It’s never easy being the new kid, but when Jeremy Chetri joined the Wynonna Earp gang in Season 2 he immediately fit right in. The same seemed to be true for Jeremy’s portrayer, Scarborough, Ontario native Varun Saranga, who instantly became a fan favorite both on and off screen. Saranga’s Black Badge lab tech Jeremy took over some of the nerd duties from Waverly (Dominique Provost-Chalkley), and harbored a giant crush on Doc Holliday (Tim Rozon). By the end of the season, fans got some hints that there may be more to Jeremy than meets the eye, leading us to believe more about his mysterious backstory may be revealed in Season 3.
Saranga recently jumped at the chance to act alongside Wynonna Earp costar Provost-Chalkley in the Syfy Halloween movie Neverknock, airing Sunday, October 15 at 9 p.m. The costars join Dark Matter’s Jodelle Ferland as part of a group of high schoolers who choose not to believe an urban legend about a door in their neighborhood that kids are warned to never knock on. We can only assume that not listening to the warning about the house, where three teens were brutally murdered in 1986, will most definitely come back to haunt these teens.
To get a better idea of what to expect from Neverknock, part of Syfy’s 31 Days of Halloween, The TV Junkies recently spoke exclusively with Saranga. We also couldn’t pass up a chance to talk Wynonna Earp, so he also talked about the journey the show has taken him on, why he loves being a part of it so much and what he’d like to see out of Jeremy in Season 3. Saranga has also been busy over the Wynonna hiatus, filming on new seasons of Workin’ Moms and Schitt’s Creek, as well as joining the new Jerry O’Connell series Carter.
The TV Junkies: How did this opportunity to do Neverknock come about?
Varun Saranga: Syfy approached Dominique, Jodelle and I about it. I think they wanted to keep it in the family and keep building that vibe. It was just really fun to work again with Dom, and kind of a hilarious moment where she was saying she was going to do a horror movie in Toronto and we should hang out. I got a call the next day asking if I wanted to do a horror movie, and I was like ‘wait, is this the same one Dom is doing?’ Of course I want to go work with my friend, and it was kind of a no-brainer. I’ve never done a horror movie before so it was a completely new experience for me.
TTVJ: I have to imagine it’s a lot of fun for you and Dom to play new characters as well. Also, had you ever worked with Jodelle before?
VS: Dom and I get up to trouble. On Wynonna it’s a problem because we laugh way too much because we are both the goofiest people and crack each other up so much. Whenever we’d do a scene on Neverknock, I got to be honest, every rehearsal we’d blow it because we’d just be laughing at each other. It’s not even a funny scene, keep in mind people are dying, and her and I are just laughing at each other. That was super fun to work with her again. Obviously, when the take is running you become serious and put the work in though.
Meeting Jodelle was really great and she’s super sweet. It was just kind of fun to have the Wynonna and Dark Matter worlds collide.
TTVJ: What can you tell us about the character you’re playing?
VS: Gavin is part of this popular group of high school kids that invite out Dom’s character, Grace, to join them on Halloween night. Jodelle’s character Leah is interested in Grace, so we’re all razzing her about having a crush. Gavin though, is under the control of his girlfriend Sydney (Eliana Jones), who has him on a bit of a short leash. He doesn’t have a lot of free will and finds ways of rebelling that are very interesting.
TTVJ: Are you a big Halloween or horror movie person?
VS: I’d say I like a very particular type of horror movie. I don’t mind gore, but if it’s realistic then I have a weak stomach. I’m more into Get Out or Hitchcock, Kubrick or psychological thrillers. I really liked It Follows, but I’m definitely not a horror connoisseur.
TTVJ: So staying along those lines, there’s now been some Jeremy cosplayers at some of the recent conventions. What’s it like to see Wynonna fans now dressing up as you in costume?
VS: It’s crazy! Every time there’s one the gang will take a picture and send it to me. It’s so fun to see and I’m more excited to go to these cons, meet them and take pictures with them. I love that the lab coat is becoming the outfit. The funny thing about that is that I consciously wanted it to be the outfit and really fought to have the lab coat in every episode. I’m like ‘this is going to be Jeremy’s superhero outfit,’ and Emily [Andras] is like ‘enough with the lab coat already!’
TTVJ: You’ve now got a year under your belt on Wynonna Earp as Jeremy. What has the journey been like for you joining that show to where you are now and seeing how all the Earpers have really embraced you? VS: I’ve never been part of such a vibe where it’s so inclusive. That’s a rarity in life, let alone a show. I’ve yet to experience any negativity or hate that often comes with a show, and even the villains on our show are loved! I’m very happy to be a part of something like this, and I don’t think I’ve ever become closer with a cast than this cast. I think that shows through the screen, that we all really care for one another and look out for one another, which the audience picks up on.
TTVJ: One thing that a lot of fans are very eager about is finding out about Jeremy’s backstory, especially since it seems like Jeremy may have some extra special abilities. Do you know anything about his past and abilities, or are you in the dark like the fans?
VS: I cornered Emily in Calgary the other weekend and said ‘you better tell me everything!’ [laughs] She’s keeping it under wraps, which truthfully I like not knowing. I am eager to read the scripts and discover it. I actually have no idea what Jeremy is, but I’d like to think he has some sort of empathic connection where the closer he is to people, the more he can feel his presence. I think that really plays into Jeremy wanting to be a part of the family.
TTVJ: One person we know he’d like to get closer to is Doc Holliday, since he has a giant crush on him. But are you hoping, like the rest of us, that Season 3 maybe brings Jeremy a boyfriend?
VS: I would love that. Of course I would love that, but in my head I just don’t know if he’s functionally mature enough to be in a relationship. He’s very awkward, so he needs to find someone who is endeared by his awkwardness. He puts his foot in his mouth way too much, so if you’re in a relationship with that guy he spills all your secrets!
I think it’d be fun though and great representation. Any relationship he’d be in would be hilarious because I don’t think he’s ever been in a relationship. Come on, he’s had sex one and a half times. Truly, I don’t think he could ever function in a relationship at this stage of his maturity. He needs to grow up a little bit, and he is growing up, and that’s what I loved about what Emily gave me last season. He went from this meek lab person to shooting a gun at Bobo Del Rey. I’m really excited for that, him growing up.
TTVJ: Something I wonder about is that Waverly was really innocent in Season 1 and we saw her go through a dark arc in Season 2. Jeremy took over that innocent role in Season 2, so do you think he may go down a similar dark path in Season 3?
VS: I think with his backstory it’s inevitably going to be dark. I think he’s had a tragic past. I’m curious to see where Jeremy goes with that, and I hope it goes a bit darker because it’s fun to play dark. I don’t think I’m going to get gooed or anything, but I think by going into his past that’s where the darkness is going to be.
TTVJ: One thing fans really love is how close you and Tim are off screen, and then seeing that translate into the unlikely duo of Jeremy and Doc on screen. What’s it like getting to build that relationship and work with Tim?
VS: I don’t like that guy at all actually.
TTVJ: He’s the worst!
VS: He’s the worst. He’s so handsome. You get lost in his eyes constantly…
Entering a show is one of the scariest things ever, especially if it’s doing well, because you don’t want to be the thing that ruins it. Tim was an interesting person because at first we’d just chat and he’s so friendly. Then we really became buddies when we started talking about video games and how many things we have in common. It immediately became like ‘oh we’re best buds. Let’s do this!’ It’s always fun finding a friend like that and outside the show he’s one of my closest friends. It’s a blessing and you can’t count on that. More often than not you’re on a TV show and friends with the people during that time, but after you move on with your lives.
With Tim, we text constantly, play video games and we have so much in common. I think he also helps guide me through this Wynonna world because he’s Wynonna’s number one fan. No one can fight him on that. He is the one that will always champion that show. We have a fun relationship and I’m looking forward to eating breakfast with him everyday in Calgary. But don’t tell him any of this! [laughs]
TTVJ: You, along with Katherine Barrell and Dani Kind, returned to Workin’ Moms for Season 2. Are there any other projects we should look out for that you did over the Wynonna hiatus?
VS: I did a fun, independent movie in Montreal called Appiness. It’s about two startup bros who are trying to get their app off the ground, and all the trials and tribulations that happen. I’m also going to reappear on Schitt’s Creek.
Right now I’m shooting the show called Carter, which will be on Bravo Canada and AXN in the States. It stars Jerry O’Connell and is a comedy/procedural. There’s always a body of the week, but there’s a lot of comedy involved. Jerry plays a detective on a famous TV show, and he leaves on hiatus to go to his hometown where he starts solving murders and doesn’t want to return to the TV show. I play his agent, Vijay Gill, and am tasked with bringing him back, but I then get roped into helping him solve all these cases.
Are you excited to check out Neverknock? Got any guesses on Jeremy’s secret abilities or Season 3 story? Sound off below!
Neverknock airs Sunday, October 15 at 9 p.m. ET on Syfy in the U.S. and Friday, November 17 at 9 p.m. on Super Channel 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.