Tag Archives: Killjoys

Blood and Water: Fire & Ice’s Sean Baek: “It’s fun to explore that dark side of humanity”

Sean Baek entered my television viewing world through Killjoys, that most excellent space adventure created by Michelle Lovretta. His character, Fancy Lee, made an immediate impact with fans and, by the show’s end, he was just one of many fan faves on that fine program.

Since then, Baek has turned in memorable roles on The Expanse, Coroner, Private Eyes, Nurses and Utopia Falls. His latest gig? On Omni’s Sunday night drama, Blood & Water: Fire & Ice, as villain Norris Pang.

Airing Sundays at 10:30 p.m. ET, this season follows disgraced former Vancouver cop Michelle Chang (Selena Lee)—now a Toronto-based private detective—as she hunts down Norris Pang (Baek), the man who has kidnapped her daughter. Pang is also the mastermind behind a money-laundering scheme happening at the Xie family’s casino, where Anna Xie (Elfina Luk) is attempting to expand the family business.

We spoke to Sean Baek about his acting origin story, playing a baddie and, well, his facial hair.

Before we get into Blood and Water: Fire & Ice, I was going through your bio and saw that you were part of the Stratford Festival. Did you always want to be an actor? 
Sean Baek: Yes. My parents took me and my older brother and sister to a movie theatre. My formative years were spent in South Korea and I can’t remember if I was four or five or six. We all went to the movie theatre and there was this film about a family that gets separated due to poverty. I didn’t understand the entire movie, but I remember just being glued to the screen, obviously, because it was a young family, there were young kids in the cast. I was mesmerized.

Fast forward a few years, and I actually auditioned for a training program [at Stratford] called the Birmingham Conservatory. For five months, six days a week from 10 to 6 every day, you delve into classical theatre and classical theatre performance. You would have teachers from the UK, the Royal Shakespeare Company, people who’ve worked with Orlando Bloom, Ian McKellen and all the legends as well. The first time I auditioned for it, I didn’t get in, but the second time was back in 2005 and I got in. I was one of 10 actors that got selected from across Canada.

Those five months were the best time of one of the best times of my life personally because I’ve met a lot of great friends, but also professionally because I learned so much. I already had nine years of acting under my belt, small to medium-sized theatres and film and TV credits here and there. But, I’ve always loved Shakespeare and I wanted to expand my knowledge. A little bit of luck had something to do with it too, but I put in a lot of hard work.

Let’s go from the stage to the screen. Let’s talk about Blood and Water: Fire & Ice. Creator Diane Boehme told me how COVID-19 messed up the production schedule. Can you give me the backstory of how you became involved? It sounds like your character was one person in one iteration of the show and then ended up being the Norris Pang who we’re seeing now.  
SB: We were filming in February of 2020 and into March. I was cast as this one character at the time named Norris Morris, and it was more of a hands-on sort of bad guy, this henchman type. Before we knew anything, production was shutting down. I was playing this character, and then the actor playing the main character in the first block—because he was from elsewhere—due to travel restrictions [could not return]. 

It was a hair-pulling experience for everybody involved, to say the least. During the hiatus—we had to stop filming from the middle to the end of March until the producers figured out, ‘OK, we’re going to block out these days and weeks to finish filming’—they had to rejig. They amalgamated my original character and the other character, so it became Norris Pang. He became this dude who does everything and anything possible to fulfill his goals. 

As an actor, I’m assuming you like to play a variety of characters, but I love it when you’re sinister and Norris is a sinister guy. 
SB: Thank you. My wife said after she saw it, ‘Oh wow, the creep factor is high.’ I was like, ‘Well, I get paid to do what I have to do.’ It’s fun to explore that dark side of humanity. That’s the fun part because you get to explore the psyche of this fictional character. 

How do the hair and the facial hair play into the building of a character like Norris? 
SB: The reason why I tend to have my beard is that when I shave I look a lot younger than my actual age. There was a period of my career, between the early to mid-thirties until my early forties when I was old enough to play young dads just like other colleagues. But I couldn’t because clean-shaven I was too old-looking to be in college, but I was too young-looking to be a dad.

I went through a lot of frustrating time periods like that. Now I go out for dad roles and characters who have kids a lot. That’s the reason why I tend to have that beard, just so that I can look the age that I am.

Blood and Water: Fire & Ice airs Sundays at 10:30 p.m. ET on Omni.

Images courtesy of Breakthrough Entertainment.

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Preview: Private Eyes eyes big names for Season 4

Like with everything else, there’s been a lot of uncertainty surrounding network television, from when a series is premiering or returning, if at all.

Well, Private Eyes fans, fear not. Matt (Jason Priestley) and Angie (Cindy Sampson) are back and in fine form—Monday at 8 p.m. ET/PT on Global—so much so that if you close your eyes, things almost seem normal again.

Fresh off its Golden Screen Award win for Canada’s most-watched comedy or drama, your favourite detective duo is on the case for a fourth season. Also fresh? Angie’s new haircut. Just saying.

Monday’s premiere picks up pretty much where it left off, with Shade grappling with that paternity bombshell. A half-sister for Jules, played by the always awesome Jordyn Negri, not to mention being a grandfather for the second time for Barry Flatman’s wary Don? Sure! Angie, of course, wants to help (a.k.a. stick her nose in where it doesn’t really belong) but it’s what she does best. Thankfully, for everyone, a case becomes the distraction Matt and Angie need. This time, it’s a murder mystery, complete with the paranoid claims of a wealthy, ailing patriarch, a power struggle over business and inheritance, a Great Gatsby-themed soirée, and a handful of suspects that will keep you guessing.

Back to that distraction, though. Sabrina (Katie Boland) simply wants to connect with her newfound dad—until things take a turn when guest star Erica Durance (Saving Hope) turns up. And if her appearance wasn’t enough, it gets even more complicated as Shade and Angie continue to cast not-so-subtle longing glances at one another—especially since Tex (Brett Donahue) is still in the picture.

Private Eyes has once again lined up a slew of Canadian favourites. Keshia Chanté and Supinder Wraich join in recurring roles, as Angie’s pal, Mia, and Danica’s girlfriend, Kate, respectively. And Aaron Ashmore (Killjoys), Stefan Brogen (Degrassi), and Eric Peterson (Corner Gas) guest-star.

But it’s the seventh episode that’ll have you reaching for the popcorn, thanks to appearances from Toronto Raptors head coach Nick Nurse, the prettiest star on HGTV Canada, Scott McGillivray, and golf pro Mike Weir. Priestley directs that star-studded hour, while Episode 3 marks Sampson’s directorial debut. It’s safe to say the rest of the season (and the upcoming fifth instalment) looks bright. Shade(s) optional.

Private Eyes airs Mondays at 8 p.m. ET/PT on Global.

Images courtesy of Corus.Facebooktwitterredditlinkedinmail

Link: Killjoys gave us the gift of one of science fiction’s most thoughtful shows

From Princess Weekes of The Mary Sue:

Link: Killjoys gave us the gift of one of science fiction’s most thoughtful shows
With Johnny and Dutch’s friendship, it never makes that awkward turn into the romantic, but it is always shown to be the most important relationship in the series. They are a family, and that is a bond that is even more important than romance. Continue reading.Facebooktwitterredditlinkedinmail

Links: Killjoys’ series finale

From Heather M. of TV Goodness:

Link: Michelle Lovretta talks wrapping up Killjoys
“When I look at that beautiful shot, of all of our wonderful dorks standing in a row on a hill, what makes me so happy is I wouldn’t necessarily have known the exact list of people who would be there. And I think that what’s joyful to me is a lot of them are people that I didn’t know I was going to get to know as well as I did. And to see them standing there as equals with everybody else really was the fun of writing television versus writing a feature or writing a novel. You are able to pivot and take some new directions, and take advantage of collaboration, and that’s a part of it that I love.” Continue reading.

From Bridget Liszewski of The TV Junkies:

Link: Killjoys creator Michelle Lovretta on saying goodbye
“It really is incredibly daunting having to contemplate how to end all five seasons. I think the way through it is remembering how you started. Ideally, when you first create something, you don’t do it for anybody else. You don’t dream it up hoping for a sale. You don’t even tell anyone the details for a long while. You just hold these precious, weirdo little imaginary friends in your head and heart and tell yourself a story that’s just for you, and ultimately, that’s how I approached the finale.” Continue reading.

From Maureen Ryan of IGN:

Link: Killjoys series finale ending explained by creator Michelle Lovretta
“I always like to tell a story and find a story through the characters. And obviously, I think it’s pretty evident that I have fallen pretty deeply in love with these characters from the very first frame and the very first page. So to me, it was always important that I had a direction of where they would personally end up. I always knew that Johnny was going to be departing on his own adventures. I always knew that Dutch and D’avin we’re going to have to sort of renegotiate what they wanted out of their lives.” Continue reading. 

From Alexis Gunderson of Paste:

Link: Killjoys showrunner Michelle Lovretta on the series finale and the power of joy
“We wrapped shooting quite a while ago, so I had sort of felt prepared and at arm’s length, but [now] I’m feeling incredibly nostalgic and just full of a shit-ton of love. And all the cast has been emailing each other, getting ready—it’s just been a great feeling of togetherness before the end.” Continue reading.

From Bridget Liszewski of The TV Junkies:

Link: Killjoys creator Michelle Lovretta on showing truthful relationships and giving your audience hope
“We treat adult friendship like a lesser waiting room, a place to hang out and kill time while you wait for your Real Relationships and life to begin. I fundamentally disagree with that. I love friendships that go deeper and become family: Kenzi & Bo, Johnny & Dutch. In both cases, people behind the scenes occasionally tried to make them sexual or romantic, and I said no.” Continue reading. 

From John Baker of Three If By Space:

Killjoys: Thom Allison Says Goodbye To Pree, Hello To What’s Next – Interview
“All the Killjoys fans have been smart and loving and there’s been no trolling or meanness that I’ve experienced. They have been generous and sweet and interested in the show. They’ve noticed details in the choice of costume or in the characters and I’ve loved that engagement. I’ve never had that experience in that kind of way. There were a lot of first for me (with Killjoys).” Continue reading.

From Heather M. of TV Goodness:

Link: Final thoughts from the Killjoys team
“What I loved about the show so much, much like my life and the lives of my friends and everybody who worked on the show, is that we’re just off on another mission. We’re off to do something else. We’re still doing our thing and we’re connected by these threads to our past.” Continue reading.Facebooktwitterredditlinkedinmail

Killjoys’ showrunner Adam Barken: “F—k yeah, we won”

Spoiler alert: Do not continue reading until you have watched the series finale of Killjoys, “Last Dance,” written by show creator Michelle Lovretta.

And, just like that, the final episode of Killjoys has come to a close. Personally, I loved the way it ended, with our three heroes—Dutch, D’avin and Johnny—getting ready to kick some alien butt one last time. Zeph reunited with Pip. Pree and Gared together and off on their own adventures. The Lady defeated.

And while the door closes on the final episode, Michelle Lovretta’s script certainly left things open for more. We spoke to showrunner Adam Barken about this wild ride and the possibility of more stories.

Your job has been done for a while now. Has it been kind of weird watching these last episodes air and knowing that there isn’t another season of Killjoys?
Adam Barken: It’s been really nice, to be honest, but yeah, it’s weird. But at the same time, it’s been nice to be able to watch this without the … oftentimes before the panic of ‘Oh God, what are we going to do next? And how are we going to do it?’ And also just knowing that we’re headed towards an ending.

A woman and two men a dressed for battle.At what point did you know how that final frame was going to be of our three heroes all together again stepping out with their guns?
AB: Although we didn’t know the exact, ‘OK, they’re running up with their guns to shoot up a bunch of aliens.’ The details of that we didn’t know. But we knew pretty early on, like before we even started breaking Season 4 that this show was going to end with these three together.

We also knew that there might be some change in the situation, we knew that we wanted to pay off this idea that Johnny had wanted to go a different path of his life. So we weren’t sure as it just going to be Dutch and D’avin in a ship. And maybe Johnny’s with Clara. There were options, but we knew that the vibe at the end of it was, in my mind, I don’t know if this was Michelle thought because as a Star Trek nerd, my mind was kind of the end of The Undiscovered Country, with Kirk saying, ‘The second star on the right and straight on until morning.’

Just that vibe of on we go to the next adventure. Michelle and I had talked right at the very beginning and one of the first questions we asked was, ‘What would a final season or final two seasons look like?’ We both said, ‘Does anybody die?’ And we both kind of simultaneously I think had the feeling of, ‘No they don’t.’

There was nothing in our DNA that wanted to do it. There was nothing in the character stories in the same way that say, Pawter, who really was a character who Michelle, I think, will say was created with a sacrifice in mind. Her story that way with Dutch, D’avin, and Johnny, it did not feel like that sort of sacrifice was necessary. It didn’t feel like it fit. It didn’t feel like the show we wanted, we were making.

A woman looks up, angry.We wanted a show that at the end felt like, ‘Fuck yeah, they won.’ And they’re going to keep going and it’ll be in a different situation. There’s a reason why we’re ending here. The trio is going to split apart, but is this one moment we’re still going to see that thing that we love, seeing them together and we know that in the future they will get back together every once in a while and go kick some ass. And that’s the vibe we wanted to leave on.

You left this wide open for, maybe, five years down the line reuniting for an exclusive on Crave or something like that.
AB: Sure, yeah, absolutely. With Dutch’s story, it took her from where you started at the very beginning saying, ‘I’m a Killjoy because I don’t take sides. I don’t take bribes. I don’t get involved. I am a central part of something that I believe in. I have a family, I have a people, I have a community and I accept it, and I will fight for it forever.’ So that’s the journey for her. In a way, it’s the strongest arc in the series. So that’s why it begins where it does. That’s why it ends where it does. And that’s why it felt like the right place to go out. But that doesn’t require anybody to die. It doesn’t require there to be a tragic moment at the end. There’s no need for that because what was achieved for her was this positive thing.

Pip returned. Did you want to have a happy ending for Zeph
AB: Yeah, yeah. And a happy ending for Pip. This was one of the interesting things about taking over a show, running it, still wanting and needing Michelle to be there as my partner. We would definitely give and take and go back and forth on things. And one of them was when I said to her, ‘I think we really need to kill Pip, and I think that sacrifice going to really resonate. I think it’s going to really help us with Zeph. I think it’s going to be really median, good stuff.’ And she agreed with that but said, ‘Yeah, but I don’t want Pip dead at the end.’ So that’s where I can say, ‘Well, OK, what do you got?’

And she came back with, ‘He was in a pod,’ and honestly it was on the board a long time and I just kept laughing going, ‘I don’t know how you’re going to sell it, but if anybody could you will.’ Then, sure enough, the script came in and the minute I read the scene I was like, ‘Yeah, OK that works.’ And if it’s wish fulfillment, I think by the end we earned it, and that’s fine because who doesn’t want to see Pip back? And who doesn’t want to see Zeph happy?

Two men stand together, smiling.Is there a favourite character or character that you’re most proud of because of their growth? For me it was D’avin. 
AB: Oh yeah, absolutely loved seeing D’avin. I mean I think all the characters are super fun. In a way, I think about it more in terms of relationships and dynamics. I would say the one that was for me, because it was the most unexpected and yet paid off in some many wonderful dividends, was the Pree and Gared story.

You play around with these characters, you put different people together and see what happens. And there was just this moment back in Season 2 that Michelle was watching, where there was the wonderful Gavin Fox in as Gared. He was just supposed to be the jerky guy who keeps trying to take over things and failing and gets a knife in the hand at the end.

She just saw this moment between Tom and Gavin where she thought, ‘I think Pree likes him.’ As soon as she said that, we said, ‘Oh, that’s interesting.’ And we just started exploring it, and thanks to those actors, where we did it the better it went.

By the end I was just really happy with, proud of, excited by all the things that we were able to do with that couple, and what the things we’re able to put them through. And it still has us, and then the audience, cheer for them to be together. I think the ending we gave for them feels really great. So I think that’s probably my favourite discovery.

 

What did you think of Killjoys‘ series finale? Who were your favourite characters and relationships? Let me know in the comments below!Facebooktwitterredditlinkedinmail