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Missy Peregrym Talks Fight Scenes and Family in Van Helsing [Exclusive] 

Missy Peregrym Talks Fight Scenes and Family in Van Helsing [Exclusive]
Photo Credit: Dan Power/Nomadic Pictures Corp./Syfy
Photo Credit: Dan Power/Nomadic Pictures Corp./Syfy

[Warning: General spoilers ahead.]

Last week’s episode of Van Helsing introduced Scarlett Harker, and learning her identity was just the tip of the iceberg. Tonight her world was blown open as she met the extended team, and buried and witnessed the revival of one of them, and was bitten by Vanessa. There’s a lot going on. In this next installment from my interview with Missy Peregrym, we talk about fight scenes and family.

She was happy to dive right into the hand-to-hand and weapons aspect of the show and her character, which were new territory compared to the physicality of previous roles. “I was really excited to do this. I’ve always really enjoyed projects like that. Rookie Blue was a lot of running but it wasn’t a ton of combat. On Stick It, I trained for four months, four hours a day. I had to get my body in shape and learn to do the ins and outs,” she says.

“Working with weapons, if you’re tired and you don’t have enough prep time, it’s so easy to get hurt and hurt someone else. The stunt team was amazing, and the time they took with me. We didn’t have [a lot of] time. There was a lot of onset training. The day before, they would make the videos and we would watch them. You can’t really be prepared until you’re doing it.”

“It’s one thing to remember the moves. There’s something that happens when you go to film and the adrenaline takes over. There’s an art to being able to portray a fierceness without being fierce or hitting any of the weapons hard, because we couldn’t break them, which would still happen. I really enjoyed that.”

Photo Credit: Dan Power/Nomadic Pictures Corp./Syfy

“[Still] everybody gets hurt. Especially with that many fight scenes and the weather, and it’s dark and there’s smoke. I was like, ‘Is there anything else? Blindfold me and we’ve covered everything,'” she laughs. “It doesn’t take much, just a little bit of contact. I accidentally hurt some stunt people. Every take, [I was asking], ‘Is everything OK? Are you OK?’ It looks amazing. I was really impressed with how it cut together. It made all of that worth it.”

Peregrym’s arrival allowed Kelly Overton, who was pregnant during filming, to take a production break, and she was extremely impressed with how hard Overton worked. “Kelly had to show up and do all these things pregnant, which I couldn’t even imagine. She didn’t hold back, which I really respect. [And after these really intense fight scenes], the next moment she’s meditating and calming her body down. I thought, ‘This little child is going to be such an ass-kicker,'” she recalls.

“I had a lot of respect for her doing this. It’s not an easy thing, I can imagine, growing another human being and having to show up and physically exert yourself. There are no easy scenes where she’s sitting down cracking some jokes. Everything’s intense. I think the whole point of my character coming in was so she could have a break and could carry this child with a little bit of peace.”

Photo Credit: Dan Power/Nomadic Pictures Corp./Syfy

Peregrym enjoyed the scenes of the sibling reveal last week, after their initial meet-cute throwdown. “I actually think it’s really important. These shows move really quickly. It’s survival. There’s not a lot of time. I think it’s important to show that we were processing this information,” she says.

“I hope and wish we can get into it more. There’s so much you can play. Twins are never identical in personality. You’re so close but you could kill each other in a second. I thought it was great to have that contrast already because of the way we were raised separately and the way we were doing that and having these discussions was great.”

Scarlett was on her own for such a long time that dropping so quickly into Vanessa’s world brings with it a ton of emotions. “Vanessa [being] able to turn vampires…changes everything and I’m fascinated by that and don’t know what to think about,” says Peregrym. “My whole journey is I kill vampires. That’s it. Once you’re turned, that’s it.”

“It changes everything if its possible that they can be human again. There’s the curiosity, and I’ve been having the dreams [so I go look for her]. I definitely didn’t think that this was what I was going to find. I don’t really care about her and whether she lives or dies. I don’t care about anybody like that at this point.”

“[It’s more a case of], ‘What else is there to do?’ If I hear something cool, I’m going to track it down and see if there’s anything else to discover. I’m behind the eight ball on this and I don’t know how I feel. It scares me so much. That [Vanessa] bit me is so weird and I’ve never been bit before or in this position before.”

“I don’t know what she is or whether she’s a vampire or human. I don’t understand her skill set. I don’t know why she’s keeping Axel alive. This group is so weird. I can’t figure out their world. It doesn’t go with anything else I’ve been witnessing. It breaks all the rules of what I’ve been living and it really challenges me.”

Stay tuned this season as Scarlett learns more and more about this new adopted family. Van Helsing airs Thursdays at 9/8c on Syfy. Tonight’s episode repeats at 3:45 am/2:45 c and will be online at Syfy’s website Friday along with the rest of the season.

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