Killjoys is finally back tonight kickin’ off its third action-packed season!
I’ve been chatting about the series with Aaron Ashmore (John Jaqobis) since before Season 1 even aired. I heard “space bounty hunters,” and just like that I was all in. Last season, I had the amazing opportunity of touring the set and meeting most of the cast in person. Yup, they’re all as lovely as you’d expect them to be and Aaron is one of the coolest and most accessible actors I’ve been fortunate enough to interview over the years.
Here’s our latest conversation, where we discuss Johnny’s state of mind, cool new locations, tech and cast members. Plus what Season 3 of Killjoys is all about at its core. Sure, war is coming to the Quad, but there’s more going on than you might expect. I hope you enjoy my exclusive chat with Aaron Ashmore, and make sure to tune in LIVE tonight at 8|7c. I’ll be live-tweeting over at @KilljoysGeek
MustGeekTV: So, you’ve been living with John Jaqobis for 3 seasons now. How’s he changed, and has he grown in the way you were expecting or has he kind of surprised you?
Aaron Ashmore: Well, he really started out being super lighthearted and that was just his general energy. Over the couple seasons, and all the terrible things that have happened in the Quad, I don’t think its totally dampened his joie de vivre or amazing spirit, but I think its definitely taken a bit of a shine off it. I do think, particularly at the end of the second season, John really surprised me with all of that transition. The interesting romance and all that with Pawter. Then obviously her death and his revenge killing. That was a huge surprise. To me, there’s less surprise in Season 3 for John. We’re definitely delving into some other characters a little bit deeper. So, I think John’s darker side comes through a little bit, but that’s really the big change for John’s character.
MGTV: Going into Season 3, how many months have passed since John left with Clara? What can you share about his “walkabout?”
AA: Not that long. I’m sure if you asked Michelle [Lovretta], she’d be able to tell you exactly how long, but I would say not that long. Maybe two to three weeks? Maybe a month, something like that? It’s not a huge time gap, to my knowledge. John and Clara are, sort of, running away I guess in a lot of ways, but I think John being John (and Clara being Clara) they’re also doing some good out there. What they’ve been doing over this time is tracking down slavers and repos who are going after Hack-mods. In the first couple of episodes, we’re introduced to a bunch of Hack-mods and that world and the dynamics of that as Michelle does so well. Setting up the details of specific types of people, like she did with the Scarbacks and the Nine and all that stuff in the Quad. We just really get into the world of the Hack-mods and that’s sort of the first two episodes. So, that’s really where we’re at.
MGTV: You mentioned the Hack-mods. Is there any bit of tech this season you really enjoyed? I mean, we’ve seen that kind of Borg-lookin’ eyepiece in the promos, but can you talk about that stuff?
AA: Yeah, within those first two episodes John has a specific piece of tech (highlighted in the video below) and I won’t say what it is, but it turns out to be a very useful little piece of tech that he is gifted by the Hack-mods.
MGTV: There are some really interesting new locations this year. Did you have a favorite? The Hack-mod world stuff is insanely cool!
AA: The first two episodes, pretty much all the Hack-mods stuff and locations they found are amazing. There’s a great new Hack-mod bar location that we shoot in. There’s a really cool, it’s called like a rejuvenation spa sort of thing. Very futuristic and very of another world. So yeah, the first few episode locations that they found were absolutely incredible. And all the Hack-mod stuff, sort of, retro-futuristic… which this show does a lot of. I think they really stepped it up with those elements in the Hack-mod locations.
MGTV: What was it like working with bionic pop artist Viktoria Modesta? I’m not sure if she’s done any acting, but she comes across as a real pro on the show.
AA: This is what I was told, well she’s not really an actor but she’s a performer and I was like… okay, what does that mean? To be honest with you, I was a little nervous so I looked her up and I was like, okay she looks the part. She looks amazing, but if she’s not an actor she’s got a lot to play in this role.
Then the first day on set I was working with her and all the nerves and trepidation were for nothing. She was absolutely incredible and it is really her first time in an acting type role, but she was fantastic. Super down to Earth. Super confident as well, which is tough to do the first time you’re on set and acting. It was a real pleasure. I think that she comes across very very well, and stands out in the episode. We were very very lucky to get her.
MGTV: How’s Johnny handling Pawter’s death? Probably better than I am… I miss Sarah Power! Will the guy ever catch a break? He deserves a win, man.
AA: I wouldn’t say there’s a lot of romance in the same way this season as there was last season, we’re going to war. So, those elements are sort of diminished for everybody because that’s not where everybody’s at. In that department, no, he’s not going to catch a break. I mean, the world that we’re living in right now, nobody’s really catching a break. Things are pretty dark and serious. We’re going to war and of course we’re going to have some wins and some losses along the way, but John doesn’t get beat down beyond recognition or anything like that this year.
MGTV: He got plenty beat down last year. So maybe they’ll do the romance in Season 4?
AA: Yeah, you never know. I think we’re going to need a little bit of romance in Season 4 after the war, probably.
MGTV: Michelle Lovretta has said it won’t take long for John, Dutch & D’avin to reunite, but are there any new dynamics with other characters that were fun to play?
AA: Well we do have a new member of our team and I don’t know how much I’m giving away, but she is introduced I think in the second episode… A character named Zeph. And she is basically the new nerd for our ship. Since Johnny’s gone, they need somebody who is able to do some of the duties that John had done. So yeah, when John comes back there’s a few ruffled feathers. I think he feels like he’s been replaced and he’s got to like peacock and stuff a bit. It was really fun to play with Kelly [McCormack] who plays Zeph, and she’s got a really large part over the season. She does a fantastic job, like a totally new type of energy and dynamic and stuff. Yeah she’s a great addition to our cast.
MGTV: I ask you this every season… but, did you have a favorite episode to shoot this year? Our kind of “look forward to” episode for Season 3. Without any spoilers of course.
AA: Yeah I think Episode 7 turned out really really well. For me, the really interesting scene and I think I read Michelle say it somewhere… we get to see the scene where Dutch and John meet. That’s a very fun tid bit, because we’ve talked about that scene. We’ve referenced that moment many times, but we actually get the chance to see it. I thought it was kind of cool and fun to see their first meeting.
MGTV: I know that’s a moment fans have been dying and asking to see for a while now. It’s going to be awesome!
AA: It’s brief. It is what it is, but I think it’s just what fans will really like because it’s a little flicker into the past where we get to see that meeting.
MGTV: You’ve always told me you love the action stuff, so does Johnny get to kick some butt this season?
AA: Ah no, John still doesn’t get a ton of the action stuff. He’s still doing stuff on the ship, or he’s at a terminal doing all the tech stuff and setting stuff up so that the other guys can do their thing. For some reason John gets tortured three times this season. I don’t know, the writers like watching Johnny get tortured. It’s not even beat up. It’s just these scenarios where he’s captive and getting tortured. They’re putting him through the wringer like that, but it’s not even fight scenarios. So, I don’t get to kick a lot of butt this year.
MGTV: The war against Aneela is going to be absolutely epic, and the stakes are pretty high this season. What can you tease about the overall season’s arc?
AA: If you’ve been watching the show, after Season 2, you know in a big way what this season is going to be about. We say we’re going to war at the end of Season 2 and that’s what it is, the preparation for the war. But I think the big arc for the show, what the season really is about more than anything, is Dutch and Aneela. That rivalry. We really get to know who Aneela is, she’s not now just some presence out there in the world we don’t know anything about. We start to get her story, her backstory and find out who she is as a character. The really cool thing is, as we get to know Aneela the answers to who Dutch really is start to come out. How these two characters are entwined and why they look identical.
That’s really what the season is about, Aneela vs Dutch. If you’ve seen a lot of the artwork this year, that’s what they’re featuring like crazy. The tagline is like, “bad vs evil.” Dutch is the badass and Aneela is evil. The artwork is all about that duality and these characters going head to head. It’s not really a secret, but that’s what the season is really about.
MGTV: Aaron as always, total pleasure talking Killjoys with you. I loved the first four episodes, and I’m dying to see more.
AA: Very much appreciated. All the best and until the next time we talk… Enjoy the season!
Killjoys Season 3 premieres tonight, June 30 at 8|7c on Syfy and Space.
BONUS FAN Q&A…
joanne – @JoanneVerbeek – Will they encounter some more level 6 agents?
AA: Oh you better believe it! The Level Sixes are still out there, and a big part of the season is trying to smoke out more Level Sixes because we know that they’re out there… in the RAC. We know that they’re in the J. So, yeah absolutely we’re trying to smoke them out and that’s a big part of the war.
Russ Saltmarsh – @rsalty – Looks like they mesh so well as a team. Do they have fun on the set?
AA: Absolutely. I think this is one of the most fun times I’ve ever had professionally… is working on Killjoys. I’ve been very fortunate to work on shows where I’ve had a blast. Warehouse 13 was the same thing. I’ve talked to other people who have had much more difficult times on set. I mean, we have fun and laugh every day. It’s like going to work with your friends. What more can you ask for?
Verlaine – @ladyofthewhills – Will johnny be dealing with the repercussions of killing Del Seyah this season?
AA: Yes. The first three or four episodes there’s definitely elements of that, and obviously the fact that he’s run away. Those things definitely do come to bite Johnny in the ass a little bit and the team, actually.
Julian M Worthington – @JulMWorthington – Has John Jaqobis changed this season after the death of Pawter in S2? How will his grief affect this season?
AA: We sort of talked about that before. Definitely, he’s a little darker and his sense of humor and his goofiness is still there, but I think as I said before, the shine’s taken off a little bit. He’s just a little more grown up. A little more world weary, I guess.
Scaper4 – @Scaper4 – How long before Johnny is reunited with Dutch and D’avin? Johnny’s my fave, but he needs his family right now.
AA: Quite quickly. Not right away, but it’s only a ten episode season and I don’t think they wanted to write the spin-off of Johnny on the other side of the Quad doing his thing. So we do reunite fairly quickly.
Tom Gardiner – @Thogar – Ask him why he never sha … No, I promised I wouldn’t. #ChafingNotShaving
AA: I think Tom must have some sort of clean shaven face fetish or something like that. That’s all I can think of. He’s constantly from day one I feel, like on Twitter always bugging me about how Johnny doesn’t shave. He looks scruffy, you know all this sort of stuff. So I think he just must love a clean shaved face. I can not think of another reason. I sent him a picture of me clean shaven saying that’s why, cause I look like a man baby. [both laugh]