Last week in "Let's Pretend We're Strangers" enormous events played out on SYFY's Wynonna Earp and things will truly never be the same for our kick-ass action heroine. "I'm excited about it but I'm nervous," said creator/executive producer Emily Andras admitting she's worried whether fans will continue to watch the demon hunting show, she told SYFY WIRE in an exclusive interview.
SPOILER ALERT! Massive Spoilers Ahead!
In the episode, the big bad goo demon hopped back and forth between Wynonna and Wavery, Lucado head exploded after she touched the black goo (aka a demon named Mictian), the Fraternal Order of demon busters popped up to play interference, Black Badge vanished, and ... oh, yeah ... Wynonna is knocked up.
Andras (Lost Girl, Killjoys) chatted with SYFY WIRE about star Melanie Scrofano's real life pregnancy and how that changed the direction of the series, what lies ahead for the characters and why Wynonna's pregnancy won't be the only shocking development of the season.
Wynonna's pregnant! Now that was a shocking twist.
I'm really thrilled with the response. Especially because we had lots of interesting developments.
Oh, my gosh!
That's what I feel like. Let's just lie down for a minute (laughs). I can't believe we pulled it off. The biggest surprise for me is that we kept it a secret. Right? In this day and age I can't believe people didn't guess ... that everyone stayed quiet, and there you go!
Especially since she was wearing that big coat ... In all ways it was a huge episode last week even besides the big baby news. What do you want to tell us about what led up to the episode's developments and what we have to look forward to for the rest of the season?
It's pretty funny in television. You're always dealing with the next shoe that drops. There's always another challenge or issue. That's part of my job as a showrunner, and I love it. But in typical fashion it was quite funny because I really feel like we had things under control going into the second season ... I feel like everybody's on board. We agree about the tone. Everybody knows what the show is.
So, of course, the universe decided to smack down my arrogance, which is always a good thing. Melanie took me for coffee and I said, "I'm so excited. It's going to be so great." And she said, "Here's the thing about that ... I'm pregnant. And not only am I pregnant, but my due date is a week after we finish shooting. I'm going to be in the third trimester." … Let's say we made it by mere days.
Wow! That must have been an interesting conversation.
Obviously I'm a woman in the business and I have two kids myself. I know the challenges and our show [is] female friendly ... And the more I looked at the schedule and thought about it ... I care about Melanie and I want her to feel safe and supported. I was like, "We have to play this pregnancy." This is a show with an action heroine. This is not a sitcom. This is not where we can stick a laundry basket in front of Wynonna Earp for five episodes. It's just not going to work. Everyone's going to know she's pregnant and it's going to feel ridiculous, even on a show that celebrates the ridiculous.
So I took a huge chance because I felt we didn't really have an option, and I went into SYFY and I was like, "Guys, I think this is what we have to do. We have to be brave. We have to do a pregnant superhero. Think about it like Marge Gunderson from Fargo. I know we can do this and we don't have to miss a beat or change that much story. She can still be a demon hunter because she's the only one who can wield the gun, and I think that's a really important story to tell that she can still be herself while she's dealing with yet another type of challenge." And honestly, God bless SYFY. It was a room full of dudes and they were all like, "We love it. It's so fresh and so interesting. We love Melanie. We want her to be supported." As far as experiences I've had, it's basically one of the most positive experiences I've had in the business, and it really speaks to the network's commitment.
That being said, I'm excited about it but I'm nervous. I hope people continue to stick with us and take a chance and see what we do with it. I mean we're not suddenly going to go into mommy mode. She's still Wynonna Earp. She's kind of a fu**-up, right. What's she going to do without her whiskey?
The other interesting thing is that she may be giving birth to somebody who may have to wield the gun at some point.
Exactly. That's it. We don't know for sure yet what the baby is and who's the father and what not. But if it does in fact turn out to be a baby and an Earp heir, it's just another person who's kind of cursed, right. And I think if nothing else it will provide motivation even more so for Wynonna to beat the curse. She's not just doing it for herself and Waverly and now everyone who's joined their little team, but she has a little one she has to protect. So I'm sure that's on her mind.
Assuming it's actually a baby.
Exactly! ... All we know as of episode five is she looked at a pregnancy test and was like, "Holy sh**!" So I think we're going to have to go with Wynonna on all those emotions as she comes to terms with whatever this actually is and what decision she makes.
It's going to be interesting for Doc too, who's a prime candidate as Daddy.
He is a prime candidate, and I would dare say Dolls. It's going to be interesting for everybody and I think seeing everyone's reactions when they find out is going to be really delicious and varied, let me just say that.
Is the pregnancy going to be the primary driving force of the season? Are there other things we can look forward to?
It is an important part of the season ... but I didn't want it to suddenly be about Wynonna and Waverly shopping for breast pumps. That's never going to be our show. Our show is gritty. It's supernatural horror. It's sexy. We've got all these other elements. We've got Waverly ... We've got the boys. We've got these villains, the Widows. We've got Tucker. We have the Earp curse. That's going to rear it's ugly head very shortly again. For the most part Melanie/Wynonna tells the story we were going to tell anyway with this other emotional [development]. So it's still a show about an action hero and I'm really happy with that.
The performances from the two ladies as demons/not demons was pretty impressive.
Oh, my God. Just the physicality, right. Seeing Mel go back and forth between demon/not demon. And the other reason we were able to pull off the surprise I would says is kudos to Dominique Provost-Chalkley because we basically waved her in front of the audience in various adorable costumes playing different roles, and I think that's part of the reason we were able to keep the pregnancy a secret. She's so phenomenal and she rose because we needed her to distract everybody. There's just more of that sister stuff coming.
There's a scene at the end of Episode Six that I think is like, can we just give Melanie Scrofano an Emmy already, even if we have to steal it. That's fine. We'd give it back ... There's just so much exceptional work coming from a lot of people this year. Everybody raises their game this year, especially in the back half. This is the thing. This cast is so much better than it has a right to be on this little underdog supernatural show. It's definitely one of the things I'm most proud of is there work and their dedication.
Wynonna is pregnant, so there's a lot ot deal with there. But what about the other characters on the show. What do we have to look forward to from them this season?
So much. Poor Waverly ... now she has to tell to her girlfriend. They have to talk about what their relationship looks like now that she's back to herself. She doesn't know for sure if she's an Earp or not. Doc obviously has to consider the fact that he might be a father after 150 years of living, most of it at the bottom of a well. But Doc also has some very interesting challenges coming up as well that may be tied more to our Women in Black than we think. Dolls is back. He heard that Black Badge has been disbanded. What does that mean for him and his place in the world? And what's it all going to mean for his feelings Wynonna. He obviously has strong feelings, but now he's somewhat untethered by work? So is he going to pursue her? He doesn't know she's pregnant. What does that look like? Also he doesn't know that much about his backstory. He seems to be some sort of amazing fire-breathing dragon, but what is that?
I think what you'll see along the line is more of the team banding together to fight what is coming and realizing the scope of what they are fighting and how much, as always, it's connected to the Earps and the Earp curse. So everybody has surprises in store. It's going to be a wild ride ... There's going to be a lot of surprises.
Besides the pregnancy, did you face any other challenges this season?
I'm not going to lie, I would say having a pregnant lady who I'm very fond of and I'm very protective of I think was one of the biggest challenges ... So figuring that out was a challenge, but it was also a delight. Figuring out how a pregnant woman could fight and what that action's going to look like.
But I'm not going to lie. There's always the same challenge, which is budget. I would love to do Battle of the Bastards, but I can barely do Battle of the Frying Pans. So for me it's making sure the characters and emotions are grounded and that that stuff is so satisfying that if the rest of it is a little less big, for lack of a better term in this Marvel age, that you're still are compelled to watch the show. I'm really proud of the second season. It's kind of ironic. I always think a TV show is like giving birth. I think when you're in it it's horrible and you say I'm never going to do it again and at the end you're like, "Look at my beautiful weird demon baby." You're so proud of it.
For you personally, what has this season meant for you?
It's definitely the most challenging season I've ever done in my entire life. It is also probably professionally the most satisfying thing I've ever done in my life. I'm just so proud of how it all came together and how we were able to make it work under difficult circumstances. I hope what we've done this year will be admired and talked about and laughed about for years. I just want to make people feel something, and I really feel like we've accomplished that, and that's all you can expect out of television. To have created something people love is beyond my wildest dreams. Every day that makes me pretty excited.
Why should someone tune in who's never seen the show before?
You should tune in if you just want to watch something that's freaking fun, that's kick-ass for all the strong female character, but also all the strong male characters. I think it's a show about people fighting demons, but it's very grounded. If people just want to come home from work and watch 42 minutes of something that makes you laugh and cry and scream and gag, it will take you on a wild ride and surprise you. And I think in this day and age that's really, really unique. And on top of that we have an incredible community of fans that really love and support each other. We have a lot of fun live tweeting on Friday. If you're just looking for an immersive entertainment experience, Wynonna Earp seems to be getting there and it's a shit ton of fun.
Wynonna Earp airs on SYFY on Fridays at 9PM. Here's a sneak peak at tonight's episode, "Whiskey Lullaby":