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.
Link: Letterkenny: The new face of Canadian Media
“I would go in (to the casting office in L.A.) and a man or woman would introduce themselves as the casting assistant. There wasn’t a camera in the room and they would say ‘We’re just going to have you do one of the five scenes of the 20 pages that we asked you to (memorize)’. No one in L.A. knew who I was and nobody gave a shit.” Continue reading.
CraveTV just announced that a brand new six-pack of its scrappy original comedy LETTERKENNY launches Christmas Day. More than just a break from chorin’, to be fair, this latest six-pack of the award-winning series was shot last summer in Sudbury. And while everyone’s waitin’, an all-new FERDA EDITION is available to stream on Friday, December 8, featuring exclusive audio commentary from the cast who dish on the making of the Winter season six-pack. And if that doesn’t stuff your holiday sacks, you can check out the upcoming season’s trailer here, buds. Created by and starring Jared Keeso, the award-winning half-hour comedy is produced by New Metric Media in partnership with DHX Media and Playfun Games.
This upcoming LETTERKENNY six-pack finds The Hicks holding court back at the produce stand, shootin’ the breeze in the spirit of (literal) harmony and MoDeans 2-getherness. Wayne (Jared Keeso) tries to forget his former sweetie, Rosie (Clark Backo), and Katy (Michelle Mylett) finally chooses between Hockey Players Reilly (Dylan Playfair) and Jonesy (Andrew Herr), leaving one half of the tight duo to lift solo. The Skids might still be on drugs and Christian leader Glen (series director, Jacob Tierney) is actin’ weird again.
LETTERKENNY revolves around the dustups Wayne and his buds get into with their small-town rivals. The Hicks, The Skids, and The Hockey Players get at each other about the most mundane things, often ending with someone getting their ass kicked. Key residents of LETTERKENNY are Daryl (Nathan Dales), Wayne’s free-spirited younger sister Katy (Mylett), and Wayne’s buddy, Dan (K Trevor Wilson) – all Hicks. CSA-nominated Daniel Petronijevic returns as Hick McMurray and Melanie Scrofano as doting Mrs. McMurray. Dylan Playfair and Andrew Herr reprise their roles as hotshot Hockey Players Jonesy and Reilly. Tyler Johnston and Evan Stern return as Skids Stewart and Roald. Lisa Codrington returns as lusty bartender, Gail, Mark Forward returns as the temperamental Coach of the Letterkenny Irish and Tiio Horn is back as badass leader of The Natives, Tanis. Keeso’s 19-2 co-star, Adrian Holmes, guest stars in this six-pack as MoDeans 2 bouncer Bradley. Cara Gee (Strange Empire) and Jade Willoughby are Tanis’ new rez rivals Shyla and Shania.
Based on the internet sensation Letterkenny Problems, the half-hour comedy is currently a top performer and marquee program for CraveTV since its memorable launch on Super Bowl Sunday in 2016. Season 1 of LETTERKENNY took home three 2017 Canadian Screen Awards for Best Comedy Series, Best Writing in a Comedy Program or Series, and Best Direction in a Comedy Program or Series. As well, series creator Jared Keeso and co-writer and director Jacob Tierney have been recognized with a Writers Guild of Canada Screenwriting Award for TV Comedy.
Seasons 1 – 3, along with special episodes “Ferda Edition”, “The Haunting of MoDean’s II”, “St. Perfect’s Day,” and the original web series Letterkenny Problems are currently streaming on CraveTV. LETTERKENNY is also available on iTunes and Google Play. Season 1 of LETTERKENNY is currently available on DVD wherever DVDs are sold.
CraveTV recently announced a 40-plus episode production commitment and comprehensive multi-year with series producers New Metric Media. The deal also supports a 30-city LETTERKENNY LIVE! tour starring Keeso, Dales, Wilson, and Forward.
LETTERKENNY is produced by New Metric Media, in partnership with DHX Media and Playfun Games in association with Bell Media, with the participation of Canadian Media Fund, OMDC Tax Credits and the Canadian Film or Video Production Tax Credit and the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund and distributed by DHX Media. Jared Keeso is executive producer, co-writer, star, and creator, Jacob Tierney is executive producer, director, and co-writer and Mark Montefiore is executive producer for New Metric Media.
Have you heard of the children’s book, Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day? It’s about a boy who wakes up, and from the moment he does, everything goes wrong. I can’t help but think of that book—written by Judith Viorst and illustrated by Ray Cruz—every time I watch an episode of 19-2. Every time something goes right for that Montreal police squad, it seems like 20 don’t.
Returning for its fourth—and final—season on Monday at 10 p.m. ET/PT, 19-2 makes the jump from Bravo to CTV, a well-deserved move that will give more Canadians the opportunity to catch this exceedingly well-written, expertly acted cop drama. (CraveTV subscribers get to see episodes a day early, on Sundays.) Adapted from the Radio Canada series of the same name, showrunner Bruce Smith and his writers have not only managed to set the English version of 19-2 apart from the French but has outlasted it by one season. It’s also gathered a pile of awards—Canadian Screen Awards for leads Jared Keeso, Adrian Holmes as well as Best Drama—and critical acclaim in the U.S.
Now it all comes to an end beginning on Monday with the episode entitled “Swimming.” Season 3 ended in a flurry of violence and emotion. Officers Nick Barron (Holmes, above) and Ben Chartier (Keeso) were determined to hunt down Inspector Elise Roberge (Krista Bridges) to avenge the brutal death of Nick’s sister and Ben’s lover, Amelie (Tattiawna Jones). Escalating mob violence in the city has an impact on the 19-2 squad directly, leading to Ben and Audrey (Laurence Leboeuf) involved in a deadly car accident.
When we first met Nick and Ben we asked, ‘Can these two guys be partners?’ And, after Houle [Conrad Pla] shot himself, and fell into the lake, and the two of them are driving back into the city … the message we were sending to the audience is they’re partners now.
Back for Season 4 of 19-2 are Dan Petronijevic J.M., who saw his marriage crumble because of his rage issues; Benz Antoine as Tyler, on the mend from alcohol abuse; Mylène Dinh-Robic as Béatrice, who is seeking redemption after losing her stripes; Bruce Ramsay as manipulative District Commander Marcel Gendron; and Alexander De Jordy as young cop Richard Dulac. Maxim Roy returns to guest star as Nick’s ex-wife, Det. Isabelle Latendresse. New cast includes Aiza Ntibarikure as Roxanne, a new young female cop; and Sagine Sémajuste as Farah, a social worker.
Last November, TV, Eh was part of a press junket to Montreal that included a stop at the set of 19-2, where we chatted with Smith, Keeso and Holmes about Season 4, and the series overall.
Where do we pick up in Season 4?
Bruce Smith: Season 4 picks up exactly where Season 3 left off, not just in terms of plot, but emotionally and in intensity. These are characters in extremis from the beginning. We’re really excited about the way Season 4 starts. It starts with more plot going on than is normal for us—it’s not always about plot with our show, it’s about emotion. And really what we felt is that we spent so much time building up the emotional intensity, particularly for Nick and Ben, that we felt we could keep that intensity going rather than having to build it again. And, really, this final season is really the second of two two-part movies.
When we first met Nick and Ben we asked, ‘Can these two guys be partners?’ And, after Houle [Conrad Pla] shot himself, and fell into the lake, and the two of them are driving back into the city … the message we were sending to the audience is they’re partners now. They have been through the school shooting, through Houle … whatever they feel about each other, they are inseparable. Season 3 and four has been an exploration of that partnership under extremis. The real extremis was the losing of a common loved one between them. It really was like a marriage and the loss of a child causing a marriage to break up. We tracked them almost breaking up last season, and then they came together and move forward into Season 4. They’re not together when we start Season 4.
Can you saywhy?
One of the first things they experience is the weirdness of not being together for a very emotional moment. That’s for both the characters and the audience. There are a series of events that happen and they are physically separated. When they do come back together, it’s strange because they haven’t experienced it together. One of the focuses for us in the writer’s room in Season 4 was to show how much is undone. There are very prominent characters, our core characters, who never really had arcs together before. There are a couple of new pairings and new relationship arcs between core characters in Season 4.
Jared and Adrian, what were your reactions to Amelie’s death last season?
Adrian Holmes: It was a huge shock to me. Tattiawna was so great and when you lose an actor it’s hard because it’s like a family we’ve created here. So to not have her around was hard. And for the characters, it’s a huge blow and it’s something that adds a lot of tension and friction. The characters have to rise above that and find a way to still keep the marriage together. It was a big shock, but these are the things that make 19-2 so unique and special. You just don’t know what’s going to happen. The shock value is very high on our show and we take a lot of pride in it.
Once you do an episode about a school shooting, the second episode really needs to be about what that feels like. That’s it. It’s very challenging to write and very challenging to act, but if you can do it, you get rewarded for facing those challenges.
Jared Keeso: I think it was the first time that I read the script, and I texted Smitty and said, ‘This is a great opportunity for us as actors to play something like this.’ I’ve certainly never played anything that heavy before. The good thing about our show is it’s earned. It’s all about the writing on our show. It builds and builds and builds, and then boom. All the context is there and that’s a huge advantage for us as actors as well.
I always watch 19-2 cringing because no one is safe. That’s by design, correct?
Bruce Smith: From the beginning of the show and certainly by Season 3 we saw, from the reaction of the audience, that we had done our jobs. We want to train the audience to be afraid. When you have happiness, be a bit nervous but also cherish it. With the cast that we built up and the writers and directors we’ve had, we felt early on what we were really good at. We were really good at provoking intense emotion in the audience and in the characters. It’s a show about first responders. It’s not a show about abstraction and putting things together and solving something. It’s about being stuck in awful or exhilarating or wonderful moments and then dealing with the aftermath of just that moment.
Once you do an episode about a school shooting, the second episode really needs to be about what that feels like. That’s it. It’s very challenging to write and very challenging to act, but if you can do it, you get rewarded for facing those challenges. In Season 4, we’re coming in hot and there is intense feeling from the top and you’re on an emotional roller coaster with these characters.
Do you think fans will be happy with the series finale episode?
Bruce Smith: I sure hope so.