Thom Allison Talks About Playing the Chameleon Pree in Killjoys [Exclusive]
[Warning: General spoilers ahead.]
Pree is undoubtedly a fan favorite, and tonight’s episode of Killjoys afforded Thom Allison the opportunity to go all in, and out, in the hunt to find his missing husband, Gared. Next week, he really gets to take the gloves off. Yesterday I chatted with Allison about the episode, and his five-season run as Team Awesomeforce’s go-to warlord.
Allison says when he first got Julie Puckrinâ€™s script for “Baby, Face Killer,” he laughed out loud, and loved the callbacks to Preeâ€™s history. “Because I do cabaret work and my own solo acts, I’m in producer mode a lot. I think of how fans are going to react. I love when we get to throw back to who he’s been and who he is, sort of fabulous and ass-kicky,” he explains. “I could see it filmed in my head and see the audience watching it.”
He particularly enjoyed having Pree paired up with Fancy. Although the characters havenâ€™t had a lot of one-on-one time. Allison and Sean Baek are longtime friends, so that added an extra element of fun to their dynamic. “Iâ€™ve known Sean for years. He’s an old pal of mine. Fancy being so stoic and fantastic and Pree being a warlord slash kooky and sassy pants, we had a great time because the energy is so different for both of us,” he laughs. “Fancy will shiv someone in a second but Pree, once he gets what he needs, he’s [back to] being a bartender [and] nurse maid.”
One of Allisonâ€™s great joys of the role is that Pree can pair up with so many other characters in new, unexpected, and exciting ways. “Much of what happens in Season 4 involves The Lady and Pree ends up mixed up with Turin and the Armada and Zeph and getting information on what’s happening with her plan, which we don’t quite know just yet. [They form] a posse together, which was great fun,” he shares.
“I love Kelly [McCormack] and Patrick [Garrow] is hilarious. We have such a good time with each other so this season has been really fun and Michelle [Lovretta] and the writers have been writing with that in mind and [giving us] different combinations. Pree and Turin are like frenemies. They don’t not get along, but they think of each other as a nuisance. Pree is too frilly for Turin and Turn’s too much of a tight ass for Pree, so they keep clashing, but when it comes down to it, they help each other.”
“Pree and Fancy get along fine because Pree respects Fancy’s work ethic. He admires that he commits to his choices, which makes me laugh. Gared and Pree’s relationship has been great. Their dynamic within the chaos that’s happening [around them] was the most unexpected thing. Gavin Fox came in for one episode and then at the end of the next season we were married. We have such a good time. And you can feel the audience coming along with us. The response has been so great and so positive. They’re romantic and squishy and fun.”
We can also look for more interaction with Zeph and Pree as he helps her with her own upcoming struggles that were hinted at last week. “It happens so naturally and beautifully, how they get along. He’s so maternal and paternal and that works really well for Zeph,” he says. “She needs someone to make her feel safe and I think Pree is that for her. There’s lovely, sweet stuff [coming] between the two of us.”
“Every [new] interaction is my new favorite thing. Pree is such a chameleon. He’s a warlord, a bartender a bit of sexer. He’s been everything. He’s the ultimate survivor. While everybody’s been on one track, he’s been on every one. He’s a confessor, a soother, an ass-kicker, he’s the bolsterer, a bit of everything, depending on who he’s talking to and what they need.”
Allison was grateful to have the scene with Delle Seyah in “What to Expectâ€¦When Youâ€™re Expecting An Alien Parasite” that gave Pree a kind of closure about Pawter. “It was a great to have it acknowledged because he didn’t get a goodbye with her,” he points out. “There was such a friendship between the two of them. They had this thing and I always felt sad that we never had this moment of goodbye. It felt great for Pree to say that to Delle Seyah. I loved it.”
He also loved the sneaky moment afterward when Pree almost packs Delle Seyahâ€™s coat until Dutch asks him to leave it, and he says wardrobe and makeup have been integral to creating Preeâ€™s identity. Heâ€™s proud to have been involved in creating his aesthetic from the very beginning. “Our hair and costume team are so amazing. Because I’m a theater guy, I was used to big things. I’ve never been worn by a costume. It doesn’t wear me. [As Pree], I could be outrageous and everyone would buy it,” he says.
“Because Pree was such a thing, when I was cast, [costume designer] Trysha Bakker had ideas, but nothing had been set in stone. Our first session was five hours long. They’d work on pieces and [rip them up and restitch them] and bring them back for me to try on. The next day, I did another four-hour session. They have been everything to me. So much of Pree is what he looks like. He dresses for his mood and what he’s doing.”
“Every session, we would laugh or asses off the whole time. I’ve never had a fitting session that was less than an hour and a half long. It’s been this dialogue from the very beginning. They had the bigger picture and I was tweaking things. Every fitting was getting together with pals and creating extraordinary masterpieces and works of art. It’s been a real joy. [Bakker and makeup artist Craig-Ryan French and their teams have crafted] such a cohesive, beautiful storytelling look.”
Allison has been so enamored of that specific look that he says if he can take anything with him when they wrap at the end of next month, heâ€™d pick two of Preeâ€™s signature pieces. “[Iâ€™d love] the great coat that I wore for the big battle at the end of Season 3. It fit amazing and looked beautiful. It’s perfectly Pree. Not overly glamorous, warrior-ready, amazingly tailored. It’s everything Pree, which I love,” he admits.
“Maybe a pair of earrings. The cuff on my hand that we developed in Season 2 or 3 became this thing that he always wore. We all kind of loved it. It became a part of every outfit. It’s a weird piece of metal, but became iconic for what I see when I look in the mirror. I don’t know what it means for him. Maybe it was something he bought in a moment that had magic and he kept it.”
Allison is currently balancing the final season of Killjoys with a second season of the Canadian variety show,Â Your All Time Classic Hit Parade. Beyond that, he doesnâ€™t know exactly what is next, but he can sense it. “There’s something in the air and something coming. There’s such positive energy around the show and Pree. I’m starting to direct theater more these days, which has been a lovely offshoot. I’m diversifying,” he says. I’m doing concert work, I’m doing the singing show. Before Killjoys, I was theater dude. We’ll see.”
“There’s all this online talk that’s very sweet about a spinoff with all [these different configurations of characters and Pree], which just makes me laugh. There’s so much untapped with him and that would be a scream. We never got to explore all his aliases. Maybe there’s a Pree undercover series out there where he’s changing wardrobe and personas. We all laugh our heads off about the possibilities. Many great things have happened because of Killjoys and people seeing the show. Something is coming down the pike. I can feel it. I’m a manifester.”
Killjoys airs Friday at 10 pm/9c on Syfy and Space Channel. Tonightâ€™s episode will be online at both sites and on the apps tomorrow. Check back this weekend for my exclusive with Julie Puckrin, who wrote tonight’s episode. In case you missed it, all of our Season 4 coverage is here.
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