Home » Entertainment News, Feature Story, Latest Issue, Section 4A » Syfy’s ‘Wynonna Earp’ continues to blaze new trails as it heads into its second season

Syfy’s ‘Wynonna Earp’ continues to blaze new trails as it heads into its second season

Dominique Provost-Chalkley and Katherine Barrell in Wynonna Earp

The ‘Golden Age of Television’ is over and has been for some time. That’s not to suggest that quality content is no longer available, quite the opposite. Between the major networks, cable outlets, outliers like Netflix and Hulu and, with increasing visibility, programming from the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada and New Zealand, television is seeming less golden and now largely more lustrous, like that of a star being born; one that may take up to 100,000 years to reach its zenith (and well passed our lifetimes).

But with the constraints of daily living and the need to find the few good shows we can justify watching in our ever compartmentalized lives, many, many original programs are either tossed aside or have had their oxygen cut off just before reaching maturation. (Awake, The Bridge or Hannibal anyone?)

It’s too early to tell how SyFy’s Wynonna Earp will play out but it does have several things going for it, namely Dominique Provost-Chalkley and Katherine Barrell. The show, loosely based on the Wyatt Earp and Doc Holliday saga but with a smattering of supernatural powers, has already been picked up for a second season and has acquired perhaps the ultimate compliment in today’s abbreviated world: A hashtag. (#WayHaught refers to the relationship between Wynonna’s younger sister Waverly and Officer Nicole Haught.) Also, the show is timed to premiere June 9. The show was recently nominated for a GLAAD Award for Outstanding Drama Series and, as we all now know, June is officially Pride month!

San Diego LGBT Weekly caught up with Dominique and Katherine to get some insight into the actors’ craft, how women are reshaping the television landscape and other celebrity tidbits.

San Diego LGBT Weekly: What were you doing, acting-wise, before you took the role of Officer Nicole Haught?

Katherine Barrell: I was still working in television and film. I had just completed three features, My ExEx, The Scare House and Definition of Fear. I was doing different guest star spots on various television shows but Wynonna Earp was definitely a big step up for me in the television arena.

If at all, how did your life change when you found out they were renewing the show for a second episode?

KB: I was only contracted to do six episodes originally on Wynonna Earp so everything on top of that has been a complete surprise to me. The experience is constantly superseding my expectations! The cast and team at IDW Entertainment were all having lunch together at San Diego Comic-Con when we were told about season two. We were all ecstatic! We really enjoy working together and Wynonna is SUCH a fun show! We were in the middle of a jam-packed publicity day at the Con so there wasn’t much time for drinking and conversation but it definitely infused the rest of the Con with a HUGE boost of energy until we were able to tell the fans at the Earp panel!

Dominique Provost-Chalkley and Katherine Barrell in Wynonna Earp

Do you see your role as being revolutionary in any way? How would you go about capturing a revolution?

KB: I think it has become apparent that the role of Nicole Haught is revolutionary the further we go on the journey – however when I first auditioned for the part I didn’t think twice about her in this regard. I saw her as a badass cop with a serious crush; something we’ve seen time and time again.

I think Nicole is a shining example to other shows of what an incredible fan base they can engage by creating three-dimensional queer characters and engaging the LGBTQ fans that are so shamefully underrepresented in our current media landscape. The fans are incredibly supportive and kind! They are excited and engaged on every level; the perfect fans in my opinion! What show wouldn’t want that? So in that regard I really hope Nicole is seen as a shining example and I wish to see even more characters on other shows follow a similar path because of it. But to me, she will always be a badass cop with a serious crush – and that’s the way I want her to stay.

This project is blessed by a lot of talented, and especially Canadian, friends and cohorts. It’s also heavily invested by and with women. Do you think the story and the way it is being told would have changed much if more men had helmed the decision-making aspects of the story?

KB: Absolutely it would be different! The further we got into season two the more I see examples of how the show would have changed completely if decisions were not made by women. It’s an amazing thing to be a part of and I believe Earp is really leading the way for more female drive and female-run content to follow.

What’s one question you wish more people asked about you in interviews?

KB: Food. I love food and trying new restaurants. I wish someone would talk to me about food. Better yet, I wish I could be a guest on a foodie travel show and tour with someone around Toronto taking them to eat at my favorite places!

Dominique Provost-Chalkley and Katherine Barrell in Wynonna Earp

If at all, how did your life change when you found out they were renewing the show for a second episode?

Dominique Provost-Chalkley: Well, we were actually at Comic-Con when it was announced, so we got completely wasted on each other’s happiness, seriously, I don’t think I’ve ever been that giddy. What a place to find out, all of us together. It was perfect! Then we had to go and do our panel and interviews, so as you can imagine I had a smile from ear to ear, ecstatic that we had the opportunity to film another awesome season of our crazy magical little show!

How did the role arrive?

DPC: I had an email through from my American manager with a ‘Self-Tape Request’ which was nothing new. U.K. actors do a bunch of them, all year round, and honestly you don’t even know if they get watched. It feels like you are sending it off into the abyss and there is no way in hell that they’ll ever even see the tape, never mind anything coming of it. But dreams do come true and series writer Emily Andras took a chance on me! Next thing you know I get a call asking if I would go to Toronto. Of course I jumped at the opportunity. There I met Em and the beautiful Melanie Scrofano (who plays Wynonna Earp). I was so nervous, but the moment I met them it just sort of clicked. We ate some quiche and I left. That last part is actually true … It was really yummy!

So, all in all the perfect audition.

What can only you bring to the role of Waverly Earp?

DPC: Cheerleading? No I’m kidding! That’s a really tricky question. For a long time I couldn’t get my head around why they didn’t cast someone from Canada as Waverly, I thought a thousand actresses could play her. I still feel that way. I think I just got really bloody lucky to be honest. Of course I do see similarities between Waverly and I, which I guess is what Emily saw.

How do you depict lesbian sexuality on screen? Or, rather, what’s the best way to go about depicting lesbian sexuality on screen? What would be the ingredients at the top of the list?

DPC: I’d say you approach it in exactly the same way as any other relationship. The main thing for me is I wanted it to be as natural and honest as possible.

You just need to be connected as people. Look into each other’s eyes, see that person in all their vulnerability and openness and support them.

And who are we kidding; it’s not really hard when you have a gorgeous woman like Kat to play against. It comes very easily indeed. Depicting the sexuality is just another component of the whole relationship you are creating. So, if you are willing to explore in your acting, then I believe it is just an extension of that.

There’s been a lot of talk recently about the gay sex scene in American Gods that aired recently. It was very explicit and included full-frontal nudity (albeit CGI). What will it take, in your opinion, before America is ready to see the lesbian version of that (if they’re not already)?

DPC: I haven’t actually seen that episode of American Gods, but my understanding is that it caused a lot of conversation because it is still seen as very risky to a lot of audiences. My view has always been that challenging audiences and breaking down the system is incredibly important, and art is a very powerful way to do that. In doing a scene such as the one in American Gods, or an explicit lesbian sex scene, the same rules apply – you have to treat it with the upmost respect! It must be told in a beautiful, sensitive, positive way and not exploited for the sake of it.

Being a part of Wynonna Earp and seeing how Emily cares for the relationship we have created is extremely refreshing. It’s the way it should be. We need positive representation and way more of it. I can’t tell you how important I believe this is. Being lucky enough to see firsthand the strength of the LGBT community, I know there are a lot of people out there that agree with me and are actively pushing in the right direction.

So, in answer to your question, I really hope it will be sooner than we think.

Season Two of Wynonna Earp returns to SyFy June 9 10/9 c. For more information visit syfy.com/wynonnaearp


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Posted by on Jun 8, 2017. Filed under Entertainment News, Feature Story, Latest Issue, Section 4A. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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