(L-R) Lost Girl's Kris Holden-Ried (Dyson), Anna Silk (Bo) and Ksenia Solo (Kenzi)
A beautiful succubus with a conscience, a handsome, loyal werewolf/police detective, and a foxy, street-smart and gutsy human — only on the hit Canadian TV fantasy/drama Lost Girl could you find three such distinctly different individuals working together, albeit not always in perfect harmony, for the common good.
In the show’s first season, Bo (Anna Silk) discovers that she is, in fact, a succubus and part of a supernatural community called the Fae. Rather than pledge her allegiance to either the Light or Dark Fae, she opts to remain neutral and use her abilities to help those in the greatest need. At the same time, our heroine is looking for answers when it comes to her background and who her mother is/was. Joined with Bo at the proverbial hip is Kenzi (Ksenia Solo), a young woman using her wits and courage to survive on the streets.
As “private investigators” Bo and Kenzi end up taking on Fae-related and extremely dangerous cases. Lucky for them they have Dyson (Kris Holden-Ried) watching out for them. Despite his young appearance, he is a werewolf (in human form) who is hundreds of years old and one of the Light Fae. He is hoping that Bo eventually chooses to join him on the same path, but in the meantime has taken on the responsibility to keep her and Kenzi safe.
Earlier this week, the terrific threesome from Lost Girl — Anna Silk, Ksenia Solo, and Kris Holden-Ried — spent a considerable amount of time on the phone with me and other journalists chatting about the show’s first two seasons and what lies ahead for fans. The following is an edited version of our Q & A. Enjoy!
How do you think the show has changed since it started and why do you think it’s been so successful?
Ksenia Solo: Well, in season one we were really finding our footing as well as discovering who we are as our characters, and who we are as a show along with what our voice really is. I think even back then we all knew that we’d gotten involved with something very unique and, of course, we didn’t know what the fans’ response was going to be. The fact that it’s been what it is has been incredibly humbling and incredibly exciting for us all at the same time.
In season two I think we really came back with more “oomph.” We had time to explore in season one, so season two we came back ready to kick ass, and it’s been really amazing getting to meet our fans at Comic-Con, Fan Expo, and all these different events. And what I felt was kind of the most exciting was when I saw other girls dressed up as Kenzi. For me, that was like a sign of, “Wow, people really enjoy these characters and really love the show.” We couldn’t be happier.
Anna Silk: From the first episode in season one there was so much room for growth and the show could only sort of develop from there. Playing Bo was not only brand new to me, but the Fae world was also brand new to my character and to the audience as well. As a result, we had so many places to go and so much to explore, and that’s what we’ve done.
I know that the first season is still airing here in the U.S. and it’s gotten a great response. The show continues to grow like Ksenia said, with the first season really laying a good foundation for season two. And we really sort of took off from there and took it in new directions, which I can’t wait for everyone in the U.S. to see. And the fan response has been incredible. I know I’ve said this before, but people have really taken ownership of the show and invested in our characters’ lives and our lives as well, which is so cool.
How has the dynamic between the cast changed, if at all, between the first and second seasons?
AS: I can remember that in one of the last episodes we shot, the whole cast was in a scene together and it just felt like a family. Everyone sort of knew when to come in, you know? Obviously it’s written out on a piece of paper for us as well, but now we’re naturally familiar with each others’ rhythms and energy as actors and also as these characters. Again, because the show starts with everyone meeting for the first time, the relationships have naturally evolved and changed, and as actors on set we’ve bonded, too, so it’s been really great.
Do you like working in the sci-fi and fantasy genres? Is there something that you especially enjoy about it and also anything you see as a downside?
Kris Holden-Ried: I love working in the sci-fi and fantasy genres because it allows us to have so many different creative storylines and characters that we can explore. I mean, playing someone with superpowers or who is really old aren’t things that you often get to do, learn about or express as an actor. So it’s a lot of fun, it’s very imaginative, and it’s a great playing field to work with. I’d do it all the time. As for a downside, I don’t know. I don’t really have one, but the girls, I guess, have to wear a lot of tight, uncomfortable fitted corsets and stuff [he jokes].
KS: I think the only downside is when you have crazy intense emotional scenes and you’re acting against a green screen or a tennis ball. That’s always an interesting experience. You always feel a little bit stupid I have to admit, but the challenge is just making it as real as possible. I completely agree with Kris, though, in that you get to kind of go outside of reality and it’s always a lot of fun. You get to go wild.
AS: You really just get to “play.” The show itself and all the circumstances in it are real to these characters, and although we as actors take it seriously, we don’t necessarily take the world that seriously because it’s a crazy Fae world, so we get to laugh at it a lot, too, and have fun with it. When it comes to a downside, I don’t know. I guess it’s probably along the lines of what Ksenia said; I’ve had to swordfight with something that’s not there but is added in later on as an effect. That can be a little weird but you just have to trust that it’s going to look good in the end, and it almost always does.
Can you talk a little bit about next week’s episode, “The Mourning After?”
AS: It’s where Inga Cadranel’s character (Saski/Aoife) is introduced, and what I can say is that definitely from Bo’s perspective this is someone who is going to have an impact on her life. I don’t want to give away too much, but she has something very much in common with Bo, which is a first for my character.
KS: I believe Bo and Kenzi also get to do a little speed dating, which is always a fun time.
KHR: And Kenzi discovers something about Trick [Rick Howland].
What has been your most memorable moment on the show?
KHR: Wow, there are so many. I guess for me I’m going to take it right back to the pilot. That was the first thing we ever did together, the three of us.
KS: Yeah, that first day when we were freezing our tushies off on Queen Street [in Toronto].
KHR: That’s right, when we all met. We had no idea exactly what we were doing but we were creating this world for the first time. It was very exciting.
AS: And we were all trying to be really cool, but it was freezing outside so we all had runny noses.
KHR: We were doing this “big” acting, too. We thought we had the idea of what the show was, so we were really serious about everything. It was a great episode, I still think it’s one of our best episodes when we were all together for the first time working and laughing, and Anna and I trying to figure out the proper way to shoot a sex scene.
AS: That scene is the opening of episode 8 (“Vexed”), which aired a couple of weeks ago in the States. Episode 8 was our original pilot, so the sex scene that Kris is talking about was almost like doing a stunt. I mean, it was exhausting and I remember it was my birthday that day, too. Do you remember that Kris?
KHR: That’s right.
AS: And I spent it nude covered in [fake] blood and on top of you. It was a great way to spend my birthday. So that’s a good memory.
KS: I don’t think I can top that memory so I’ll just leave that with you guys [she jokes].
When you went into season two you knew that you were going to have U.S. distribution and then also found out you had a season three renewal while you were still filming season two. Did that change the [on set] dynamic at all, knowing that you were coming back and going to have some road to run in terms of developing your characters and stories as well as the fact that new U.S. viewers would be seeing the show?
KS: We all became really big divas [she jokes].
AS: We all got bigger trailers [she jokes]. No, seriously, I mean for myself I don’t know that it necessarily changed the dynamic, but I think that Lost Girl has a long way to go. It’s such a vast world to explore and there are a lot of possibilities. We still haven’t tapped into many of them, so I guess it changes your mindset a little bit in terms of, okay, we’re in this for a while, so let’s pace ourselves a little and think about how to proceed. It also makes you think about some of the subtleties you can bring to the character that you’re playing.
I can only speak for myself, but, yes, it was just exciting news, really, that we were getting to play these great character and do all this fun stuff for longer as well as bring the show to a bigger audience.
KHR: I don’t think it really changed our day-to-day performance. We have a certain job to do that requires a lot of presence in the moment, which is what we focus on. For me, it’s nice to know that we’re going to continue to work on this and keep telling our story for a longer time. Also, the age-old actor’s phobia of when am I going to be out of a job and when’s my next job has been sort of put off for a little while.
AS: I know. It’s weird; I’m not used to that feeling.
KS: As much as the fans are excited to see where the show goes, what’s going to happen to the characters, what new guest stars and creatures are going to come in, etc., I think we all feel the exact same because we obviously don’t know what’s going to happen. It’s cool that at this point our story lines can really go anywhere, so it will be fun for us to explore different avenues in that sense.
Have you guys had much input into what actually has happened with your characters over the past two seasons?
KHR: We kind of have as much input as we want. There’s a chain of command that also has sort of decision powers or vetoes, but I think we’re very fortunate in that this isn’t a huge network show. It’s still an independent production where we actually can converse with the writers and executive producers one-on-one when we need to. They’re always open to our story ideas, so we’re very lucky to be able to have input, and however much we take it is up to us, I guess.
AS: Over the course of the two seasons we’ve done, the writers who have gotten to know us tend to write more to our strengths. It’s when that sort of changes that I might speak up about something and it’s generally been welcomed input. So it does feel very collaborative.
Is there anything in particular you can point to and say, “This would have been slightly different if we hadn’t spoken up?”
AS: Oh yes, definitely.
KHR: Yeah, exactly.
AS: I can think of things that I wish I had spoken up about. As actors we pay attention to the detail, so there are little things we always wish we could have changed or do differently, but that’s part of the [creative] process.
Kris you actually were on the Canadian National Pentathlon team before you became an actor. I imagine the physical challenges of that would have helped you with a lot of the physical demands on you as an actor in this series and a lot of other things you’ve done. So for all of you, is there anything that you’ve done in life and/or acting that you feel has helped you in Lost Girl and been important to your characters?
KHR: Yes, absolutely. Sport has been a huge help for me. It’s how I got into acting, and especially with Dyson being such a physical character, it was an inspiration for me to get back in shape and become stronger again.
It was fantastic up until I injured myself in the middle of season two, but I’ve bounced back from that. The thing is you have to always be careful doing stunts. I’ve been in the ER and accidents happen. Again, you just have to be careful, but it’s great to be able to bring physicality to the role.
With Dyson, it has a lot to do with energy work as well because playing a superhero you need to have this super sort of charged energy. So there are different sorts of tricks I’ve learned along the way to help me get my energy up.
AS: As for Bo, I definitely try to stay fit. I don’t have the same kind of sports background that Kris has, but I try to always learn little skills along the way and work with different trainers and my stunt double. In terms of other life things that have helped me prepare, I mean, just every little thing in life really helps you prepare to play any character.
KS: And for myself, I really take inspiration from great movie actors who I admire as well as from people I know. Kenzi is really so full of life and has so much energy. That’s one thing that was very new for me, playing a character that was the comedic relief, somebody who just seems like she has a rocket on her somewhere, because she’s constantly on the go.
So that’s something that always kind of have to work on as far as making sure that I eat properly, that I physically have enough energy to make it through the long days, and keep that energy up in order for Kenzi to stay as colorful and bright as she is.
I wanted to get each of your perspectives on playing such overly sexual characters on the show, which I think is incredibly refreshing.
AS: Well, Bo is essentially an overly sexual character because that’s what she is. She’s a succubus, so that’s who and what she is. It’s definitely refreshing. I think one of the things that we’re most proud of on the show is the fact that there’s this love triangle established in the first season between Bo and Dyson and Bo and Lauren (Zoie Palmer). Both of those relationships kind of rival each other. They’re really strong, they’re sexual, and they’re real. So I definitely agree with you that it’s refreshing and something we’re really proud of on Lost Girl.
It’s funny, lately I’ve been watching some of the episodes from season one to kind of help me remember what we did, and I can’t believe how many people Bo kissed [she laughs]. Gosh, she kissed so many people, which is an interesting part of my job, but it’s also an important part of the show and the Bo character.
KHR: I think one of the things that we’re really blessed with on our show is the great chemistry we all have with each other. So it’s really not a difficult step taking a leap from a true caring friendship with the actor you’re working with and then spinning it towards putting in tones of sexiness with your performance. That real trust and chemistry we have with each other is I think what transcends through the screen.
AS: Kris is very likeable, obviously, and a very respectful actor to work with. So any of the stuff we’ve done just sort of comes out of mutual respect and caring for one another. It works.
KS: I think sexuality is such an important part of life and I love the fact that our show is so open to it, and it doesn’t matter if you’re gay or straight or if you’re blue, black or green. It’s open to everybody. As for Kenzi, she doesn’t have much to do with the sexual content in season one, but in season two she gets her own taste of it.
Is there something still that you guys would like to know about your character’s back story that they haven’t at all yet talked about?
AS: I had a pretty clear understanding of what Bo’s back story was before we ever started season one, and I’ve gotten to know more as the series has progressed through the writers and my own imagination. Not much of that has been shown to audiences yet, but that will happen in season two and certainly in season three. I just think it would be good for people to see a little bit more about where Bo came from and why she was the way she was at the beginning of the series.
Revealing things a little bit at a time is kind of the best way to do it. That’s sort of all Bo can handle, and I think it’s better for the audience that way as well.
KHR: With Dyson in season two we get to explore a little bit of his past; there are some flashbacks in an episode. I’d love to see a little bit more of that. I love showing the different sort of ages that our characters have lived through. I think that brings a nice depth and breadth to the show. So I’m looking forward to hopefully some more back story and maybe some more flashbacks.
AS: And you’ll get to see Kris in sexy long hair in that flashback.
KS: I would love to also explore Kenzi’s childhood and her family as well as her family’s ties to the Russian mafia and why she ended up living alone on the streets. Also, where she gets her kleptomaniac tendencies from and all these kind of cool things that I think we can really delve much deeper into
Please note, all Lost Girl photos above copyright of Showcase/Syfy.