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EXCLUSIVE TV Goodness Interview: Haven’s Kate Kelton 

Photo Credit: Syfy/Michael Tompkins
Photo Credit: Syfy/Michael Tompkins

Last week, the Haven-verse bid farewell to the Guard’s resident badass, Jordan McKee, and Kate Kelton, the woman behind Jordan’s killer touch, took the time to talk with us by phone this afternoon about playing Jordan, keeping Lincoln in the Haven family, and what’s next.

When Kelton auditioned for the third season of Haven, she initially came in to read for Claire. When that role went to Bree Williamson, she came back in to read for Jordan, but because of a prior commitment to the IFC series, Bullet in the Face, she was limited in her availability and the Haven producers had to work out an arrangement so she could be available for the nine episodes they wanted her. Kelton was very glad it worked out. “It was very unexpected and awesome. It was six episodes at first [and then they called me to come back],” she says. She adds that the season finale wasn’t a sure thing and she kept wondering if she’d be in it. “I was really curious. I kept bugging everybody to sneak me a copy of the script. One of the writers finally told me, ‘I suspect you might be getting one.’”

Kelton loved the role. “There were so many different levels to what she’s going through,” she points out. “It was challenging and a joy to play [her]. She could be so snidely funny and completely heartbreaking.” Part of becoming Jordan was not touching people, something the usually tactile Kelton had to retrain her brain not to do. She thought back to her own waitressing days when she would touch people without realizing it. “I remember somebody telling me they had a traumatic childhood and didn’t like being touched,” she says. “I tried to remember that when I was working—that everybody didn’t like to be touched.”

Photo credit: Michael Tompkins/Syfy
Photo credit: Michael Tompkins/Syfy

Some of her favorite moments on the show reveal the lighthearted funny, woman she is behind Jordan’s seriousness. She and Balfour exchanged laughs during the scene in the fourth season premiere where the boys drove back into Haven and Duke smarts off, calling a shotgun-wielding Jordan “Crazytown.” The riff escalated to Balfour calling her “Fatal Attraction” and she responded back to him with “Bunny Boiler,” which he loved but didn’t catch as a reference to the film and she didn’t tell him.

Swinging the rifle in that scene, and in “The New Girl,” was no easy feat. While Kelton knew guns from Bullet in the Face, where they shot blanks on camera, in Haven, she was given a rubber photo-ready shotgun that she says was super heavy. “I kept asking for a lighter rubber gun,” she laughs, “and they told me ‘no.’”

In the scene where Audrey came through the door out on the bluff, Lucas Bryant joked that the Guard were onto them because he Tweeted the location and Kelton burst out laughing during the take. “For a Luddite to make that joke land it perfectly was hilarious,” she says.” She adds that it’s a shame Bryant isn’t on Twitter because he’s made for it with his humor.

Photo Credit: Syfy/Michael Tompkins
Photo Credit: Syfy/Michael Tompkins

When Kelton returned for season four, she knew Jordan would die, and she said she spent most of season three worrying about it. “I had the inking she would die because most guest stars [on Haven] do,” she says. “I kept asking everybody how she was going to die, and then [she] didn’t…[so] it’s been a long time coming.”

She was glad Jordan went out still protecting Audrey. “It was discussed that she would get this wonderful little redemption and really pull the heartstrings,” she says. “Even if you hated her, you had to give her that–she did have Audrey’s back when it counted. She was…fighting for what she believed in and it made for crazy, unexpected moments.”

After she wrapped, Kelton got to take Jordan home with her—she has the entire wardrobe—including the jackets, the boots with the skulls, and the green gloves. She was thrilled when the big box arrived with everything. “I couldn’t say anything before because then people [would have known],” she says. She adds it’ll come in handy for Halloween. “If I go out, I’m nailing my Jordan costume.”

Next up for Kelton is an independent film called Unearthing set to shoot outside Toronto that’s been pushed to spring to wait out the winter. “It’s a beautiful script [that] I fell in love with,” she says. “It’s [about] a couple of people sci-fi mystically drawn to field, and at the heart of it is a beautiful love story.”

Right now, though, you can catch her in the first of a series of Lincoln commercials voiceovered by Eric Balfour. When she went in and read for it, she knew one of the creatives from a previous Cadillac commercial. After she had the part, she asked if any of them had known beforehand about the Haven connection, but they hadn’t.

A quick visit to Kelton’s website reveals her many talents as a writer, artist, and actress. She says they’re all equally her passion. “I need them all. I think they feed off each other,” she says. “If I don’t have one of them, I start getting itchy.”

She is also active on social media—something that started when she moved from Toronto to Los Angeles during the nascent years of Facebook. “It was an ideal way to keep in touch with people back at home. When the Tic Tac fans started adding me, I realized talking to my fans and talking to mom in Germany felt really similar,” she says. “They feel a little bit like family. There hasn’t been that much difference. Now it’s my old friends, and my new friends, let’s call them. The Haven fans are incredible. They’ve made feel like part of the family.”

We’re so glad we got to spend 13 episodes getting to know Jordan and we can’t wait to see what Kelton does next.

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