Killjoys’ Dutch, D’Avin & John Talk Steroids, Family and Complexity, Part 1

Season 2 of Killjoys starts Friday night! Can you believe it – 48 hours until Lucy arrives with Johnny, D’Avin and Dutch! I’m also excited for the return of Pree, Bellus, Fancy, Alvis and Pawter – this show has great characters and great action. In anticipation of the season starting, stars Aaron Ashmore, Luke Macfarlane and Hannah John-Kamen took a few minutes and chatted with a group of us writers. These guys have obviously become great friends – there was a lot of laughter, a lot of talking over each other, and much admiration for fellow shipmates. Here’s Part 1 of the conversation (Part II will be published tomorrow – keep an eye out!)

Is there anything that you can tease about what Level 6 is and what’s going to happen to D’Avin,if he’ll become part of that or if he’s just going to escape?

Luke: You know, I remember being very concerned about it. Oh what are we going to do with my character? Finally, I’m in Level 6, am I getting like, Khlyened? We learn a lot more about what a Level 6 is. And that it’s not as simple and it’s not as good and evil as we originally thought.
I’ll also tease by saying it’s what makes the Level 6 is that becomes a big story point, the actual physical sort of makeup of a Level 6, that becomes a big clear point.

 Luke Macfarlane as D'Avin

Luke Macfarlane as D’Avin

We know it’s quite an action-packed show. Can you tease some upcoming moments that fans can look forward to?

Hannah: What fans definitely need to expect is the world is a lot bigger. And we just discovered Arkyn and with that comes really, really awesome new and exciting characters.

Aaron: Obviously, new characters. But also really expanding on some of our supporting characters, which I think is awesome. You know, Pawter, and Alvis, and Pree are three that we really, really get to see more background. And we really interact with them in our missions. So I think that’s a pretty exciting aspect of the show moving forward, it’s really bringing forth some exploring these other characters that are really interesting.

Luke: So thematically, the first season was about finding your family in this very large world.

Can you talk to us about whether there’s a certain theme to what goes on in Season 2?

Aaron: Maybe holding your family together. The circumstances that are happening in the Quad are tearing it apart. And I think on some level, even though we explore the team being pulled apart in the first season and this world being torn apart, we really continue with that and what that’s going to look like and how is our team going to stick together through all these insane things that are about to happen to them.

Luke: I think we learned a lot last year, you know, what it means to love each other. Now, we know that we love each other, so it’s now what we can bear, how much weight we can take on, how much responsibility, how much we can understand each other and what everybody needs as individuals, and so stay together. Because we challenge each other a lot, the three of us this year.

The question for you as far as your experience in filming Season 2, how did it feel different for you than season one?

Luke: We had a really, really tough time in our studio this year. So I’m just going to start with that. We have incredible audio people. But, you know, one of the really challenging things this year was our studio space was really loud, literally. We could hear compressors, and saws and drills through the wall.

This year was, it was snowing and it was cold and it was a winter. The first season was in summer. So it changed, I think in a really good way, the outdoor experience of the show, because all of the sudden the world that we have is cold and rainy and wet and snowy, whereas the first season it was green. So that I think were two very distinct things that changed the filming experience this year versus last year.

Aaron: I think something that was sort of different for me, from the first season we were all getting to know each other. It was totally brand new, this world, these characters, and even like our relationships with each other.

And this season, we were sort of past that. We already know each other now, we were friends. And I think that in a lot of ways it was even more fun in the second season because all that getting-to-know stuff and all that were sort of out of the way.

And we are already friends, like from day one of the second season when we jumped in. So I find it to be a lot of fun. And yes, even more fun than we had during the first season.

Hannah: I think for me what was different to me this season was actually kind of story-wise, without giving too much away, I remember last year working a lot with Aaron and Luke and with Bellus, you know, with Nora. But then this season I know that we’re working with different people for a long period of time, because of the way the story goes. So yes, definitely that was different to me.

KILLJOYS -- Season:1 -- Pictured: Hannah John-Kamen as Dutch -- (Photo by: Steve Wilkie/Syfy)

Hannah John-Kamen as Dutch

Usually when a series reaches year two, some of the supporting characters have their day. But do we dwell more into the three of you and what’s going on with you, and maybe a little bit more of your past and who you were, that kind of thing?

Hannah: Definitely, this season is — we went a lot together last season. And this season we will be doing our own thing actually. We’ll be seeing so much more of her past come to life and that’s the real battle that Dutch herself has and a struggle with what’s good and what’s evil and — yes. definitely you will be seeing so much more of Dutch’s past.

Aaron: And I think there’s always going to be character development with the three of us. You know, like that will just be what it is. But again, we need to develop the world bigger and these other characters. So there’s definitely a lot of that as well.

And as Hannah was saying, I mean, Dutch is our main girl, right? Dutch is the focus and the focal point and what sort of brings all of these characters together. So yes, we definitely get a lot of really cool back story and layering with Dutch, I think people are really, really going to find it interesting.

Luke: And I think in the classic first season of the show, we meet the characters, we understand the way they function, how they operate, and the second we make the world bigger. And we’ve done that for sure in the second season.

Can you tease a little bit about how the relationship pans out with Khlyen this season?

Hannah: So with Khlyen and Dutch, it’s really obviously a very complicated, conflicted relationship, because he’s the guy that we just want to hate. It’s really easy to hate Khlyen. And obviously at the end of Season 1, he’s taken D’Avin away. And we know that he has.

There’s going to be more of an understanding of why he’s done what he’s done in the past. And I think for an audience member as well, it’s going to be a bit harder to just see Khlyen as the bad guy, I mean there’s more understanding of his character as well.

Aaron: And nothing seems cut and dry this season, does it? There’s lots of sort of complex things going on. And yes, and I think you’re right, like that’s exactly what that relationship is, it’s very complex. And Khlyen, we saw only one side of him in the first season and we see so much more in the second season. Again, it’s very, very interesting to see that stuff unfold.

TIBS:  I would just say specifically to Aaron, congratulations on your baby.

Aaron: Well thank you so much. I’m very — I’m a very, very proud papa.

KILLJOYS -- Season:1 -- Pictured: Aaron Ashmore as John -- (Photo by: Steve Wilkie/Syfy)

Aaron Ashmore as John

TIBS: I know, since I have two kids myself, that this is scary for anybody being a new parent. If Johnny was the parent of a child in the Killjoys world, what would be the biggest thing you would be afraid of for them?

Aaron: (laughing) Have you seen the Quad?

Luke: Wow.

Aaron: It’s a terrible, terrible place. We’re surrounded by assassins and you know, civil war…

Hannah: We saw a missile on the set.

Aaron: Yes, Lucy is not baby-friendly. Yes, we have laser guns all over the place so we would have to seriously baby-proof Lucy. But… I think there’d be a lot to be afraid of. But I also think that Johnny would, you know, build some really fun little toys and stuff like that for his baby with his little — you know, he put little things together and have the baby well pacified while they are out on missions.

Or he could build some cool little armor structure that he could mount the baby on his chest and go, you know, like some sort of a warrior father or something, I don’t know. It would be fun, I think. I think it would be fun to see Johnny do that.

TIBS:  I think Johnny would be a great dad and Lucy would be a great sort of baby-sitter. 

Aaron: She would, yes.

Luke: And I would be a terrible baby-sitter.

Aaron: Uncle D’Avin. You’re going to meet your Uncle D’Avin.

You guys have some of the best action scenes. I’m just curious about, like do you have to learn a lot of choreography? Does it depend on the episode? And do you have any funny anecdotes about this?

Aaron: I learned none.

Luke: Oh my gosh.

Aaron: And Hannah learned none.

Hannah: I learned a lot. Well, to be honest, it’s a bit crazy actually learning the fight. And luckily, it’s quite natural to me. But you know, there’s so many cool, awesome badass fights that happen this season. And there’s actually the first girl-on-girl fight this season as well, which is really, really cool.

But I do remember fighting outside and it was in the snow. And I didn’t know my fight yet. And I remember the camera is rolling, like, “Right, Hannah. You do like left, kick, turn around.” And the fight kind of happened. So it’s pretty…

Aaron: Miraculously, this is the amazing thing…

Hannah: It miraculously happened. So it was really fun, actually, it was a challenge. But you know, when you achieve it, it was cool.

Luke: I think Hannah is a little modest in a sense that I think something that the writers and the producers discovered this year was like, “Actually Hannah has a real gift for the fight choreography. She picks up really quickly.” And they asked a lot of her and she always delivers. And like honestly this year she has longer, more badass fights. It’s really been impressive.

Hannah: Luke is really good.

Luke: So I’m the grunter and the muzzle. And you know, there is this one episode where I have to do something quite balletic for reasons that would be revealed later.

And yes, I had this very complicated like stick thing that I have to clean and spin and twist and do it very elaborately. And there was about, you know, 50 takes of me just going look, “Oh God! I can’t.” “Oh my God!” like I was dropping it. And then when I actually saw the thing get together, I look like I know what I’m doing. But just rest assured, I really don’t know what I’m doing. And that’s our kind of thing.

Killjoys_photogallery_S2_sneakpeek_02

Because it’s a very physical show, what is harder for you to do, the physical aspect of the show or dealing with the green screen working against nothing?

Aaron: We actually do a ton of green screen to be honest with you. I’m trying to think when we’re on Lucy, obviously looking at the cockpit and stuff, there are some green screen shots. But it’s not — we don’t do over-the-top stuff. They do a really good job of building sets and going to locate some of the stuff so that we’re… 

Hannah: And being on location, yes.

Aaron: I mean, obviously, there’s green screen stuff that has to be done. But not as much as you may think being that we’re, you know, set in a galaxy far, far away.

Luke: What was also interesting too, because the effects artists are so gifted, I was actually just looking at something today, something levitating very close to me and my eyes are tracking it. And because they do their work so well, it looks like my eyes are actually tracking this whole thing that wasn’t there. So like a lot of it, the success of it has to do with the work that they do afterwards, honestly.

But the physical stuff, I actually always find really quite enjoyable myself. It’s a very different party here, the brain, the body. You don’t have to think as much as just react. You know, I always find the struggle is just to get this much out of my head as possible. So I really like the physical stuff a lot, personally.

Hannah: Yes, I love the physical stuff. The physical stuff is amazing. But yes, I agree with Aaron and Luke that the effects are amazing. But we haven’t like a massive ton of it. But when we do, when we’re in the space, it was actually, it was really fun. It kind of brings back like you’re a kid again, like just hanging, just using your imagination. So yes, I like it.

Aaron: And the directors do a great job of sort of explaining to you what it’s going to look like and what’s going to happen. And it’s not like they just leave you to hang out there and have no idea. They definitely fill you in and — yes, like Hannah was saying, you just use your imagination. We sort of do that all the time anyways in our jobs. So yes, it’s fun.

Luke: Yes. And we try to thank them pretty much as often as I can.

Can you describe Season 2 in one word?

Hannah: I’m going to say steroids.

Luke: I would say family.

Aaron: I’m going to say complexity. Steroids, family, complexity. The tagline for Killjoys Season 2. That will be a hot topic out there.

Hannah: Steroids, family, complexity.

Luke: Yes. Oh my God.

Aaron: Guys, we should work for the PR team. I think we’re doing good.

Luke: It would be nice…

KILLJOYS -- "Dutch and the Real Girl" Episode 201 -- Pictured: Hannah John-Kamen as Dutch -- (Photo by: Steve Wilkie/Syfy/Killjoys II Productions Limited)

KILLJOYS — “Dutch and the Real Girl” Episode 201 — Pictured: Hannah John-Kamen as Dutch — (Photo by: Steve Wilkie/Syfy/Killjoys II Productions Limited)

I was curious whether this season’s script plays of subverts with science fiction conventions? I noticed a little bit of that on the first one.

Aaron: Michelle (Lovretta), our show runner is such a fan of sci-fi. And I think you know, sci-fi from the past, I think it’s inevitable that she’s going to be bringing a lot of those references and a lot of that stuff into the show, but then also spinning it in a new way.

Luke: I would also say, in the humor aspect of the two, there’s this kind of self-awareness of it, you know, the way we speak, the kind of tough little sort of quips that come out of our mouth. You know, they definitely revert back to some TV from the ‘70s for sure.

Everyone is asking, so is there going to be any more D’Avin with Pawter this season?

Luke: No, D’Avin Jaqobis does not hook up with Pawter this season. John Jaqobis might.

Aaron: So there you go.

Luke: But you know, that’s something that will unveil itself. Yes, it will become clear and it’s an important part of D’Avin’s growth, that idea of sort of holding on to things. So it’s a very good story. But I hook up with lots of other people, so don’t worry.

You mentioned earlier that this season is going to be action-packed. Is there a particular episode that’s maybe more action-packed than others?

Aaron: Actually the first episode is really action-packed, there are some amazing action sequences in it. But I think most of the episodes have quite a bit of action. But definitely the first episode back is insane, I think, as far as action goes.

Hannah: We set the bar very high in the last episode and it seems like every single episode just gets really bigger and wilder with all the action.
I always notice that as well in our read-throughs just how the excitement, and yes, like a real action-packed, fun-filled episode, there’s mini-episodic things where there is so much going on. So I have to say, yes, pretty much every episode.

Aaron: Yes. There were no easy episodes. It was all fast-paced action-packed stuff throughout.

Luke: Aaron and Hannah and I would always joke like, “This is the episode where I really gave Lucy a good cleaning.” We get to stay on that tip and rub her down. It’s very organized with big closets, you know.

Hannah: Watch some TV, make some food.

Luke: Make some food, like watch a movie maybe. I also think the action comes in all kinds of different forms — you know, this year we have a lot of this the kind of combat. We have some drone sequences. We have some spaceship on spaceship sequences. 

Aaron: Oh, my favorite.

Luke: So action in all different shapes and sizes. Yes, exactly.

KILLJOYS -- "Dutch and the Real Girl" Episode 201 -- Pictured: Aaron Ashmore as John -- (Photo by: Steve Wilkie/Syfy/Killjoys II Productions Limited)

KILLJOYS — “Dutch and the Real Girl” Episode 201 — Pictured: Aaron Ashmore as John — (Photo by: Steve Wilkie/Syfy/Killjoys II Productions Limited)

I noticed that in Season 1 there were a lot of episodes that seemed to be self-contained. And then by the end, it all kind of tied together very well. Is that same kind of flavor in Season 2?

Aaron: Well there’s definitely warrant-based episodes in Season 2 but I think that now that we are locked into a bigger story, and there’s a bigger mystery about what’s going on, obviously, that’s what’s driving the second season. So I think it’s much like the first where — the first couple episodes, we definitely have some more warrant-based things happening. But it really does ramp up again like the first season, I would say. 

Hannah: Things this season will be revealed. You’ll forget about them until you actually find out the bigger meaning behind it in like a later episode. So yes, it does tie together. But in between that, there will be a warrant-based episode. And what we find on the warrant actually will play much bigger later on. And it all does tie in to a little bit more like that this season, I find.

Aaron: Yes, definitely. I think one of the great things as the watcher of the show, as the viewer of the show is that, because the story is so dense, there really isn’t anything that’s not significant. Pretty much anything that is on it, the characters, sort of a prop, align like it does get to let it back in, and that’s just the density of the show, you know.

Aaron: No filler.

Luke: Yes, no fat. So it didn’t bloat.

Aaron: Oh, I miss you guys.

Killjoys Returns Friday, July 1, 9 pm Eastern/8 Central
And stay tuned for Dark Matter, Season 2, immediately after!

Killjoys Website

Watch for Part II of this conversation!

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