In part three of our Killjoys set visit interviews, Aaron Ashmore and Sarah Power discuss the unique bond that their characters share, how much of their backstory each actor knows, and whether or not John and Pawter reached their breaking point in Season 1. Will these two “fixers” hook up in Season 2? You’ll just have to tune in July 1st to find out, guys. Please make sure to check back with us in a few days for more interviews with the cast of Killjoys!
We’re told you sing a lot on set?
Sarah Power: I would say Aaron and I sing the least.
Aaron Ashmore: Luke and Hannah are both fantastic singers so they create these songs and I sometimes sing along. But I try to stay out of it a little bit.
Sarah: They have written full songs for each planet, town and characters but we laugh while they do it.
Aaron: They probably won’t sing if you ask.
I was talking to Hannah about knowing Dutch’s back story and she knows a substantial amount, do you guys know a lot more of your own stories than the audience do at this point?
Sarah: I know a lot more than the audience but there are things I didn’t know when we started shooting and have found out this season.
Will we learn any more about your characters estrangement from her family?
Sarah: Maybe. Yes I would say we learn a little more about that, where Potter came from and all that stuff.
What about with Johnny?
Aaron: I really think that a lot of what you see at the beginning, the dynamic is what it was for six years. We got along really well and it was building to this point. The thing for Dutch is we see a lot of that on the show and see her as a child. As far as Johnny’s back story, Luke and I have spoken about it as brothers and what that was about. The interesting thing is we are finding that out as we go, we have it in our mind, we are referencing stuff as it happens and they are actually revealing stuff. So that is interesting. I don’t want to figure out too much and have it change.
So some of the reveals we get, you get at the same time?
Aaron: Absolutely. It’s exciting as an actor to piece those things together as we go.
Sarah: For example I knew I came from ‘crashed’ last season but I had no idea until Episode 10 that I was a part of the 9. That I was a pretty, pretty princess. I found that out when I read Episode 10.
Both of your characters are the helpers, the fixers, the problem solvers, can you talk about that evolution for your characters, are things changing in Westerly and beyond heading into Season 2?
Aaron: I think our characters have a lot in common, those elements and similarities draw us to each other, and obviously we are doing an interview together so there is something brewing here for both of us. You all seem pretty clever. I think there is something interesting in that as a doctor, then John the more compassionate character in the trio, draws us to each other and as that’s what this world needs, things are pretty bad as you can tell. Those helper elements and compassion elements are put to the test as people need help. It’s interesting to see how things play out and there may be some drama based around those things.
Your character has had quite the journey, you saved him then he helped her when she was detoxing during surgery, can you talk about the bond that happened quickly with your character with these life changing events that take place over a short period of time?
Sarah: Yeah, in Season 1 it was eluded that we had a great friendship, I think in 108 when the drug detox episode and when John almost dies, it really bonded us. I think he’s one of the first people Potter came clean to about all of the skeletons in her closet. To have him be really understanding and non-judgemental about it was a first for her and where it really started.
Aaron: The interesting thing to me is they are not two characters you would imagine to be paired together, that they would have similarities and it’s interesting that they find each other. That’s what is interesting about each other and the dynamics that work together. They are caring and compassionate and this world is not built for that personality. For John being in the rack and a Killjoy, it’s supposed to be an impartial job and now he is being pulled in a direction he’s not comfortable with, being impartial. That’s where this relationship and storyline can grow from.
John and Dutch are more buddies as apposed to an attraction, in terms of you as an actor would you like to see that change, maybe in the future?
Aaron: Think that would be an interesting direction especially from where we started. To get to that many things would have to change and grow to that. It wouldn’t be an overnight thing. I don’t think there’s a romantic element between them but if the show goes on for seasons, who knows if that could happen. That would be interesting but right now I don’t see that happening. But you never know. But Hannah’s a wonderful actor and beautiful woman.
But you already have a relationship with Lucy right?
Aaron: I never really saw that. I think people responded to that dynamic and those two and a lot of people saw it in a romantic way. I didn’t see it coming. I thought it was funny and they were buddies as well, but that idea that a man could love his ship and vice versa is fun to explore. But I wasn’t reading it thinking people will see it like that.
Lucy’s voice was added long after you filmed it, now that relationship is stronger and you can see what it’s like in post, has that changed how you filmed this time around?
Aaron: That’s an excellent point, maybe that’s why I didn’t see that the first time. Our two assistant directors were both men reading lines, maybe that’s why I didn’t see that. But it gives you more perspective to the character as she is really a member of the Killjoys. It does change things and gives you more understanding of her personality. The humor too, the writing is really funny but until you have a real voice it becomes funnier.
Is she doing that in studio now?
Aaron: No it’s still in post, still the two AD’s. Very read, but it works, we made it work.
In the pilot John went rogue and broke some rules to save his brother, now that he is missing again, how focused is he on saving them again and what is he willing to do to accomplish that?
Aaron: At the end of the last episode Dutch is saying she will do anything to find him and we are both incredibly geared in finding D’avin. I think Dutch even more so than John. She feels she put him in that danger, so our first priority is getting Dav back and finding out what happened to him. That’s our priority. Figuring out what happened to Westerly and Old Town, that’s our home. It didn’t fare so well but it’s still here. We are all about getting Dav and our friends back.
One of the things John talked about after the aftermath of Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, all the things you were left with after he just bolted, will we ever see flashbacks to that estrangement of John and Dav?
Aaron: I would love to but we do a 10 episode season and there’s not a ton of space for extras. It’s a blessing and a curse. I have done 22 episode shows where it’s just filler and we don’t have space for that. It’s nice as it’s all important, plot and character. It’s possible that we may see that stuff but through some dialogue we can work that out and see what we need to understand the characters and where they are coming from. I think they did an amazing job with all they did with Dutch, with the flashbacks, it added to the story. If they wanted to do that with me that would be great but 10 episodes flies really quickly.
Have you drawn from your relationship with your own brother for the character at all?
Aaron: Yes. That’s my only experience of having siblings, we have a great relationship but also at times really butt heads. It’s using that element. I’m actually the older brother in real life, even though were twins, I have taken that position. It’s the dynamic and way it goes. That’s sort of a reverse as I’m definitely the younger position here whereas in real life I’m the older brother position. A bit of a switch but it makes you analyze your relationship with your siblings and any emotional stuff and heart in the scenes, you can draw from emotion with your siblings. It helps for sure.
Have you ever read for the same parts?
Aaron: All the time. We stated acting at nine-years-old, at the same time. We grew up going for the same projects so we competed all the time. Not so much anymore as we’re fortunate enough to have careers and he’s down in the States more, and I’m up here a lot of the time. We don’t compete as much now. It’s more that we’re each other’s biggest fans. I’m happy when he does well and he’s so happy when I do. We have done stuff together but it’s always switcheroo, twin stuff like in the Parent Trap and that’s been done so we’re looking for new things. We did an episode of Fringe together which was awesome. It’s hard to find stuff that’s not cliché when you’re talking about twins.
We got to see almost everyone’s breaking point in Season 1, Potter hits hers, D’avin was a series of breaking points, everything that happened to John, we never really saw him break. Is that something you’re interested in exploring? What’s it like playing that character that has that stability when everyone around you is almost falling apart?
Aaron: I think in this story, the only reason D’avin and Dutch have any sort of relationship is because of John, they could have gone their separate ways very easily. So John hasn’t had the chance to break as he is the one that holds it together. I think he had a breaking point in 108 when he had a story line with Potter. He challenged his brother which he hadn’t done. At the end he was like “screw you, you have done all this stuff and don’t even know what you did or what I had to go through.” It wasn’t a meltdown but I think he stood up for himself. I would like to see him go crazy, it would be really interesting. I don’t know what it would take to get him there as he is pretty level headed and grounded. But in the season coming there are challenges and he will be tested on things he hasn’t done before. He may not freak out but it may be out of character for him.
What was it like for you Sarah, adding that to your character when you hit your breaking point?
Sarah: I knew it was coming, there were clues all along. I love that episode, it was one of my favorite things I have ever shot. I don’t know if I would consider that a breaking point, it’s when she turns that around and we see all the good that came from that in Season 2. I think she grew up a lot after that, I don’t see it as a breaking point, more of a turning point for her.
What are some of the highlights this season?
Sarah: I don’t want to give it away. There has been a lot. When we come back a lot has happened and we’re only on Episode 6. It’s been a good season so far but that’s all I can tell you.
Are you guys improvising more this season now you know the characters better?
Aaron: No, I think because the writers spend a lot of time and this is a really funny, fast moving show. There’s a lot of plot and specific things that happen so we don’t improvise a lot as they think it out and we have to respect that. There always a writer on set, so if something doesn’t work or changes need to happen, there’s always someone there to help us tweak it and make it work. The characters are really well fleshed out and written so sometimes improvising, you may think is a good idea, but the writers have spent months hashing this out so I don’t think we need to that much.
Exploring the religious angles, for your character, he comes to a realization that he may have religious views he didn’t know before?
Aaron: He didn’t know too much about the Scar Backs, that was a huge turnoff he didn’t get it, but when he did look into it, he found some beauty there. The Scar Backs, the mythology, it plays into next season. I don’t think John will become a monk, although these monks have sex and do whatever they want anyway – so maybe. But there’s some beauty and interest there that he really saw and it goes to his characters. He’s compassionate and caring and that religion, there is a lot of self-sacrifice and that’s what he connected to, the similarities there.
Sarah, your character went from wealthy to poor, the show is focusing on some of the wealth and equality there, are we going to see more of that or a unique vantage point from her?
Sarah: Yes I think Potter has one of the most unique vantage points as she has lived in both worlds and not many people have. We will see more of that in Season 2. I think it’s a big reason why she’s is so loyal and loves Old Town and decides to stay even though it’s about to be bombed. She was banished and her family kicked her out and this is her new chosen family and chosen home. We will see more of that.
Can you talk about John’s mischievousness, he wants to play pranks on people, even though it’s very subtle.
Aaron: He can’t help himself, he’s a joker and sarcastic, that’s who he is. Maybe being the younger brother and getting beaten up and teased, he learned that, how to tease back. I think he also doesn’t like to be told what to do by most people except Dutch, she’s the one person who whatever she says goes. I just think he likes to have fun.
Killjoys Returns to Syfy on July 1st at 9/8c.