Killjoys: Bringing The Lady to Life

Ian Watson/Killjoys V Productions Limited/SYFY
Ian Watson/Killjoys V Productions Limited/SYFY

Over the course of four seasons, Dutch (Hannah John-Kamen) and Co. have been fighting some of the worst people and forces that the J had to throw at them. However, no one has quite measured up to the pure evil that is The Lady. What began as some mysterious being they were battling quickly turned into a villain that was able to “wear” the faces of some of Killjoys’ most well known characters. In Season 4, The Lady took on many forms, notably Khlyen’s (Rob Stewart), as she went after Dutch and Aneela. However, now that she’s escaped out of the green space, The Lady is her own presence, taking over Westerley and its inhabitants, but also now in her new human form, played by actress Alanna Bale (Cardinal).

“We had trepidation of revealing the Big Bad and how she’d be, how she would appear and what makes her different from all the other villains we’ve had,” Killjoys showrunner Adam Barken told us on a set visit early in the shooting of Season 5. He went on to explain that while there may have been some concerns, “one of the great things we have with this new character The Lady is an alien who has been studying humans, knows how to dominate them, but now that she’s out and is forced to be in the body of one, isn’t really sure how to be one.”

Bell Media / SYFY
Bell Media / SYFY

Barken cited the casting of Bale as crucial to bringing this villain to life, saying she was “a really fantastic actress”. He said that the writers also drew on some well known inspirations in figuring out what The Lady, as a human, would be like. “Amongst some of the inspirations for us that you can maybe imagine would be Kirsten Dunst in Interview with the Vampire, and that concept of a young teenage girl and how she might respond to being the most powerful being in the universe,” he explained.

Once the physical form was taken care of, thanks to Bale, then Barken said that Season 5 became “about creating a whole new voice.” He said this was a fun challenge for him and the rest of the writers because then they were figuring out how to tell a “story of a being that doesn’t know at first how to speak with a human mouth, and then over time how to deal with emotions.” Those emotions are bound to heightened he pointed out, “especially if you’re trapped in the body of a teenage girl.”

As Barken and his team figured out what the character of The Lady would be like, Bale was busy trying to jump into a Killjoys system that was already well established. “It’s pretty daunting to start on any show, let alone a show that’s been running for four seasons.” While she admits that she “was nervous the first day,” Bale quickly added that “everyone was super welcoming.”

Bell Media / SYFY
Bell Media / SYFY

Co-star Stewart actually recalled that on Bale’s first day on set “for some reason all the writers came down.” Bale admitted to not knowing that fun fact, but Stewart quickly assured her that “they were blown away right away.” After hearing Stewart tell this story, Bale recalled a reason for her being able to remain calm and focused that first week of filming. “You know what helped? I was super, super sick that first week of filming. I was just trying to contain myself and all my energy was expelled trying not to snot and cough in people’s mouths. [laughs] There was no forethought to be nervous because I was just a little delusional.”

After settling in after those first few days on set, Bale says she really got to sink her teeth into playing The Lady and the way this villain, who many view as an evil puppet master, views herself. “When you distill it and take away all the creepy, alien sci-fi layers, in my mind at least, she is this being whose main goal is to survive and provide a place for her offspring and things that she loves to survive,” said Bale. She went on to explain that The Lady’s “goal is pure and I can understand why people perceive her as evil of course, but in order for me to wrap my head around how she goes about getting what she wants, it has to come from a place of genuine love for these beings. I acknowledge that she’s evil, but her intentions, while I’m playing her, are pure.”

 

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Killjoys airs Fridays at 10 p.m. ET on SYFY and Space.