One of the best things about Killjoys is its expanding universe of recurring characters. Fancy Lee has been on board since the first season, and his character has had quite the arc. He started out as a frenemy of our core trio, then moved into more of a villain role when he became Hullen and teamed with Khlyen, and now he’sÂ human again and back on the side of the right. Earlier this week, I chatted with Sean Baek about a character and show that he hold very dear.
Baek echoes what we’ve heard from other recurring players on the show–he didn’t know what the plans were for Fancy, but he hoped he’d be around for a while. “I had no idea where the character would go. When I first got cast, they told me he would make appearances in about five episodes [in Season 1],” he recalls. “Â Somewhere along the way [that changed] so five became three.”
“In Episode 106, we got to learn a little bit more about him more than just being a rival. When we finished shooting 110, with me ending up at Red 17 on Arkyn, I thought, ‘He’s comatose and not going to appear again, or he’s going to die really early in Season 2 if he does come back.’ I really had no idea.”
“I was ecstatic that he was coming back in the second season. By the final episode of Season 2, it felt and it looked like he was going to be part of the trio. Even though Johnny had gone off to do something else, I knew he wouldn’t spend much time away from Dutch and D’avin.”
One of Fancy’s signature traits is that he’sÂ a gadget guy, and Baek says that comes from the character’s solitary nature, which gives him time to ponder and create these handy tools. “It ties into who he is. He’s a lone wolf. He likes to do things on his own. He’s not really a team player. He gets shite done,” he says.
“He spends a lot of time by himself modifying and inventing and tweaking gadgets. In Episode 106, he brings out a bloodhound as a tracker and he talks about the powder that allowed him to enter Lucy. Those inventions are all from the brain of Michelle Lovretta and the writers. I just show up and [see] that he has a new gadget. It’s really super cool. As a kid, I loved Inspector Gadget and all that imaginative sort of thinking. We’re in space, so everything is possible.”
In the Season 2 premiere, Fancy was all in on the Hullen ambush, and Baek says the camaraderie behind the scenes made that episodeÂ a lot of fun to shoot. “It was bloody cold, but bless my cast members. We were joking and making fun of the weather and the situation and making it easy for each other,” he explains.
“Morgan [Kelly] has a very sarcastic sense of humor, which I appreciate. Thom Allison is a dear friend of mine going back to our theater days. He’s a sweetheart and funny as hell and he loves to laugh. I really appreciate my cast members. We just love being there and going with the flow, whatever the circumstances may be.”
TwoÂ and a half weeks after a head-on car accident in Toronto,Â Baek shot “Attack the Rack,” the episode where Fancy physically confronts Kitaan. “Tara [Spencer-Nairn] was really nervous about doingÂ the fight scene. Everybody was great. We worked everything out,” he says. “We stuck to what the fight choreography was going toÂ be [originally].”
“I did the motions with Tara and our stunt coordinator, Alicia Turner, [and realized it was still doable]. On the day, you do it 100% and afterward, I was sore, but it was manageable. You can cry about it or you can just do it. If there’s a problem, I like to fix it right away. I don’t want to put it off. Fancy Lee comes across as that way, too. He’s gets the job done.”
In that same episode, we finally saw Fancy put a voice to what being Hullen was for him–it was done to him and was not something he chose. Despite that clarification, Turin betrayed him tonight, potentially alienating him and other Cleansed Hullen as a resource in the war. Thankfully, D’avin stepped in and righted that wrong and now Fancy is on board.
Baek says he and producer Adam Barken spent time discussing the “otherness” the Cleansed have been subjected to, similar toÂ periods of war in real history. “History repeats itself. One of the main themes in Season 3 is about humanity. Humanity vs. the HullenÂ who are trying to take over humanity. When we talk about our own history in North America, [there were] Japanese Americans interned [during World War II]. People who are actually one of us but [were]Â viewed as other [and] treated differently.”
“[Being made Hullen] isÂ serious violation of someone’s being in its entirety. You get taken and psychologically and physiologically transformed. The amount of confusion and heartache and trying to find the truth of what Fancy has been through is huge.”
“Somebody who is as dedicated as he is–he lives and performs his duties according to a code. If I were to think of him as a Samurai, he lives by a strict code. He may be a part of a clan, but he’s like one warrior who’s very strict about what he does and doesn’t do.”
“That ties into who Fancy has become. He is a level 5 RAC Agent, but he went through this program, became Level 6, and then became Cleansed. That mistrust because somebody [did this to him] makes it us vs. them. Because he feels betrayed by Turin, who Fancy put a lot of trust in, he’s not sure he can [trust D’avin].”
“To be doubted and ultimately betrayed by one of his own team membersÂ [is] heartbreaking, alienating, and just plain wrong. But a war can and does bring out the best and the worst out of people, depending on who they are at the core. Because there’s a major bigger goal to be achieved, he gets pushed by his own conscience and decides to help out.”
Outside of Killjoys, you can also catch Baek in the second season of theÂ Crackle series, The ArtÂ of More, which is streaming now. “I had a great time. I played a super uber-rich billionaire Chinese businessman who takes over Kate Bosworth’s company,” he says. “I did three episodes. I mainly got to work with Kate. I booked that right after Season 2 of Killjoys. We shot that in Montreal. It was a great character.”
He’s also in the upcoming Canadian independent feature film, The River You Step In. “I’m Detective Jones, who talks to the central character, who’s a social worker,” he explains. “It’s a very Toronto story. We shot that last summer.”
Baek cut his teeth on theater and still goes back and forth between film, TV, and the stage. “When I’m in rehearsal halls in a play, I think about TV. When I’m on a TV set, I love the process of theater, spending [days and hours] with your scene partner to make the story work. I also love the fast pace of TV,” he shares.
“It’s quite magical. Whenever there’s a cut yelled, all these people from different departments move around. Once the director says action, everything quiets down, and it’s just actors talking to each other and making the story happen. I love both settings.”
“You get to exercise different muscles. On TV and film, it’s more intimate and mostly on your face. On stage, you get to utilize your whole body, which is your instrument, and that can be quite freeing as well.”
Like us, Baek would love to see Killjoys go on and on. “It’s a great world that’s been built by Michelle,” he says.” “I love being in it and I love that our fans love being invited into that world season after season. [I’m] keeping my fingers crossed and hoping for the best.”
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