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SDCC ’17: Hell Hath No (Writing) Fury like Wynonna Earp’s Emily Andras

Source: Whedonopolis Videos

At Comic Con International: San Diego, Syfy pulled out all the stops to present virtually all of their current and upcoming programming, but the one that holds a special place in many a heart is the little summer show that persisted, Wynonna Earp. The Canadian-produced supernatural drama quickly developed one of the staunchest – and super inclusive – followings across social media, as the show’s fans (known as Earpers) made Syfy well aware of how special their new show was to their viewers.

Now two-thirds of the way through its second season, Earp recently announced a third season renewal at Comic-Con to the excitement of Earpers present at the panel and streaming online. Given the increasingly intense nature of this year’s narrative, showrunner Emily Andras is sure to deliver another massive whopper of a story arc for all next season. Before Ms. Andras locks herself away to whip up yet another masterpiece, she and the cast of Wynonna Earp received a much deserved respite and ample praise from Earpers in San Diego, while answering a question or two in between.

Season two of Wynonna Earp has been jam-packed with so many twists and shocking revelations involving everyone affiliated with The Curse; from the Heir herself to Waverly and her recent confirmation of not being an Earp by blood. Nearly every episode has ended with a jaw-dropping cliffhanger, leaving all Earpers in a tizzy. Yes, A TIZZY. For Andras it’s all part of her glorious plan.

“I love that stuff! I was really influenced by Lost, I think it’s really fun! We have so much pleasure with our fandom, love tweeting together, it’s very interactive! I like the yells and the screams! I think it’s very unusual to have an entertainment experience like that now for this younger generation… I’m only 22, for those of you who don’t know… But really, that’s what make that fun, it’s a comic book. It comes from a comic book, I want it to feel like a comic book where you can’t wait to get to the next panel. And then when you see the end, you can’t wait to buy the next issue.

“As long as it’s earned, yes. Woof! We used up a lot of story this year. It’s gonna be fun!”

One of the many satisfying qualities of Earp is how the fantastical world Andras and her crew crafted isn’t so much an overwhelming kaleidoscope of beasties and demons week in and week out, but complements the more intimate, character-driven narrative that’s rightfully gained a strong following. No doubt Purgatory is a dangerous place filled with revenants, witches, evil goo, a man-child serial killer-in-the-making and more… but nothing may be more terrifying than the everyday relatable issues many of us may face.

“I’m thinking a lot of things… I’m thinking that as crazy our genre show is, we take a lot of pride keeping our characters grounded, in making their decisions consistent with who they are as characters. I also think the reality is it’s an incredibly dangerous situation for a child. I also think we’ve encountered a lot of demons. Whether it’s a human baby is up for grabs. I just want all the decisions made to make everybody feel something. That’s all I’ll say about that!”

Life must go on even during a lengthy production, and with Melanie Scrofano‘s pregnancy, Andras and the writing staff made the best out of a unique situation.

“We honestly considered all options, but when we did the math… Melanie Scrofano gave birth four days after our last day of shooting. If you wanna know what a real life superhero looks like, that’s your answer! So when you really look at it, even if you look like Melanie, nine months is nine months. This is not a sitcom, I didn’t want her to carry increasingly large loads of laundry when the demons invade the Homestead! I wanted her kicking some demon ass and she wanted that too. I really wanted the audience to know the show is still going to be the same, she still had a job to do, and I also felt like maybe that story hadn’t been told before, a pregnant superhero?

“I just think Wynonna is a character who doesn’t get a lot of choices. So it seemed aligned too with her destiny… destiny is constantly trying to screw her over and make choices for her. But every day Wynonna gets up and tries to fight again and make her own choices. We actually felt we could do the story we had set out with her pregnant, which was really interesting. We didn’t have to change that much.”

Now that season three is a sure thing, Wynonna Earp has the potential to expand upon its entertaining mythology involving Old West legends and lore while the gang adjusts to life after Wynonna’s pregnancy. However, according to Andras, don’t expect the show to go balls to the wall like in the comics.

“Mythology is the hard part, right? You want to be able to tell without it being exposition or you’re drowning in it, same with backstory. Like, how to do you tell mythology or backstory but using the characters everyone has shown up to kind of see? Everything comes back to the Earp first. We know the rules of The Curse, and early on I did lay out a lot of the story of the Earp Curse, so I feel like we have enough to parcel it out for years. But certainly, when you talk to Beau ([Smith] creator of Wynonna Earp), the tradition of the comic book is they encounter all sorts of mythology. They fought mummies, and there is an amazing Aztec warrior princess called Valdez in the comic, who’s like this bad-ass. So I feel like our show certainly could support that, but you know it is a Western and I’m interested in that kind of world. North American mythology, how about that?”

As every Earper knows, the second half of the season has been rife with baby mama drama! Though this sudden development has shaken up the dynamic between Team Wynonna, Xavier Dolls and John Henry are proverbially sticking to their guns and being the stand-up men Earp knew they’d be. That doesn’t mean things will be easy, or predictable.

“I just don’t want it to be a traditional love triangle. I think it was instrumental on Lost Girl and that was great. I’ve done that story before, so I’m a little more interested in things that are complicated. I really like that these characters, although they are complete fuck-ups, are grown-ups, do you know what I mean? I think they all like each other, which makes it a little bit less of a straight line. I don’t think they’re all straight, speaking of straight lines… so no, I don’t think it’s a traditional love triangle and I’m not that interested in shipping […] certainly with the boys, I just think that it’s been done. You can ship whoever you want though, that’s fine!”

So… does Emily have a favorite among the new kids on the block?

Photo: Syfy

“I love all of them! I think one of my favorite things that happened is that Dani Kind, who plays Mercedes, was really fun… such a trooper, because the truth is – don’t tell anyone I said this – but I totally didn’t know where we were going with her character or with The Widows. I kind of did, but she signed up to play one character then she’s like “OK, so what now? I’m in Victorian garb and my face has been stolen…” and I was like “Just go with it!” Her commitment every episode to embracing it and getting to play something so different than what she thought she was gonna play, was really joyous.”

“Falling in love with Tamara [Duarte] and Varun [Saranga]… we had different fates for them in mind. But just seeing what they can do and seeing their chemistry with certain cast members, I really liked tweaking it. I always say you have to have a plan or you’ll die. But you need to see what you’re getting too. You can’t be immune to the fact that, like, this couple you wanted to pair up don’t have any chemistry. You have to be brave and be like “That’s not going to work, we need to do this” so I loved seeing it evolve. And they just fit right in! Quite honestly, I know we’re such a love-in and it’s so boring, but we really do love each other on set. So we have a ‘no jerks’ rule with my casting director. I’m honestly like, “Bring me a B+ actor versus an A+ actor who’s a jerk”. Oh, it’s all gonna go downhill if we get another season! Egos through the roof!”

The second season of Wynonna Earp – produced by IDW Entertainment and SEVEN24 Films – is currently airing, Fridays at 10/9c on Syfy. A few episodes behind? If you don’t believe in using a DVR, all the Heir’s season two gems are available for streaming on the official site.

The third outing of your favorite eclectic supernatural western will tentatively premiere Summer 2018.

About Rexlor Graymond (493 Articles)
Rex Graymond is 24.6kg tripolymer composite, 11.8kg beryllium-nickel-titanium alloy. Constructed in Northern California. Loves comics and films almost as much as pancakes. ALMOST.
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