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Killjoys - Interview with Aaron Ashmore, Hannah John-Kamen, and Luke Macfarlane


Syfy continues to deliver on its promise to offer more scifi television with the premiere of Killjoys on Friday, June 19 at 9/8C. I had the pleasure of talking to the three stars of the show today, and what follows are the highlights from that interview. All three were terrific to talk to and super excited about the show. It sounds like they had a blast filming the show, and I can’t wait to see that translated onto the screen. Killjoys was created by Michelle Lovretta, who is likely best known for Lost Girl. It stars Hannah John-Kamen as Dutch, Aaron Ashmore as John Jaqobis, and Luke Macfarlane as D’Avin Jaqobis. One small problem with telephone interviews is that you can’t always be sure who is speaking, so forgive me if I’ve mixed some of the comments up.

As always, what follows is just the highlights of the interview, a transcript will be posted later in the week. Q = questions, HJK = Hannah John-Kamen, AA – Aaron Ashmore, and LM = Luke Macfarlane.

Q: You all have great chemistry together. Was that right from when you met or did it develop?
LM: We had a really great casting director, and we all auditioned with a bunch of people. We got along right away.
AA: You either have it or you don’t. Sometime you luck out and become really good friends. We were lucky.
HJK: It’s important to have it on and off the screen. We have the same sense of humor and we sing a lot on set.
LM: We make up songs on set.

Q: Your group doesn’t follow the rules. Will this end up becoming a problem for the team?
LM: There have been a lot of comparisons to Firefly, but there is this tension in how far we can bend the rules. We really do have rules that we have to follow, we’re not just outlaws like Firefly.
HJK: Having morals makes for a dilemma, a conflict, in carrying out their missions.
AA: The conflicts show knowledge and creativity in the characters. [as they try to solve the problem]

Q: Describe your characters.
HJK: Dutch is a level 5, a top killjoy, so she can kill for warrants. She’s known John for 7 years. She has a complicated past which is catching up with her. She’s very loyal and has earned respect. She’s the leader.
AA: John is a level 3 killjoy, so he’s not as skilled and dangerous as Dutch. He’s more of a pacifist, more willing to talk things through. He’s completely dedicated to Dutch. He is very loyal, and you see this with his brother. They’ve been estranged for 8 or 9 years. His role is to hold the team together.
LM: D’Avin is the older brother. He doesn’t join as a killjoy but becomes fascinated by the lifestyle. He’s former military and a bit of a rogue. He’s very taken with Dutch. He’s not at all like me – he’s super cocky.

Q: The ship – Lucy – is like another character – how do your characters interact with her?
AA: John does most of the work with Lucy. He’s her favorite even if John denies it. John is more the tech guy.
HJK: She’s got a real sense of humor. Lucy helps us get out of situation. She’s a cool character.
LM: D’Avin didn’t even learn her name until the 7th episode! John is able to understand people more than D’Avin and that’s reflected in John’s relationship with Lucy.
AA: Fans will really like Lucy.

Q: D’Avin and Dutch both have to address their past, how does this affect their relationship?
LM: The clumsily reach for each other because they have a shared need to deal with their pasts. There is a reconciliation or conclusion for D’Avin in dealing with his past.

Q: What do you think of the inevitable comparisons to other scifi shows?
AA: It’s the easiest way to get something out there for people to understand. There are similarities in genre with Firefly, but the specifics of characters and details are unique. As a genre fan, any comparison to Firefly is flattering.
LM: One day they’ll compare us to something. We have to operate within the Rack which makes our show fundamentally different.

Q: Is Dutch’s mysterious background going to be a large part of the story?
HJK: You see hints at the beginning. Her past is slowly catching up with her. There’s a lot of unraveling of Dutch and her past. Questions are answered but more are asked.

Q: What about crossovers with Dark Matter?
AA: Would be exciting.
LM: We’re funnier, they’re more serious.
All: Agreed that they’d kick the Dark Matter characters’ asses!

Q: Any favorite gadgets on the show?
HJK: My gun. It felt like it was part of my limbs. I fell in love with my laser gun.
LM: My beautiful, custom leather leg harness.
All: We were really attached to our guns. They eventually wouldn’t let the prop wranglers take them between takes.

Q: What is the green juice?
AA: Algae Beer. It was disgusting and lumpy.
HJK: Like a healthy, LA smoothie.
LM: The spinach started getting stuck in our teeth… It was a problem on camera.
HJK: They switched us to pumpkin beer.

Q: Will you tweet the premiere?
AA: Yes!
HJK: In Europe, so it will be the middle of the night, but yes!
LM: Doesn’t have Twitter!

Q: What was the training like?
HJK: All had stunt, physical, and military training. Often over the weekend and before filming started. So much fun!
LM: I’d heard if you have an action show, you get a trainer, so it was great to get one! They took pictures of us shirtless to show production.
AA: Physical training is a great way to get to know each other. It was a good way to bond through training.
HJK: We really bonded through it.

Q: Did you get to do your own stunts?
All: Did a lot ourselves.
LM: My mom came to set and watched me and my stunt double do a scene. The stunt double goes first, then the actor to get more close ups. My mom told the stunt double I did it better – just being a mom.

Q: Can you tell us something about your character that only you know – that wasn’t/isn’t in the script?
LM: In my mind, John and D’Avin’s father used to beat up D’Avin.
AA: We’ve never discussed this but I thought the same thing! The older brother took the beatings to protect John, and John carries some guilt over that.

Q: Do you have a favorite funny scene?
HJK: All the stuff that doesn’t happen on camera!
LM: John comes in contact with a super computer and gets really excited…
AA: The sense of humor is more subtle than funny scenes. It’s more in the way the characters interact and it’s the tone of how they interact.

Q: Anything about your co-stars that surprised you.
AA: I was surprised at how funny and weird we all were. Hannah and Luke’s sense of humor – we’re all so weird. So I was pleasantly surprised by that.
HJK: I agree. It’s the sense of humor. One would start and then another would just join in.

Q: Did you do any research on bounty hunters?
AA: My dad watches Dogg the Bounty Hunter, so I tried to strip away all I knew about that.
HJK: It was more character building with Michelle. Who Dutch is first before what does Dutch do.
LM: I watched a lot of scifi to get into the genre to do it justice because I wasn’t really familiar with it.

Q: Does John have any secrets?
AA: In the first season, not really. Dutch and D’Avin have theirs and they are pulling the team apart. John’s main goal is to keep the team together. There’s too much in this season to have all 3 being torn apart.

Q: What’s your favorite part so far?
HJK: The amount of fun off screen. The sets are amazing, the fighting is so cool. Aaron and Luke made the whole experience fun.
LM: You get to use your imagination in a really unique way.
AA: First and foremost, the whole creative team and crew. We all enjoyed ourselves. To come in on the very start of a project was special because I’ve often joined a successful show later in its run. To really feel you’re part of something. We really get to explore and create these places and societies that don’t exist.
LM: The first time in the cockpit and getting to watch it getting built. We got to make up how to drive it because no one knew how until we actually got in it.

Q: What challenges did you face?
LM: It’s a really small cast, so we had really long hours.
HJK: Getting used to the equipment and armor to make it look natural. Really embodying a killer.
AA: I hope that we do it justice, that it pays off. We’re creating a whole new world and we want to create a world people will buy into. Scifi audiences are discerning and intelligent. It puts a little pressure on everyone.
LM: There was more reverence for the intelligence of the audience than in any other genre that I’ve worked in.

Q: Compare to Lost Girl and Orphan Black.
AA: Same sensibility because coming from the same mind [as Lost Girl], but it’s a different world.
LM: A real sense of female empowerment. The strong female characters.
HJK: There’s a massive freedom there.

Q: Are you ready for a scifi fanbase?
AA: Yes!
HJK: Bring it on!
LM: Looking forward to expanding my fanbase.

Q: What can you tell us about D’Avin’s search for the military doctor?
LM: He finds HER. He has to figure out how to reconcile his violent past. He gets more completion and closure than Dutch.

Keep an eye out for the full transcript! Don’t forget to tune in to “Bangarang” on Friday, June 19 on Syfy (and Space) at 9/8C! You can catch my preview of the episode here.

About the Author - Lisa Macklem
I do interviews and write articles for the site in addition to reviewing a number of shows, including Supernatural, Arrow, Agents of Shield, The Walking Dead, Game of Thrones, Forever, Defiance, Bitten, Glee, and a few others! Highlights of this past year include covering San Diego Comic Con as press and a set visit to Bitten. When I'm not writing about television shows, I'm often writing about entertainment and media law in my capacity as a legal scholar. I also work in theatre when the opportunity arises. I'm an avid runner and rider, currently training in dressage.

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