While she may have been recently nominated for a Best Actress Canadian Screen Award for her work on Wynonna Earp, Melanie Scrofano is headed behind the camera to direct once again. Scrofano directed two episodes of Season 2 of Hulu and YTV’s The Hardy Boys. With previous directing stints on Wynonna and the SYFY/CTV Sci-Fi drama SurrealEstate, Scrofano faced the challenge of bringing her experience with genre television to a younger audience.
Scrofano directed Episodes 5 and 6 of Season 2 of The Hardy Boys, which is now available for streaming on Hulu and airs on Mondays at 8 p.m. ET/PT on YTV in Canada. In Episode 5, “Heading for Destruction,” the Hardy Boys gang races to stop a potential bombing at the Demon Day Parade, while Fenton (Anthony Lemke) makes a shocking discovery of his own. She recently spoke with The TV Junkies about her experience on the show, the challenges involved in jumping into a show in the middle of the season, what it’s like to shoot action sequences, and what’s next for her.
The TV Junkies: How did the opportunity to direct a couple of episodes of The Hardy Boys Season 2 come about?
Melanie Scrofano: I interviewed and somehow didn’t mess it up. [laughs] I still don’t know how to interview for directing. They are sometimes straightforward, but sometimes the questions are weird. With this one, it was good and they were really nice.
TTVJ: Your past directing opportunities were on Wynonna Earp, the show you starred in, and on SurrealEstate, which had your co-star Tim Rozon as its lead. What was it like coming into a newer, less familiar environment like The Hardy Boys to direct?
MS: It was terrifying! This was the first directing job that I interviewed for, didn’t know anyone, so, I was really excited and then I got terrified. I started watching all these 80s movies and overthinking it – just generally being a disaster of a human being. But you know what? My secret is always finding the one person – because there’s always going to be one – that you feel comfortable with and trust. I found my person and we bonded over pranking each other with bananas and that was it!
TTVJ: It just has to be especially weird because not only are you coming into a new environment, but you also have to kind of boss everyone around.
MS: It is because when you’re directing television you’re also a guest in their house. The house has been built because this is Season 2. You want to come in and not shit on the carpet. [laughs] You want to come in and be respectful, but also be the boss. There’s also politics and that’s something I’m still wrapping my head around.
TTVJ: The two episodes you direct are Episodes 5 and 6. What were some of the challenges involved in having to direct episodes right in the middle of the season?
MS: Coming in the middle was nice because, by the end, everyone is a little exhausted and over it. The middle was nice because the energy was going and people were ramped up, but that also meant that everyone was working on ten different episodes at once. They were still working on the second block, prepping for the fourth block, and you would’ve loved ten meetings, but only got maybe one.
TTVJ: Wrangling two boys is something you’re familiar with within your personal life, but what was it like working with Rohan and Alexander and this cast?
MS: I made my son watch the first season of The Hardy Boys together with me. I thought I’d get some research done and we’d have some bonding time. He absolutely saw himself in Alex. He became obsessed with “Joe” and thank goodness Alex is so sweet – they both are and just so professional. So these kids already had my heart because my son loved them.
It was really great having my kids as a constant reference point. I thought about if they were watching the show, what would they want to see? How would they react to different things? In terms of directing these young men, it’s always a line of wanting them to be mature, but not so much that kids can’t relate to them. It was really helpful to have my boys as a reference point when thinking, ‘Is this too grown up? Let’s have a bit more fun here.’
TTVJ: One thing that’s really cool is that Episode 5 features the big Demon Day celebration. What was it like having to shoot something that involved big crowd scenes? What did you learn from those moments?
MS: The thing with those scenes is that there are so many factors that you have no control over. At one point there was a background actor that got really hot and safety became an issue. It was nobody’s fault and was just hot outside, but things like that will slow you down. So I try to be as prepared as possible without over-preparing and then being stuck. There were certain times when things happened and you just have to move on. Being flexible is the biggest challenge on that while still getting everything we needed.
It was a lot, but it also just takes a village. I think that’s the hardest part, realizing that I can’t control everything. I want to, but I can’t, and so I just have to accept that I don’t know how this is going to go and roll with it as it plays out.
TTVJ: Do you have a preference when it comes to the types of scenes you like to most direct? For example, do you like directing emotional scenes or ones with all the action or fight sequences?
MS: I probably like more emotional moments, but think they are both satisfying in different ways. I don’t know what I’m allowed to say, but there’s a moment in one of the episodes that involves a lot of action where I stood back and thought, ‘Man, we really did that! They trusted me to pull this off and it worked.’ You just get a different sense of pride out of it versus an emotional scene.
TTVJ: As far as the future, do you know what kind of projects you’d like to do next with your directing?
MS: I would like to do a movie because I haven’t done one and think it’d be really fun to build the whole world. That really is a director’s medium and I would love to spend a long time prepping, shooting, and editing one thing. But then also, I would love to try a half-hour comedy and just laugh for a half-hour if possible. All of it!
TTVJ: Switching gears to your acting, I know it was recently announced that you have an upcoming movie with Emily Hampshire called The End of Sex. Can you share anything about that movie?
MS: Listen, Jonas [Chernick] and Emily have successfully partnered before and they asked me to join them in their little threesome… [pregnant pause] and we laughed a lot.
TTVJ: Finally, I just wanted to know what it’s been like for you to get back to the physical, in-person fan conventions for Wynonna Earp and other roles?
MS: I’ve done a few now and Earpapalooza had so many people that I had never met. It was really exciting to know that we can still reach people and that the journey isn’t over. Sometimes that’s scary and sad, but I just felt so shocked and excited. I’m so happy the family continues to grow.
The Hardy Boys Season 2 is available for streaming on Hulu in the U.S. and airs Mondays at 8 p.m. ET/PT on YTV in Canada.
Editor in Chief Bridget Liszewski comes from a long line of TV Junkies who fostered her love of television from a very young age. She's channeled that passion into covering both US and Canadian television shows, and is thankful everyday for the invention of the DVR. A graduate of the University of Notre Dame, she loves college football and is a fan of sports in general. Bridget is always up for talking TV and you can follow her on twitter at @BridgetOnTV.