I am happy to say I’ve been on the Wynonna Earp bandwagon since the very beginning. At SDCC this year, I added even more wonderful Wynonna Earp experiences, including attending a party with the cast, crew, and fans. I also went to the panel, where the entire room exploded with joy when they announced that there would be a Season 3. On top of that, I also attended the press round table. Along with other members of the media, I had the chance to sit with cast and crew and ask some questions.
While Season 2 is complete, you can still watch it at SyFy.com or on the SyFy app. IDW is currently running their second Wynonna Earp Indiegogo campaign right now. The first one, was for Season 1 of Wynonna Earp on Blu-Ray. While that campaign is over, you can still go there and get the Blu-ray, as it is set at InDemand. The second campaign is for the Wynonna Earp: Legends graphic novel, signed by Melanie Scrofano, Tim Rozon, and Beau Smith. The graphic novel features issues 7-8 of the ongoing Wynonna Earp series and issues 1-4 of Wynonna Earp: Legends.
First to our table was Wynonna Earp herself, Melanie Scrofano. I have included some of the highlights of the interview, but if you want to watch the full interview, it is available at the bottom of the article.
Press: What was it like writing the comic? [Melanie co-wrote, with comic book series creator Beau Smith, Wynonna Earp Legends: The Earp Sisters issues 3 and 4].
Melanie Scrofano: I think it made me a better actor — first of all, because you have to look at everybody’s character and what they are going through right now. It’s not just about you anymore. So you’re looking at whole story. I think it hopefully made me a better actor, but also Beau made it so that it was like…He would literally write me, “I will be your parachute; just jump.” It was just so inspiring because there was no pressure in that sense. I knew that if I wrote some garbage they’re not going to put it in, but because I felt so safe, because Beau is so generous and trusting, I felt like I actually did some pretty good work, considering I didn’t know what I was doing. It was a brilliant learning experience.
Joshua Stone: How much time did you spend learning how to fight and shoot guns, just to be comfortable with that aspect of the show?
MS: Because filming is so repetitive, the shooting aspect we just do a lot on set. So part of it is just on the job training and we have Steven McMichael, who is an amazing stunt coordinator, who is always on hand to sort of fix us. In Wynonna’s case, I don’t have to be perfect because I’m just like, “I don’t know.” I just like shooting things and hoping for the best. I don’t have to be polished. So a lot of it is on the job, but also Steven McMichael is very generous.
Like last season, because I was pregnant — this sounds awful — but I felt stifled in a way by my body. I felt like I was a bit imprisoned and I couldn’t move, as I would have loved to have been thrown. I would have loved to have gone crazy, but you do want to be careful, ’cause at the end of the day, this is more important than a TV show. He was very generous and gave me some online lessons so that if we do come back [These interviews were done before it was announced that the show was picked up for Season 3], I’ll have a new skill to do. I’m not going to talk about it in case we don’t use it or I suck; I won’t tell you what it is.
Press: What’s your favorite part about playing Wynonna?
MS: I really love that there’s some dramatic stuff that happens and so you get to play the drama, but you also then get to laugh. Even if you’re the most serious person in the world, your life isn’t just dramatic. I think we get a nice taste of that. We get the tough stuff; we also get the fun stuff. As an actor, you don’t get bored.
JS: I have to ask real fast: your nails are amazing. Can I take a picture of them?
MS: The guy who did them hates me.
If you’re interested in watching the complete video, check it out below!
Next up was Shamier Anderson, who plays Agent Dolls on the show, and new to Season 2 cast member Varun Saranga, who plays Jeremy. When they sat down, Shamier got a lot of attention for the awesome red velvet hat he was wearing, and this led to the first question.
Press: It’s interesting that Dolls has a little bit of style this year.
Shamier Anderson: He does have a bit of style. It’s funny, that’s a conscious decision we made with the entire wardrobe team and Emily [Andras, show runner] and the producers. We wanted to him a bit more texture in his aesthetics. Especially with him being in Purgatory for the second year, technically speaking, we wanted to give him a little bit more life and as the season was progressing we added to him that flavor. And I think it’s working because you all noticed it and hopefully by the third season he’s wearing Gucci. That’s the hope.
JS: Well you’re on your own, no Black Badge, Dolls gets to be Dolls?
SA: Dolls gets to be Dolls, with whatever that means. Hopefully Gucci.
JS: Varun, joining the cast in the second season, how does it feel coming on board?
Varun Saranga: Just lots of bullying, absolutely horrible. It was worse than high school actually.
JS: Oh good, hazing.
VS: No [laughs]. Everyone was so kind and nice. We’re all Canadian, so that’s a given. We’re always saying sorry and thank you constantly. No, everyone was really warm. You know the vibe of the show, it’s super loving. A lot of the fans kind of represent that and I think that’s cause we are all like that, we are all like a family, we love each other and we care for one another. They brought me in right away. They were really kind to me.
JS: How of Dolls background did you know? How much has been added and just you built upon it with your own personality or are you just getting surprised, oh this is me?
SA: In the creative process, in the writer’s room, our writers are really great, you find that in any successful season, from a Supernatural to an Orphan Black, they start writing towards personality traits of the actors I find. And I find that Emily and the executive team see a bit more of what Shamier is like and what the fans gravitate towards, so want to add these sprinkles into that character. We have discussions about it. You know, read the scripts, a lot of it is surprise, but still staying on that line of being Dolls, because Dolls isn’t Shamier. There’s bits of Shamier in Dolls and we want to make sure we are still teeter tottering around that without going completely, “Oh hey, how’s it going?”, which isn’t Dolls, but still making the fans happy. That’s a process within itself and I think we’re still discovering that as we go on because you guys, critics and the fans, are a huge part of what drives these characters and the way our relationship in the first season was kind of something that just happened. But seeing the results of it, wow, we need a little bit more of that because that’s what the fans really like and so that’s how I feel with Dolls. So third season, based off the rest of the second, will determine how we’re going to pull Dolls on the next level to make you guys love him some more.
VS: On that note, my character kind of started as the exposition guy. He was kind of a functioning role, but they started seeing what I was doing and Emily is so great that she’ll hone in on whatever your personality trait is and, not to toot my own horn, she thought I was pretty funny. And she wrote a lot of great stuff for me to what my strengths are and that’s kind of a credit to the show that they’re always trying to uplift all of us, give us a really good platform to act on.
If you’re interested in watching the complete video, check it out below!
Next up was Dominique Provost-Chalkley, who plays Waverly Earp, Wynonna’s little sister, and Katherine Barrell, who plays Office Nicole Haught, Deputy in the town of Purgatory and Waverly’s girlfriend. Sadly, I had a bit of recording issue for this interview, and I was only able to get the first minute or so of this interview recorded before my recorder stopped..
Dominique Provost-Chalkley and Katherine Barrell: [together] Hey!
JS: How have you taken to that? I’ve been trying to figure out how many times that’s actually been a hashtag on Twitter.
KB: Since episode two, the first season.
DPC: You mean how many times it’s been used?
KB: That would be a lot of times.
JS: How does it feel to be part of this Brangelina kind of thing here?
KB: It’s been amazing. I know for me Wynonna Earp definitely changed my career.
DPC: We won the lottery in many ways.
KB: We really did. I think to be part of it, it’s an honor, it’s a privilege because I think Wayhaught came around in a time where, especially in the LGBTQ community, we were really desperately needing that representation and it was a beacon of positive light. 2016 was a really bad year for LGBTQ characters, and I consider it quite an honor to be part of Wayhaught.
DPC: Oh, 100%.
KB: I think Wayhaught also includes all the writers and our whole show, all of us on Wynonna Earp. It’s a show that has been a champion for this amazing community. I wear it kind of like a badge of honor.
DPC: We’re so lucky, honestly. Whenever I have anybody from the LGBTQ community thanking me, because there are so many wonderful people out there that send emails and it really means so much to them. I was saying at the party, I was say to them every time someone thanks me now, I’m like whoa, whoa, whoa, I’m the one that has to thank you guys for being so accepting of us and just opening their hearts to accepting us as actors and us as a relationship, and just getting on board and understanding what Emily was trying to do and giving us their hearts.
KB: And their trust, too, because it’s a big thing for that community to really trust and feel free to put their love into another kind of relationship.
Press: One of the things I like so much this season is that guys aren’t just happy all the time. You have ups and downs. Are we going to see more that as the season progresses?
KB: I hope so or we’re not going to be making good tv. I think now it’s nice that, you know Nicole and Waverly, definitely I think it was tough for them with the Gooverly thing and it was a really hard think to navigate, but I think now the show has definitely, we’ve shifted our focus on to the baby and the baby kind of becomes very central moving forward, of how we’re going to manage and take care of this new child. And I think it’s really a really beautiful thing, for everyone takes the focus off themselves as characters and puts it into the protection of the child. Which is quite beautiful, I think.
DPC: This season feels more real, I think, on the whole with everyone. Season one you’re setting up so much, you have to really establish who these characters are. Waverly’s always fun and bubbly, and whatever. Then going into the second season you expand on what you’ve already built, so you’re seeing different sides of people and you can go deeper. I think that’s what every single relationship, including the Wayhaught relationship, just goes deeper, we go on to that next level. You will see a slightly more…
KB: More settled, more established.
DPC: Yes, deeper relationship.
KB: But with that comes different challenges.
DPC: And great challenges. It’s exactly what any new relationship has to go through. It’s real.
Our next visitor to our table was the creator of the Wynonna Earp comic book, Beau Smith. I missed the first part of the first question, but Beau was asked about working with Tim Rozon on writing Wynonna Earp comics.
Beau Smith: He stepped right in. The things I had to rein him in on were he’s used to television, so you can talk a lot, and we don’t have a lot of room. He took to it immediately. Tim’s a good quarterback. He knows what everyone else’s position in. In fact, when I was doing [Wynonna Earp:] Season Zero, I did the first issue, I got to the last four pages, I called my editor and I said. “Can we bring Tim back to write the rest of this series with me, even this issue?” He said, “Yeah, you having a personal problem, an injury?” I said, “No, I miss the guy. We have a great relationship, collaborative relationship. I just had so much fun.” He said, “Sure, Doc Holliday from the show.” I called Tim up, he was out to dinner with his wife, he goes, “I’m at dinner with…What? Yeah, yeah, sure.” His wife Lindsay just said he wouldn’t focus on his dinner the rest of the evening. Tim knows the comic book pace, which is good.
With Melanie, whole different story. She had never written before and I thought I’m ready. I told her as I told Tim, “Never worry about screwing up because I’m your safety net, I’ll back you up.” It got to the point where I was looking forward to the dialogue and the scripts that she would hand in. I literally told my wife I’m going to buy some adult diapers because I about pee my pants every time she sends something in. It is so funny. I even got to the point where I was questioning does Emily really write this show. Melanie is that funny. The thing I like about Mel, she was pregnant, she was filming the show, she was doing numerous other things, and she was writing the comic book at the same time. We would Facetime, just like with Tim. Unfortunately with Tim, I caught him three times in the shower, he’s answering it. I was going, ok, Melanie’s going to be in the shower, it’s going to be great. No, I got her breastfeeding her son, tastefully of course. She goes, “Beau, I hope you don’t mind.” I go no ma’am, no, you just ruined every filthy fantasy I ever had. Melanie is a hoot. They used to say a free spirit and stuff like that. Creatively she’s just, she and I talked yesterday, we’re getting ready to work on another thing comic book wise and I can hardly wait. She’s dead serious, she goes I want to learn the craft of writing comic books because if I’m not acting. She’s like me, there always has to be an outlet. This is a dream come true. Who knows with the rest of the cast there may be a couple other writers? I may be out of work sooner than I thought.
JS: That would be an interesting one, to get Shamier to write it.
BS: It would be interesting. I get Shamier writing it he would engulf me like a black hole, and I don’t mean anything by it. [Asking as if Shamier] “You like that Beau?” Sure do bud, I like that a lot. Shamier is a gregarious 10 year-old. I love that guy. He is lightning in a bottle, there’s no doubt about it.
JS: Two seasons are done now, so for you, this was your thing, you created it. How does it feel having gone from the comic book to a huge fan base, a rabid fan base in a lot of ways? How does it make you feel that you started this so many years ago?
BS: I like the way you tastefully put that, so many years ago. A hundred years ago.
JS: I picked up the original 1st issue when it came out.
BS: I appreciate it.
JS: I’ve been doing this for a long time.
BS: I appreciate it.
JS: I’m old. [said with sadness in my voice]
BS: Emily has done so much. I wanted the likeability and I want the humor. That’s what I wanted to stick with. I got to be honest, the comic book went through a lot of years of battling with art styles that the publishers wanted that weren’t what I had in mind from day one. But Emily has been a godsend in the fact that she has taken that small bit of sperm that I donated and she created this heavenly body of work. I mean, she truly has. She is so gracious, she’s so modest. Again, I’ve said it before, I took a small loaf of bread and she created sandwiches for everybody. Wynonna Earp had gone as far as it could go in the comics, I mean I’ll always have a fan base, but it would be a tough road to hoe to get a lot new, she’s brought so many new people into this and I will be forever thankful. And I’m glad it happened.
My business isn’t one where your face is on the screen, so I don’t hide my age. I’m 62, and better to happen for me at 62 than 32 when I got into the industry cause I’m sure I would’ve done or said something stupid or not made the right move. At 62, you can be very thankful and see so much more through experience. I’ll give you an example. When I got Emily’s manual of what she was going to do, this was way, way early on and no one was cast, I was going, “Oh my gosh, this is so different.” And for probably an hour or two, I was going, “Eh, eh, I don’t know about this.” And then probably the next day, I thought this is what it is going to take to go that next level and broaden it out. And I embraced all of it and I found creatively, for myself, the ideas started flowing. It helped me with the comic book to start doing new stuff. So when I say I owe Emily Andras, that is no exaggeration and thankfully it’s not a bar tab because I would be broke ass poor right now. I owe her so much, I truly mean that. She is special.
Here is the video if you are interested in watching the complete video.
Next up was Tim Rozon, who plays Doc Holliday, and Tamara Duarte, who plays Rosita Bustillos. Again my recording device stopped before the interview was over, but it got most of so I have included what I was able to get, over six minutes, below after the interview highlights.
For me, there’s nothing quite like that moment when an artist you like and respect recognizes you. That moment occurred when Tim sat down next to me and said, “Hey, how are you? Nice to see you again.” Fairly awesome.
Tim Rozon: Everybody knows how much I hate Comic-Con, so. I’ve been on the floor already a bunch of times. Anytime I have an hour even. I just run down. I took Varun for the first time this morning and that was even more special, because that’s what I had, so just to watch him kind of bug out and, “Oh my god X-Box; Oh my god Loot Crate; Oh my god!”
Tamara Duarte: Two peas in a pod these guys. It’s crazy, it’s amazing.
TR: I got to live vicariously through him again.
JS: Did you get a chance to go through the IDW booth to see your comic books being sold?
TR: It was the first thing I did. Issue one just came out [Wynonna Earp: Season Zero] and I was so busy that I didn’t even get to see it yet, so the first I got to hold the physical copy was at San Diego Comic-Con. It was a pretty awesome feeling to be standing there at the IDW booth holding a comic book with your name on the top that you wrote. If you would have told me that 2 or 3 years ago I would have never have believed you. It’s like a life mission complete. I’m good with whatever happens, I’m good.
JS: Did you see the pins?
TR: Yeah, I’m wearing them.
TD: Yeah, we got one.
TR: I’m the one who wears his lanyard everywhere, that they’re always, “Dude, take off the lanyard. Don’t be lanyard guy.”
TD: We went to dinner the other night, and he’s putting the lanyard inside his t-shirt.
Press: You don’t want to lose it.
TR: No, why would I want to take this off. [pointing to his lanyard]
TD: It’s special.
TR: It is.
JS: How’s it been joining the cast?
TD: It’s great. I’m a fan first. I love the show. I bought it on iTunes. I watched all the extra stuff. I know the show intimately because I auditioned for it a bunch of times in season one. And I know Kat, who I worked with a couple years ago. So it’s been really amazing to be on the show because I’m a fan. So I was like, “Oh my god, I get to actually go and see the bar!” It was surreal the first day to be on the show and see the sets and work on it. And everyone on the show’s amazing; they’re so giving while we’re working and when we’re not. The cast and the crew and everyone is so welcoming. It’s been a really, really great experience.
Here is the video if you are interested in watching the majority of the interview.
Last up was Showrunner, Executive Producer, and Writer on Wynonna Earp, Emily Andras.
JS: Wynonna Earp is the show that has me grab my phone more than any show.
Emily Andras: Because you’re so bored?
JS: No, because I have to hit Shazam because I love the music.
EA: Oh, I know. Isn’t it amazing?
JS: Who comes up with it? Who makes those choices? I can’t remember an episode where I’m not like, I need to find out what that song is.
EA: Good. I feel the same way. So we have the most incredible Music Supervisor named Andrea Higgins, she’s on Twitter if you want to follow her [@andreahiggins]. She’s just, like young and fresh and fun. We’re actually somewhat limited, we have to use a lot of Canadians independent artists. She knows everybody, she’s so savvy. She’ll send me choices for a scene and then myself and two other producers pick usually. She’s just incredible. That’s become such a character in our show, the music. I know people on-line, fans have made Soundcloud lists and what have you.
Press: Speaking of Twitter, you guys have a huge community. We were talking about it with someone else too, it’s incredible. Listening to the fans is not a thing that every show does. Has it informed your choices or decisions?
EA: I would say, very carefully, it hasn’t informed our creative choices, but it has made this show. We honestly built this from the ground up. We were a tiny little underdog Canadian show. We have like the budget of Game of Thrones shoe budget. Not even, like one shoe probably. Like flip flops, they don’t even wear flip flops. Like SyFy has been super supportive, but it was like Friday nights at 1opm under wrestling, the sweet spot. I feel like it was a testament to how much the cast fell in with the show that we were like, we’re going to do this. And I was like nobody is under any obligation to do it. We don’t have to live tweet with the fans, but we get together at each other’s houses and see it. It just feels fresh in this day and age to have that interactive experience with fans and it feels like we’re all eating popcorn together and yelling at the screen. It feels like a comic book, right. We’re turning the pages and you can’t wait to get to the next panel, and then oh my god you have to buy the next issue. It’s been definitely the professional joy of my life because I just think my first season, we were running around in the Alberta woods doing these skits and I was like is there even film in the camera? We filmed the whole first season and then you’re like Wynonna Earp, the weirdest title ever, here you go. So just seeing people get it and fall in love with it has been incredible. And warmth and kind of respect of the fandom is really unusual. It’s a very inclusive fandom. Everybody ships everybody with everybody else and that seems ok for now. But those Earpers, it is a success story because of them. I mean the cast is fine too.
JS: When I was at the red carpet at Wondercon 2 years ago, I asked a question about Buffy, and I think even more now, 20th Anniversary of Buffy, how much of an inspiration was that show to Wynonna?
EA: It’s the number one inspiration and I have to be really careful. I don’t want to apologize for it because it’s so clearly an inspiration, but I really want to be careful. I really try to do homage versus derivative; do you know what I mean? If I ever met Joss [Whedon] and he punches me, “I’m like that’s fine, I deserve it. I’m nothing without you.” It’s a huge influence, almost not even so much for the female characters and the characterization, but also if you watch Buffy, I always say you see the zipper up the back of the demon costume, but it doesn’t matter because Sarah Michelle Gellar breaks your heart every week. And that’s the lesson I took more than anything else. It’s like fine, Game of Thrones, have your fancy shoes. We’re going to have our characters and that’s what it’s got to be. That’s the covenant you make with the audience, that I’m going to give you good characters that you’re going to fall in love with. Yes there’s going to be a demon spider, but I promise to give you characters you will fall in love with and care about, hopefully. That’s what I go back to when I’m lost, how about that. Which I never am!
Press: What was it like writing Melanie’s pregnancy into the show this season? Writing a pregnant superhero.
EA: It was both terrifying when we did the math. She gave birth literally four days after our last… If you want to talk about a real life superhero, that’s it. We didn’t have an option, so it was kind of like balls to the wall. It’s like driving the Titanic, “We’re going right into that iceberg.” Not to call Melanie an iceberg. I’m really proud of how it turned out.
And here is the video from Emily’s interview. Be sure to check out the Wynonna Earp Indiegogo and pick up Wynonna Earp: Season Zero out now.
For further musings from Joshua Stone, you can follow him on the Twitter @1NerdyOne.