This week’s Killjoys packs a ridiculous amount of story into 43 minutes, and Zeph is front and center and threaded throughout. In the second part of our interview, Kelly McCormack talks about pairing with Atticus Mitchell, going so hard this season that it sent her to Italy to recover, and what’s next after Killjoys wraps production this month.
Zeph has become indispensable to Team Awesomeforce,delivering babies, deciphering spores, and trying to de-spider Pip. McCormack has been thrilled to play all of it, and particularly enjoyed switching between Kelly, who loves babies, and Zeph, who’s distinctly, meh about them, back in Episode 404.
“I’ve never crammed more science jargon into my brain. Give me every prop, I will do it. She’s been an ob-gyn, she’s made a frickin’ jump cube. What med school did she go to? Was she the only student, so they taught her everything? I’m deeply honored [that they’re throwing everything at her],” she shares.
“I love babies so much and [in that episode], I got to hold this jammy baby covered in red jam off camera and [tell him], ‘You’re so cute,’ and then I come on camera and I have to [shift gears].”
McCormack has loved the multiple layers of Zeph’s challenge to save Pip, and offscreen, has had a ball with Mitchell as her frequent scene partner. “Because she has feelings for Pip, and they have this very unique relationship…like she does with everybody, she’s going to put it on her shoulders to solve it,” she says.
“This is the problem when you get close to people. When your personal and professional lives overlap, you have to negotiate what those feelings are. She can’t treat Pip like a science experiment. She can’t stay detached, which is what her MO is.”
“Last season I barely knew [Atticus], and Michelle put us in this scene [in ‘Wargasm’] where we kissed and then this season we spent so much time together. We’re so good and excited about improv-ing. We don’t always get to do that because the stakes are so high. Zeph often has to deliver the exposition and science and world-building [dialogue].”
“One of the joys this season has been working with [him]. He’s such a funny person and his instincts are on point. That was a surprise. I didn’t expect them to build that relationship and that we would jive so hard and get along so well.”
“We would just rip and go off script. I feel sorry for the editor. We’re always one upping each other and adding lines and saying stupid stuff. The ‘what are we?’ scene in Episode 404 went on for 10 minutes. It was so much secondhand embarrassment for ourselves and we were playing it so awkwardly.
McCormack found herself paired with Mitchell again over at The Expanse and only discovered it after both were cast. â€œI’ve auditioned for all the [Canadian-filmed] sci-fi stuff. Some of them don’t want you to cross over [to other shows]. [The Expanse] didn’t care I was on Killjoys. I went in for the costume fitting and the wardrobe person pointed at Attucis’s headshot and said,’This is your Mars bestie. Do you know him?’ I started laughing,â€ she recalls.
â€œThe two of us are a like a traveling space duo. It was wild being on that set. We were the newbies trying to commandeer a ship and were so serious about it. We were on a space ship that looked like Killjoys, in jumpsuits that looked like Killjoys, but it wasn’t the Quad.â€
McCormack also enjoyed working with her real-life pal Thom Allison and says we’ll see more of Pree and Zeph. â€œPree has this true north ability to just say the right thing. He can synthesize what everyone is feeling and say the wise, grounded thing,â€ she explains.
â€œShe’s just learned how to trust people. She’s in a leadership position. The stakes are higher, more shit is going to go awry and there are lovely opportunities where he can ground her in the moment. Working with everyone is amazing. I feel like I had a really beautiful, deep moment with each of the main actors in the show. I feel that much closer to them, like we’ve all gone to war together. Once we get to season 5, all bets are off.”
“You guys are in for such a treat. The writers are going for broke. They’re doing it all.Â It’s such a gift because they can give everybody what they want. Shooting two seasons together means they can do what they want. We’re swinging really high and these are our choices. It’s an absolute dream. I can’t believe I get to be part of it. It just gets more intense and hard-core for Zeph.â€
When she says hard-core, she’s not kidding. The series took a month off between shooting Seasons 4 and 5, and McCormack was super grateful for the break after literally leaving it all on the screen. Almost sidelined by a persistent lung infection, she took a doctor’s suggestion to go somewhere warm and decamped for Italy, spending the hiatus there and turning her recovery into an Instagram series of photos that are a fun nod to 19th century artists who fled England for Europe.
“It was humbling. You’re nothing without your health. I went there for a month, got better, and came back. I decided to turn it into a Keats, Shelley, and Byron [homage]. I feel like social media is becoming more reductive with clickbait and emojis. It can only go so small and abbreviated until it disappears, so I thought, ‘Let’s bring the long form essayist Instagram action back,'” she says.
“I sat on verandas and wrote all these posts and drank a shit ton of wine and I was better by the time I got home. It was a feminist exercise to embody all these artists. They were all rich privileged white dudes and sort of shit human beings [but they’re remembered for their art]. Keats was no nice and loved one woman, but the rest were bastards.”
Calling back to those artists also afforded McCormack a historical perspective on the current climate of re-evaluating art based on the artists’ behavior. â€œI talk to so many of my male artist counterparts and they’re [asking if they should no longer enjoy the art of men who are accused of crimes],” she points out. “And it’s part of the conversation. [I tell them], ‘If you had more female icons, you wouldn’t have this problem.'”
Once Killjoys ends, McCormack will begin prepping her feature film, Sugar Daddy, which she talked about last year. Production was delayed while she was ill, so she’s happy to get going on that now. â€œWe’re writing a bunch of original music for the film,â€ she says. â€œWe’re working with this incredible musician, Foxtrott, so I’ve been spending time in Montreal.”
Alongside Killjoys, McCormack also banked four episodes of the Canadian series, Letterkenny, which is airing its earlier seasons now on Hulu in the US, and she was astounded that she got to play one of a pair of characters who are pretty uninhibited in their language, but she leapt at the opportunity.
“The [description] was one of my favorites. [She’] a chirpy, trash-talking hockey player. The stuff I say is the nastiest shit I’ve ever heard on TV,” she laughs. “At one point, I started coughing reading the script, thinking, ‘I can’t believe I’m going to say this.’ I was excited.”
“In the audition I went full McCormack because I grew up quite the jock. I went in in a hoodie and bandana and sweatpants. I got to get back on the ice and skate a bunch. I got to work with all these female hockey players who were so great and intense.â€
Killjoys airs Friday at 10 pm/9c on Syfy and Space Channel. The first eight episodes this season are online at both sites and on their apps. All of our Season 4 coverage is here. You can also catch McCormack in theaters this weekend in the new noirish thriller, A Simple Favor.
This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.
Maahra Hill Talks The Irrational
I’m a Jesse L. Martin stan back to the OG Mothership Law & Order (pour one out for Lennie Brisco, y’all), although I admittedly tapped out on The Flash at a certain point. This season, Martin has been back in his old NBC stomping grounds with The Irrational, a different,…
George R. Olson, Tim Rozon, and Sarah Levy Talk the SurrealEstate S2 Finale
[Spoilers for the SurrealEstate Season 2 finale.] How’s everyone doing after the finale? As we close out the second season of SurrealEstate, some of our merry band of misfits are scattering to the winds–Zooey to law school, Phil to the Vatican, and Augie back to his think tank with Rochelle,…
Previewing SurrealEstate Season 2 Finale + Revisiting the Season with George R. Olson
[Warning; General spoilers ahead.] Strap in, SurrealEstate fam, because we’ve arrived at the Season 2 finale, and it’s a doozy. As we saw in the closing moments of last week’s episode, Susan is back. But because we have one more episode left, it’s not as simple as all that, as…
Tyler Hynes Talks Through His Eight-Film Hallmark Holiday Library
Things you realize when you have to re-record your shows on a new DVR – just how many Hallmark movies your people have done. Fan favorite – and one of ours – Tyler Hynes has done eight Christmas movies for Hallmark Channel and Hallmark Movies & Mysteries since 2018. Alongside…
Spencer Creaghan Talks About Creating SurrealEstate’s Signature Sound
SurrealEstate is winding down its second season, with two episodes left, and just as in Season 1, Spencer Creaghan’s music continues to be a character unto itself. And every week, he shares tidbits with the fans via his s social media channels, something he started to help give them an…
Andrew Walker Talks Christmas Island and the Magical Hallmark Community
[Warning: Spoilers for Christmas Island.] Now that the Screen Actors Guild strike has been resolved, we’re able to resume regularly scheduled programming and interview our favorites and yours. Up first, earlier today, I spoke with Andrew Walker about Christmas Island, which premiered last weekend and encores tonight and through the…
George Olson and Danishka Esterhazy Talk SurrealEstate “I Put a Spell on You”
[Warning: Spoilers for the episode.] Tonight’s fun new SurrealEstate found Luke caught up in an especially bewitching woman, Kay, played by Tara Yelland, Susan trapped in her house, and Zooey learning the ropes. In the next part of my conversation with showrunner George R. Olson and producing director Danishka Esterhazy,…
Danishka Esterhazy Talks SurrealEstate: “The Butler Didn’t”
[Warning: General spoilers for the episode]. Tonight’s new SurrealEstate, “The Butler Didn’t,” follows the team as they investigate the years-earlier mysterious death of a woman whose ghost now reenacts her hanging by dropping over the banister from the second floor to terrify anyone on the landing or at the bottom…
Scott McCord and Elizabeth Saunders Talk the From Season 2 finale
[Warning: Spoilers for the season finale.] How’s everyone doing after that finale? While we wait and wonder and hope for a third season announcement, soon, here’s what Scott McCord and Elizabeth Saunders had to say about their parts of the finale, and where they hope they get to go next….
Scott McCord and Elizabeth Saunders Talk From Season 2 + A Season Finale Preview
[Warning: General spoilers ahead.] It all comes down this, #FROMily. As Sunday’s episode wraps up Season 2, we begin with the aftermath of the terrifying onset of seemingly simultaneous attacks on Julie, Marielle, and Randall, which accelerate the “We gotta get out of this place” of it all. Sara comes…
What They Said: Three Revealing Conversations from Survivor’s Remorse “Closure”
WARNING: Spoilers for Survivor’s Remorse “Closure” The latest episode of Starz’s Survivor’s Remorse featured conversations that showed characters really digging deep into their thoughts, emotions and motivations.
Two Takes: The Catch “The Knock-Off”
Who can you trust? If this episode of The Catch was any indication, the answer is just about nobody. Betrayal was running rampant as Felicity (Shivani Ghai) arose from the dead to seduce-con Margot, Gretchen (Maria Thayer, Gotham, The Mindy Project) played gold-hearted Alice 2.0 before swindling Ethan, Tessa jumped…
What They Said: Top 3 Quotable Moments from Preacher “El Valero”
Both Quincannon and Jesse refuse to give up on what they each think is rightfully theirs. While Jesse is struggling to face the consequences of his actions, Quincannon has laid his past demons to rest and is hellbent on moving forward and putting Annville on the map again. Despite a…
What They Said: Favorite Quotes from Supergirl “Worlds Finest”
Oh, Supergirl. That ending was cold. But I can’t hate on you because the latest episode has quickly become one of my favorites.
What They Said: Top 4 Quotable Moments from Black Sails “XXIII”
The dialogue in “XXIII” is phenomenal. It’s always a fun ride when Black Sails carries its viewers along without giving them the chance to catch their breath. When an episode moves at this unforgiving pace, there is no chance for a breather nor is there a respite from the information…
What Lucifer Said: Favorite quotes from Supernatural “O Brother, Where Art Thou?”
Supernatural episodes are almost always funny but thanks to the dialogue and a certain man speaking said dialogue, I laughed a lot during “O Brother, Where Art Thou?” You know, when I wasn’t busy fearing for Sam’s life or wondering what in the world was going on with Dean and…
What They Said: The Flash, “Legends Of Today” and Arrow, “Legends Of Yesterday”
Two nights of Arrow +Â The Flash = what more could we ask for?! I don’t know what it is about blending these shows, but I canâ€™t help but feel that every time they come together, they somehow become greater than the sum of their parts. And thatâ€™s saying a lot…
What they Said: Top 4 Quotable Moments from Graceland “Little Bo Bleep”
Shoot outs. Fake outs. And long-awaited revelations. “Little Bo Bleep” was a jam-packed episode that wrapped up some loose ends and totally frayed others. Â It finally gave us one Sarkissian in jail and pulled back the curtain on Briggs’ master plan, but it also set up Jakes for a world…
What They Said: Favorite Quotes from Poldark “Part 4”
â€œWhat have I told you, I don’t require my wife to crochet and sip tea, but I do require her to remember she’s not a beast of burden.â€ No, Iâ€™m not talking about The Rolling Stones! I have to admit though, just for a second, the lyrics popped into my…
3 Moments of Goodness from Brooklyn Nine-Nine “Johnny and Dora”
The most satisfying part of this season’s finale has to the Jake and Amy kiss. Well, they kiss three times but the last one is the best one — and it means something. The Charles and Rosa dynamic was also great. I love how she’s convinced he doesn’t know anything…