She may play the shotgun-toting, courageous and smart Waverly Earp on Syfy’s Wynonna Earp, but Dominque Provost-Chalkley gets ready to travel back in time on Monday night. She’ll be guest starring in the two part Season 10 premiere of CBC’s Murdoch Mysteries as Elizabeth Atherly, a young woman travelling from London with her mother (Samantha Bond). Elizabeth is being introduced to Toronto society and vying for the affections of eligible young bachelor Rodney Strong (Kyle Cameron). She gets caught up in an investigation led by Detective William Murdoch (Yannick Bisson) after the murder of fellow debutante Ruth Embree. Det. Murdoch begins to suspect one of the young women at the ball is responsible for the death.
Provost-Chalkley filmed the guest role while on hiatus from Wynonna Earp, which will return to Syfy for Season 2 in 2017. She recently spoke with The TV Junkies about the experience on Murdoch and gave us some insights into her character. She also discussed what she’s looking forward to discovering about Waverly in Season 2 of Wynonna, as well as her hopes for the fan favorite WayHaught relationship her character is in with Officer Nicole Haught (Kat Barrell).
The TV Junkies: How did the opportunity to guest on Murdoch Mysteries come about?
Dominique Provost-Chalkley: When I arrived in Canada after having filmed Wynonna, I got myself a Canadian agent and didn’t really know what to expect. This was one of the first auditions I had and I hadn’t actually seen the show before I auditioned. I went out for gelato with Kat and I said ‘Oh I have an audition for Murdoch?’ She said ‘Oh, everyone has to do Murdoch when they arrive! Brilliant!’ She told me she had done a couple of episodes, so I went home that night, watched Kat’s episodes and had a little giggle to myself, because it’s so sweet watching her in a different role after having filmed alongside her as the characters we know. Then I got the job and got to work pretty soon after Wynonna, which I wasn’t expecting.
TTVJ: Can you share a little about the character you’ll be playing and what she’s doing in Toronto?
DPC: Our two episodes open Season 10 and it was nice to be a part of the opening excitement. We center around the Fire of Toronto in 1904 and open with a huge debutante ball. I’m one of the debutantes trying to win Mr. Rodney Strong’s hand in marriage. Of course it doesn’t run as smoothly as that and one of the debutantes is killed, so amongst all the drama Murdoch has to work out who is murdering them and why.
TTVJ: It’s exciting because you’re playing an Englishwoman so you got to keep your accent.
DPC: I know! It’s actually one of the only times I’ve played an English character. Of course it’s Sod’s law that the moment I arrive in Canada, actually step foot in Canada and go to an audition, that’s when I get to play my British accent. Funnily enough, I’m actually doing a couple episodes of 12 Monkeys coming up and I get to use my British accent on that as well. So when I come to Toronto that’s when I get to use the accent. [laughs]
TTVJ: Elizabeth is forced to compete in a “marriage lottery” in this episode that reminded me of a cross between Pride & Prejudice and The Bachelor. Would you say that’s a pretty accurate depiction of what’s going on?
DPC: Yes, and one thing I’ll say that I loved about this role was really looking into what it used to be like. It’s really sad and made me feel extremely fortunate to be living in a country, and in this day and age, where I can pick my own lover and that’s OK. These poor girls don’t have a choice or say in the matter and they are so young, they are just auctioned off. That was quite interesting really looking into how it was back in the day.
TTVJ: But you did get to wear some pretty fun costumes.
DPC: Exactly! Of all the characters I could’ve played, being one of the upper class, I got so many outfits. The costume department kept saying they didn’t think they had a character that had to change so many times because every time you see me I’m at a dress fitting or at a new event. That was really fun, but not so fun wearing the corset all day, every day. The first day when they were fitting the corset I breathed in low, and it turns out that every girl on the set was like ‘why did you do that? You have to breathe out and make it as big as possible so when they tighten it you have some breathing space.’ I did the opposite, so there were multiple moments where I thought I was about to pass out.
TTVJ: So which is worse, the corsets on Murdoch or Waverly’s short shorts in the cold Calgary winters on Wynonna?
DPC: I would take Waverly’s shorts any day of the week. I can’t wait to get back into them! [laughs]
TTVJ: How did this experience on Murdoch compare to shooting Wynonna?
DPC: It’s very, very different because I was going in as a guest star in comparison to being a lead. On Wynonna I had to create something from the get go and here I just came in and did a couple of episodes. Murdoch has created a family vibe on set though because they are in their tenth season. I can’t even comprehend what that would be like and seeing your coworkers evolve and change. If you can imagine what Wynonna would be like–we already have a family vibe–but it’d be ten times more.
But they were very welcoming, kind and made me feel great. A huge part of why I took this role was because I had Samantha Bond playing my mom. She’s an amazing British actress who has done Downton Abbey and a lot of jobs I’ve really respected her in. That was nice to play next to her and share this experience with her.
TTVJ: You mentioned 12 Monkeys and I know you filmed the movie Buckout Road, but how have you been keeping busy during your hiatus from Wynonna Earp?
DPC: It’s been a lot busier than I’ve expected. I couldn’t have wished for the transition to Canada and the adventure I decided to embark on to go any smoother. What was also fantastic about doing Murdoch straight away was that it was so different than Waverly. So it got me out of any mannerisms I may have kept because doing a character for five months you start becoming the character almost. You’ve got to be careful when moving into other work that you don’t have the same speech patterns and her rhythms. This was a perfect role to get out of that and there’s no chance that I could be like Waverly.
Then I was lucky enough to go and shoot the movie which was again a completely different experience and character. It was an awesome opportunity to explore somebody else. Then with 12 Monkeys I’m not entirely sure at this point, but it’ll be the first episode of Season 3. But to be completely honest with you, I’m just so excited to go back to the second season of Wynonna and I’m just counting down the days.
TTVJ: Speaking of Wynonna, Waverly was part of not only one, but two major cliffhangers at the end of Season 1, having touched the black goo and Bobo’s statement about her not being an Earp. Has Emily [Andras, Wynonna Earp showrunner] given you any indication where she plans to take Waverly in Season 2?
DPC: Every time I’ve seen Emily she has given me very little, but also given me the most excitement possible. She’s mentioning tiny little things where I’m like ‘oh my God!’ She keeps saying ‘I’ve got big plans for Waverly this season,’ and I’m like ‘Oh stop teasing me! I just want to go back!’
But I was talking to Mel about this, and there’s this part of me that doesn’t want to know yet. I think I’ll overthink everything and that’s not necessarily good, so I think it’ll be better to get there, read the script and get completely absorbed in it. Otherwise I’ll just be here, thinking about it and what’s the point of that? ‘Calm down Dom! One thing at a time, it’ll come.’
TTVJ: I know a lot of fans are eager to see where WayHaught goes in Season 2. Have you thought about that at all and do you have any hopes for their relationship moving forward?
DPC: I have absolutely no doubt that we’ll see more of WayHaught. It would be crazy not to and I’m very excited to see where it goes. I think because there are so many cliffhangers that that’s what makes the show so good. There’s so many things to take into consideration and it’s not just as simple as two people that have fallen in love and can go off into the sunset. Poor Waverly has just touched the goo and how is that going to manifest itself? Will it come out as an evil trait in her and then Nicole might struggle with that? Who knows, but it’ll certainly put a spanner in the works.
TTVJ: That damn goo!
DPC: That damn goo, right? But I’m more excited than anyone really to see where it goes. Everyone keeps asking me and I’m like ‘do you have any ideas? Because I’m excited!’ I can’t wait to go rediscover that. I’m so excited to do it all again.
Will you be tuning in to catch Provost-Chalkley on Murdoch Mysteries? Sound off in the comments below!
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.