As much as we love his previous characters on Wynonna Earp and Schitt’s Creek, Tim Rozon isn’t known as the one bringing most of the laughs on those shows. Sure, we’ve definitely seen glimpses of Rozon’s comedic skills, but the new series Vagrant Queen will be one of the first times Rozon plays a flat out goof of a character. He’ll be starring as Isaac in the new SYFY series that premieres Friday, March 27 at 10 p.m. ET in the U.S. and Sunday, March 29 at 10 p.m. ET on Citytv in Canada.
Isaac is the old friend of Elida (Adriyan Rae), a former child queen who has become a scavenger in a galaxy that’s not ours, as they both try to stay ahead of the Republic government out to extinguish Elida’s bloodline. Elida and Isaac are joined on their quest to find Elida’s not-so-dead mother by a new ally and mechanic, Amae (Alex McGregor), and together the trio battles the evil Commander Lazaro (Paul du Toit).
Rozon recently spoke with The TV Junkies during a break from production on Season 4 of Wynonna Earp. He shared how Wynonna’s break in production last year allowed him to land the role of Isaac and how he’s had so much fun showing off his character’s goofier side. He also previews what fans can expect to see between Vagrant Queen’s main trio this season.
The TV Junkies: I know you were on the break from Wynonna Earp last year with its hiatus, but how did this opportunity to be a part of Vagrant Queen come about?
Tim Rozon: I didn’t know what I was doing during the Wynonna break and I was in limbo. I had just finally shaved the mustache because I heard we weren’t coming back at that time, and my agent started sending me out for stuff. There were some good projects, but when Vagrant Queen came along, I was in Florida. I drove up to Orlando to do a self tape and loved the audition. If anyone has heard me talk about my first experience with Doc Holliday, it reminded me of that and just one of those parts I thought, ‘I can be this guy. I gotta get this guy. I can do this.’
I remember I did the audition in a Mickey Mouse shirt I had from Florida, and it felt right because Isaac is this goofy Earth guy. Then I didn’t hear anything for awhile, and that happens, but I was a bit heartbroken at that point. Normally I don’t take things to heart, but when I found out they weren’t pursuing me anymore, for whatever reason, I was a bit heartbroken. I was sad for about a week, and then oddly enough my agent called and said they wanted to test me for it. I was heading off to do Christmas Town with Candace Cameron Bure and couldn’t fly out to test because I was in Vancouver for the movie.
I did a self test instead, and showrunner Jem Garrard had left some notes, and I went in and did it. I remember thinking, ‘No matter what, I’m having fun with this. I’m going balls to the wall and all the way.’ So I went super fun, super goofy, and the opposite of cool. When I was doing Christmas Town they called and said I got it. I was so excited and boom! I was home four days after shooting Christmas Town and then flew off to Cape Town, South Africa.
TTVJ: But you had just shaved the mustache! TR: It meant I had to keep facial hair for the Hallmark movie, which is a big deal in Hallmark! I didn’t realize that, but there’s no way I would’ve been able to grow the beard in time. My whole life is about facial hair as an actor. [laughs] Hallmark was super cool, and actually, Candace pushed for my stubble. So thank you, Candace. She had me keep the stubble and that let me grow the beard for Isaac. I wanted to make sure I had the right beard.
I also broke another rule, that you should never do, but when I did the second screen test, I went and bleached my hair kind of orange. I had read the comic book and knew the character, and it’s very important for me to look as much like the character as possible. I went in there with the spiky hair and bleached red-orange. I felt bad for the Hallmark movie, but they did a great job and made me look great considering I showed up with three different colors in my hair. It was all because I really, really wanted to get that Isaac part.
TTVJ: Your life really IS all about hair and facial hair. It’s amazing. TR: Look, I’m not complaining, but I want those beards and mustaches to be the right length. It takes time in between, and sometimes I lose some other jobs, and sometimes it works out. I’m very lucky.
TTVJ: We truly appreciate all the thought, love, and care you give to it. TR: Doc Holliday is just under 3 months for the mustache. Mutt Schitt is 21 days exactly for the beard, and we’re talking Season 2 beard there. Vagrant Queen’s Isaac needs 6-7 weeks. Christmas Town stubble was 2 weeks. I’ve got it down to a science, Bridge.
TTVJ: You mention Isaac being a bit of a goof, but what else can you share with us about him? TR: He’s the only person from Earth and the only human in the entire series. It takes place in another galaxy and you’ll learn how he got there. I won’t give too much of that away. Obviously, I don’t think he really wanted to end up in another galaxy, but we’ll find out Isaac’s backstory as it goes along. He’s a great guy and the opposite of cool, and even if he’s trying to be cool, he’s not going to look cool. He uses humor a lot, but as you learn, he uses that as a defense mechanism. I actually think there’s a lot of heart to Isaac, and while you will be disappointed from time to time, you’ll also be inspired from time to time. At the end of the day, he’s a good guy who has been through some stuff.
TTVJ: Is he similar to the Isaac in the comic? TR: Yes, and If anybody wants a sneak peek, go read the comic by Magdelene Visaggio and illustrated by Jason Smith. There’s some obvious changes, and some characters that aren’t there, but as far as storyline, it’s very similar to the comic. It’s a great and really fun comic, and the Isaac/Elida dynamic is pretty much the same. On the show, we just get to go back more in both of their histories to find out how they got there.
TTVJ: Something I love about Isaac is that he allows you to really show off your comedic skills. What was tapping into that part of the role like for you? TR: Oh my gosh it was so fun! I love Doc, but man that guy can be Debbie Downer sometimes. [laughs] We need it, but Isaac gets to be fun. I’m also coming off Schitt’s Creek, one of the biggest comedies around these days, but Mutt Schitt wasn’t really funny either. He was more of the straight man with everyone around him being funny. Isaac is the first time I really get to be just a goof. I feel lucky that I’ve been working with all these comedic actors like Annie [Murphy] and Melanie [Scrofano] because I learned and stole little bits from them. I brought those to Isaac and they really taught me comedic timing. It’s super fun to just be funny, or try to be funny. He’s kind of a goof and you shouldn’t take him too seriously.
TTVJ: As a fan who has watched you in many projects, that was definitely one of the joys for me in watching the show. TR: Just wait, we do some crazy stupid things later on! I’m telling you.
TTVJ: Were all of those crazy things in the scripts? TR: From the audition process to the end, pretty much all the scripts from Jem Garrard are some of the best scripts I’ve ever read. They were just so complete and it was crazy how good they were. The pilot was so strong to read. I understood so much and it’s so hard to try and establish all the characters. I just remember her flow staying throughout all the episodes and it was some really, really good stuff.
TTVJ: What’s Isaac’s relationship like with Elida and Amae, and then, what was it like working as a trio with Adriyan and Alex? TR: Isaac and Elida’s relationship isn’t what it seems on the surface. At first it seems like she hates him, but throughout the season you’ll learn more and how they all ended up together as a team. They’re like BFFs but one really wants to be the BFF more than the other one. Adriyan was great and is a fantastic actor. We had a lot of fun discovering the friendship of our characters together. We’re not love interests, but we need that relationship to in some ways be even more than a love relationship. We had to find those moments of friendship, and sometimes you hate your friend. We had to find those moments together and we had so much fun doing that.
Then this isn’t a duo, it’s a real trio and you add Amae into the situation. She was the piece that was missing and she really holds the trio together. When she joins is when we really start rooting for them as a team. She’s the glue that sticks the other two together because sometimes things get a little strained between Isaac and Elida. She’s definitely the heart of the show.
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Vagrant Queen premieres Friday, March 27 at 10 p.m. ET on SYFY in the U.S. and Sunday, March 29 at 10 p.m. ET on Citytv 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.