I was excited about Saturday at Wondercon because it meant I was going to be participating in my first real Hollywood Red Carpet Event – doing interviews, attending the premiere and the after party. Saturday evening at Wondercon was all about Wynonna Earp, the all new show premiering on the Syfy Channel this Friday, April 1, at 10:00pm. Besides being a new SyFy show, it is also the first show produced by IDW Entertainment, and is based on the comic book by Beau Smith.
Before the evening came though, I happened to be by the IDW booth just before the cast and crew signing was set to take place, so I figured what the heck. I had been able to see a screener of the first episode of Wynonna Earp just before Wondercon had begun, and I greatly enjoyed the show, seeing many similarities to Buffy and Supernatural, but still with Wynonna Earp being enough of its own thing that I think it might be around for awhile. I shared my feelings with cast and crew, all of whom would be part of the red carpet event later, and they all seemed to truly appreciate that I enjoyed the share and liked that I had something to say about their characters. So when you throw in the signing and the evening events, my Wondercon Saturday meant I was spending 7 hours with Wynonna Earp, and I have to say I enjoyed all of it. (Until now. I got a new recorder to use at the convention, and have now discovered that I wasn't holding it the right way, and a lot of my red carpet experience was lost as I was picking up a lot more of the interviews that were happening next to me. My apologies to you, my reading audience, and to those I interviewed if I missed out some some treasure that was shared with me. So what you will be reading below includes some questions and answers that were directly transcribed from my recording, and the rest is a summarization from what I could still hear over the loud TV reporter who was standing next to me. Oh, and if that TV reporter who was next to me is reading this, if you had any problem with your audio, my recorder got it all loud and clear. Damn.)
So on to the red carpet.
First up to interview was the creator of Wynonna Earp, Beau Smith. The first issue of Wynonna Earp was published by Image Comics, and had some guy named Jim Lee ink the cover. I have to say I worried for a moment when Beau was told I was from Bleeding Cool cause he let out a loud "Oh!", but I think he just remembered me from earlier in the day as he was nice as can be to talk to.
Joshua Stone: Beau Smith, creator, writer, how does it feel?
Beau Smith: It feels good. I would like to add provocateur at the end of all that.
JS: That's fine.
BS: But I haven't done anything to add any of those teurs to all that. And this celebrates 20 years of Wynonna Earp, so it couldn't of happened at a better time.
(So it was at this point my recorder decided the reporter next to me was more interesting, and honestly she was. I'm just some schmo writing for Bleeding Cool, and she was a TV reporter for the Saigon Broadcast Television Network.)
I next asked Beau about the changes that were made from the comic book to the television show. Beau was very positive about the changes. He felt that he gave the TV show just a little piece to use, and that Emily Andras (Writer and Executive Producer) added layers and layers to the character that the comic book didn't have.
I then asked Beau about the new Wynonna Earp series that was out from IDW and how it differed from the original series. Beau mentioned that the first two issues are out and available. He said that he made the new comic book series a hybrid. He took characters and situations from the TV series, and added them to the comic book series, along with his own characters that have always been in there. Unlike the TV series, which limits Wynonna and the other characters in the town of Purgatory, Beau wanted the comic book characters to be able to travel anywhere. He felt that that new comic series could be interesting to new readers who came on board because of the TV series, while still be enjoyable for the people who read the series in the past.
Next up was Emily Andras, Writer, Executive Producer, and Showrunner for Wynonna Earp.
Emily Andras: Hi, how are you doing? Nice to see you Bleeding Cool, I read you guys.
Joshua Stone: I talked to Beau about the changes that were made from comic to TV series.
EA: Right, right. Well I love Beau, and we are like peas in a pod. When I am with his I have my West Virgina accent on, I can't help myself. Beau is so collaborative. He really understands that when you are going from one medium, which is a comic book, to television that things have to change. I always tease him that one of my favorite series from the comic book is when Wynonna is fighting a bunch of gremlins on a plane. We don't have gremlins, we don't have a plane, we barely have Wynonna. So he was really, really open, and understood that this was a different medium and a way to get to a wider audience, but we really sent him everything from casting to the dailies. We got him on set to work a flamethrower, so it was a good day to get out there. It has been a marriage made in heaven, I really mean that. And what a privilege to be able to develop the series.
JS: So, getting the show on the air, with a lead that is a kick-ass female character, how hard was it to get it on and did you have to fight to get it?
EA: I have been lucky enough that I have been working in genre and I have a real niche for myself for working on shows with a strong female protagonist. I was the showrunner for Lost Girl. I worked on a show called Killjoys for a long time. So to be honest I really want to give the credit to SyFy. They loved the concept so much out of the gate they just greenlit it to series, 13 episodes. I really think things are changing and women in particular really want to see themselves onscreen in these roles. I am happy to say it wasn't too hard, that didn't seem to be a factor.
JS: I was able to watch the first episode, and I wanted to know if Wynonna is going to spend more time fighting the demons in Purgatory or fighting her inner demons?
EA: I think it is a little bit of both, but I think it is more fun to watch her fight the real demons. There's a lot of exploding heads and gore to look forward to. Really come for that and hopefully you'll fall in love with her and want to watch her fight her inner demons as well.
JS: Thank you so much.
EA: Thank you.
Next up was Shamier Anderson, who was wearing an awesome green tuxedo that I now want, and he plays Agent Dolls. Word of warning, do not say he is playing a cop, this is from experience. He is playing an Agent. Get it right
JS: You play a serious, straight shooting agent, are we going to more sides to your character as the season goes along?
Shamier Anderson: Of course.
So my apologies again. This was another point where I could not hear my own interview on the recorder as I was holding it incorrectly. Let's just say that Mr. Anderson was quite charming in answering my questions, plays the role very well, and again had an awesome green tuxedo. Go check his IMDB page, right now a picture of him in that tux is the main picture on his page.
Next up, Michael Eklund, who is playing Bobo Del Rey, the big bad for at least the first season of Wynonna Earp. I am only assuming there will be more seasons of the show, as I said previously I greatly enjoyed the show so far and I assume I will not be alone in those feelings. Oh, I had similar audio problems with this interview, so just assume that you are missing out on my brilliant questions and Mr. Eklund's supremely witty replies because I honestly cannot here crap of my own interview with him.
Next up, Tim Rozon, who portrays Doc Holliday on the show.
JS: Unlike the other actors on the show, you are portraying not only a real person from history, but someone who has been portrayed many times in both TV and film. Did you go back and look at any of them as a basis of your portrayal of the character?
Tim Rozon: No. but I had known of them. I had seen Val Kilmer in Tombstone, obviously a great film. Dennis Quaid also did a great Doc Holliday and there were many before. They were so good, I made sure not to go back and watch them. I wanted to do my own version. I did historically go back and learn about him. He had a pretty big mustache and I don't think anybody has really shown the size of that mustache before because it is so2 big. So we tried to match that.
JS; That was actually something I wanted to ask you about. How the heck did you grow a mustache like that? If I wanted to grow a mustache like that I would have to shave yours off and glue it to my face.
TR: it took four months of dedication, and I got married with it. But my wife is so cool so no issues.
JS: Have you read the comic?
TR: Oh yeah. I couldn't wait for it to come out (referring to the new series). We had an old copy of the Yeti Wars trade (the third of the Wynonna Earp comic book series) in our makeup trailer, and it was so different from what we have now. I got long boxes at home, so this is no joke. so I couldn't wait for it to come out so I could see a version of myself in the comic book. It was a dream come true, and Beau has been amazing.
JS: I saw you took a picture with Jim Lee?
TR: Yeah Jim Lee walked in. While I was having lunch I met Kevin Eastman two days ago. It's been awesome.
JS: Thank you very much, I'm glad to know that a comic book fan is involved in this.
TR: Thank you.
Next up was Dominique Provost-Chalkley, who plays Wynonna's sister Waverly Earp on the show.
JS: So I am but a simple man who needs to categorize shows or characters based on things I already know and for me I see Waverly as being similar to early Willow on Buffy. Is that the direction Waverly is going?
Dominique Provost-Chalkley: I am hesitant to say and put her into categories because she is so different in many ways, but yeah I can see how someone would compare it to Buffy and Willow. Which is an extremely wonderful thing to associate myself with. (Author's note: If you do watch the show, which you should, my comparison of Waverly to Willow gets even stronger when watching the second episode. My reasons for this I am not going to say, but if you are a fan of Buffy you will know what I am talking about.)
JS: So will we get a chance to see Waverly kick ass like her sister?
DP: Oh yeah, big time. You might not see it in episode one but she gets down.
JS: So not Wynonna Earp related, but still comic books, what was it like working on Avengers: Age of Ultron?
DP: The most crazily amazing experience ever, as you can imagine it's one of the biggest movies of all time. Working with Joss Whedon was like a dream. He is like the most incredible man you'll ever meet, both inside and out. He oozes a genuine vibe about him that you can't help but be attracted to. He has a real lovely aura that shines through in all his work. That alone was amazing and of course there are all these other things. This is the biggest movie of all time. We're blowing up this whole town. I remember one day in particular, I was running through the city and there was like 350 extras just running around and screaming, and it was just the most epic moment of my life. I was genuinely screaming for my life. I was like, I'm going to die, but this is how I'm supposed to be.
JS; Thank you very much.
Next and last was the star of the show, Wynonna herself, Melanie Scrofano,
JS: Have you read the comic books?
Melanie Scrofano: When I auditioned there was just no time. When you audition you basically find out the night before, and there's no time. I saw her picture, and then I thought oh, I'm not getting this. Then I did have a quick look, and then they told me we are not too strictly following it. So I just kind of created my own, so I didn't read much because I didn't want to mess with what I had already created.
JS: I saw the first episode and I liked it.
MS: Thank you.
JS: I wanted to know if Wynonna is going to spend more time fighting the demons in Purgatory or fighting her inner demons?
MS: Sort of yes. I am going to fight my inner demons, but I also think part of my inner demons are the outer ones that I am fighting. That is totally part of our history and accepting who I am and where I come from is fighting them.
JS: Fight therapy?
MS: Yes, fight therapy!
JS: Great, thank you very much.
So that was it for the red carpet. The first two episodes were shown at the screening afterwards and I think anyone who has watched Buffy in the past will very much see bits of Buffy in Wynonna Earp, and I also think they will enjoy watching the show. I will be looking forward to adding Wynonna Earp to the shows my DVR records.
For further musings from Joshua Stone you can follow him on the Twitter @1Nerdyone