Link: Kelly McCormack talks Zephâ€™s badass evolution in Killjoys Season 4
â€œThis role is quite simply a dream come true. Constantly and constantly. Every time I read an episode. I read an episode last week where I started crying. How am I so lucky? This is crazy. These writers get my voice really well. When youâ€™re in it and youâ€™re acting and youâ€™re doing it, you donâ€™t really know whatâ€™s being captured and you donâ€™t really appreciate that everyone is then watching the dailies and the network is watching.â€ Continue reading.
Like many Canadian actors, Kelly McCormack was plotting a move to Los Angeles this past January for pilot season. She was so busy packing for the trip, in fact, she almost missed a call from her agent, informing her the audition she’d done for Killjoys had scored her the part of Zeph.
“I’d read the character description and it said, ‘farm girl turned androgynous science nerd,’ and I said, ‘Well this is me,'” she recalls with a laugh. “I walked in with no makeup on, dressed in a black hoodie with a Dillinger Four t-shirt on over topâ€”teenage boy from the 90s in my jamâ€”and I went as weird and eccentric as I possibly could.” A week later, she was prepping for L.A. and had slept in. Her agent had been trying to contact her. She’d booked the role on the Space drama and had to be at a table read in an hour. McCormack’s Zeph has made an immediate impact on the trio of Dutch (Hannah John-Kamen), Johnny (Aaron Ashmore) and D’avin (Luke MacFarlane), acing her initiation test and now part of the Killjoys squad. The Vancouver native couldn’t divulge too much information about Zeph’s Season 3 adventures other than to say she’s in awe of Dutch and runs afoul of Johnny in her season-long arc. (The whole running afoul of Johnny happens this Friday, BTW. It is awesome.)
The fast-paced shoot-em-up of Killjoys couldn’t be more different than McCormack’s other project,Â The Neddeaus of Duqesne Island. Currently streaming on the CBC’s website, the 10 episodes are comedy’s version of the found-footage genre that exploded thanksÂ to The Blair Witch Project.
Schroeder, an acquaintance of McCormack’s gave her a call one day, seeking a producer for his project; it was weird enough to catch her interest. After shooting a pilot, showing it to friends and being told it was amazing but too strange to be made into a series, they pitched it to CBC, who jumped on board. The result is an odd, engaging and ultimately heartfelt look at a faux family eking out a living on an island in Northern Ontario. Descendants of the Acadians, the Neddeaus utter an odd Newfoundland-ish hybrid language sprinkled with nonsense sayings only a family living away from the rest of the world would use. Camerasâ€”and narration from Colin Mochrieâ€”capture the day-to-day life of son Elmer (Schroeder), daughters ElÃ¨ne (Caitlyn Driscoll) and EloidaÂ (McCormack), father Bichon (Tim Walker) and mother ‘Vangeline (Tara Samuel), who carry on the religion of their forefather and subsisting entirely on potatoes. Once a year they trek to town via boat to stock up on supplies they need to survive.
The key to making The Neddeaus seem real? Introducing each episode with the old CBC logo from the era it’s set in, keeping the cast’s names off the credits until Episode 10, the wardrobe, and extensive post-production work. McCormack says everyone involved pored over old CBC and National Film Board documentaries to get a feel for what The Neddeaus should look and sound like.
“It’s a comedy show, but it’s made by cinephiles,” McCormack says. “We spent hundreds of hours making sure we coloured the footage the way 70s footage picks up the blue and green in a way that HD doesn’t. We looked up how, when a camera is moving at this speedâ€”or at what temperatureâ€”will a frame be blurred?”
“I’m sitting there, explaining a fake documentary about a fake documentary to him,” she says. “I nudged my cameraman and said, ‘You better be rolling!’ I was drenched in sweat and so nervous. But it was gold.”
All 10 episodes ofÂ The Neddeaus of Duqesne Island are available on CBC’s website. Killjoys airs Fridays at 8 p.m. ET on Space.
NeddeausÂ images courtesy of CBC. Killjoys image courtesy of Bell Media.