‘Wynonna Earp’ Mixes ‘Supernatural’ And ‘Justified’ With Some Major Girl Power
Syfy’s new series, Wynonna Earp, mixes the demon fighting brothers of Supernatural with the outlaw marshal of Justified, except make those brothers into sisters, and trade the hills of Kentucky for the wild, wild West. All that may sound like a plot taken from recent TV shows, but the basis of Wynonna Earp comes from a series of comic books celebrating their 20th anniversary, and from the looks of the first two episodes of Wynonna Earp, they’re celebrating it in style.
Showrunner Emily Andras, comic creator Beau Smith and stars Melanie Scrofano, Tim Rozon and Dominique Provost-Chalkley all sat down to a media conference call to discuss the debut of this metaphysical, modern Western, and Andras talked about how thrilled she was to be able to develop the comic series into the television show and to get her hands on such a glorious female lead character.
“I mean, she was such a fun, take no prisoners… character. She was kind of a mess. She was wild, she was crazy, she was sexy. And I just saw all the potential for a TV series in this character… First of all, there’s nothing as interesting as someone who is a descendant of one of the greatest heroes of all time. You know when you have a last name like Earp, there are a certain expectations that are going to come with that… [But] immediately I started thinking, what if you weren’t such a great person? What if you were essentially one of the bad guys or bad girls in this case but you still have that last name, and you know I just saw a whole series where we could sort of see if we could take this character and make her a hero, make her live up to Wyatt Earp’s name.”
The character Wynonna returns to her hometown for a funeral, and runs into some nasty demons that can only be killed with the family heirloom gun she inherited from her father. Unfortunately for Wynonna, that gun was last fired by her when she was trying to save her father, but shot him by accident instead. So the wayward daughter has been gone until her 27th birthday, returning to join forces with her sister (Provost-Chalkley) and a mysterious FBI agent (Shamier Anderson) who wants to recruit her for special “black badge” division of the U.S. Marshals service.Unfortunately, unlike the Winchester brothers of Supernatural, the Earp sisters don’t have a really hot dad hanging around for the first couple of seasons, as A) their dad was accidentally killed many years before the series started, and B) Jeffrey Dean Morgan is otherwise occupied these days after landing a gig on a show about zombies where he recently made quite an entrance. Maybe you’ve heard about it?
Sorry, ladies, you won’t find Justified‘s Raylan Givens, either — Timothy Olyphant is stretched pretty thin these days, as well — but you do get some cowboy sex appeal in Doc Holliday (Rozon) sidling up to Wynonna and in Agent Dolls (Anderson) channeling some unresolved sexual tension, so there’s your eye candy.
Scrofano found herself in a role requiring a lot of action and fighting, which wasn’t as easy as she would’ve expected given her training in guns, motorcycles and martial arts before the filming of Wynonna Earp started.
“One thing I learned is that you fight differently in real life than you do on screen so that nobody gets hurt. And it turns out I’m not very good at that one. So, I’m good at like, fighting in real life, I’m great, I’m strong and badge you up. But, yes, on screen, definitely, it was intimidating because I just never wanted to hurt someone and there were a couple occasions where I did. But having said that, I pinched myself every day because I got to go to work and like be a giant kid and just fight and live in this amazing imagination of Beau (Smith) and Emily (Andras.)”
While Scrofano may have had some training in how to kick some booty, her inspiration for tapping into the tougher side of her character comes from an entirely different source, so prepare to get sentimental. The actress looks to her mom as her inspiration to be the tough Wynonna Earp, yet vulnerable at the same time.
From the sounds of it, the Wynonna Earp star can think mom for this breakout leading role in her acting career. Showrunner Andras would certainly agree that those qualities that Mama Scrofano passed down to her daughter came through in the audition and helped earn her the role.
“I look in real life at the real-life superhero women that we all know and love, like, I’ll talk about my mom — don’t tell her, because it will make her cry — but she is the strongest woman you’ll ever meet in your life. She will end your life if you try to mess with her children. She is a ferocious leader. She was the boss where she works. But she will cry at the drop of the hat… She cries at figure skating. She’s so vulnerable and funny and tells inappropriate jokes even though she’s supposed to be the parent… she’s a real woman. And she’s not perfect but perfect in her imperfection. And that’s what I think Wynonna is… you know what, I’m not perfect, I screwed up but I’m just going to keep forging ahead in trying to be better and make things right.”
“I think Melanie is real and down-to-earth too. And so beautiful and all that stuff. But I feel like Mel won this role not only because of her incredible range and… extraordinary audition, but she put so much of herself in Wynonna and sets a funny, charming, real woman that, it just felt like she came fully-formed. And it was just so fun to go back and forth and kind of see Mel in the character and see the character in Mel… So, if you loved Wynonna, you’ll love Mel.”
If you still don’t know whether or not you love Mel/Wynonna, you obviously haven’t tuned in yet to Wynonna Earp, which airs on Syfy Friday nights at 10 p.m. ET. It’s okay if you missed an episode or two, as you can play catch up with Syfy On-Demand.
[Photo by Michelle Faye/Syfy/Wynonna Earp Productions]