It’s becoming increasingly obvious that there’s not much that Wynonna Earp’s Dominique Provost-Chalkley can’t do. Not only is her character Waverly Earp acting awful strange this season, thanks to that mysterious black goo she just HAD to touch, but showrunner Emily Andras and her team of writers have thrown all kinds of new challenges at Provost-Chalkley. Just last week Provost-Chalkley showed off her dancing background, thanks to a special cheerleading routine Waverly performed for her girlfriend Nicole (Katherine Barrell), and in this week’s episode “She Ain’t Right,” Provost-Chalkley may be showing off some singing skills as well.
It’s been a complicated season to say the least for Waverly as she’s navigated her new relationship with Nicole, tensions with big sis Wynonna (Melanie Scrofano) over shooting their sister Willa and a demon taking more and more possession of her body. Having to play this Dark Waverly, AKA Gooverly, has also served as a great vehicle for Provost-Chalkley’s acting skills, as she has deftly and subtly shown the audience more and more changes and an increased darkness within with each passing week.
In order to get a closer look at what’s happening with Waverly, as well as get her take on all the tricks she’s had to pull out this year, The TV Junkies spoke exclusively with Provost-Chalkley. She also gave us some insight into the challenges for her playing Gooverly, and whether or not fans should worry about that tension between WayHaught. Also, keep an eye out after this week’s episode for more with Provost-Chalkley in part two of our interview.
The TV Junkies: First things first, what are your thoughts on the Gooverly nickname that everyone is calling Dark Waverly?
Dominique Provost-Chalkley: I think it’s brilliant and whoever came up with it is a genius. I laughed a lot when I heard it. It’s perfect, I’m a big fan!
TTVJ: Speaking of Gooverly, we’ve seen whatever demon is inside her slowly take more and more control, and you’ve done such a great job showing all these subtle changes in Waverly. How challenging was that for you to switch back and forth between nice and sweet Waverly, and then this evil entity that’s taken over her?
DPC: Aww thank you! Yes, I was very excited to play such extremes. The main challenge was actually not to have too much fun with it and for it to become too much like a caricature. I wanted to make sure I didn’t play a cliché and that it was a subtle progression. As we all know there is no one I trust more than Emily [Andras], so I asked her to watch the dailies to keep an eye on it. We shoot in blocks which can be tricky sometimes to keep the through-line accurate, so I felt it was important to have an exterior eye on it. I’m really glad that you feel it’s been a gradual progression — that was the aim and it’s so lovely to hear that came across.
TTVJ: We’ve seen Gooverly have some pretty odd dietary preferences, but what I want to know is what did they have you eat when you ate the spider and lipstick?
DPC: I know! Gooverly has some seriously weird cravings. The spider was enhanced in post as I’m sure you can see, but the original one they gave me was covered in the world’s stickiest goo. I didn’t actually have to bite into it, but the sticky goo kept getting in my mouth, which for the record, not the yummiest. However, originally I was supposed to be eating raw chicken, like a big huge raw chicken leg! I’m a vegan so that wasn’t the nicest idea. I remember in the read through, when we got to that page Melanie just giggled in my face — classic. She found it very comical indeed. So I think actually I would take a sticky spider any day of the week!
The lipstick was much better in that it was made of white chocolate, but I had to do lots of takes so by the end it was kind of gross. Basically, don’t try this at home kids, stick to peanut butter on toast.
TTVJ: I feel like we’ve really seen Waverly grow up in a lot of ways this season, and she seems to really be coming into her own as a woman. Did you feel similarly as an actress coming into Season 2 because there’s really a confidence that I think is coming through in your performance.
DPC: That’s so kind of you to say, thank you. I have to agree with you, I definitely feel more confident. Last year I was little Dom from Bristol coming over and wondering if they’d realize they’ve cast a Brit and have made a mistake. This year I guess I know my place in the show and that alone relieves the pressure a bit. I am becoming more comfortable not only as an actress, but also in my own skin, and what a wonderful gift it is that I am living a similar journey to my character. Also, all of us have been with our characters for a while now, so it’s easier to jump right back in having already established them.
TTVJ: We’ve seen a bit of tension between WayHaught this season and a lot of that stemmed from Nicole feeling left out of Black Badge. Now that Nedley’s told her that she can work together with Black Badge will that ease some of WayHaught’s issues?
DPC: We have to remember that Waverly and Nicole are just in the very, very beginning stage of their relationship. In reality there are all sorts of issues that will come up and then of course ease and be resolved. I think it makes sense that Nicole is disappointed, but also on the flip side, I see Waverly’s struggle too. She is finally accepted into BBD and taken seriously herself, which is something she’s always wanted. She would love to just enjoy that.
It’s totally normal in any relationship to have disconnect, it’s how you get over those blips that truly matters. I think the best line to summarize it is “girlfriends fight,” because it’s true, right? I have some really great friends of mine that are a lesbian couple and they joke that when things sync up and it’s that time of the month it can get pretty bad. But it’s also the most passionate, sensitive and loving relationship too. It’s all part of working out how to work as a partnership.
TTVJ: Let’s talk about that cheerleading scene. You really went for it and it was so much more than I was expecting. Emily mentioned you did research and came up with a lot of it yourself. I really love that you just went all in on it.
DPC: When I first arrived back in Calgary, virtually as I stepped off the plane, our first AD came up to me and said ‘Dom, we have to get you in singing lessons and cheerleading lessons!’ I was like ‘Er, Emily Andras, whaaaaaaat is happening?’ I actually didn’t end up having either funnily enough. But what I love this season is that Emily really wrote to the actor’s strengths. For example, Kat is strong at comedy and you’ll get to see that come through more towards the end of the season. I guess she heard about my extracurricular activities and got excited, the little tinker!
What do you think of Waverly this season? Are you enjoying Provost-Chalkley as Gooverly? Add your thoughts below!
Wynonna Earp airs Fridays at 10 p.m. ET on 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.