Why not enjoy what’s right in your own backyard? While the cast of Wynonna Earp has attended many different conventions since premiering two years ago, they kept it local this past Sunday at the Calgary Expo. Several members of the cast appeared Sunday, April 29, 2018 at the pop-culture convention held in Calgary, Alberta, where the show is almost done filming its third season, premiering this summer on Syfy and Space Channel. Not only did the cast members sign autographs, meet fans and take photos, but they also appeared on a panel to discuss the show’s first two seasons and look ahead a bit to the upcoming third.
Keeping things local and using local talent and crew was one of the topics discussed at the panel, which included local cast member Greg Lawson. Lawson plays fan favorite Sheriff Nedley and was appearing at his first ever convention. He joined Wynonna stars Melanie Scrofano, Dominique Provost-Chalkley, Tim Rozon, Katherine Barrell, Varun Saranga and showrunner Emily Andras for events at the convention and the panel that finished out the day. Since it wasn’t possible for all Earpers to attend the panel, The TV Junkies have went ahead and pulled out some highlights for you below.
Wynonna is about becoming who you can be
When asked which character they relate to the most, showrunner Andras was quick to cite her main character, Wynonna. “I’m really interested in the idea of geography as destiny and the idea of growing up somewhere and being labeled for something you did as a kid without room to grow,” she explained. While she said that living in a small town can be both a blessing and a curse, what she really relates to is “trying to break out and become who you want to be versus who everyone tells you you are.” This has spilled over into her writing and she said most of the Wynonna Earp characters have parts of that as their story. “You are watching them become the people they should be and can be, if they just have people who believe in them and support them and they learn what they are really capable of,” said Andras.
Everyone wants to be there
First time con-goer Lawson was asked about working locally on a show like Wynonna Earp and what that experience is like. He said that “from the crew on up, everyone has this feeling of wanting to be there.” He went on to compare the vibe on set to being on a lower budget independent film because “everyone is there because you’re all on the same page and want to do the best you can do.”
Season 3 episodes they are most excited about
There seemed to be differing opinions about what Season 3 episode cast members are most excited for fans to see. While Andras joked that she’s “terrified for all of us,” Barrell cited Episodes 7 and 11. She noted that “there’s some big choices in 11.” Saranga called the Season 3 premiere “the most quintessential Wynonna episode. It’s super fun and I’m really excited to hear how that turns out.” Andras also noted that “you’re going to see so many crazy things in Season 3 — things you like, things you didn’t expect, things I still can’t believe we did, but we did.”
A Purgatory Christmas!
Perhaps some of the most exciting news to come out of the Calgary Expo panel was the fact that Christmas will be coming to Purgatory. While naming Season 3 episodes that they are looking forward to, Saranga did say “we have a Christmas special and that’s really fun.” Rozon quickly jumped in to say “spoiler alert!” so not much else is known about the episode. Regardless, it will no doubt be interesting to see how Wynonna and Co. celebrate the holidays.
Wynonna Earp’s in debt to Lost Girl
“Lost Girl totally changed my life,” Andras said when asked about the show she wrote and ran prior to Wynonna Earp. “It taught me the type of genre I wanted to write and that I only wanted to write genre,” she explained. While she said that “inclusivity was always going to be important to my writing,” it was her time on Lost Girl that really drove that home. “Lost Girl taught me how smart the genre audience is, how hungry they are for representation, how far you can take them,” she said before adding that she has “a huge, huge debt to Lost Girl.” Andras also cited Lost Girl creator Michelle Lovretta for teaching and inspiring her. “She really just was fearless in a way that just inspired me and when in doubt she was like ‘let’s just make it fun!’”
Wynonna Earp is more than just a show
Saranga, who joined the cast in Season 2, said he wasn’t prepared for everything that came along with the show. He said he was completely blown away by “the love that the Earpers express or just how big the fandom is and how crazy it all is.” He said he was completely unaware when he first started, but that he absolutely loves “meeting each and every one of you.” The other thing about being a part of a show like Wynonna Earp that is so great Saranga says is that he’s “never been a part of a show where it extends further than it being just a show.”
Nedley is now on Twitter!
Part of the show’s extension can be felt big time on social media. Up until Sunday, Lawson was one of the cast’s lone holdouts when it came to being on Twitter. That all changed though during the Expo as Saranga announced to the panel crowd that “Greg literally just signed up while he was at the booth today.” However, Lawson may still need some time as he seemed confused when asked what his handle was. “Is your handle the same as your sign in name? I’m on Facebook because I like Scrabble,” he joked. Regardless, all Wynonna Earp fans should go find Nedley’s portrayer and give him some love on Twitter now that he can be found at @gregisin.
Start the Wave’s effect on Season 3
Recently Provost-Chalkley started an eco-friendly inclusive community for positive change called Start the Wave. Some initial efforts of the campaign have been emphasizing the importance of small changes like second hand shopping. Fans were curious if Provost-Chalkley and Start the Wave were able to incorporate any such changes into the show this season. She said she had discussions with Wynonna costume designer Jennifer Haffenden, but was unfortunately told that they “can’t shop second hand for costumes simply because we always need to have multiples of the same thing.” However, she did note that there is something related to Start the Wave, but that she’s “not going to tell you because I want it to be a surprise. You will see that it has certainly influenced Season 3 in one episode in particular, which i was really really happy and excited about.” She also called Start the Wave one of the most rewarding experiences because “it’s so nice to see how many people have jumped on board and really started to think about it more. It’s definitely changed the vibe on set and I’m really, really happy about that.”
Don’t allow writers on set
After Lawson mentioned earlier in the panel that he may have been squished by a wall filming this year, a fan asked if there were any other injuries on set. Andras shared the story of the first time she met Megan Follows, who will play Mama Earp this year, on set. “I was trying to be super, super cool, and I tripped over the sound board and like three bananas I had stolen from craft fell out of my bag,” she told the crowd. She said that Follows was “super duper impressed. She was like ‘oh do you have a potassium problem?’ and I was like ‘you were Anne of Green Gables.’ That was the whole conversation.” Andras then jokingly said that this was a prime example of why “writers aren’t allowed on set that much.”
Everyone loves WayHaught
When asked about the importance of the WayHaught relationship, Andras was quick to credit to her actors. “It really speaks to the chemistry that Dom and Kat have. They make it feel so real and raw and vulnerable and warm. They are just incredible together on screen,” said the showrunner. But what’s been even lovelier for Andras is that it’s not just the LGBT community that is embracing the relationship. “I feel like all our viewers seem to be embracing it and love it as part of the show in the same way they love Doc and Wynonna or Nedley mentoring Nicole. That really warms my heart that for such a western people are totally into it.”
With great responsibility comes great power
The importance of the WayHaught relationship isn’t lost on Barrell either. In fact, she said that it’s “renewed my sense of purpose as an artist.” She went on to explain that “it’s really given me a sense of the bigger picture, what we all do and why you go into the arts — this ability to effect change and affect people. There are certain artists that take that responsibility very seriously, and then there are artists that abuse it. So for me, it’s just reaffirmed for myself the type of person that I would like to be with that soapbox.” On a final note, she said that being one half of WayHaught has shown her “how powerful I can be and how much change I can effect.”
The power of that bulletproof vest
When asked whether the Season 1 scene where Nicole was shot, but saved by a bulletproof vest was included specifically to call out the Bury Your Gays trope, Andras said she “would say yes and no.” Through her work on Lost Girl and other projects, Andras said she “was very aware” of the trope. However, she noted that particular scene was shot and filmed before anything happened on The 100 or The Walking Dead. Andras further explained the decision by saying “it was definitely a bit of a wink and a nod, but it’s also just a great act out, right? At first you think she’s dead, but she’s not. She’s super smart. She’s a cop. I just like making Nicole Haught a smart character. I think she would be wearing a bulletproof vest. I didn’t expect it to resonate as much as it has.”
Thoughts on the Wynonna Earp team’s time at Calgary Expo? Sound off below!
Wynonna Earp Season 3 will air later this year on both Syfy and Space.
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.