[Warning: General spoilers ahead.]
We’re a month out from the return of one of our summer 2015 favorites, Killjoys. In February, I was invited up to Toronto to visit the set as part of a press tour, where we got a peek behind the scenes and a chance to interview showrunner Michelle Lovretta, the cast, and the crew responsible for the wardrobe and design elements. We’ll be rolling out snippets of the visit as we get closer to the second season premiere.
In our first installment, we explore the evolving relationship between John and Pawter with Aaron Ashmore and Sarah Power. The first season put the characters through quite the wringer. He helped her do surgery while she was detoxing, she saved him from D’avin’s attempted murder, and it as also revealed that she’s actually a pretty, pretty princess on the lam from her fam.
John and his brother D’avin began the first season repairing an estrangement, and Ashmore says he has a general idea on their origin story. “Luke [Macfarlane] and I have spoken about it. We are still finding that out as we go. You have it in your mind, but the story can change it. I don’t want figure out my backstory so much and then have it change. It’s exciting [to learn it piecemeal].”
“I would love to [do a flashback with them, but] because we doÂ ten episodes, there’s not enough time. That’s a blessing and a curse. We have no [filler episodes],” he points out. “It’s all plot and it’s all character. It’s possible that we may see some of that, but I think we can, through some dialogue, work through all that stuff and see the characters and where we’re coming from.Â Ten episodes is flying pretty quickly.”
Ashmore is part of a successful acting twinship–brother Shawn has done stints in the X-Men films and FOX’s The Following.Â He says that helps playing John and D’avin’s relationship, but points out that he’s the bigger brother in real life. “Even though we’re twins. I am technically one minute older,” he laughs. “We have a great relationship but also at times have really butted heads. It’s a little bit of a switch. It makes you analyze your relationship with your siblings and draw on your own relationships. We grew up going out for the same projects. [Now] we’re basically each other’s biggest fans. We’d like to do something togetherÂ [as long as it’s not clichÃ©].”
Power says sheÂ now knows more than the audience about Pawter, but she wasn’t clued in as much last season. “I didn’t know when we started shooting. I think I found out more this season. I knew I came from Kresh but I had no idea that I was part of the Nine,” she admits. “I love that episode. It’s one of the favorite things I’ve ever shot. I think she grew up a lot after that. I see it as a turning point for her. I think we’re going to see all the good that comes from that in season 2. This is her new chosen home [and she’s dedicated to it].”
John and PawterÂ come together as friends and allies out of a kinship and compassion that’s not really present in their world, and that will continue with the challenges theyÂ faceÂ in the second season. “I think our characters have a lot in common and our similarities draw us together in a lot of ways,” says Ashmore.” There is something interesting [with her] as a doctor, and John as the more compassionate character in our trio, that draws us toward each other. Those helper and compassionate elements are put to the test.”
“Things are bad and people need help. We’ll see how that plays out.” Power adds, “It was obvious that we had a great friendship in season 1. He was one of the first people she came clean to about the skeletons in her closet, and to have someone be so understanding and nonjudgmental was a first for her.”
“These are not two characters that we [originally] saw would be paired together…that they would have similarities. It’s interesting [how the dynamic worked together] and these two characters found each other,” says Ashmore. “The world’s not built for that kind of personality. Being part of the RAC and a Killjoy is supposed to be an incredibly impartial job and I think John is being pulled in the direction that maybe he’s not comfortable being totally impartial, and that’s where this storyline and relationship can grow from.”
One of the fun things in season 1 came out of John’s relationship with the AI in their ship,Â Lucy and Ashmore says he didn’t get that vibe when they were shooting the first season,Â since theÂ offstage voiceovers wereÂ read by two assistant directors, but watching the finished episodes, with Tamsen McDonough‘s voice looped in, he gets it. “I didn’t see that coming. The idea that a man could love his ship…I wasn’t reading it like that,” he says. “Lucy really is a character. She is one of the members of Killjoys. The writing is funny, but until you have a voice…[it doesn’t click].”
Despite the offscreen chemistry among the cast, Ashmore says they don’t detour into ad-libbing. “It’s an incredibly funny and fast moving show, andÂ [the writers] Â think it out. We have to respect that,” he says. “There’s always a writer on set…to help us tweak things or make them work, which is really, really nice. The charactersÂ are really fleshed out and well written. The writers have spent weeks and months and months hashing things out [so we’re not going to change that].”
This season, goal number oneÂ out of the gate will beÂ to get theÂ band back together. “[We’re] geared toward find D’avin. Dutch even moreso because she feels like she put him in that position,” Ashmore sats. “[We also have to figure out] what happened to Westerley and Old Town because this our home. We’re all about getting D’avin and our friends.”
Killjoys returns Friday, July 1st at 9/8c. Stay tuned for more treats from our visit!
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