a part of this arc.’ We all do that and that’s the heavy, heavy lifting. Once you’re writing the outline and the script, that’s kind of the gravy. It’s great and wonderful, but I’m not arrogant enough to say I did it alone! [Laughs.]

You mentioned getting into Emily’s head. Was it fairly easy to get in there … and what the heck is going on in there?!
It’s a pretty amazing, colourful carnival. Her and I have some very similar sensibilities when it comes to creating interesting characters that you then put through the wringer. I think that we have a very similar sense of humour in a lot of ways. I don’t think it was that difficult to get into her head for me, although it’s always a fast and furious ride. If you are a fan of genre, as a writer you get where she’s coming from.

Lucado is now in charge of our team after Dolls went into hiding. Can you discuss, from a writing standpoint, the fun of having conflict in the room via Lucado?
It’s really great because I think, in the first season, there was definitely a struggle to find a kind of balance in the team and just when they find it, we as writers blow that up. [Laughs.] And then we pull in the one person to hate, who is Lucado. Despite the struggles that the team had with Dolls, they knew that his intentions were the same intentions as theirs to a large degree. Lucado’s intentions are incredibly murky and questionable and suspicious and I think the team is very wary of her. And to be wary of your leader does not make for a very loyal team. That means they’re going to come up against a lot of bumps along the way.

Last week, we got our first peek at the lab and the monsters in it. Coupling the monster eating Doc’s hat and Eliza’s mention of what ‘they’ did to she and Dolls, I wonder if the monsters were once humans that were experimented on. Am I on the right track?
You’re on the right track by half. [Laughs.] There has definitely been experimentation on humans, I would say. How far that goes and what the end result is is to be answered.

I really like the Revenants, but I’m enjoying the different monsters we’re seeing, like the spiders this week.
It’s really great because there are so many crazy demons and mythological creatures to pull from. It’s actually very exciting for us to work on a genre show where the creature of the week doesn’t look like a human because that’s a Revenant. We get to come up with things that are truly monstrous looking and that’s always exciting. This season we’re going to see a bit more tension and a bit more horror because we’re able to show monsters in their true, grotesque form. The Revenants are still there, but when the wall came down it let some shit in that is scary as hell. Emily created a world and we’re all able to put our own spin on that world to a certain degree and I think that makes you, as a writer, even more invested in the series itself.

I loved how you put Doc and Wynonna in the shower together, but it was anything but a romantic encounter.
In the room, we go back and forth between what coupling we prefer at any given moment because we love both actors in Shamier and Tim. But I think, like everything else in this world of Wynonna Earp, it’s always going to be complicated and the second a character gets what they want … as writers we kind of want to tear it from their hands. There are going to be some ups and downs in both relationships, but I think both sets of fans are going to be pleased.

Jeremy’s offhand remark about having an inverted nipple was funny, but I wondered if that’s a way a writer instantly connects a character with an audience?
Oh yeah, definitely. When Jeremy says something like that yeah, it’s a funny line but it’s never a throwaway line. We always try to do a character building line with something like that. It tells us that, A) especially when Wynonna is talking to him he is so nervous that he just blurts stuff out; and B), for him to blurt out something so personal also shows just how innocent and vulnerable he is. That vulnerability makes us want, as an audience and as writers, to protect him in some ways. There are a lot of characters on the show who are going to want to protect Jeremy in some way. Of course, we’re going to learn that maybe he doesn’t always need protection. Maybe he has his own thing going on as well.

It was wonderful to see Dani Kind of Workin’ Moms guest-starring as Mercedes. Will she be around for more than one episode?
I have full confidence that we will see her again. She’s absolutely delicious.

And she gets Wynonna. There is no judgment.
Absolutely and I think Wynonna is so relieved to find somebody that can appreciate who she was back then. Mercedes was also cast out and now she’s back to kick butt in her own way.

What can you say about Rosita and Doc’s plan with regard to Shorty’s? Will that be a season-long arc or more short-term?
Every episode will reveal what Doc is doing there and the thing about Doc is that he’s not just a cute, funny guy in a moustache there to support the gang. He has his own stuff going on. He is a man who holds his cards close to the chest and while doing his best for the team is always very much thinking about what he can do for Doc as well.

What was going in with Waverly and that spider?
All I can say is, she is hungry. [Laughs.] There is something in her that is very hungry.

Can you give me a preview of next week’s episode, written by Brendan Yorke?
Yes, one word: cheerleading. We thought it would be really fun for Waverly to do a little cheerleading. I had no idea Dominque was once a dancer and boy oh boy, can you tell! It’s also a trope we’ve seen before of the sexy cheerleader but we’ve turned it on its head a little bit and a bit of a tip of the cheerleading skirt to the WayHaught fans.

What did you think of this episode? Let me know in the comments below.

Wynonna Earp airs Fridays at 10 p.m. ET on Space.

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