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Emily Andras Talks Casting and Characters in Wynonna Earp [Exclusive + Preview] 

Photo Credit: Michelle Faye/Syfy/Wynonna Earp Productions
Photo Credit: Michelle Faye/Syfy/Wynonna Earp Productions

[Warning: General spoilers ahead]

This week on Wynonna Earp, Wynonna settles into life behind the badge while Waverly’s research becomes a point of interest for multiple parties, as does Waverly herself. And we get more insight into that terrifying night all those years ago when the Revenants descended on their family. In part two of our interview with Emily Andras, we talk about the stranger with the swagger who sauntered into town soon after the Peacemaker was retrieved, and finding the perfect actors for him, Wynonna, and this season’s Big Bad.

Although the advance press spoiled the reveal that Tim Rozon is in fact playing Doc Holliday, Andras says there’s still some mystery to it before we have that wholly determined. “Is he a mental patient? Is he a con artist? What is he; how is this possible,” she says. “Just in reading the Wyatt Earp myth, he does have this incredible bromance…the original bromance [of Wyatt and Doc]. You think of how they’ve been represented in pop culture. Tombstone was a pretty huge movie for me growing up.”

Andras says introducing Holliday to the Wynonna-verse was too good to pass up. “There was a such an opportunity there. Because we were keen on making a modern supernatural Western, it’s not horses and stagecoaches. It’s Hummers and motorbikes and cell phones,” she explains. “But I did want to give a nod to the past and Doc is such an interesting character. Sure he had a badge now and again, but he was basically a low-level sociopath and con man. He was a survivor. As someone who occasionally likes to watch the bad boys on TV, I thought he had some potential.”

Photo Credit: Emily Andras
Photo Credit: Emily Andras

Although Andras had worked with Tim Rozon on a few projects, he wasn’t who she had in her head for Doc. “He’s been played by some pretty iconic [actors]. I love [Tim] but I didn’t think of him for Doc Holliday,” she shares. “I thought we’d go blonde, or a newcomer. His audition blew my mind. He really makes it his own.”

Andras also liked the idea of Doc as a reflection, and sometimes counterbalance, to who Wynonna is. “[One] of the things that drew me to the character [of Wynonna] is, ‘What is it like to grow up with the last name Earp?’ He’s one of the greatest heroes of all time in American history. What if you weren’t such a good person and your last name is Earp? If you met Wyatt Earp today, who would he actually be? That’s what struck me about Doc Holliday,” she says.

“He probably has his own motivations and is just a man and wants what he wants, so it was interesting [to explore] the themes of heroism and storytelling. What makes a hero? Can you put a badge on someone and make them a hero if they’re not a good person? I thought it would be fun to upend expectations. What if he’s not Wynonna’s friend, what if he’s her nemesis? I think we’re constantly going to flip the script on these characters.”

Photo Credit: Michelle Faye/Syfy/Wynonna Earp Productions
Photo Credit: Michelle Faye/Syfy/Wynonna Earp Productions

Andras feels so lucky to have Melanie Scofano in the title role. “She’s such an incredible person. She’s worked hard for a long time. She inhabits this role in a way that’s extraordinary. I want people to fall in love with her,” she says. “Now, it looks like a genius choice. At the time, we saw 300 actresses. You really want to be open-minded [with each actress, but] there was something about her that immediately popped [even though] she was in the middle of everybody.”

“She did this insane audition. She was chewing gum, and a little bit off the cuff. She felt like Jack Nicholson meets Stevie Nicks meets complete craziness…she was a sexy, funny, authoritative girl. She really blew my mind. Sometimes the lead is the least interesting–they’re the sun in the middle of all these crazy planets. Wynonna is such a larger than life, warm incredible, character, and she has become that thanks to Melanie.”

The series filmed in Alberta, with a wholly Canadian cast and crew. “Everyone is Canadian. It’s the totally boring tax credit [thing]. Even Dominique [Provost-Chalkley], who grew up in England, is Canadian. Michael Eklund was like a gift from God. I’ve never had a better villain,” says Andras. “He is very evolved. He’s so accommodating, and he puts a lot off effort of the top into what his character was going to look like. He completely commits. He bleached part of his beard, he shaved part of his head, he had this giant wolf coat made. We really trusted him. He is phenomenal. He’s pretty nuanced going forward, and you’re like, ‘what is even happening?’ in the most delicious way.”

Peter Stebbings, who folks might recognize as one of Scrofano’s co-stars from The Listener, came on board to direct–he also directed Killjoys last season. We can also look for Bitten‘s Greg Bryk to pop up onsrceen mid-season.

Photo Credit: Michelle Faye/Syfy/Wynonna Earp Productions
Photo Credit: Michelle Faye/Syfy/Wynonna Earp Productions

Andras moved her family to Alberta for the shoot and is now settling back into life in Toronto. She had a ball being local the first year. “I thought for the first season, it was really important to be there. I grew up there, and it was a weird kind of homecoming even though my family wasn’t there anymore,” she says. “I cannot speak highly enough of that crew. They did Hell on Wheels, Fargo, and The Revenant.”

If they get picked up for a second season, pre-production would begin in May or June, and Andras is hopeful that they’ll get to go again. “It was a great show, and I had a blast. I would love to be able to deliver for all of these people.”

Wynonna Earp airs at 10/9c Fridays on Syfy. Here’s a sneak peek of this week’s episode, “Keep the Homes Fires Burning.”

This just in–if you fancy seeing yourself drawn into the cover of the upcoming Wynonna Earp comic, enter the contest starting with tonight’s episode. Simply follow the show on Twitter at @WynonnaEarp, and after tonight’s episode, Tweet them the answer to the question, “What is the name of Waverley’s pet hamster?” along with the hashtag #WynonnaEarp. Good luck!

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