Laura Vandervoort, Greyston Holt, Greg Bryk, and J.B. Sugar Preview Bitten’s Season 3
[Warning: General spoilers ahead.]
Bitten returns to Syfy Monday night for the premiere of its third and final season, and we had the chance to join a press call last week with series stars Laura Vandervoort, Greyston Holt, and Greg Bryk, and executive producer J.B. Sugar to talk about what’s next for the Stonehaven Pack.
The terrifying prophecy revealed at the end of season two is still very much in play, although the focus shifts back to the werewolves. “We pick up the third season a couple of months in andÂ [Elena]Â isÂ still dealing with that premonition, and what it means for the pack, and whether or not it will come true, if she will destroy everything that she knows.Â And sheâ€™s trying to…get a grasp of that and understand that,” says Vandervoort. “Whether or not we see the witches again, Iâ€™m going to leave it to the audience to watch and find out…but we do focus on the pack much more this season and their dynamic and the relationships between them.
“SeasonÂ three is much more rooted in werewolf, international politics, and internal politics within the pack as well. But we also still honor the seeds weâ€™ve incorporated into seasonÂ two with the witches as you saw in the first episode and the premonition coming back,” says Sugar. “And thereâ€™s also fallout from…Loganâ€™s offspring and Rachel.Â And so that storyline stays alive throughout the season.Â And the implications and influence of the witch participation in our world still resonates throughout season three. So there will be some opportunities for some witchy hits amongst the wolf.”
The first episode jumps around a but in timing with a few flashbacks, but Sugar says what we see for the rest of the season will essentially be the “current” timeline [good news for folks like me who find time jumping without time travel to be a bit baffling, i.e. this season of Teen Wolf].
The season premiere also introduces a new wrinkle for Elena that she doesn’t immediately reveal to Jeremy, who she’s already a bit at odds with because he’s coming down on the “iron fist” side of how to rule his pack in the aftermath of Aleister and the betrayals within the factions. “Sheâ€™s holding a secret from…her father figure…and he is Alpha and she doesnâ€™t agree with his dictatorship at this point. [That] also puts Clay and Elena in an awkward position because Clay is very loyal to Jeremy,” explains Vandervoort. “And, you know, like in most relationships, if I have an issue with someoneâ€™s sibling, itâ€™s going to cause tension and it definitely does and it definitely causes some friction between the two of them throughout the season.Â And she does have to make a choice.”
“Clayâ€™s…stuck in the middle. In any normal relationship, [your] loyalty lies with the one you love and thatâ€™s it,” adds Holt. “But this is just a special situation and the fact [that] Jeremy is the one all of us answer to and the one who basically created Clay and turned him into the man that he is, the sort of person that can actually function in society [is hard fro clay because] Jeremy is taking his hard line approach this season [which forces] Clay [to face] his violent past.Â And now, heâ€™s…forced to do some things he doesnâ€™t want to do anymore.Â And then, on the other side of that is Elena whoâ€™s trying to…take the path of more tolerance. [It] makes for some interesting conflict this season.”
Bryk says that Jeremy is a changed man this season. “I think Jeremy confronts fear in a very meaningful way. [He lost] pack members and the way I ruled [and] trusted myself to rule seems to have failed, at least to me. Iâ€™m afraid [so] we resort back to what we know as children,” he says. “AndÂ [to me, that means]Â brute strength [will help] eliminate any threats because I donâ€™t trust myself to keep the pack safe. When you get afraid of threats around you, you tend to lash out and…want to be aggressive…and to wipe [that] outÂ rather than trust yourself to be able to coexist with it. Itâ€™s a crisis of faith for Jeremy this year.Â He betrayed everything that he worked hard to become in the process of becoming something else. ”
Vandervoort says she’s learned a lot from playing Elena, especially as Elena has veered from the source material. “Every season, Iâ€™m surprised and challenged, and I think thatâ€™s due to our awesome and talented writers.Â Every time we get a script to start a new season off, Iâ€™m surprised at what they decided to bring in to the story. [Although season one was pretty close to the book], weâ€™ve had to take some sort of liberty creatively with the plot and go a little off book, especially the third season, almost completely off book,” she says. “And I think thatâ€™s a necessity because it allows for our characters to expand past whatâ€™s already been written and to explore new avenues.Â And it also surprises the fans of the book.Â They now donâ€™t know what is coming, especially this season.”
“[I] have grown personally being a part of the show and playing Elena.Â Iâ€™m discovering. Iâ€™m more capable of things than I had thought I was, and Iâ€™m overcoming fears, and Iâ€™ve opened up more as an actor.Â And thatâ€™s because of Elena, and the writing and her surprises this season especially throw her world upside down and make her question who she is.Â I just love that thereâ€™s always something new and fresh for us to work off of every season.”
Holt says being grounded in their characters helps them when the “what,” “where,” and “how” areÂ a little less defined than the “who.” “I feel like all of us, at this point, know our characters so well and we know the core of our characters, what makes them [tick].Â But itâ€™s up to the writers to throw a curveball at us and to put these characters we know so wellÂ [into] situations we donâ€™t know so well and sort of see how we handle them,” he says. “And I think thatâ€™s whatâ€™s so brilliant about our writing team is that they do that.Â They really do put us in either awkward…or scary…or physically demanding situations that really test [our] knowledge of our characters, and how we would naturally react to those situations.Â [It’s]Â the writers that really keep it interesting and fresh and challenging.”
Bryk took Jeremy to heart this season, and it led to some serious soul-searching. “I had a bit of a nervous breakdown this year with the character, and I say this with all sincerity because when I pursued the role of Jeremy, the qualities he had, the qualities of the character exhibited were qualities that I wanted for myself as a man, as a leader, as a father, as my member of a community,” he says. “[This] season, Jeremy is really forced to ask questions about why he does what he does and whether thatâ€™s really what he wants.”
“And it…unsettled me in a really scary way and I went through a few months this year where I really was very rich for the work but it…was a bit of a dangerous time for me, personally, because I canâ€™t really separate myself from characters that well. And I started to question everything with my life.Â You go through your life with assumptions about yourself.Â You know, youâ€™re a father at 22; youâ€™re married for 20, all those things.Â You take this position in your family, in your community, and then when the character starts questioning that and you give voice and flesh to those thoughts, it created some really interesting turbulence in my life.”
“Greg has been our leader all three seasons and has been so supportive of all of us when weâ€™ve been unsure about scenes or performances or even personal life.Â Heâ€™s our go-to man and heâ€™s just phenomenal in every sense and weâ€™re so lucky to have him,” says Vandevoort. “And, you know, we all love each other as much as our characters do on the show and the respect there is just the highest Iâ€™ve ever had for anybody that Iâ€™ve worked with [across] this entire cast.”
“[The] fact that we put our personal lives into the show at times can be tasking on all of us.Â But weâ€™re just blessed to have Greg, and to have Greyston, and Steve, and J.B., everyone who just put everything into the show, their heart, sweat, blood, and tears, literally, heart, blood, sweat, and tears.Â Weâ€™ve all shed some blood for the show, so itâ€™s been a blessing. We are blessed with love on that show, and without that desire to connect with each other on such a profound and human…way, we wouldnâ€™t do the things we do…When you get people to walk into your life, it just sparkles like that.Â Itâ€™s very special.”
“”[The] pack mentality that informs our narrative also informs our experience of making [Bitten] together,” says Sugar. “[In season three], as we were crafting the direction of the story, [we wanted] to gravitate to a more character-driven one because all of our cast are so comfortable in their characters, and brought so much to those characters that we really wanted to honor that.Â And seasonÂ three really gave us and them a great opportunity to explore deeper into character and motivations and to shake up…the dynamics weâ€™ve built over the past two seasons.Â [Even though it’s] almost entirely off book, itâ€™s still grounded in those great characters and back story informing every move that they make. [Every] single one of our players just elevated the material and [I] couldnâ€™t be prouder of seasonÂ three and all of them.”
Bitten premieres at 11/10c Monday on Syfy. Here’s a sneak peek.
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