Killjoys’ Michelle Lovretta writes what she loves

Steve Wilkie/Syfy
Steve Wilkie/Syfy

Don’t get her wrong, Killjoys creator and showrunner Michelle Lovretta loves her job, even if it’s not easy. “At the end of the day look, this job is really freaking tiring. It’s an intensely involved occupation,” she told The TV Junkies and other reporters on a recent visit to the set of the Syfy and Space Channel space series. However, all the hard work, meetings and other decisions are ultimately worth it in the end. “What you want is a good product,” Lovretta explained. “You want to be able to be there at your 4 a.m. post and say ‘I fucking love this episode. This is episode whatever and it’s full of joy and it’s full of sexy and it’s full of fun.’ The only reason I’m in television is because that’s what I want to do,” she told us.

Lovretta said that ultimately she wants to make shows and stories about real people that are of interest to her. “The core part of every storytelling–that I want to tell and I believe all of you are interested in regardless of the show–is real people,” she said. “I love tropes and I do not shy away from them and I will not apologize for that,” the Lost Girl creator said. She added that such tropes and stories can only be sustained if you are are able to take the story and “twist it and find the heart underneath it and the surprising moments.”

“Ultimately, I’m more interested in other people,” said Lovretta before adding, “I’m much more interested in that weird third grade teacher I had or that really bitchy vet I took the dog to, and I want to know what is that about? What is that person?” Luckily being a writer and creative person means she does not have to sit around and wait for others to tell the story she wants to know. She can be the one to put that story on the page. “I can just sit there in my head and let them talk,” she said.

Bell Media
Bell Media

“But I don’t want to just meet myself. I don’t want to meet people who look like myself. I don’t want to meet just people who have sex the way that I do,” Lovretta added. “I don’t like that world. I like a world that is full-bodied and has a lot of variety in it,” she said. That variety is something Lovretta is trying very hard to bring to Season 2 of Killjoys “because there’s nothing more boring and bland than sameness. And if you want to be same you shouldn’t be sci-fi,” she joked.

So just how does Lovretta go about putting these stories she wants to see down on paper? “A lot of it is instinct based for me,” she told us. “It’s just what I have inside my head. It’s what every writer has, that bored part of your brain that is like ‘Tell me a story,’” she further explained. Her stories draw a lot of inspiration from stories that had her frustrated as a child reading science fiction and fantasy stories. “As a young girl where you turn the channel on and see these things–big, bold Bronson movies, etc–and you’re like ‘No, I don’t want that. I don’t want to live in a world like that and I don’t want to pretend that’s OK.’ So I flip it,” she said.

In fact that notion of flipping things on their head and adding representation of races, genders and sexualities is something Lovretta has always enjoyed about sci-fi and genre shows. “Back when you couldn’t tell a straight story with having a woman as a president, when you went to science fiction what you could instead tell is ‘She’s the President on the Moon!’ and everyone was like ‘Sure she is!’ It’s fun and you can go along with it,” Lovretta said.

As a young girl that was a key takeaway for Lovretta who recalled reading non-genre literature and always having to see females typecast to roles such as teacher. “I don’t want to be a teacher. I don’t want to fantasize about being a teacher. That’s not me. I want guns. I want a ship and I want a sexy guy and a sexy lady and I’m not going to apologize for that,” she said. Thus far being in genre has allowed Lovretta to give exactly that to people and she doesn’t seem to be leaving it any time soon. “I don’t know that I would’ve survived in a world of medical shows. They are great, but I don’t think that would feed me,” she said.

Bell Media
Bell Media

For Lovretta sexy guys and sexy ladies with guns is all just part of adding diversity to her stories and pushing away from sameness. “You don’t want to feel as a storyteller that you’re held back by what they will believe in terms of what the role or color or gender of the person is, that’s all. You just want the liberty to say ‘Why not this person because this person I haven’t seen in awhile,’” she said. Putting women in power positions in her stories is something Lovretta enjoys doing, but that doesn’t mean they all have to kick ass to be strong. “I don’t think that is the only type of strong person–man or woman–that there is and it’d be nice if we could have more of that variety as well,” she said. However, she won’t stop giving us the ass-kicking women any time soon. “Then I wouldn’t get to shoot things and I really want to shoot things! Somebody else can do that and I will shoot things,” she joked.

Lovretta’s push for diversity in her storytelling also applies when it comes to her characters, both on Lost Girl and Killjoys, being sex-positive. “It’s my world view. I’m an intensely non-political person. When I tell a story it has to come from my heart and it has to be something I believe there’s a kindness to it,” she explained. Since she jokes that she’s “just really freakin’ chipper” that means she doesn’t want to have the darkness and horror that can sometimes accompany science fiction stories. “ I can’t do that. I don’t want to watch that and I don’t want to make that,” she said.

So how does that viewpoint translate to her characters being sex-positive? “Often the people in my world have liberties because I want to live in a world that grants those, and I don’t know why we wouldn’t. I don’t find that scary,” Lovretta said. She explained that naturally portraying the reality of the world we live in is not a revelation for her. “The worlds that I create are people who remind me of people I work with, the people I grew up with and went to school with,” she explained. Lovretta finally added that “it would feel fake to me to not have them around. I don’t put them there for a purpose. They are there because they have always been there and it would like I was editing if I didn’t have them.”

 

Thoughts or comments? Are you excited about Killjoys‘ return? Sound off below!

Killjoys Season 2 premieres on Friday, July 1 at 9 p.m. on Space Channel and Syfy.

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