Kelly McCormack Talks Zeph’s Badass Evolution in Killjoys Season 4 [Exclusive]
If you found yourself a little slap-and-clap happy about Zeph’s mic drops and day-saving in last week’s Killjoys, buckle up, because she’s just getting started. This afternoon, I jumped on the phone with Kelly McCormack to chat about Zeph’s evolution this season as an honest-to-God Swiss Army Knife who comes through in the clutch every single time.
McCormack counts herself lucky on a number of levels to play Zeph, and as excited as we were to see her Sarah Connor up the joint last week, her excitement was off the charts, and it only increased as she got new scripts. “I can’t even tell you what I felt. It was wild. I couldn’t believe it. I was thrilled and I feel so lucky and humbled,” she shares.
“This role is quite simply a dream come true. Constantly and constantly. Every time I read an episode. I read an episode last week where I started crying. How am I so lucky? This is crazy. These writers get my voice really well. When you’re in it and you’re acting and you’re doing it, you don’t really know what’s being captured and you don’t really appreciate that everyone is then watching the dailies and the network is watching.”
“When you get the script, you can see that they’ve built on something that you tried in the moment or a character trait that you started adding or something that they saw in you. For them to make Zeph badass, in my heart, that was the only direction she could go. It’s such a dream. It made sense the way she was teed up last season. Just the fact they trust me enough and think I can do it is magical. I’m constantly in awe.”
Zeph’s self-assuredness in the face of ridiculous odds–getting out of Hullen custody, jumping a ship in and out of a building–is a sign of a bolder Zeph who’s blown past her “new nerd” designation. She proves this season that she can and will do whatever she has to for her found family, and McCormack says they empowered her to be that brave.
“Johnny [called] her an awkward turtle. [When we meet her], the only things she trusts in life are her science and herself. She was having a hard time trusting the team. Dutch and Johnny and D’av, to some extent, but really Dutch, gave her the opportunity to say, ‘No. You can trust in us,'” she explains. “Once she trusts in the team, she trusts herself so much more. She could trust the infrastructure of the team and the friendships and what it means to make the calls and be a leader.”
“I don’t think she would have become the person she’s become if Dutch hadn’t taken a chance on her so she could take a chance on herself. I like that [her] coming in in Season 3 [and discovering that] is a testament to how well this team, this band of people, work. It’s really beautiful to watch, I think Zeph changes because of [their] dynamic.”
One new addition in Zeph’s life is Pip. Following their Hail Mary hookup, we’re going to see that relationship continue, within a certain set of terms, and McCormack found that extremely refreshing to read and play. “It was definitely something we were working with the writers to finesse properly,” she says.
“We wanted to make sure the way they felt about each other and expressed their boundaries was reflective of who they are and their character arc and what they want from the world. We wanted their dynamic to be genuine to their experiences.”
“I love it because I can relate to it so strongly [and it’s a great message], especially for a young woman, to say, ‘I know there’s a romantic opportunity here, but I’m really just focused on [something else] and want to keep this about sex.’ I think it’s not something that young women are given to explore.”
“My favorite part about Killjoys and what makes it unlike any other sci-fi show out there and makes it its own genre is that you’re in space and there’s science, action, guns, aliens and stuff, but you don’t have these binary, one-dimensional relationships. It’s not like, ‘[You’re] good [or] evil…you’re in love, you’re not in love.'”
“Everything feels as accessible as the relationships I’m in myself. They’re very nuanced. It’s not simple. You may love someone but that doesn’t mean you can fit them into your lives easily because you have baggage or trust issues or something else you want to focus on and the relationship [goes] on the back burner.”
“I think it’s really neat that the show explores that. It’s the same with Johnny and Dutch’s relationship. Their friendship is something I feel so many people can relate to but you never see it in the genre, which is what I think is so fantastic about the show.”
I’ll have more of my interview with McCormack in the coming weeks. ICYMI, all of our Season 4 coverage so far is here.
Killjoys airs Friday night at 10 pm/9c on Syfy and Space Channel and the first two episodes of Season 4 are available online at each network’s site and through their apps. Starting today, you can also catch up on the first three seasons streaming on VRV.
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