The stars of SYFY series WYNONNA EARP met with reporters this past weekend at San Diego Comic-Con. Cast members Melanie Scrofano, Tim Rozon, Dominique Provost-Chalkley, Shamier Anderson, Katherine Barrell, Tamara Duarte, and Varun Saranga joined showrunner Emily Andras and comic book creator Beau Smith to discuss the series’ family dynamic, Wyonna’s pregnancy, popular relationships like Wayhaught and Wyndolls, and more.
The Earp sisters.
One of WYNONNA EARP’s many draws is the sibling dynamic between Wynonna and Waverly Earp. At Comic-Con, Emily Andras said that when she first saw the WYNONNA EARP comic book, the Earp sisterhood really stood out to her: “I was quite intrigued by the idea of sisters in the comic book…What I liked the best was the idea that Waverly really wants to be the chosen one, and Wynonna wants to be Waverly and be liked by everybody — and would rather die than be the chosen one. So, I think it’s interesting that they love each other; but they also have what the other wants, so to speak.”
As far as Andras is concerned, there’s also no limit to the rich storytelling available with this particular aspect of the source material. “It’s just so rich, right? I could tell that story for twenty years. I think sister stories don’t get enough play.”
Thank the television gods for Andras’ belief that sisterhood is just as important as any other relationship. It’s almost as if women are interesting characters, just like their male counterparts. Imagine.
The extended Earp family.
It’s worth noting that the series’ somewhat unlikely collection of characters forms its own family. “Genre is the home of building your own family. I think we’ve seen that time and time again, from BUFFY to BATTLESTAR: the idea that you can’t choose your family, but you can build a family of your own. And we certainly strive to do that on the show,” said Andras.
Whether this is the case for other genre shows or not, WYNONNA EARP’s familial bonds go beyond what’s on the screen.
Take, for example, the cast and crew’s reactions to star Melanie Scrofano’s pregnancy, which was written into the series’ second season. In many occupations, women run the risk of being met with negative backlash if they become pregnant at a time that might be inconvenient for others. But from the EARP family, Scrofano was met with plenty of support, showing just how close the team really is.
“When the family heard that, they were like a real family,” said Beau Smith, creator of the original WYNONNA EARP comics. Everyone pulled together and recognized Melanie’s news as what it was: a good thing, not something to stand in their way. As Scrofano herself discussed some of the ways her pregnancy affected those on set, she became visibly emotional. She described the experience as “incredible to see the way my life affects everybody on our cast — and the crew even…It just grounded this season in such a beautiful, emotional place for everyone.”
The warmth extended beyond the reactions to Melanie Scrofano’s pregnancy, too. When asked how it felt to join WYNONNA EARP in its second season, newcomer Varun Saranga said, “everyone was so kind to me, and loving, and generous.” The same could be said of Saranga’s character. “I think he enjoys being part of the family….He really cares about these people because they care about him. And that’s his motivation to stay.”
Oh, and don’t forget one of the most vital parts of the WYNONNA EARP family: The Earpers.
“We’re here because of that fandom,” said Tim Rozon, who plays Doc Holliday, “The fandom is the biggest part of our success…So, for me, I’m in debt to all Earpers, ever — forever.”
The praise for the fans didn’t end there. Dominique Provost-Chalkley was a bit nervous to play some of Waverly’s scenes in season two, but some of that pressure was eased by knowing she’d have the fandom rooting for her. “I knew that Earpers are so supportive in everything we do, and we really couldn’t have a more positive and loving fanbase. So, it was kind of the perfect platform to do [them].”
Showrunner Emily Andras informed reporters that the WYNONNA EARP team even surprised some fans at Comic-Con by crashing their viewing party and live tweeting the series’ latest episode with them.
When will your faves ever is, I believe, the proper response to that.
It may be a plot on a sci-fi series, but Wynonna Earp’s pregnancy will be more realistic than you think.
According to star Melanie Scrofano, Emily Andras’ first reaction to Scrofano’s news was, “you have hilarious timing.” After that, Andras got down to the business of turning something that most showrunners would consider a major inconvenience into an opportunity for even better storytelling. Quite a few series, in just about every genre, have had a major problem with finding a way to show what an expecting mother might experience; but Scrofano assured the press at Comic-Con that this would not be the case on WYNONNA EARP.
“Basically, every moment of what I was going through as Melanie, good and bad, [Andras said], ‘just put it into the character.’ I think it’s really…I think it’s really honest, and you know what? Some people might look at it and be like, ‘I don’t think she would be able to do all that.’ And I say, ‘bullshit.’ Because I, Melanie, was working eighteen hour days. I’d get up. I’d learn my lines. I’d go to work. I’d cry, have a meltdown I’d yell at someone. I’d go apologize, and then I’d keep going. And Wynonna does the same thing. So, I think it really shows pregnancy in an honest light for what it was. For me. It’s not the same for everyone.”
The actress went on to describe instances where her back would hurt — a common problem for pregnant women — and her reaction, holding her back, while not written into the scenes, was kept in the final product because it was so natural. “It’s just those little moments that Wynonna would probably go through, too, and it was really fun to put those in.”
If it sounds like Melanie Scrofano, not Wynonna Earp, is the true superhero here, that’s probably about accurate.
That’s not to say that Wynonna won’t continue to be the hero of her own story, though. And now that she has someone new to protect, expect her to be more fierce.
In yet another dose of reality infused into this oftentimes impossible to describe Syfy channel gem, Wynonna will want to protect her child in that special way mothers do. “She’s had to protect people before — for sure,” teased Scrofano, “but once you become a mother, “you have this protective instinct that kicks in. And so, it just — she just — becomes stronger, in a way.”
Beware things that go bump in the night: If you thought Wynonna Earp was scary before, wait until she becomes a demon-hunting mama bear.
Emily Andras’ bravery in going forward with a pregnancy storyline, rather than covering up Scrofano’s real-life pregnancy, is very important, according to Beau Smith.
“I’ll be honest with you. Right now, there’s someone that’s fifteen to twenty years old that watches WYNONNA EARP, and they’re seeing this. In ten, fifteen, twenty years, they’re going to be a producer — or a writer — and someone at a [Comic-Con roundtable interview] like this is going to ask them, ‘well, what inspired you — what made you do something that’s so creative?’ At that point, they’re going to go, ‘well, there was this show called WYNONNA EARP. And in the second season, they made the lead…She was pregnant, and she did this.’ And that’s what’s going to happen.”
Even with all of the realistic drama, Earpers can still look forward to plenty of the series’ supernatural storytelling.
As of this season’s seventh episode, there’s already the possibility that the father of Wynonna’s baby is a revenant. What would that even mean for the baby? The demon-Earp hybrid possibilities are endless.
And there’s always plenty of evil for the series’ lead to dispose of. It’s not like Purgatory is going to shut down for maternal leave, after all.
So, if you’re not here for a “real” story and want to be swept up in the sci-fi of it all, there’s nothingto fear (except maybe goo possession, revenants, and who knows what else). Let’s just hope there isn’t another rat smoothie. I don’t care how delighted Melanie Scrofano was to describe the film magic behind that. I still don’t think I’ll ever be able to look at a blender the same way again after that scene.
Up next: WayHaught, bromance, Wyndolls, and more.