The upcoming videogame/television series project Defiance from Syfy and Trion won't grace consoles or TV screens until 2013, but executive producer Kevin Murphy and his ensemble cast are already a few scripts into a freshman season that charts a post-apocalyptic Earth that is now home to seven alien races and the rest of humanity.
Chock-full of world-building for every alien race, the Defiance creative team has developed a deep mythology that serves as a through line for the videogame and the series. At San Diego Comic-Con, the cast of Defiance finally teased select press a bit about the characters that will serve as the ensemble focus of the original series on Syfy.
Stars Mia Kirshner (24), Jaime Murray (Dexter), Tony Curran (The Pillars of the Earth), Stephanie Leonidas (MirrorMask), Julie Benz (Angel) and Grant Bowler (True Blood) laid out their character names and their M.O. in the Earth town of Defiance.
Julie Benz: "I play Amanda Rosewater, the newly appointed mayor of the town of Defiance. She is a little in over her head trying to keep the peace amongst the humans and the aliens. I've worked a lot in genre shows, and what I love is how strong the female characters are, and in this show specifically, the men are great but I think the power lies with the women. Each female character is so well formed and thought out. They each have their power, and there's no victim. It really resonated with me in the script."
Stephanie Leonidas: "I play Irisa, who travels to Defiance with Nolan (Grant Bowler), who is basically her father figure. Even though he's human and she's alien they have quite a fiery relationship. They are fiercely loyal to one another, but as any father/daughter relationship they have their ups and down ... just with knives. We end up at Defiance, and I'm not happy about being there at the moment. I am very quiet in the show and I don't talk much, but when I do it's because I am very passionate about something. You wouldn't want to get on the wrong side of her."
Grant Bowler: "My character, Nolan, comes in with Irisa in the open of the show. He was once a part of a unit that Defiance was named after. He was in a group of heroes that ended the Pale Wars and stopped this worldwide catastrophe. He's since become a scavenger and a ne'er-do-well, which I identify with more than the whole hero thing. The only decent thing he's done since is take this young creature in and raise her. He's all about what he can get, and his objective is to kiss all the girls in town in order to win all the money. He ends up in a position of authority, which isn't really a good thing."
Mia Kirshner: "I play a Kenya, a madam, or a pleasure ambassador. She inhabits this world where she can cross over between different species. She runs this club [The Need/Want] that she's created where every fantasy you have exists within this club. She is a very complex, magical, dangerous, naughty character. What I love about the character is that she's grounded in a very strong reality."
Jaime Murray: "I play Stahma Tarr, and I'm married to Datak Tarr (Tony Curran). I come from a very powerful family in a caste system. It's a patriarchal society, and women don't have a lot of power, which doesn't sit well with my character. She finds her power in other ways, which is fun and interesting."
Tony Curran: "I play Datak, who is married to Stahma, and he's from the lowest caste and the lowest rung of the ladder imaginable. He's an uncompromising survivor. She's the words in the relationship, and I'm the action. Datak tends to get aggressive and be on the front foot. We met on the ark on the way from their planet. Back on our planet, if she would have married me it would have been a scandal, because she would have dropped from the top caste and had to live in squalor. But we're quite a full-on couple."