Desperate for a hot new TV show to jumpstart your heart and get your senses tingling? Well, you’ve struck gold with Wynonna Earp! It’s sinister, charistmatic and downright hilarious. Let’s just say that if Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Justified had an adorable, little badass offspring it would definitely look a lot like this show. The paranormal series wastes no time and comes out swinging with demon-fighting action, drama, and two sassy leading ladies. Woohoo! Girlpower! Fans rejoice at this odd, but fun mash-up of genres… we’re talking fantasy meets western meets horror, oh my! The exuberant SyFy show is based on the IDW Comic of the same name, and tells the story of the iconic Wyatt Earp’s great, great granddaughter Wynonna, who’s forced to walk in her ancestors shoes by defending her hometown of Pergatory from dimwitted demons. Although Wynonna reluctantly accepts her birthright of wielding a magical gun to put down these revenants, we’re thinking she might be more into kicking ass than she lets on.
But our supernatural savior isn’t the only one fighting the good fight. Wynonna does have a team behind her, and even though she might pretend like she doesn’t give a damn about anything or anyone, deep down, we’re starting to realize this heavily guarded and headstrong hero might have a heart of gold after all. Good thing she has her intelligent and driven sister Waverly around to keep her in check, right? Dominique Provost-Chalkley, who plays Wynonna’s kid sister, is a delightful staple in this overall captivating series. Don’t let her innoncence fool you, though, the littlest Earp knows her way around a shotgun when it comes down to it. Only a few episodes in, and we can already tell that Waverly is ready to put down some dastardly demons– if only her big sis would loosen up the reins a bit. Oh, and did we mention that there might even be a love connection on the horizon for her in an unlikely suitor, Nicole Haught, an officer in town, who has her sights set on Waverly. #WayHaught
I recently caught up with Provost-Chalkley, where we talked about all the juicy tidbits of working on Wynonna Earp, and man, did we have a blast. From biscuits (‘cookies’ to us Americans), to shooting ranges, no strange stone was left unturned during our epic conversation about sibling rivalries, steamy sex scenes and fierce ladies on television.
Pour yourself a cuppa tea, pick the perfect dipping biscuit and let’s dive right in!
MCKENZIE MORRELL: Alright, so, for anyone who is totally lame and not watching Wynonna Earp right now, can you tell us a little bit about the show and your character Waverly?
DOMINIQUE PROVOST-CHALKLEY: Absolutely. Wynonna Earp is based on a comic book that was written by Beau Smith and it centers around Wynonna, played by Melanie Scrofano, who is the great, great granddaughter of Wyatt Earp. She returns to her hometown and is trying to break a curse that has been put on the family over 130 years ago. She’s been tasked with killing the demons that are resurrecting and trying to take over Purgatory, where they’re basically prisoners. The mythology is pretty complex, but that’s it in a nutshell, and of course there are many different layers to it. As for Waverly, she’s Wynonna’s younger sister, and she is a lovely, 21-year-old girl who is reunited with Wynonna when she returns to town after a long while. Ultimately she wants to be in this demon fighting group with Wynonna, and fight alongside her in order to attempt to break the curse.
MM: Would you say that the show is a lot like the comic book, in terms of the tone and the genre?
DPC: In a sense, yes, of course. We’re very lucky with the creators of the show. Beau Smith, who created the comic book is fantastic. He really is such a genuinely wonderful human being. Very kind and very generous and he created this incredibly special character of Wynonna Earp, who is so complex and funny and vulnerable and witty and has so many different layers. And Emily Andras has basically taken that and just so graciously evolved it into a TV series. I would say at the core you have Beau’s beautiful character that he created and Emily has just embellished on that. The two of them work so well together and they had such a strong vision of how they wanted to show to evolve- they honestly couldn’t have been a better match.
Anyone that reads the comics and watches the show, will see that there’s elements that totally come through to the TV series. Emily has achieved that really, really well.
MM: Oh definitely! Emily is great, I know her from Lost Girl, obviously. It’s great to see her at the helm of such a strong show. Speaking of strong, your character spent years on this research about the town, and its mythology, and then Agent Dolls comes in and kind of nonchalantly takes it all– do you think she was like “noooo, that’s my baby!”
DPC: Totally. I think that Waverly struggles with how much time she has spent researching and has been waiting for this moment for a long time. Whereas Wynonna has been wanting to escape anything to do with the curse. Waverly has been working for years to get to the bottom of this mythology and ultimately she wants to fight the good fight. She wants to break the curse once and for all, and she’s adamant that she’s going to make a difference.
Then as you say, Dolls comes along and he takes over. That was really hard for Waverly because she would love to be at the forefront with them, but at the beginning of the series they don’t feel that that’s the right choice. I think Wynonna and Dolls use the fact that I’ve done all the research to sort of keep me inside and continue researching. Because, yes that’s what she’s good at. I love when Waverly finds her place in the group, and it’s really lovely when they also realize what Waverly can bring to the table.
MM: Waverly has a bit of resentment towards her sister for not only leaving her in the town of Purgatory, but because she’s the heir and get’s to be the one to protect the town. Will we see any more of that dynamic unfold as the season progresses?
DPC: Wynonna and Waverly’s relationship is going to face its challenges along the way, I will definitely say that. I think that’s what makes it so beautiful, the relationship between those two sisters. I’m sure many people can relate to the fact that siblings have rivalries and they come up against situations that are challenging at times- Jealousies and that sort of thing, but it doesn’t mean they don’t love each other. I’m really glad that Emily wrote all of those nuances in because it’s so real, and it’s very important to me to represent real people and real women. Everybody in their own way goes through these emotions. I’m thrilled we’re showing that. When Wynonna arrives back Waverly has this pent up resentment there that they have never really discussed. You know, as we see in the pilot it’s always been – Waverly goes straight in with the hug and Wynonna finds it hard to know how to react. It’s complex, and at the beginning of the series there are things that do need to be addressed. But of course, in addressing them their relationship gets stronger. I don’t want to give any spoilers away. [Laughs] But over the course of the series you will see their friendship and relationship blossom and unfold.
MM: You’ve mentioned on social media and in a few other interviews that you and Melanie are like real-life sisters–
MM: Did you guys get to spend any time together before you started shooting to kind of develop that bond we see on and off screen?
DPC: Definitely. Not as much as I thought we were going to, we had maybe only a week before filming. That was enough time though, considering we clicked so quickly, that’s all we really needed. I think they saw that in the audition when they realized how quickly we hit it off. They were like ‘we’ve struck lucky, here’ [laughs]. We made efforts to hang out and she invited me round for pizza one night! We talked and talked and she introduced me to Canadian TV, and I introduced her to tea [laughs]. It was a week of hardcore bonding and it was a lot of fun! It’s nice memories thinking back to that time, I’ve got a nice big smile on my face!
MM: It definitely shows on screen, so you totally accomplished what you set out to do with the bonding crash course. Now, did you get to practice shooting real guns before you got your hands on one for the show? When we first meet Waverly she’s wielding this shotgun, what was that experience like.
DPC: [Laughs] I had never shot a gun in my life. In the UK we don’t really have shooting ranges as much as in America, so it was a very new experience for me. I was kind of nervous about it because the idea of it was like ‘oh my God, I could kill someone.’ However, I took to it like a duck to water, one might say. It was quite odd really, I was worryingly a bit of a natural. Mel and I got to go to the shooting range, I think it was day three, and we both got so giddy. I was actually really good [laughs], I don’t want to sound too big-headed but I kept hitting the bullseye and freaking out. There’s so much adrenaline running through your body, I was shaking so much. We are really lucky that we had such amazing trainers, it set me up very well for when I had to shoot a big shotgun in my entrance. I mean, I needed to have some sort of training right otherwise I would have just looked silly! [laughs].
MM: And that’s some entrance you made, maybe you were an outlaw in a previous life [laughs]. So, the elephant in the room… Wynonna and Doc just got it on in the woods, I was both bothered and totally down for it while it was happening, but… how do you think Waverly would react to finding out about these two and their sexual shenanigans?
DPC: It’s a good question, we’ll have to wait and see [laughs]. No, it was very sexy wasn’t it? I hadn’t seen that scene because obviously there are scenes you don’t get to be a part of… it definitely would been weird if I had been.
MM: That would be a whole different show [laughs].
DPC: A completely different show! But watching it back, episode 5 was crazy! There was so much going on, it was really exciting for me to see because I hadn’t been in a lot of that episode. But it was really great and so sexy. I said to the both of them ‘you guys were hot! I’m impressed.’ It will probably bring up some mixed emotions for Waverly, for sure. Let’s just say that.
MM: Okay! As you know, the fans get pretty passionate about pairings on the show, are you Team Dolls or Team Doc?
DPC: [Laughs] I think I’d be Team Doc. Just because Waverly has such a soft spot for Doc, you know. Throughout the whole series there are some complexities between their relationship, but there’s also something in his eyes that she can’t quite turn away from. He’s intriguing and he’s interesting and that excites Waverly. So, I think she’d probably go for Team Doc!
MM: We’re gonna have to get you a Team Doc shirt to sport on set [laughs]!
DPC: Amazing! Let’s do it!
MM: So, in episode 2 we met Officer Haught, and let me tell you– the fans are already going wild over your pairing.
DPC: I know, it’s so wonderful!
MM: Were you aware of the whole shipping craze, and did you know you guys have a ship name and everything?
DPC: I do now, but I didn’t know the shipping wars that go on. It was fascinating. When we were watching the episode I was with Emily and Mel and within like five minutes there was already a ship name going around after she left the bar. I was like ‘what’s a ship name?’ and they were like ‘oh honey, you have so much to learn.’ [Laughs] I was so confused. But it was super exciting, everything flying around Twitter, and how involved everyone got. It was great for me because you never know if it’s going to read on screen, and whether the relationships are going to come across in the way that you want them too. It was just so lovely for me to see how much fans were responding, really.
MM: Obviously, we don’t know what’s planned for Waverly at this point, romantically or otherwise, but if Emily Andras has anything to do with it– hopefully it’ll be uber gay [laughs]. But in all seriousness, were you surprised that the fans reacted so positively to that potential coupling?
DPC: I felt very grateful to be embraced by the fans, because listen we don’t know what’s going to happen with Waverly. I say ‘we’ but what I mean is you guys [laughs], I know what happens. But regardless of the outcome, I feel very honored to be representing a young female who’s in a time of discovery. Waverly is working out what she wants, and what floats her boat, what makes her tick and what doesn’t. Whichever way you slice it, that’s really interesting and a fun place to be. I feel like the fans who do support the LGBT movement are so behind this character and that’s fantastic! I’m looking forward to seeing everyone’s responses as things progress.
MM: Hopefully we’ll see her again, but, the fans have this sneaky suspicion that perhaps Officer Haught might not be what she seems, maybe a revenant, a dirty cop, I don’t know… hypothetically speaking, how do you think Waverly would deal with something like that?
DPC: Hypothetically speaking, I think that would absolutely crush her. Waverly is so open, certainly at the beginning of the series. She always looks for the best in people, that’s the thing that I love about Waverly. You see it with Doc a lot, where she’s just wants him to prove her right and be this wonderful guy. But he keeps letting her down, you know. With Nicole, she just sees this beautiful soul that’s come along, is very upfront with her feelings, and have you seen her? She’s gorgeous! I think that if something was to go wrong at this stage it would absolutely crush her little heart, but we shall see what happens.
MM: We shall see. Spoiler alert, you’re not American in real life! Are there any words that you had to say while shooting that are extremely difficult for you to say in an American accent?
DPC: Well, there are a few words that come out a bit funky every now and again [laughs]. Hey, by the way, we haven’t heard your English accent, what happened? I’m waiting for this beautiful English accent to come out over the phone.
MM: [Laughs] I mean, I don’t know if it’s going to be beautiful…
MM: The next question that I ask, I’ll bust out my British accent. It’s probably going to be horrible, just so you know!
DPC: No, I’m so excited. But, yes, of course there are words that I find more difficult than others, but on the whole it’s been okay and I’m very lucky. I thought I would have to be in ADR a ton just polishing up any bits and bobs. But, on the whole it’s been pretty okay, which I’m thankful for. I was a bit nervous about it, to be honest.
(Listen to my attempt at an English accent below)
MM: As you might have noticed, I am very fond of donuts, and I like to sneak it into just about every one of my interviews. With that in mind, if you were to construct a donut based on Waverly’s personality, what would be on it?
DPC: Oh, that’s a good question. It would have to be pink, for sure. Glazed with pink icing. It would have to have a gooey center of some sort. Something unexpected in the middle, so maybe like peanut butter, with loads of sprinkles on it and sparkles. I don’t know if we can have sparkles on it, I think we can!
MM: We totally can! Random question… what is the one thing you always leave behind at Mel’s? This one’s coming from her… [Laughs]
DPC: [Laughs] Oh my God, Mel! She’s ridiculous. If this is what she’s referring to, which I can’t imagine it would be anything else, then it is my retainer case [laughs]. Thanks for that Mel, I love you to bits for embarrassing me with my retainer case. It’s a little blue case and it always ends up either in her bathroom or somewhere and she sends me a photo, like ‘oh, look who’s been here.’ And there we go, that’s embarrassing [laughs].
MM: Not it’s not! Not at all. I have one too! I don’t wear it that often, sorry dentist, but we’ll just bond over the retainer.
DPC: Awesome! Great, love it.
MM: Alright, I tried to incorporate British lingo into this interview, but I failed miserably, but what’s your favorite kind of biscuit to eat?
DPC: Oh, that’s a hard question because all biscuits have a purpose. It depends if you want a good dunking biscuit, I would go for like a Ginger Nut, that’s a really good dunking biscuit with tea. A classic shortbread is always nice with tea, too. In my childhood it was a pink wafer, which is a strong choice as well. Or a Wagon Wheel. There’s a lot to choose from, isn’t there? Or a hob nob. Do you know what hobnobs are?
MM: Literally while you were listing cookies, I was just about to tell you how much I love hobnobs! My friends in the UK always send me boxes of goodies, with hobnobs and wotsits and hula hoops.
DPC: Amazing! We can be friends because hobnobs are the best, they’re really good.
MM: So good. And you guys were at WonderCon, do you have any plans, or would you like to come to New York Comic Con or any type of conventions in the future?
DPC: I would absolutely love to go to Comic Con and DragonCon and of all of the conventions! We had such a good time at WonderCon. I had never been to a comic book convention before. It was a complete eye-opener. I had never experienced anything quite like it. It was so wonderful be able to interact with the fans. Not to mention they were fans without the show even being out yet! So to meet the new Wynonna fans would be an honor for me, the lovely people that support us on Twitter, and all the Earpers out there!
MM: Well, I’m in New York, so I’m pulling for you guys to come to NYCC. So we can all hang out and eat some hobnobs and donuts.
DPC: That would be amazing, you bring the hobnobs, I’ll bring the tea.
MM: Deal! To wrap up this awesome interview, as the season really starts to rev up, what kind of advice would you give your character?
DPC: Good question, what advice would I give to Waverly? I would say go with your heart, not your head. And stop putting other people before yourself. She’s got to listen to her little heart.
MM: Right? Hopefully it’s in the direction of Officer Haught? I don’t know, maybe! [Laughs]
DPC: Hopefully, we shall see.
Wynonna Earp airs Fridays at 10/9c on SyFy