One of the things that Syfy‘s very excellent Haven does very well is to integrate new characters into the show. It helps when the new character is played by someone who is already beloved by Syfy fans, and that’s certainly true of Colin Ferguson, who for six years played Sheriff Jack Carter on Eureka.
Ferguson and Haven star Emily Rose recently took time to talk with the press about the new season and their new characters. Ferguson plays the mysterious William, and Emily Rose is playing Lexie, a fourth version of the the woman whose previous incarnations included Sarah, Lucy, and Audrey Parker.
Here they are in a clip from last week’s episode:
Given the nature of the show, they couldn’t say too much about what was ahead – sorry – so I asked them what they liked best about their new roles:
Colin Ferguson: What I like most is that they’ve given me so much to play. You know, when you come in to service, you know, a show the way that I had been brought in, the fear is that you’re going to be the plot hammer. You’re just going to come in and like, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, and everybody else with just cool reaction.
But they’ve actually written this great role that has so much subtext because you’re not really sure what he’s doing from time to time, and that was a huge gift for me. So I think probably that’s what I’m most grateful for and what I like the most, that he does that with humor.
Emily Rose: I think for me, Audrey is such a fun character to play in general because she gets to be all these different people. And so with Lexie, I feel like one of the fun things for me to play with her was like all of the external things that she was — her hair, her rings, her nose ring, the dark sort of edgier kind of point of view, and just the humor.
I mean Audrey is so serious all the time because she has to be. And so playing Lexie was like a breath of fresh air because she didn’t take anything seriously. She’s like there to have a good time, party a bit. And if she gets freaked out, kind of cool and crazy. But she’s mainly there like razzing everybody and, you know, just kind of a party girl.
The thing that always caught me off-guard when I was getting to film was I was like, I get to say that line in a completely different way, and it’s hilarious. That’s really fun. So that was the part I enjoyed the most with Lexie.
Which brought me to my follow-up question: how easy or challenging is it to step into roles that have to be so different from what you played before?
Emily Rose: It was really fun for me. But I think having kind of just had my son, having the baby and then coming straight into like four days of straight shooting in order to kind of catch up with everybody else, there was a little piece in me that was like, is this Audrey or is this Lexie? And I constantly was kind of talking with Colin and just saying like, oh, I kind of maybe want to take that again, it feels a little more Audrey than it was Lexie, I need to make sure that this character is coming through. You know, that’s always your fear, is that maybe one will bleed into the other.
But in my case it’s okay if they do kind of bleed into each other I think, but still you want to make a clear distinction. But no, to me, the externals, the things like my costume and what I’m wearing really help me get caught from one person to the next.
Colin Ferguson: Yes. And I would say the first day is always the worst. I mean, prior to coming in, you have all these ideas about what the character is and how you’re going to play it and all that stuff, but you don’t know if anyone else is going to approve or if it’s going to work. And you don’t really know until you start bouncing off the other person and seeing if any of it lands or if, you know, the writers and the execs and the other actors had a completely different take on the scene.
So prior to that first day, you’re pretty nervous playing someone new, you know, because there’s all this concept discussion. The concept doesn’t really mean anything at the end of the day, it comes down to execution and what that means to everybody involved. So yes, that first day is always nerve-wracking.
But after that, I mean it’s a breath of fresh air… The good news about playing someone for a bunch of different years is that you learn them so well and it’s such familiar clothing to step into. The downside is that it’s hard to make it fresh.
The good side about getting someone new is that it’s completely fresh, so you’re energized right out of the gate. The scary bit is your bag of tricks is way smaller, so you’re just slowly growing it as the character grows, and that’s a fun, fun exploration. So in a sense Emily and I were doing it together, you know, in the first couple of scenes.
SciFiMafia.com: Definitely. And I’ve got to say, although I love Jack Carter, I kind of already like William better.
Well, I do. But that did cause a bit of a reaction. Happily, though, Colin brought it up again later during the discussion:
Colin Ferguson: And by the way, I guess it was Erin who said (she) might like the character more than the Jack Carter, and that’s really nice. I mean that’s sort of the fear about leaving a show is that you’re just going to go on to do characters that are less (popular). And it’s nice that this character that I get to play is, you know, attractive in some way, you know, not like in a – that way but like – it’s a good character. I’m really – I’m flattered by that. So that made me really happy. Thank you guys.
Thanks to Emily Rose and Colin Ferguson for taking the time to talk, and for what they bring to one of the best shows on TV.
Haven Season 4, starring Emily Rose, Lucas Bryant, Eric Balfour, Richard Donat, John Dunsworth, Adam Copeland, and Colin Ferguson, airs Fridays at 10/9c on Syfy.