Recently, my colleague Tom Gardiner had the chance to participate in a conference call with the stars of Killjoys – Aaron Ashmore, Hannah John-Kamen and Luke Macfarlane (and I will admit to more than a twinge of jealousy). Here’s Part 2 of our chat! You can read Part 1 by clicking here. And be sure to check out our show preview – then come back each week for our episode reviews.
Can you tell us something about your character that maybe only you know?
Luke: Not to get too dark but I think that John and D’avin’s father used to beat up D’avin.
Aaron: Yes. I mean, that’s interesting too because we’d never discussed anything like that and there’s nothing in the show like that. But I had thought of similar things like John and D’avin’s background. You know, we don’t really get into the details of it in the show but it was very, very difficult so I thought of things like that too about scenarios, and I pictured that too that D’avin was the older brother and so he probably took a brunt of a lot of that growing up. And probably was protecting John, so for me there’s slight guilt dripping in some of those potential things about, you know, it’s kind of dark. But hey, the show is still fun, it’s not all dark.
Is there a really funny scene that stands out in your mind that we would be looking for?
Luke: Gosh. Oh, I know something to look that I think is very funny. In a much later episode John comes in contact with a super computer and he gets really excited about that super computer. So I’m just going say that much, I laughed really hard when I saw that.
Aaron: Good, I’m so glad. So John’s nerdiness that you find – that’s good I like that. The show is not necessarily always ha, ha funny like knee slapper, I think it’s sort of subtle and it’s really in the way that these characters tease each other or interact with each other. It’s just so peppered throughout the show, this current of humor on the way that they sort of gab at each other. To me that’s really where the humor lies, it’s not like, oh my God there’s this one hilarious like comic scene. It’s really the tone of the way these people rib each other and tease each other that to me is where the sense of humor really lies.
Could each of you share something about each of your co-stars that surprised you the most? Perhaps their personality or their process, anything that comes to mind.
Aaron: Oh, telling tales on each other, oh my goodness. I was very pleasantly surprised at how funny and not just funny but weird both Luke and Hannah’s sense of humor is. That’s one of the really unique things about the three of us together is that we’re just so weird. And our sense of humor just kind of rips off each other and so I was really pleasantly surprised to see how strange their senses of humor were and then how we as a whole bonded together.
Hannah: Like I think it’s the sense of humor. Because on set like one of us is saying something and then without even any questions the other one would join in and then it wouldn’t stop for like an hour.
Aaron: In harmony nonetheless.
Hannah: In harmony. That was a surprise to me – this kind of crazy sense of humor, no questions asked, just really join in.
Aaron: Yes. And that’s not always the case, right, the things that you think are funnier, the things that really tickle you have other people that you’re working with and it flows, that was sort of really surprising and lucky I think.
In an action oriented show sometimes the actors will use mood music or conjure up certain mental queues to kind of inspire them to kind of pump them up for the intense action scenes. Do either of you have devices that you utilize?
Aaron: I find in emotional scenes sometimes that works better, to set the mood if it’s sad or anger or something. But the action stuff is like you’re just thrown in and you got to run or you got to kick butt. Sometimes that’s not the hardest thing to motivate yourselves into. But sometimes for emotional scenes that works a little bit better to put you in a place emotionally.
Luke: Yes, definitely. In fact thinking about the first fight scene that we filmed, which is John and I in the cage fight right at the beginning, it was so amazing to have that whole crowd of people around us yelling, that was sort of enough to get us into the mood. Like it was really cool to have 100 or whatever extras all screaming, they don’t know what the show is, they don’t know what they’re screaming for. But still…
Aaron: It was interesting too, I remember we did a first take right after lunch and everybody was still kind of coming back from lunch, they just had something to eat, everybody was kind of quiet. And then Chris Grismer, our director, was like, OK, guys we’re back from lunch, I need you to scream and yell. And then when we did another take it sort of changed everything because when you have like 100 people screaming and beating on the cage, that sort of energy really amps everything up for us. And, yes, that was really cool actually.
Once you realized that you had gotten the job that you’re going to play a bounty hunter, did you do any like research and perhaps find that you had a favorite real life fictional bounty hunter that you might have drawn inspiration from?
Aaron: My dad is a big “Dog The Bounty Hunter” fan, and I already watched a ton of Dog. But that’s not really what we’re going for here so I kind of did the opposite of that – I stripped away anything that I’d seen from Dog and decided to just go off the script.
Luke: That was wise. He came with a mullet the first day.
Aaron: I got rid of that pretty quick.
Hannah: I don’t know, I think for me I just basically did character research and more of this character building with Michelle and Chris. And the skills come with the training and within the character. But for me it was kind of who is Dutch first before what does that do.
Luke: Both Hannah and Aaron had experience in the sci-fi world, I was intimidated, I’ve never done anything in the sci-fi world, so I actually watched a lot of sci-fi programming thinking that, oh, I’m going to be interacting with these people and fans that know the sci-fi world much more deeply than I do and I don’t want to look like irreverent to their genre.
If you could travel anywhere in outer space where would you want to go?
Aaron: To a planet where there’s alien life maybe. Wherever is that, I don’t know the name of it unfortunately, I can’t be that specific but…
Luke: If you could I would be…
Aaron: Very impressed. I would be wasting my skills as an actor if I could tell you where that is.
Luke: Yes, it’s hard, there’s not a lot of places that you could go.
Obviously Dutch has a lot of secrets and Luke also, about what’s happened in his past in the war and everything. So, Aaron, my question is does John have any kind of secrets that we’re going to be finding out about?
Aaron: In this first season not really. And I think that needs to be that way because the whole thing is that Dutch and D’avin have these secrets that are holding the team apart because they’re not really wanting to share those and trying to deal with all these things by themselves. And it causes a lot of strain on the team and I think John’s position in this first season is, his main purpose in the show and his goal is to keep the team together because they’re just ripping each other apart.
So I think if you then throw John into the mix where he got things, I think it would be a bit convoluted. You needed somebody who was just not being torn apart by all this stuff to kind of keep it together. So I hope that if we get another season that we’ll get to start to see a little bit of John’s past and the things that he had to go through, the difficulties and stuff. I really hope that we will get to do that but I think in this season it would have been a bit much to sort of have all three of them really trying to explore these dark secrets.
What has been your favorite part about working on Killjoys so far?
Hannah: The sets have been amazing, I think the fighting as well has been so cool. But I think with Aaron and Luke they’re just so amazing to work with. They just made the whole time and experience just injected with fun.
Luke: Yes, it’s really true. You often hear actors talking about, “Oh, you know, we all like each other so much.” But really legitimately it was like a really great group, I love showing up to work, it was wonderful. And just to use your imagination in a really profound way. You know, it’s not often that you’re required to imagine so much and that it makes you feel like a kid again when you’re looking out the window of your spaceship and you see a green screen having to imagine what’s on that. Often your job is entering into a living room with cup of tea. So being able to use your imagination that massive way is super fun.
Aaron: Yes, I agree. I think first and foremost not just as the actors but the whole creative team and the whole crew, I think everybody really, really enjoyed themselves. And again we’re working in such a fun business, but the experiences are not always amazing, amazing. And I think like on a personal level the fun of working with everybody was way, way up there.
Another thing for me was getting to start on a show, I’ve done lots of shows where I kind of come into them while they’re already been successful and then become a lead on the show or recurring. But to come in to a show from the very start and feel like you’re really, really part of something.
And like Luke was saying, it’s just not really part of something where it’s set in New York or wherever where we know everything but we’re really getting to explore and create the world and these characters that nobody has seen before. You know, coming from Michelle’s imagination and the writers, and then we really get to inhabit these places that don’t exist, and these societies, these cultural levels that are not real. So who gets to do that, some people get to fantasize and get to think about those things but we actually get to act them out and create them. And that’s been the really, really exciting thing that very few people get to do, so it’s a lot of fun.
Luke: I remember the first time we all were on the cockpit together, and we’ve been watching the ships get built because we’re filming on our station and we see them and like, “Cool, that’s our spaceship.” And then all the sudden we were on the spaceship and they built this beautiful thing but nobody knew how to drive it and we got to make up how to drive the ship. And we got to imagine what button to press to try to make it go up and make it go round and that’s thrilling.
What challenges did you face when filming the first season?
Luke: It’s a small cast and we all worked a lot, it was really long hours. You know, sometimes when cast of shows are bigger and there’s more screen time to go around but this is very equally spread among three people so we had really long days.
Hannah: The challenges at the beginning, I remember when we had this gun and it was so heavy. Actually kind of like getting to use to it, the equipment and the armor, and making it look like I’ve been carrying this gun for years. It was really embodying a killer, as a bounty hunter, and getting used to the kind of physical way of that.
Aaron: Even up until very recently I felt this way throughout the whole season, so you’re really excited to do this, this is an amazing opportunity. But you’re really like, I hope that we do all of this justice, I hope that all this hard work that we do and we put in, you know, that it pays off, that people really enjoy it. Because we’re not just doing a cop show where we’re emulating something that’s already out there and people will buy into it. We’re creating a whole new world and so you really want to get it right and you really wanted to create characters and a world that’s believable and people are going to buy into.
And that just comes with the genre, I think that that there’s a lot of actual work that you have to do and pressure that’s put on you because people have to buy into this. It’s not an easy thing to buy into, and the sci-fi audience is very discerning, they’re very intelligent, and you want them to like it. So there’s some pressure in that and that doesn’t just fall on us obviously as the actors, as a production we all have to accomplish it together. But after seeing the show I feel very confident and very proud of the work that everybody did and I’m really hoping that everybody is going to enjoy it.
Luke: That’s a really good point, yes. And I think there is more reverence, the intelligence of the audience in this genre than any other genre I think I’ve worked in and wanting to do them right.
Killjoys is created by the creator of Lost Girl, Michelle Lovretta, and it’s produced by the producers of Orphan Black and Temple Street. What do you think fans of those shows would like about Killjoys?
Aaron: Well, obviously they’re coming from the same sensibility, the same minds, but I think our show is going to be very different because of the content and the world that we’re in. So hopefully the things that you enjoy about those other shows, they’ll be assembled in our show as well.
Luke: Speaking a little bit about Lost Girl, I think there’s something about, not to be sort of light about it, but there’s a sense of female empowerment that I think is definitely something that’s really strong (in viewers), strong female characters that aren’t just strong because they beat people up but they’re very comfortable with their sexuality. Michelle writes a lot about sexuality in a really unique way.
You just talked about this a little bit but are you guys ready for the vintage genre fans you’re about to have?
Luke: Bring it on.
Hannah: We’re ready.
Luke: I would love it. I have a lot of flight attendant sort of fans right now, I like to sort of broaden my fan base. I often get like – “Oh, you know, the first class wine is a little bit better than the coach wine. Let me see if I can scrounge a glass for you.”
Aaron: That’s a bonus.
Luke: Yes, it’s very nice.
We talked previously about Dutch’s past and what’s going on with her. But can you tell us a little bit about D’avin’s search for the military doctor (more about this in episode 2) and whether his search will come to a resolution this season?
Luke: Well, he’s definitely looking for this person all the way through the show and, gosh, I don’t know how much I should tease but yes he finds her, he finds her. And that she is a her. And I think it’s really interesting because there’s a lot of comparisons that a lot of soldiers are returning from Iraq and Afghanistan, and are trying reconcile with their sort of violent past and I think it’s a great story line. But he does get more completion and closure than Dutch does.
Source: TBIS – Three If By Space
Excited for Killjoys to start on Friday? We certainly are! We had the great opportunity to participate in a conference call with the show’s stars, Hannah John-Kamen, Luke Macfarlane and Aaron Ashmore, about the world they’re creating and the fun they’re having. This is part 1 of the conversation – watch for part 2, tomorrow!
All of you have really great chemistry together. Did it happen right away, can you talk about the first time you guys met and worked together as a group?
Luke: Sure. So much of the credit is due to the casting process. We had a really great casting director that took the time to really kind of do mix and matches. So as we’re sort of slowly assembling this group, we kind of auditioned with various people and that’s always terribly nerve racking as an actor, but I think ultimately it’s really a useful sort of thing to do. Because yes, we got along from the beginning almost immediately, very similar sense of humor.
Aaron: Yes, and I think that as far as chemistry and stuff like that, you either have it or you don’t. That is something that obviously is due to the casting process, and when they’re doing a show like this that obviously revolves around the characters having sort of dynamic chemistry, it’s really important. But, you know, sometimes you just really lockout and I think the three of us have become, you know, really good friends and we got along so, so well, and it’s kind of rare. So I think it’s special and I think that we all appreciate it and it’s kind of lucky too that you get three people that just get along so well.
Hannah: And I think it’s great – but it’s important to have the chemistry on screen and off. And I think that we all have the same sense of humor which really helps and…
Luke: Weird, weird. I think we’re all weird.
Hannah: Much fun. And we sing a lot too.
Luke: Yes, we do, we make up songs on the set all the time.
You’ve got to release those!
Luke: Yes, DVD extra, special behind the scenes.
It seems like this group doesn’t tend to always follow the rules that are set forth. Is that going to become a problem or does the company not really care as long as they get what they’re after?
Luke: It’s a good question. I think what is interesting with Killjoys is like, you know, there’s been a lot of comparisons to Firefly, that show. And what I think makes Killjoys really different as an entity and as a show is that we do have to abide by those rules.
So the tension exists within that, sort of how far can you bend the rules. And I think that makes for an interesting thing, it’s not like we’re just rogue cowboys, we really – we really do have to operate with inside the system so that it becomes a sort of like doubly complicated way of sort of bending the rules as far as we can but yes, of course it becomes complicated because we don’t always abide by the rules.
Hannah: I mean, like the whole saying, is take no bribes, take no sides, the warrant is all, but it’s really hard when you’re put in a situation like Dutch in the first episode with John and D’avin and taking on that warrant and basically kind of saving people’s asses and kind of having that kind of morals – having those morals as well. They kind of give that kind of dilemma and that conflict with the characters which I think is more interesting.
Aaron: Yes, and I think it shows their intelligence and their creativity and their knowledge of this world and how we sort of – to circumvent some of these things and make it work and I think that that’s kind of interesting as well to see us doing those things.
The ship is pretty much another character on this series. How do each of you interact with that ship?
Aaron: Well, I would say that John is does most of the work with Lucy (the ship’s interface) although we all interact with her, in all the episodes we all talked to her. But I think John is Lucy’s favorite and I think that’s sort of addressed at times, even thought John denies that. But he definitely works with her the most and fixes her and he’s definitely more of a tech guy.
So it’s really interesting to have a character that we work with so closely in such a big part of the show but we don’t really get to see her or her voice until the final product. So it’s really cool to see that character come alive when the actor is finally sort of voicing it. And I think that you’re really going to enjoy it because it just is that really cool AI and she has a real sense of humor too, a real personality…
Luke: I think it’s really telling the way we all decide to interact with Lucy too. I don’t even bother to learn Lucy’s name until the seventh episode, I just call her ship, which I think is sort of funny. But I think our character’s ability to empathize, you know, and John being really good at that and being able to understand people I think a little bit better than me.
Hannah: I think Lucy serves the team well, she’s so professional. And that there’s situations in the show where even though Lucy is a machine, you know, she’s a ship, she really helps our characters get out of a situation as much as she can. And yes, there’s a sense of humor as well and it’s really cool because it’s just seeing that with her voice but with what she says is very, very humorous.
D’avin and Dutch kind of come into this and we sort of balanced their past with their present. And John seems to be pretty happy go lucky for lack of a better term, he doesn’t have something hanging on for him. Will we see a balance of that through the course of the first season where D’avin and Dutch have to address the parts of their past that are still lingering for them?
Hannah: That’s a great question – the relationship between Dutch and D’avin is very interesting because it starts off – I mean, I’m very, very, wary of this intruder coming into my situation with me and John. But then we find out that we both have a similarity and I think that gets me to a point where we have to address that. You don’t have to wait too much but there is an unravel with that.
Luke: Yes, I know I think like any two people who have to sort of reconcile their pasts, they clumsily reached for each other in a way because they identified a thing in their past that they need to reconcile. And we do seek a certain level of conclusion or reconciliation, I think more on my part as far as this thing that happened to me in my past and how I try to take care of it.
Hannah: We’re not very good at talking about our feelings…Like he said we clumsily reach and kind of solve it in our own way.
I know Firefly already has been mentioned and you’re an original show but I believe these comparisons are really intended to be complimentary and I wanted to know what you guys thought about the inevitable comparisons that will come up along the way?
Aaron: I think it’s fine because until people really get the personality of our show, that’s the easiest way to understand something or put it out there to compare it with something. So I think that that’s totally fine. I think that people who are fans of Firefly, I think there are definitely some similarities just in the genre of the show, so I think that that’s great.
But I also think that Michelle Lovretta, our creator, and the whole creative team have also created their own unique world. And as much as there maybe are some similarities in a broad sense I think the specifics of the show and characters and details are definitely going to become something all to themselves. So I think the comparisons are like totally cool, I think it’s flattering too because as genre fan myself, Firefly is obviously one of the biggest shows, one of the most beloved shows so any comparisons to that are cool.
Luke: Yes, I definitely think about that. I mean, that’s the way we understand things is by comparing them to each other. My hope is that, yes, eventually it steps into its own unique thing and then one day they’ll compare us to something that we haven’t yet seen around the set. But I would also say Firefly was essentially a rogue group of individuals. The Killjoys operate within a system and I think that is very, very deeply sort of what makes this different. We can’t do whatever we want whenever we want, we have to operate with inside the system called the R.A.C.. And I think that makes the world fundamentally different.
One of the interesting things about Dutch is that she’s got a mysterious background. Is that going to be a large part of the story as it unfolds throughout the season?
Hannah: You see hints of it at the beginning of the season, all of these catching up with her. As the show goes on it seems more like a massive change. Absolutely you’re going to expect a lot of unraveling of Dutch, and her character, and her past, and why she she is where she is now. There’s going to be more questions even, as the show goes on.
One last question, what’s the good thing about going back to back on the schedule with Dark Matter? We’re going to have two ship based space shows all together in one night which I’m quite excited about. And what would you think about the possibilities of crossovers in the future?
Aaron: Crossovers would be cool but I don’t know if they could handle us because we’re pretty dangerous so if we had to go head to head…
Hannah:Yes, we’re pretty badass.
Aaron: Yes. Of course anything like that would be really exciting actually, the crossing into another show even if it’s a minor sort of thing.
Hannah: Mega cool.
Luke: It would be a funny thing if all of our characters kind of have a big sense of humor and personality. And from my understanding of Dark Matter they are a little bit more sort of cold killer like – I don’t know if they’re funny so I think they might look at us like we’re a bunch of clowns. But then we beat them up.
Aaron: Dangerous killer clowns, that’s what we are.
Hannah: We’re clowns but then we’d beat them up definitely.
Luke: But then we beat them up and we steal their ship.
Aaron: How funny are we now?
Luke: Go back in your cryo freeze.
Aaron: But yes it would totally be fun probably to do crossovers.
Luke: Very fun.
It seems like a lot of fun to do the fight scenes you guys had, you have all these cool gadgets. Do any of you have any favorite gadget that you work with or that you would like to have in real life or in a fight?
Hannah: My guns, I felt like my guns were part of my limbs. I don’t know why, I just had this bond with my gun, I fell in love with my laser gun.
Aaron: I think we all had unhealthy attachments to our weapons by the time we were done.
Hannah: Yes. And beautiful custom leather leg harnesses were something I’ll wear as well, yes.
Aaron: The props guys would start asking us if they wanted us to take the guns off us between scenes. At a certain point all of us were like no, no, no we prefer hanging on to them. And we’re very adamant about that so, yes, it was kind of that weird.
Luke: Yes, very cool…
Hannah: Yes, they were like, all right then, OK.
Luke: Of course they can shoot lasers.
What is with the green juice that you guys drink?
Hannah: Algae beer.
Aaron: Algae beer which sort of took a backseat after the first episode because I think they’re like – and it’s so gross but that…
Hannah: It was so gross. But that’s…
Aaron: What is it though? It’s like coconut water mixed with something else, it was kind of lumpy.
Luke: They blended…
Hannah: I think it’s like a really healthy L.A. smoothie or something but to be honest I’m mad on it. And then we have algae buns as well that you guys – hey, I never got to eat it, it was made from beans, isn’t it?
Aaron: Yes, some sort of bean curd. But I think that the spinach started to get stuck in our teeth from the algae beer and you just couldn’t have that in scenes so they’re like yes, we’re going to lose that because you guys are all smiling with that green junk…
Hannah: So it was pumpkin beers. So we changed it to pumpkin instead of algae.
Luke: I’m glad you asked about that. I actually asked the writers a similar question, where did the algae beer go, it’s stuck in his teeth.
Are you guys going tweet it from here? Everyone would love to speak with you.
Aaron: I’m going to try and do that for sure – well, I’m not going to try, I am going to do that, yes. The only thing…
Hannah: I’m going to do that.
Aaron: Yes, but your time zone, you’re going to be, you know, Hannah is going to be like in the middle of the night when we’re airing.
Hannah: I’m going to be – I’m dedicated.
Aaron: That’s commitment.
Hannah: It’s going to be 3:00 in the morning for me. I have a wedding to go to the next day but I should be up in the morning.
Luke: That’s making me feel very bad because I haven’t – I don’t have a Twitter.
The stunts and the fighting are great and you guys do a lot of gadgets and all that stuff. Did you have any special training going in or how did that work?
Hannah: Yes, we all had stunt training, military training, and physical training as well. And the stunt coordinators are Alam, Alex and Allison. So during the week before they kind of planned out with our stunt doubles, the fight sequence, and it was so much fun.
Luke: When I first got into the business there is a sort of mythological idea that you have an action show, that you’ll have a trainer. And I remember thinking that was cool. And this is actually the first time that I ever got a trainer. We worked out and they took pictures of our shortlist which they sent to the producers. It’s always like this badass thing that I wanted to have and they did it, and it was great, it was a great excuse to work out.
Aaron: And the physical stuff that we got to do at the beginning, the military stuff, the working out, the fight training is really kind of neat because the three of us didn’t know each other so we’re thrown into all this really intense training together. And I think that it’s kind of fun when you start on it and it’s a good way to bond with your fellow actors. And we really get to know each other. And everybody was slightly out of their element because none of us are martial artists or anything like that. So you’re all thrown into this new experience in doing it together and yes it was actually a lot of fun.
Hannah: We bonded pretty violently.
Do you guys get to do a lot of your stunts?
Hannah: Yes, I think we all did them, didn’t we?
Aaron: For sure. And obviously there’s stunt doubles for stuff that, you know, they don’t want you to get hurt and all that but they actually let us do a lot of it ourselves.
Luke: Yes, they did. We had amazing stunt doubles. My mother came to the set one day when my stunt double was acting. And the stunt double does the scene, and then, the actors do the scene. And obviously the camera operators are a little more inclined to show your faces. My mother says in front of the stunt double, I think you did a much better job than (the double) did. And I said mom, that’s absolutely incorrect, he’s amazing. But, you know, moms will be moms.
Aaron: She’s just so proud of her boy.
Luke: She was so proud of her ass-kicking boy.
Source: TIBS – Three If By Space