Melanie Scrofano says things are “relentlessly bad” for Valentina Cosoleto on Bad Blood this season, and based on the first three episodes, it’s hard to argue.
A momentary marital indiscretion put Val under the thumb of Detective Bullock (Lisa Berry), who is squeezing her for info on her husband Nats’ (Dylan Taylor) organized crime activities. To make matters worse, in the last episode, Declan (Kim Coates) kidnapped Val and Nats’ young son to get back at meddling mobster twins Teresa (Anna Hopkins) and Christian (Gianni Falcone) for abducting Reggie (Ryan McDonald), which unfurled a disastrous turn of events that landed Nats in prison.
While Val has her son back, “she still doesn’t feel safe,” explains Scrofano. She also says her character now feels the need to “right some wrongs.”
We caught up with Scrofano while she was filming a new project in Toronto to learn more about Valentina’s dilemma, how she unwinds after filming emotional scenes, and the possible “chaos” coming up in Wynonna Earp‘s fourth season.
You are an Italian-Canadian. Did it excite you to work on a project that tapped into that part of your background?
Melanie Scrofano: I think being Italian-Canadian is very different than being Italian-American, which is what we usually see on TV or in the movies. There’s a certain flavour to it. It’s something that I know very well, and it’s something that’s so familiar to so many people. So it was really cool to just lean into the way that I grew up. But also, you realize how eerie it is that all these people seem so normal. Like my husband in the show, our family is so normal. And it just makes you go, ‘Wow, what is going on in these families that you don’t even realize?’
I really feel for Valentina. She made one mistake and now she’s being squeezed by the police—and forced to have too many manicures—under threat of her secret being exposed.
MS: I think when Valentina and Nats got together, part of her wanted to be like Teresa but without having to do all the work. She wanted to have the clothes and the lifestyle and all of that. And over the years, life was just sort of normal. I think for a minute, she was just—like a lot of people—you have a kid, and your marriage gets a bit stale, and I think she just wanted some excitement, so she had an affair. And that one mistake sort of turned her life around. I think by the time we’re in Episode 3, she’s realizing that maybe this isn’t the life that she wanted after all. I think it’s hitting home what the reality is, and it takes her aback.
Episode 3 was tough on both Val and Nats, with Declan kidnapping their son, Adamo. The scene where Val finds out her baby is gone was very raw and emotional. Was that hard to film?
MS: I was very nervous about that scene, and I said to Jeff [Renfroe], the director, and [showrunner] Michael [Konyves], ‘Is there any way we could shoot it so that it can feel messy and we can talk over each other’s lines and just make it more real and make the urgency more palpable?’ And they were like, ‘Yeah, we’ll have two cameras and we’ll shoot it and just make a mess of it.’ They were very generous with that, and I think that’s what helped Dylan and me get to some really honest places. There was nothing slowing us down. And I think because we both had kids, it’s just terrifying. The little boy had the same hair as my son. He was so similar to my real life boy, and they were actually the exact same age while we were shooting, they’re a week apart. So I think it just hit close to home.
It was a very intense, real-feeling scene.
MS: I did feel bad. The slap wasn’t scripted, and poor Dylan had no idea it was coming. I just watched it back today, and you can see where it’s red on his face. I felt terrible.
Last week’s episode ended with Nats accidentally shooting an innocent bystander and getting sent to prison. How will this impact Val in Episode 4 and beyond?
MS: I think Val has her baby back, but without Nats, she still doesn’t feel safe. So I think her priority is going to be to do whatever she can to get her husband safe. And she’s also, at this point, acting in self-preservation because the fact of the matter is that she’s not only cheated on her husband—which in any culture, but certainly in the Italian culture, is frowned upon—but in addition to that, she’s been talking to the cops. So there’s just going to be a lot of trying to right some wrongs for Val.
What did you find most challenging about playing Val?
MS: It was just relentlessly bad for her. There was no levity. So every time I came to set, I had to go to some dark places. You know, she’s either angry or crying or terrified. This is the worst time of her life, and there’s nothing about it that’s light. So I think it was just coming to set every day and trying to honour what she’s going through without being exhausted by it myself. Because it’s hard. You shoot those things and you get really emotional and, afterwards, the world just moves on, but you still felt all those things and you really need a hug and nobody is there. So you have to sort of take care of yourself. But on the other hand, the hard part is, what if I can’t get there emotionally? So you’re always stressed. You’re either stressed because you’re scared you won’t be able to deliver, or you’re stressed because you did deliver and it hurt.
Do you have a go-to way to decompress after a difficult day of filming?
MS: It sounds so stupid, but I need to be hugged. I come home and I feel like such a drama queen, but [I say to my husband], ‘Jeff, I need you to hug me for as long as possible.’ It’s just that human connection. I think it’s the feeling of being so vulnerable. You just need to have somebody to heal that wound for you with a good, old-fashioned hug.
You’ve been in three very different but very Canadian hits the last few years: Bad Blood, Letterkenny and, of course, Wynonna Earp. Does it mean a lot to you to be getting so many great roles in Canada?
MS: Yes, but here’s the thing: All these shows—well Bad Blood has mostly aired in Canada at the moment, but I suspect it will be viewed elsewhere as well—are known and respected all over the world. So I think we’ve really found our own the last few years in Canada with our programming. And I think finally people are starting to—instead of saying, ‘Oh, it’s so Canadian,’ as if that’s a bad thing—they are searching out Canadian shows. In Australia, I remember doing a panel, and people were naming all these Canadian shows that they loved, and I was on the other side of the world. So it means a lot to me, of course, to be a part of these amazing shows, but it means even more to me that people all over the world are starting to understand that what we make here is special.
Speaking of Wynonna Earp, Season 3 ended with some huge changes for Wynonna, most notably, that she broke the curse. Can you say anything about what that will mean for her in Season 4?
MS: I will say that when we read the script when Wynonna breaks the curse—and the whole premise of the show is to break the curse—we were all just shocked. How do we move forward from this? I think what I look forward to in Season 4 is going, ‘How is Emily going to dig herself out of this one?’ I mean, what kind of person solves the problem to their show before Season 3 is even over? And what kind of chaos will that lead to in Season 4? I have no doubt that it’s going to be incredible.
Any idea when you’ll begin shooting Season 4?
MS: There’s a rumour about January, but that’s just a rumour.
Oh, Calgary in January. Bless you.
MS: Oh, I know. That’s such a pain, but I’ve learned to love it.
Bad Blood airs Thursdays at 8 p.m. ET/PT on Citytv.
Images courtesy of Rogers Media.