Killjoys Talk About Singing and Level 6: Part 2

In part 2 of our conference call with Aaron Ashmore, Hannah John-Kamen and Luke MacFarlane, they discuss whether being a Level 6 automatically makes you, well, a …. jerk. And are you ready to hear them sing? I’m excited for that.

What would you guys attribute to the ability to pull fans in and then keep them coming back week after week?

Aaron: I definitely think it’s the characters that draw everybody in. Because I think the sci-fi stuff is amazing. And if you’re tuning into sci-fi, that’s good looking. You want that futuristic or sort of not quite reality. But I think if the characters in the story line and the dynamics between them aren’t interesting, you’re not going to get a loyal fan. People aren’t really going to be drawing in. I think that that was what the writers and what Michelle did really well, is creating a dynamic between these three characters and all our supporting characters that’s really interesting to watch. It’s not just the action that keeps people coming in. I really think it’s the characters.

Hannah: Yes.

Aaron Ashmore as John

Aaron Ashmore as John

Aaron: As an actor, it’s like, I love these characters. I love all of them. I don’t just love the character that I play, I love all of them. I think that they’re all so interesting and well-rounded, and all sorts of different colors of them. And I think that that’s what people respond to, that’s what people watching the show respond to as well.

Hannah: And I think as well, it’s the characters. They kind of go against the grain. Like especially with Dutch and Johnny’s friendship, platonic friendship, is you don’t really see that in shows. When there’s kind of two guys, one girl, it’s kind of inevitably always like a love triangle, or as well also happened between Dutch and D’Avin, and then kind of trying to find a way back to being friends again. It’s this complex thing between the characters, I think, as well. I’ve seen a massive response from that as well.

Luke: I think the thing that keeps bringing people back is that they want to know these people, you know, be part of their little community.

You shot the whole season. Is there a particular episode that you’re really excited to see on TV?

Hannah: For me it’s Episode 7. That was written by Michelle. So I’m actually just really excited to see D’Avin because it’s so — the lines, some of the lines that are in there are so funny.

Luke: Five. I’m looking forward to five because it was very much a John episode and it’s just always nice to see your fellow actors work. I think I only worked like maybe a day-and-a-half in that episode because it was John’s episode and you know, it’s a great location. I heard all these great scenes. So I wanted to see how it all turned out because it’s John’s big episode.

Aaron: This year we definitely work apart from each other quite a bit. So I’m really excited for the finale this season too. I think there’s some really cool dramatic big stuff that happens obviously in the finale. But I’m excited to see all the episodes because we definitely get to work apart more this year. And it’s really fun to watch the scenes that you weren’t a part of because you got to see your friends, your fellow actors, you could see the story unfold. And of course you read the script, but it’s really a completely different thing to watch the scene put together and see how everybody is playing things, all the dynamics are happening.

I’m actually excited for the whole season just to see it. You know, we put a lot of work into it. And we all, I think, really love the show. We don’t get to see very much of it either. Like we see maybe some rough cuts here and there, and we see stuff from what we’re doing AVR, but we’re in the dark as the final product, the music, the editing, the special effects until it airs as well.

I have a couple for Aaron right now, first of all. First of all, how’s Lucy?

Aaron: My girl is doing great. She’s the fourth member of the Killjoys, you know. She’s in every mission we’re doing, she’s in every episode. Yes, she’ll definitely be there.

In the finale last season, Johnny did the blessing, he sort of faked the blessing of that woman. And he didn’t tell the guy that he wasn’t a true believer but the guy sort of insinuated that maybe he was. Is that going to come up sometime this season?

Aaron: I’ve actually have lots of people asked me questions about that. And a lot of interest in that element of the monks and the religious stuff. And I will say that plays quite a big part with Alvis in the second season. But no, John does not become a monk, although that would have been interesting. But he doesn’t really go down that road. But just the whole religious aspect of the show plays a very, very big part in the second season.

Well, I was wondering if that was something, because he seems to be maybe more compassionate and sensitive than his other shipmates a little bit.

Aaron: I don’t think that anyone is cold-hearted. I don’t think the Quad is a place that creates sensitivity or compassion. You know, it’s a tough, tough world. And as we’ve seen Dutch’s past and D’Avin’s past, these guys have been through some really difficult stuff. And John has too but for whatever reason he’s just maybe a little bit more sensitive in whatever ways. So sure, yes. That’s just sort of one quality that makes him him.

And then for the group, I know you can’t say if D’Avin has been made a Level 6. But can you answer if being Level 6 makes you an asshole, sort of a killer?

Aaron: Wouldn’t it be awesome to let go? That would be cool.

Luke: I think I can say this though, and you guys correct me if I’m wrong. But you know Level 6 does not mean you’re an asshole.

KILLJOYS -- "Dutch and the Real Girl" Episode 201 -- Pictured: (l-r) Luke Macfarlane as D'Avin, Sean Baek as Fancy Lee -- (Photo by: Steve Wilkie/Syfy/Killjoys II Productions Limited)

KILLJOYS — “Dutch and the Real Girl” Episode 201 — Pictured: (l-r) Luke Macfarlane as D’Avin, Sean Baek as Fancy Lee — (Photo by: Steve Wilkie/Syfy/Killjoys II Productions Limited)

Aaron: Way more complicated than an asshole. But it sort of seems that way. Doesn’t it thought, a little bit? They’re just complicated.

I know you hit on this just a bit. But can you tease anything about how the dynamics between your characters are changing this season?

Hannah: Definitely, the dynamics between us are aligned between Dutch and Johnny. I think for Dutch, she’s got to kind let Johnny go and do his thing. But also she’s so super protective of him. There are reasons why Johnny will go and do certain things and not tell her. And then there’s going to be a little risk, like definitely complicated between Dutch and Johnny, the two of them.

Aaron: And I saw some really interesting things happening between Dutch and D’Av too — like I would say almost a friendship forming. I mean, I still think that these characters will always have sexual tension and there’s something kind of hot about them, but there’s also a real bond and a real friendship that’s formed. And obviously, they just met in the first season, so that wasn’t there. So to me it’s sort of interesting to see those dynamics play out like these two characters actually get to know each other, you know. They actually spend time together. It’s cool. Like from what I saw, it’s really kind of interesting to see it play out.

Luke: Yes. I think, for D’Avin, his relationship to both of them is defined by this acceptance that you can’t control people. Because I think his whole life leading up to this, he can control people, whether that’s violence or over sex. And here he’s with two people that he can’t control and it’s opened, kind of softens him in a very deep way that can make relationships deeper.

Aaron: That’s deep, I like that. That’s — wow, that’s really interesting.

Luke: Really? I’ve got a lot of time to think about it.

This is a question for each of you. As actors, what would you say has been the toughest challenge you face this season?

KILLJOYS -- Season:2 -- Pictured: Hannah John-Kamen as Dutch -- (Photo by: Steve Wilkie/Syfy/Killjoys II Productions Limited)

Hannah John-Kamen as Dutch

Hannah: I think, for me, taking on a role that requires a lot of emotional strengths, a lot of physical strengths. And suddenly for this season the stakes are higher and especially with other characters you should get close to and other characters you should love and get close to.
I think this season with stakes being raised so high, we find the emotional strengths that the character has and is trying to hide it as well. So it’s conflict within Dutch. That was very tough for me this season.

Aaron: I think, Hannah, you’re right about this – what I think is really difficult about this, and I think you touched on it, are the stakes. There’s no time where we’re just kind of sitting around and it’s just chill and it’s really conversational. As much as it keeps the tone of it, fun and moving in that, it’s very fast-paced like there’s always so much going on in these scenes, there’s always tons of information, there’s tons of emotional stuff in every scene, in every episode. They never like just sit back and just be conversational about it. It’s always fast-paced. I’ve done horror movies before which are really difficult because you’re being chased through the woods, you’re being chased whatever. And those stakes are high. You have to keep at that place where you’re on edge, adrenaline pumping. And I feel like this show’s sort of like that. There’s not a lot of downtime for the characters to just be relaxed, they are always on a mission. They’re always on guard. They’re always killing with emotional stuff. They’re always dealing with problems and warrants.

So very, very busy. There’s no easy scenes. There’s always something going on. And if it’s not action, if it’s not emotional, well then there’s — and you’re throwing humor in that too, right? So they ask a lot of you. They ask a lot, like would you be able to play all these things, and juggle all these things, which is amazing. It’s an amazing challenge. But it’s definitely a lot tougher than a lot of other acting jobs that I’ve done.

Luke: Yes. I think I can reiterate everything that both of them said. It’s both the strongest aspect of the show and also the biggest challenge. You’re in a scene and you just punched somebody or shot somebody and then you make a joke. And it’s kind of funny. Sometimes it’s hard to know exactly how to play that. And we’re very lucky with great directors who help guide us and who have bigger visions. But yes, you wonder like, “Oh, how serious is this now?” Or, “How much joke it is now?” And realizing the sort of nice edge of those things, you know, humor and pain and drama, are very close to each other.

What can you tell us about Red 17?

Luke: Oh, we never know how much we can say. It’s always so hard. We learned a lot more about it. We learned that it’s an institution that’s been around for a very, very long time. And they have some evil plans.

Hannah: And Red 17 is connected to something that we — is very much in our lives and we find out. I don’t know what else to say. It’s really hard.

Aaron: Yes. We delve into Red 17 right off the bat. I don’t really get into the Red 17 stuff. So if you can wait until July 1st your answers will be forthcoming because yes, we definitely jump into all of that stuff right off the bat.

Luke: Probably true, yes.

This question is probably more for John, but Hannah and Luke can jump in as well. If Lucy maybe manifested in like a human form or even like a robot, how would you guys interact with her?

Aaron: Well, I think it would be very interesting. I mean, you know, we know Lucy.Like she may not have a physical manifestation but her personality would be the same. So how would we interact with her? Probably quite similarly. I think maybe the question would be more, how would Lucy interact with us? Maybe just stay tuned. Stay tuned. 

Oh, really? OK. I didn’t think it was going to happen. But OK.

Aaron: I didn’t say, I just said stay tuned. We may see other aspects of Lucy that we haven’t seen before.


You talked in the past a little bit about having a cast that was big into singing. So I’d love to know whether we’ll hear any characters singing this season.

Aaron: Yes, we will. Multiple characters sing.

Luke: Oh yes. That’s right. Multiple — yes.

Aaron: There’s lots of singing this season. Yes.

Hannah: On and off camera.

Luke: I was singing just a little bit all this morning.

Hannah: I’ve been singing the country song all the time.

Luke: It’s a really good song. Oh boy.

Hannah: Amazing.

Aaron: You guys got to record it next year.

Hannah: I know. I know.

One of the strengths for the show is the culture between the different planets in the Quad. And I’m wondering if we’re going to get deeper into any of these specific cultures that you can mention, or maybe even cultures beyond the Quad that we might get to see.

Aaron: Maybe. I think that we definitely delve into the politics. I mean that’s still a huge part of Season 2, all the relationships between the planets and sort of the political system that set up. That’s a huge part of it. And the world does open up slightly, I would say, to explore at least the possibility of stuff beyond the Quad, beyond what we’ve seen in the first season. So yes, the world is certainly opening up in the second season.

Hannah: Definitely as well you will see historically the cultures were politically very different in the past, and the state of it where it is now and how different it is.

You mentioned earlier about Pree and that we would see a lot more of him and his — I guess his bar is gone. So can you give us any more details about that?

Luke: It might not be gone.

Aaron: I would say one of the biggest surprises of Season 2 were like, the really fun and interesting character stuff was working with Thom (Allison), working with Pree. He gets some really, really cool fun stuff. And Michelle and the writers just really opened up that character and really expanded it in a really, really fun way. There’s more to Pree that meets the eye.


This one is for Hannah. I read something recently where Michelle talked about how you in real life are very light and fun and funny. And she felt like she didn’t serve you very well last season in that way but she’s trying to make Dutch have more fun and give you more opportunities to show your fun side this season.

Hannah: Absolutely. Dutch is very witty. With her character, with meeting D’Avin in Season 1 and obviously she knew he was his long lost brother, and she’s not very trusting. But the people who she trusts — I’m on the last season yet. There were a lot of times when maybe Dutch, you know, wasn’t — like, you know, the fun joker.

But Dutch has her fun in her own way. And definitely Michelle’s Episode 7, yes, there’s so much fun and that there’s so many — one line in that that made me laugh. So that was a really fun episode. And yes, you will definitely see more of that this season.

 Luke Macfarlane as D'Avin

Luke Macfarlane as D’Avin

What is your favorite part about playing each of your characters? What is about your character that you like the most and your favorite part about playing them?

Hannah: The one thing I respect and love about Dutch is her loyalty. Her loyalty to people that she loves, her friends, she will move mountains.
One thing I love about playing Dutch is the range of emotions as an actor I get to play with one character. And also physically, it’s amazing, it’s a dream, to play a strong character as Dutch.

Luke: I’m really grateful to get to play something as physical as D’Avin. You know, it’s not an opportunity that’s been given to me in the past.
I really like – for lack of a better word, and this is a bad word, but the sort of masculinity of him or his ideas or what he thinks that he really is, you know, I like that. And the thing I really like about playing D’Avin is he often reacts to what got first in his head. And that’s something as a person that I don’t normally do. I overthink things a lot. And it’s quite a joy and a relief to be somebody who doesn’t do that.

Aaron: You guys have a deep answer, I like those. It made me think. I think the one thing that I really like about John and playing John is, there is hope in this guy, like he’s always looking for the positive in people. That’s what he’s striving for. That’s what he wants for other people too, you know.

He is always trying to help people. He’s always trying to make things better for people, maybe not always for himself but for the people that he loves, the people that he cares about. And that’s fun to play a character that cares so deeply about other people. And I think that that sort of ties into something that Hannah was saying about the loyalty too, like it is fun to play a character that is loyal to a fault. I think that there’s something admirable in that. And that’s — so it’s really fun to play a character that that’s a huge part of how he is and why he does things.


A sneak peek to the first episode, Dutch and the Real Girl:

Killjoys Season 2 starts Friday, July 1 at 9 pm Eastern/8 pm Central
Followed by Season 2 of Dark Matter

Read Part 1 of this interview

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