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Lost Girl Interviewby Pattye Grippo    

Anna Silk, Zoie Palmer and Kris Holden-Ried

This is an interview with Anna Silk, Zoie Palmer and Kris Holden-Ried on January 10, 2012 about the television series Lost Girl.

Question:
Could you tell us what we can expect this season going in since most people haven't really seen it?

Anna Silk:
The first season really introduces the audience to Bo and her journey sort of going into this whole Fae world that she's recently discovered that she's a part of. And the different people she meets along the way in that first season, really become her sort of makeshift family in this world, and Lauren, played by Zoie, and Dyson, played by Kris, are two of the very interesting characters that she meets.

Kris Holden-Ried:
From Dyson's perspective what we see is the "Lost Girl" Anna Silk playing Bo who appears on the scene, a Fae who's been born into a human family and didn't know she was Fae. Describe her in this entire other world that she didn't know existed. And my character, Dyson, is one of the ones that find her, just because in his job in the world that's kind of his thing. He finds not only criminals but people who have done things that shouldn't have done, in other words Fae who are exposing themselves to humans. He finds Bo and a wild crazy 13 episodes ensue.

Zoie Palmer:
I play Dr. Lauren Lewis, and so I'm doctor to the Light Fae. There are two types of Fae. There's the light and the dark. And I'm a doctor and a scientist to the light side. And Bo comes to me for some help on how to control some of the things that are happening for her, as she sort of realizes what she is, starts to learn what she is, which is a Fae. And she comes to me to kind of see if I can perhaps help her with my sciency self.

Anna Silk:
And just to expand further on, Bo did grow up thinking she was human as Kris said and does discover she's Fae, but not only is she Fae, she's actually a succubus, you know. So it's a pretty rude awakening really early on in the season. And it answers a lot of questions for her, but it opens the door to many more questions. And that's sort of what we explore in the first season is how she fits into this world and the relationships she develops along the way.

Question:
Do you think that social media and all of the different formats that have existed and now exist have contributed to "Lost Girls'" success?

Kris Holden-Ried:
Definitely.

Question:
How?

Kris Holden-Ried:
We're actually quite lucky to have an executive producer who is quite media savvy. And he kind of learned early on, I believe from some of his other series or that's he's been involved with, about how influential Internet and media exposure can be. So he actually hired some people who he knew were quite - who functioned well in that world, but I'm not quite sure where he found them from. But we've said, "Hey, look, this is our show, and if you like it, talk about it, if not, don't worry about it." Lucky for us, they really enjoyed it. She was one of the ones that believe, it's been fantastic in creating buzz and just, within that world people communicate with each other on such a fast level. And if you can get people that are interested in your show in that world, then yeah, it does a world of good.

Question:
You and Anna and Zoie, how is your comfort level with the social media buzz around "Lost Girl?"

Zoie Palmer:
I think that it's been pretty great. And it's overwhelming but it's been exceptional. I mean, and having the ability to interact with people who watch the show is kind of thrilling for us too, to be able to have that kind of feedback and to get a sense of how passionate the audience have been, and they have been very much so. So it's been great to actually be able to be a part of their response to it.

Anna Silk:
There's been such an outpouring of support for the show. I mean people that follow us on Twitter and various things, they really are big fans of the show and really care about each character and each relationship. And whenever I tweet, there's one girl in particular who always writes back within, usually a minute. Now if she doesn't I start to get worried about her. I think she's in France, and I was like, where is she? She hasn't written back. I start to get worried, because the response is so quick. It's really great.

Zoie Palmer:
Anna talking to fans is pretty much what she's doing.

Kris Holden-Ried:
But what I also found, which is real interesting is not just of the characters but the fans through these media outlets really get in touch with the person who's playing the role and I'm amazed at the power of a relationship that 255 characters or however many Twitter allows you to write. I think it's something like that, because you know, about six months I've actually just like Anna said, I've gotten to know these people. I know exactly who's talking about it. And yeah, I told her I was worried about her too.

Question:
Can you give us an idea of what shows are similar to yours in tone and style and content, just to give people an idea how to approach it?

Anna Silk:
Well, we've often gotten the "Buffy" comparison over the last few seasons. We're well into our second season here in Canada, and we still get that comparison, which is a huge compliment. But I have to say that I really think "Lost Girl" has such a unique voice. There's a lot of darkness. There's a lot of humor. It's a pretty sexy show. It's like nothing I've ever seen before on television, and it's so, I mean the "Buffy" comparison is really nice. We get "True Blood" comparisons, I guess, as well, and there's an investigative side to things as well. So I guess it's a lot of different things all rolled into one.

Zoie Palmer:
Yeah, but those are the ones that come up I guess a lot, right, would be "Buffy" and "True Blood" and it's not a werewolf show or a vampire show, I should say, but we certainly get compared to anything that has that kind of feel to it.

Question:
Can you each talk about the appeal of Bo and what you guys love about the triangle relationship as the season evolves?

Anna Silk:
The appeal of Bo, I mean since I play Bo, I don't know. I think that the appeal of Bo for me when I read the initial pilot was just how I think even though she's a succubus and she's not human and she's going to be thrown into this crazy world, she's really relatable. She's a very relatable character. She's intensely vulnerable and also has to sort of grow and find her way, and there's a lot of growth for her in the series.

And I think that that's sort of what having just talked to fans and just even myself, that's what I related to in her and that's what I found appealing was that she's strong and sexy and all of those things, but she's scared a lot of the times and vulnerable and has to figure out things as she goes. And then the love triangle that unfolds that the INs gets introduced to in season one is pretty, pretty interesting.

Zoie Palmer:
You led us right up to the love triangle and dropped us off. The love triangle is, yeah, I mean it's just that, isn't it? I think that everyone who meets Bo, including Dyson and Lauren are sort of taken with her, for reasons that I don't know I think Lauren is taken with her for reasons that I don't know that she can explain entirely. And she's obviously beautiful. You're beautiful, Anna.

But there's something about her, I think that draws people into her, and I think that that's what sort of Lauren finds right away. I think it's a surprise that she feels that way, that happens. I think she works for the Light Fae and she does her job and she's a scientist and then along comes this sort of creature, this person, this woman who does something to her, and I don't know that's she kind of sure what that something is, certainly from Lauren's side, anyway.

Kris Holden-Ried:
I think for Dyson, with the mythology behind Dyson's character has a lot to do with he's a protector. The wolf's entire job in existence was protecting its liege or its king, whoever it was assigned, and in Bo he sees an innocent but beautiful and vulnerable woman that he finds one, beautiful and fascinating, but also those instincts out in him. And there's also some historical stuff behind Trick and Bo and Dyson that the audience will find out about that also sort of plays into this as well, but I think it's really kind of a deep sort of seated instinct in Dyson's want to protect Bo, and in doing so, he gets feelings for her.

Question:
How do you prepare for these interviews without your revealing what happens at the end of season two?

Anna Silk:
It's hard, because we've kind of been living it now and experiencing it, and to go back and try to explain lay the groundwork for what's about to come. In some ways it's hard. In some ways it's easier because we have better understanding, I think of the show and of our characters and we've gotten to, like I said, live it for quite a while now. So, but it is challenging. We're really excited that American audiences are going to, they get to experience it from the very, very start. So we're curious to see how they respond.

Zoie Palmer:
I kind of love it too I kind of love remembering that time, because it was great for us too. It was as new for us as it will be for audiences, and we were all meeting each other, and although we had sort of known each other a little bit prior to the show, we kind of were getting to know each other on the show and creating relationships between ourselves too. So it's kind of fun to remember that time, for me.

Kris Holden-Ried:
Yeah, it's great. I mean season one was such a great trip, because it was that sort of cool, meeting the characters all getting together, what's happening, who is everybody. It's really quite nice to actually go back and remember where it came from, because yeah, we're actually finishing up episode 22 tomorrow, or 21 tomorrow.

Zoie Palmer:
Twenty-one, yeah.

Kris Holden-Ried:
We have one more left, so we're already in another world.

Anna Silk:
That's right.

Zoie Palmer:
Yeah. So difficult but fun.

Question:
Where did you look for inspiration? How far did you go into sort of Fae myths, and when you were first offered this job, did you kind of blow it off?

Anna Silk:
Well, I mean I guess I'll start. I didn't think that when I first read about it. What I thought was the original sort of description of the show was that she was this sexual creature who needs sex to survive. So, my initial thought was: "Are you kidding me?" You know, "What is this???? But then to really read what it was about and read I knew what a succubus was, and it's a pretty intriguing role to play. I mean it's obviously a very sexual role. She's a sexual being, but that's kind of I think what is another element that makes our show stand out. And it's a pretty fun power to have, I have to say.

Kris Holden-Ried:
For me, I've always been a fan of this kind of genre. I mean I grew up reading fantasy novels, everything from "Dragon Lands" to "Eye of the World," you know, David Edding, was it "Game of Thrones?" And so when I got a chance to jump at a role like this, I was all for it, because I grew up running through the woods by my parents farm, pretending that I was whatever, an elf, and how much further is it.

Zoie Palmer:
I don't have anything that even comes close to comparing, but I didn't watch sort of Sci Fi genre type television except, I guess, "Battlestar Galactica," which isn't really comparable to this show at all. So it was really new for me to be on a show like this and to play a character, and of course, I play human, so that I didn't need to do a ton of research in terms of my own character, but it's been a great experience, like way better than I could have ever imagined. It's such a fun job to play on this kind of a show. It's fantasy and play and yeah.

Question:
There's the Light Fae and the Dark Fae. It seems kind of like a political system of sorts. Can you talk a little bit about how that interacts with more of the personal side, like what's the balance between the two in the first season?

Anna Silk:
You're right in saying that it is a really intricate political system, and there's a lot of push and pull between the two sides. I think that, that's the world that Bo finds herself in. Not only is she in the world of the Fae, she's in a world that's divided, and there's a peace that has be kept between those sides, and that balance is really precarious. And anything could sort of tip that balance and lead to a lot of trouble. So it's a really intricate system. That's a really big part of the show that I think makes it very interesting. And it's certainly interesting for us as actors to play in.

Kris Holden-Ried:
Yeah, I mean, all of our characters interact with it in different ways. Dyson is an age-old member of the Light Fae. I mean I guess the differences between the two systems, to succinct is, Light Fae try to live in a symbiotic relationship with humanity, and the Dark Fae are more interested in dominating humanity. And that is pretty the philosophical difference between the two.

Anna Silk:
Yeah, and as a Fae, you've got to align yourself with one side or the other. That's just what you do. And that's something that Bo has trouble with.

Question:
Is there like a clear line between what's good and bad then? So it's definitely the light is good and the dark is bad?

Anna Silk:
No, I would just say the dark is particularly bad. But it's not about good and bad.

Zoie Palmer:
Yeah, I don't know that we ever reference sort of good and bad. I feel like it's sort of everyone has their reasons for their behavior sort of thing. That idea that the Light Fae try to live in harmony with humans in a way that the Dark Fae doesn't necessarily care about. I don't think they're necessarily concerned about that in a way that the Light Fae are, would be the fundamental difference. I think that they both would commit acts that most of us would consider good and bad.

Question:
In the pilot where you have all this information that's coming and you have all the action that you're involved in, which is most of the action in the episode, what were the challenges of shooting the pilot with all that going on?

Anna Silk:
Wow, as an actor, I've been very fortunate to play this role, obviously, but Bo, like you said, is completely new to this world, and so she does act like the audience. She does get to learn. And as the actor, I've gotten to learn and grow along with her, which has been a real gift. Bo has a lot of questions, particularly in the first season and as a cast we would get every episode in that first season and just be like, wow, there's this new thing we're going to learn about.

There's a new type of Fae, a new creature, a new challenge every episode. So shooting the pilot, I mean our original first episode was, I guess the challenges just came from getting a show up and running for one distance from that point of view and just really trying to lay the foundation for where the show would go and introduce the Fae world to Bo and to the audience. Anna Silk:
And the physical stuff is, it's challenging. It's fun. I mean I love doing it and it does make me feel a stronger connection to Bo, because she's pretty tough. So I like it.

Question:
Anna, have you had much fight training before taking on the role of Bo?

Anna Silk:
Well, I mean no. I did not have a lot of fight training. The worst thing to do is get Zoie and I laughing, because we never stop. So no, I did not have a lot of fight training, but I certainly, I prepared once I got the role, I prepared for the pilot. I worked with a trainer just to try to get really strong and ready to do whatever it was I was going to be doing.

Plus, we kind of had to work out what Bo's fighting style would be we didn't really know until we kind of established it over the first season. And so between a second and third season I worked with a martial artist, actually in the mornings in Griffith Park in LA, I would work with him and we would do all of this sort of really cool stick work, just to learn to be a little bit more grounded. So it's an evolving thing for me, and it's something that I do work hard at to make her powers grow and to make her become more and more capable as she sort of embraces her powers. So, yeah, I didn't do a lot, but I continue to do stuff.

Question:
What kind of a journey would you say that your characters are on during this first season?

Zoie Palmer:
For Lauren we kind of discovered that she's indebted to the Light Fae, and specifically the leader of the Light Fae, the Ash, for some reason that we don't know. And so, we've gone that journey and it's a bit of guess why she I mean the fact that a human is working for the Fae at all is a bit unusual in this way. Working with the Fae would be a bit unusual. So it's a bit of a discovery about who Lauren is and where she's from and what her story is. And of course, the development of the relationship with Bo and the rest of the characters on the show, for Lauren anyway. Anyone else?

Kris Holden-Ried:
I think for Dyson it's the discovery and the journey of Bo, of you know. For him he's been in the Fae world for a millennia and the only thing that's really new for him is this young woman who's come from nowhere and that's pretty much the center of his journey.

Anna Silk:
I think for Bo, I mean the journey is just so huge. I mean she's coming from a world where she grew up thinking she was human and has urges beyond normal sort of teenage sexual urges that resulted in a body count. So she's been on the run for a while. And so the beginning of the series is when we - when she learns that she's not human, that she's Fae. So that journey is just so big, and it continues to be every day every episode. She particularly in the first season, but even in the second season, she's constantly learning. So her journey is ongoing, very much so.

Question:
Which do you prefer working on, the sort of the mystery of the week type stories or the ones that go into the mythology?

Anna Silk:
I kind of feel like, in the first season I feel like the mystery of the week stuff sort of lent itself to learning about the mythology. I mean I think that's kind of what I think that's kind of how Bo learns about each different type of Fae and all the different sort of energies that are out there. But I don't know. I mean I feel like I can't answer that question. I feel like both. I like both.

Kris Holden-Ried:
Yeah, kind of just like what Anna said, is that they get intertwined so much. I enjoy the police procedural stuff, but I think for me is more of a fantasy genre, romantic, I enjoy looking into the different aspects of the Fae because most of our Fae creatures we pull from actual human superstitious or religious or like backgrounds. And I find it actually fascinating finding out about these strange fairy creature that lived in like Chinese folklore or German folklore or I find those little characters support, those little insights to that culture fascinating, and I really enjoyed learning about them on our show.

Zoie Palmer:
Yeah, I don't know that I have a lot to add to that. It's true. The story of the week often has delved into the history of the Fae too, you know. So, that's right.

Question:
Could you tell us a little bit about how you each became initially involved on the show?

Anna Silk:
From the beginning for me, I mean I was in Los Angeles, and I self-taped for the role, actually and sent it off and you know, which is something as actors, we've all done over the years many times to no avail, but this particular artisan tape got a pretty quick response. And before I knew it I was in Toronto to screen test, and that's when I screen tested with Kris and then we both found out we got the role, which was great. And then I screen tested with Billy a little bit later in the process, but I'd known Zoie for several years just from being around the audition circuit in Toronto.

Question:
Your relationship on the screen has actually helped them come out as gay or as bisexual or whatever. I'm just wondering how do feel about that as actors getting that kind of response?

Anna Silk:
I think that for Zoie and I, it was really important that the relationship between Bo and Lauren was really authentic and really real and relatable. I mean we knew it had to be. It's meant to be, and I guess the response to it is kind of a testament to I think we've been pretty successful with it the writing has been there, obviously as well for us. But I think that was something that Zoie and I worked really hard to make sure that it was truthful. And the fact that it resonates with people and if it encourages people in any way, I mean to be their own authentic self, then I think that's fantastic.

Zoie Palmer:
Yeah, obviously, this relationship, a same-sex relationship, there isn't a ton of that television, and so we've managed, with the help of the writers and everybody, to pull off a relationship that is relatable to people, I think is a big compliment. I think it's really great, and I would feel really pleased about it when somebody says something like that. We've had a couple of those experiences at like Annex Bo, and that kind of thing where somebody's come up and said "It means a lot." And I think it's great. I'm thrilled about that.

Anna Silk:
Yeah. And I love that on the show too, it's not talked about as a same-sex relationship.

Zoie Palmer:
It just is one, yeah.

Question:
After you've filmed season two, are you going to be back for a third season? Do you know yet?

Anna Silk:
We do know, and we are.

Question:
Kris, how much did you love getting the chance to pretend to be Kenzi?

Kris Holden-Ried:
Yeah, that was great. I mean we're talking about something in season two here. And yeah, season two is being a bit of a tough, tough pull for Dyson, and to get to play a different character for one episode was fantastic and especially Kenzi, who Ksenia Solo played so well, and who I'm lucky to have such a great relationship with, and she helped me out tremendously. We really teamed up to help each other out. And it was a great experience.

As far as the restraint, I think it's become something that's really inherent in Dyson, and part of it came out of a necessity of the way we shot first season, which was completely out of chronological sequence, so a lot of times we didn't know what we were going to have to do in the preselect, we choose episode nine, and then episode three, and so sometimes we didn't know what we were going to have to react to. So you sometimes have to play this ambiguous sort of line.

But also in my style of acting, I tend to internalize things more than externalize them, and I mean we're such sensitive creatures that even if you internalize things, people pick up on them. And what I like about after the way I like to act is that I find if people are using their own imagination to put onto your character what it's feeling then often more authentic than me trying to demonstrate something, you know.

Question:
Obviously there's good things about the Fae and bad things about the Fae, but if you had the choice and you could have powers of one of them, would you want it or would you not?

Anna Silk:
Well, yeah, I think I'd kind of like to have the power that I have on the show, you know.

Kris Holden-Ried:
Yeah. I'd like that too.

Anna Silk:
I just think that it's sort of become such a big part of it is who Bo is. So for me as the actor, it's just become something that I really enjoy playing. So I think that it's the closest one to me in terms of what I like. So yeah, I think I'd like to have that power.

Question:
I wanted to ask a question about the expansion of season two from 13 to 22 episodes. What was it, do you think maybe triggered that expansion?

Anna Silk:
Well, we had such tremendous success with season one here in Canada, and now it's been successful in different parts of the world as well, but season one was very successful here in Canada, and so I think going into season two, even though it was meant to be a 13-episode season, there was always that possibility that we could get a back 9 and make it 22. So I think we kind of knew that might happen and then once we got into filming, it was decided pretty quickly that that's what we wanted to do. While I didn't make that decision it was decided pretty early on, and I think we did - the network loves the show. It's been incredibly successful, and they wanted to do more of it, which is a pretty rare thing, particularly here in Canada to have that kind of run on a show. So we were pretty lucky.

Kris Holden-Ried:
And I'm not really sure time-wise, but I think it also had to do with SyFy's interest and our exposure, our upcoming exposure in the states as well. I mean our ratings in Canada have been fantastic. So it's results a lot going on.

Question:
How important was it for you guys to know that there wouldn't be a remake, but rather that everyone does get to see your guys' version, as opposed to say "Being Human" has a very successful run, both on the UK as well as the U.S., but here you guys get to be the only version that we get to see.

Anna Silk:
Yeah, I'm really glad that the concept wasn't sold. I'm really glad that our version is going to be seen, because I think it's such a unique show that was so specifically cast, and I can't I can't really imagine anyone else in these roles. Maybe in one day, but you know, "Lost Girls, A Next Generation." I don't know. But you know, I can't imagine it just having the same feel without this cast of characters and actors.

Question:
How much are you involved in the story writing process of the show? Do you like to give input regarding your cast part, or do you leave that part completely the writers?

Anna Silk:
Yeah, I mean we definitely have input. You know, Michelle Lovretta who created the show and the staff of writers we've had over the first and second season have, they've developed such rich characters, but what's really great is that we've developed a relationship with them and they write they write to our strengths as actors, I think. And I think that they're very open to our input, which is really crucial, because it creates a really nice dialog, and you know, creates a better show ultimately. So we're really lucky that it's a pretty open door between actors and writers on our show.

Zoie Palmer:
Yeah, they're really great about hearing our thoughts on it.

Kris Holden-Ried:
Yeah. I mean some of the bigger budget shows you have so many different cooks in the kitchen. You have so many different like network checks, that the actors don't get a chance. But we actually can sit in the writers' room, and like every time we bring our scripts in before the read-throughs, and they're very attentive to our ideas about our characters, and it's a real collaborative treat. And I think we're all really enjoying it.

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