Aaron Ashmore Talks Killjoys “Heart-Shaped Box” and Season 2 [Exclusive]
[West coast warning: Includes spoilers for “Heart-Shaped Box.”]
Well, Johnny is certainly in a pickle as tonight’s episode closes, captured by Jelco at Spring Hill while trying to be all covert about investigating the wall for Pawter. Elsewhere in the episode, D’avin and Dutch had to sort out their respective qualms about Sabine, who a) lived b) was actuallyÂ a scary-ass next-level 6 using D’avin to find Khlyen c) Temporarily re-humanized because of D’av’s special 6-ness and d) sort-of killed by Dutch before she could go full 6 again.
So there was A LOT going on. Same as with last year’s 7th episode, “Kiss Kiss, Bye Bye,” it was emotional all over the place, but thankfully, this time, D’av and Dutch hugged it out and quietly agreed on Dutch’s course of action. I chatted with Aaron Ashmore this week about the episode, the season so far, and what’s next.
In an early conference call with the press, Ashmore had referred to “Heart-Shaped Box” as his favorite episode this season. He loved the complexity of the multiple threads. “I think that Tori [Anderson] and Hannah [John-Kamen] and Luke [Macfarlane], their storyline is so cool, and emotional, and it starts driving us toward the end of the season and pulling all the story together,” he says. “That’s what I really enjoyed.”
“I think a lot of the episodes leading up to now we were teasing pieces of information and episode 7 is when things really kicked up into us finishing really strong for the season. I think we did that in the first season, as well. I really enjoyed the second half of the season. The pace picks up. It gets more intense, and the story really starts coming together…all the mysteries and all the information.”
Ashmore says Johnny finds himself in the big hamster ball because of his change in focus this seasonÂ “He’s in a little bit of trouble. He follows his heart, which is taking hm against the team a little bit, and what the Killjoys stand for,Â to stand with Pawter and try to help the people of Old Town,” he explains. “I’m not sure how he got himself caught, in a way. In a lot of situations, he’s the one who figuresÂ a way out and comes to the rescue. He’s thinking more with his heart than his brain and gets himself in trouble.”
“Everything he’s done [before now] has been in service to the team and their needs and [not his own]. When it came down to it, Pawter was more in tune with him and where he was and what he wanted, and what he wanted was to not sit on the fence anymore and watch people suffering, or restrain himself from helping people, and Pawter allowed him to do that. She said, ‘I will do that with you.’ John is taking care of himself and his needs but a little bit to the detriment of his team and himself. He’s putting himself on the line without his team to back him up.”
“This season, there’s an A storyline and B storyline and we didn’t really do that in the first season. Johnny and Pawter are the B storyline with Old Town and the wall, while Dutch and D’av are driving the A storyline with Khlyen, the 6s and the green goo. There’s been a fracturing of the story, where we’re taking two different paths.”
“All this stuff comes to a head. We have to deal with that. It will become obvious in the next couple of episodes what’s happening. There will be repercussions…and it’s kind of interesting to watch these things play out.”
He adds that Johnny’s decisions this season aren’t something he’d have expected when the show began. “I don’t think at the very beginning I’d have ever seen him stepping away from the team and Dutch at all, even though I don’t think he’s intentionally trying to lie to her or hurt her,” he says. “I think how that plays out and their relationship changes or weakens, I would never have seen that coming.”
While press was on set for the filming of episode 6, “I Love Lucy,” we were not tipped to Tamsen McDonough, who voices Lucy, getting to play her as fembot. Ashmore had a blast with that, and the episode as a whole. “Episode 6 was very different in tone and writing. To me, it had a very retro feel…a lighter feel than a lot of episodes,” he recalls. “It’s always interesting to read and playÂ those episodes but it’s also fun. It was a very different tone.”
“The writing was fantastic. I loved the idea of Tamsen getting to play Lucy. I didn’t think that would happen this season. I thought it would be in the 5th, if we got one. Lucy is the fourth member of the Killjoys team. She’s in every episode andÂ interacts with us as much as, or more than, any other character besides the three of us. To have Tamsen come in and play her was fun.”
“I was a little nervous about the kiss becauseÂ Johnny does get strangely excited about the technology. I didn’t know how it was going to play. I tried to keep it as sweet as possible. I wondered if people were going to be pissed because he’s dating Pawter. I thought,Â ‘How do we keep this tasteful but also in character and fun?’ I think it turned out perfectly, and D’avin’s reaction. It’s bizarre to be kissing a physical form of your spaceship that you talk to all the time.”
While Johnny gets to geek out over every new toy, sometimes borderline inappropriately, Ashmore loves Lucy best. “I did like the little robot [in “Schooled”] because he was interactive and he drove around, and it wasn’t that futuristic. You could build that today,” heÂ explains. “At the end of the day, my favorite piece of tech is always Lucy.Â Sitting in the cockpit, flying the ship, pretending to push all the buttons, that’s a childhood dream.”
“When you’re a kid watching Star Trek and Star Wars, where they’re flying the ships, that always seems like the most exciting thing to do. When I get to sit in the cockpit and pretend to fly a spaceship for a TV show, that is always my favorite technical aspect. All the gadgets they come up with are great and clever. Nothing ever feels thrown in or it doesn’t work. That’s a difficult thing to do.”
Looking ahead, should we get a Season 3 (fingers crossed), Ashmore would like the show to continue exploring its characters. “I want the characters to continue to change and grow. That’s interesting for us as actors and the audience,” he says.
“As much as a sci-fi audience is there for all the [sci-fi elements], the thing that keeps people coming back to a show are the characters and the dynamics. That’s something that Killjoys really has going for it–a lot of really interesting characters and the dynamics between them. And maybe [we could have] some aliens if we go long enough.”
He’s also excited about the season finale. “There’s a scene…thatÂ [is] going to be so cool,” he teases. “I’m really looking forward to seeing the finale.”
You can find Ashmore on Twitter, where he live Tweets the East Coast feed every week.Â Killjoys airs Fridays at 9/8c on Syfy. “Heart-Shaped Box” repeats at 11:01/10:01c tonight and will be online Saturday.
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