Aaron Ashmore has been doing the sci-fi circuit for a while now, what with his work on shows like Warehouse 13,Lost Girl,and Fringe. This week the Canadian actor continues that streak with the premiere of Space and Syfy’s latest co-production, Killjoys, the brainchild of Lost Girl creator Michelle Lovretta.
In Killjoys, Ashmore plays inter-spacial bounty hunter John, who along with his partner and boss Dutch (Hannah John-Kamen) track down warrants for their company, the RAC, while ignoring all of the politicking going on around them. That is until a warrant pops up for John’s brother D’Avin (Luke Macfarlane). Then, all bets are off.
The TV Junkies caught up with Ashmore to talk all things space, Star Trek, getting ready for some of the intense fight scenes and whether he’ll ever work with his twin brother, Shawn Ashmore, again.
The TV Junkies: There are tons of fight scenes in the first episode, how much training went into that?
Aaron Ashmore: We started working out with a trainer for our general look maybe a month before we started shooting. And then about two weeks before we went to camera we started doing the fight training and it was pretty intensive. We worked with a great fight choreographer. It’s one thing to choreograph a fight scene but it’s another thing to look like you know how to fight. And that was sort of the thing he really wanted us to do, look like we were fighters. To have two weeks to make that happen was difficult. But we spent a lot of time doing it and it was actually a lot of fun–it was Hannah, Luke and myself all working together so it was also a great way for us to sort of team build and get on board together because none of us had met each other before.
TTVJ: In the first scene (watch it below) we meet John, he’s tied up fighting. That must have required some intense core strength, no?
AA: A little bit, yeah. That scene actually was the first scene that I read in the script and auditioned with. From the moment that I read it I was really excited and intrigued about the show. Just the setup and the characters and that. It was really fun to do that. It’s one of those things you don’t think about when you’re reading it, but the fact that you’re going to be chained up and hanging from something from some degree sounds really cool … until you do it. Then you’re like, ‘Wow. This is a lot more difficult that it looked on the page,’ I got more beat up than I did beating up in that scene but that’s the way it goes sometimes too.
TTVJ: Do you see John as the peacemaker in this wayward trio?
AA: At the end of the day he’s the glue that holds the team together. Both Dutch and D’Avin are much more A-type or alpha-type characters and they butt heads. The team is sort of at risk of being torn apart, so that’s John’s role because he’s been partners with Dutch and he’s D’Avin’s brother. He’s the common link between these three people so he’s trying to hold it together. He isn’t necessarily a peacemaker, although he’s definitely not as aggressive or confrontational as the other two. These are the only two people that he has in the universe.
TTVJ: How would he see a potential romance between D’Avin and Dutch?
AA: He wouldn’t have a huge problem with it, except what if somebody starts a romantic relationship and then it doesn’t work out–what does that mean for the team and for keeping this thing together? I wouldn’t say that John’s insecure, but I think maybe there are some insecurities about his place on the team, because his brother is a more capable solider. He’s stronger trained and those types of elements. So a little bit of insecurity comes out, thinking maybe he’ll be replaced. But as far as the romance and stuff like that, we’ll see how much that bugs him as things progress.
TTVJ: He’s a Level 3 hunter while Dutch is a Level 5. Does he have career aspirations at the RAC?
AA: You can definitely progress, it’s like a training thing. You basically have to get licensed through the RAC, the company we work for. But I don’t think he has any huge aspirations to be a Level 5.
TTVJ: You’re a self-proclaimed Trekkie, are there similarities between Killjoys and any of those franchises?
AA: Deep Space Nine to me, because Killjoys is really about the political aspects that are happening in this world. To me it had a lot of similarities because on our show it’s not quite as explorative where we just keep going out into space like The Next Generation. In the first season anyhow we’re sort of centred around the quad and this one planet and its three moons. So it’s very political in terms of what is going on underneath the storylines.
TTVJ: Now that you’re in the (production company) Temple Street family any chance of you appearing in the fourth season of Orphan Black too?
AA: I would love to. I actually auditioned for Orphan Black a while ago, at the beginning of the second season to be a hit man type character. I really wanted the part. I obviously didn’t get it, but it was really cool. I don’t know how much they do cross casting and things like that. But if they do I would love to do an episode like that or more. Who knows, maybe a recurring or something!
TTVJ: We have to ask–is there any chance of seeing you onscreen again with your twin (Shawn Ashmore)?
AA: We always kind of bat it back and forth. There’s been a couple of times where shows that I’ve been on have been like, ‘Hey lets do a twin episode with your brother’ but it’s never really worked out with timing and stuff. We also try and stay away from the really cheesy, switcheroo twin stuff and that seems to be what people want to do. There hasn’t been a really interesting cool, grounded story about twins that’s not like The Parent Trap or something. Not that there’s anything wrong with The Parent Trap, but as 35-year-old guys it’s not really the thing you’re dying to do. But we’re always looking for something so I hope at some point in the next few years we’ll be able to find something we can work on together.
TTVJ: Have you ever thought of writing something yourselves?
AA: Neither of us are much of writers, but the thing is we do know lots of writers. And we do have lots of ideas so it would be interesting to sit down with somebody and try to come up with something. But there are all sorts of really really interesting ideas, especially if you’re talking sci-fi stuff or cloning. There are a lot of really interesting paths you could go down with twins. We’ll see what happens. Maybe this conversation will be the antithesis to do that.
Killjoys premieres Friday, June 19 at 9 p.m. ET on Space and Syfy. Thoughts? Sound off in the comments below.
Amber Dowling is a bonafide TV Junkie, critic and freelance writer who watches countless shows and lives for dramatic (fictional!) twists. She currently serves as the vice-president of the Television Critics Association and has appeared on numerous TV and radio shows across North America. An advocate for Canadian Television and a lover of the medium in general, Amber founded TheTVJunkies.com as a spot for fellow enthusiasts to connect and collaborate. She previously spent almost eight years as the EIC for TV Guide Canada.