Dominique Provost-Chalkley talks big changes and that cheerleading outfit in Wynonna Earp Season 2

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Jun 9, 2017

Wynonna Earp is back for a brand-new season this week on Syfy, and there are some big changes on the way for our favorite gunslinging sisters and their friends ... and we've got the scoop from Waverly Earp herself.

When last we were in the Ghost River Triangle, the eldest Earp sister had nearly released hell on Earth before she was stopped by Wynonna and her magic gun, Peacemaker. But stepping over the boundary did let some new evil in. Plus, Dolls has been taken by Black Badge, Waverly may not really be an Earp, and the youngest sister was last seen pointing a gun at Wynonna's head. Or was she?

Dominique Provost-Chalkley, the woman behind the Waverly, sat down with Fangrrls to dish on all the big changes coming to the show this season.

Season 1 ended with a lot of questions for Waverly. Let's start with the very last episode of last season, where your eyes turn black and you've got a gun pointed at Wynonna (or at least that's what we think).

Dominique Provost-Chalkley: Did that actually happen?! Oh my God.

Did that really happen, and is it something that's going to be dealt with quickly, or will it be sticking around?

I'm not sure if I can answer that fully. What I will say is we jump into it straight off the top of the second season and there are a lot of unanswered questions. It will not take the entire season; however, it's a big part of the beginning of the season and a very exciting part, I think.

We do see Waverly's eyes go black a couple times during that trailer.

I know. Cheeky, eh, that they let you see that? I was surprised that they were going straight in with that. I was like "Guys, hold off. Let's get them excited."

Well, I do think that helps raise the excitement for some fans. Speaking of big Waverly moments in Season 1, Bobo dropped kind of a big bomb on her saying that she is not, in fact, an Earp. How is that news, whether true or not, going to affect her going into this season?

Well, I think what is so admirable about Waverly is that she gets on with things. Even if she's hurting, even if she has things going on in her life, she gets on with things and she always sees the glass half full. She always looks at the positive. But naturally, it was a huge bombshell that Bobo put on her last season, so I think, even if she doesn't let on to it, it really, really affected her. And it's gonna affect her until she gets to the bottom of it.

What is so lovely about the second season, that will be one of my favorite storylines that we're telling, is this idea of identity, and what makes you part of a family. Is it blood relation? Is it being side by side with someone your entire life growing up? And working out, for Waverly, what that means and who she is and how she fits into this. We do explore it, for sure.

So does she divulge that information to Wynonna? Or does she keep it a secret?

I can't tell you that.

What are some of the biggest changes that we're going to notice when Season 2 picks up?

I think, personally, the second season is so much better than the first season, and I'll tell you why. I think, with a genre like this, a genre show, where the mythology is so complicated, so complex, the first season is all about setting up the world and introducing the characters, and we start the second season exactly where we left off and just continue with the momentum. So it's action-packed, fast, quick, because we can just play within the world we created right from the get go.

At the end of last season, another big change was that Nicole finally finds out what's really going on in Purgatory. So how does that affect her relationship with Waverly?

Well, a lot has gone down, obviously, towards the end of last season, and we had just come out as a relationship to Wynonna, and also the fact that she's discovering all this stuff. There are a lot of new factors to the relationship that we then get to explore going into the second season. It affects us in the sense that I feel like it brings us closer together instantly because we have more common ground, the stakes are higher, Nicole understands what Waverly is going through, what the family are going through, the Earp sisters, and it connects us even further.

Speaking of that relationship, fans reacted really positively to its existence. So did that reaction from fans affect the way you guys handled it going forward?

Absolutely. Seeing the response to the relationship in Season 1, just really reiterated to me how important it is to treat this relationship with respect. I knew it from the get-go and I say in every single interview that the most important thing for me was to tell that story in the first season honestly. But then inevitably when I have any sort of conversation with any of the LGBT community that are part of the Wynonna fanbase, it just hits home even more how important it is to people and how much people hold onto this relationship. Of course, it's inevitable that it affects you and it really really touches me when I hear people's stories and how they have been affected by us.

So yes it does, but I will say going into the second season, I went for a coffee with Kat [Barrell] as soon as we got into Calgary and I wanted to make sure that even though we'd had such a mad summer of seeing how the fans reacted to our love story, I wanted to make sure that we continued the story where we left off and not being influenced by all the attention that the relationship had gotten. Because it almost felt like we just continued this relationship through the summer and that it was way more developed than where we actually left it off in the first season. So it was important that we go back to seeing where we were at and actually it was still very early days for Nicole and Waverly.

But actually, it felt like we had lived something much bigger because Kat and Dominique had, if that makes any sense. So just to remind ourselves we'd just come out to Wynonna. This is brand new territory, and to make sure we kept it true to that because that is why I think fans held on to that relationship because we kept bringing it back to the truth.

So are you able to talk at all about how Wynonna does react now that she's had some time to breathe?

Well, I think she reacted marvelously at the end of the first season, you know? Really that's why I love Emily directing, it was like "Finally, you picked a good one." She could have reacted in so many different ways and it was just kind of like great, you know? And accepted straight away. I think more than anything, whoever is going to be in Waverly's life is going to be, not a threat to Wynonna, but is never gonna be good enough. When you have a sibling or anyone that you feel really really passionately about, nobody is ever going to be good enough for that person. Whether it's a girl, boy, unicorn, whatever. They are never gonna be good enough and I think that's what causes Wynonna to have a few opinions about it. It's more just the fact that she just wants to make sure that Waverly doesn't get hurt because that is her primary goal in everything she does.

There is a Waverly moment that keeps getting highlighted in the trailers so I have to ask: what is with the cheerleading outfit?

You're the first person who's asked me about the cheerleading.

How is that possible? It's all over the trailer.

I know! It's all I see. I go on Twitter and there are like 10,000 gifs of me dancing. Emily Andras, what was she thinking?

When I first arrived in Calgary, the second AD came up to me and she was like "Hey, Dom, so you're gonna need some dance lessons." and I was just like "What?" And Emily was just like "I'm sorry!" Yeah, it was kind of a shock to me as well. I'm pretty much game for everything and Emily knew that and threw it at me and I did my best and I hope people like it.

So far it seems like they're enjoying it. So do you do a lot of extracurricular lessons? Did you have to learn how to shoot or fight or, obviously, dance?

I have dancing in my background. I was primarily a dancer when I was younger. I've been dancing since I was four, so that's why Emily wrote it in because she knew that I could do it. She found out about my special skills and then there was no going back. So I didn't actually have any lessons for the cheerleading. I just sort of learned it off a video and turned up and hoped for the best. Hoped I wasn't gonna get fired. So that was good. Other than that, we had shooting lessons before the first season, but this year it was just expected that we remembered how we did it and that there weren't gonna be any crazy mistakes and luckily there weren't.

We've been told through the season synopsis that there are gonna be some new bad guys on the way, plus Black Badge is gonna be a bigger pain in the ass than usual, so how does this shake things up for the team?

Well, obviously we saw in Episode 13 that something got into the Ghost River Triangle when Willa crossed the boundary, so we need to work out, of course, what that is and how we're going to fight it. But what I would say - I don't want to give too much away - but what I would say is that we've got a lot more to deal with than just the revenants. As the mythology progresses, so does our understanding of the Earp Curse and as it becomes clearer we realize who the real threats are and we have to plan accordingly.

Do you love how unspecific that was and how I'm just not gonna tell you?

That was remarkably unspecific, thank you.

You're welcome.

So what was the biggest challenge for you this season?

The biggest challenge was how much more I'm in it. That's going to sound silly. I'm a bit of a geek and I really love prepping stuff and working as hard as I possibly can outside of work, making sure that I really know all my stuff before I go on set, and the nature of this season was that I was in it a lot more, which meant that I didn't have as much time to do my preparation and I kind of had a bit of the experience of what Melanie [Scrofano] has to go through which is you don't have the time. You have to turn up and you have to pull it out of the bag even if you haven't been able to learn your lines in the same way that you wanted to. So that was a feeling of working very organically in the moment, which is different for me and a huge eye opener, and really beneficial for my acting. That was a proper treat. The biggest challenge but really it was the biggest gift.

Is there something you're most looking forward to having the fans experience this season?

Yes, there is. I'm not allowed to tell you what it is, but I can tell you that it is in Episode 5.

So we will look forward to episode 5 then.

Yep, it's a good one. Mark my words.

Finally, last question, is anyone keeping track of how many revenants Wynonna has killed?

Obviously, Waverly is, come on! Waverly is all over that, you know that. She knows what's going on. She's got a database, she's got many a graph that she's drawn. She knows what's going down.

She knows exactly how many are left to break the curse?

That's actually something I can't tell you because the mythology evolves.

Get ready, cause it's gonna be one hell of a ride.

Wynonna Earp Season 2 premieres June 9 at 10 p.m. on Syfy.