Emily Andras – Wynonna Earp – Comic Con 2017
By: Brittany Dailey
Q) How did you manage to incorporate the pregnancy storyline?
A) I’m just one of those people who can spin plates on sticks, but I can’t wait until it all comes falling down. I just really love all the characters and I think on a show that is maybe a little bit of an underdog like ours is, I always say we have a “Game of Thrones” cut up veggie budget for the entire run of our show. [laughs] You really need characters to be consistent and be developed and act in character. I think that’s my one rule in writing. I have like no rules in writing, but that’s like my one rule. I’ll try it all. My writers kind of know that, but I’m like, “I really think the character needs to act the way Dolls (Shamier Anderson) would act versus the way Waverly (Dominique Provost-Chalkley) would act, even if it makes the story harder or the challenges harder.” I think the audience has bought in to that and it’s kind of the covenant you’ve made with the audience. So, I just like my characters three dimensional. I think it’s so much more rich. Thank God we don’t have a cast of thousands. That would be a nightmare!
Q) How do you approach your writing?
A) I drew everybody. I just drew all the female characters and Lucado just didn’t have a first name. If you cast it as a woman, you just cast it as a woman. I really think Syfy deserves the credit. They have not once said to me, “Can you tone it down with the vagina talk?” I think genre, as a rule, is really inclusive since the time of Star Trek. Certainly “hopeful genre” portrays a world that we want to live in and celebrates diversity and equality. So, I almost think it is easier in genre to kind of comment on that stuff. And really I didn’t pull any punches. When I pitched the show, I was like, “I want to do a Western, but with all the traditional male characters as women.” So, I don’t feel like I’ve tricked anybody. I don’t know. It’s just really important to me. I’ve never written on a show without a female protagonist. It’s just kind of been my privilege in my writing life. I feel like it’s kind of my jam. It’s working out okay.
Q) Leading up to the game changing episode, there are a lot of Plan B references. Were you dropping those as hints?
A) Oh yeah, constantly. Also, just to make Melanie Scrofano laugh her head off in the read-through because she doesn’t read the script ahead of time. She’s got a good, dirty sense of humor so the pregnant lady is going to like the abortion or Plan B jokes. So, yeah, really a little bit, but I really wanted to keep it a secret so I didn’t do a lot of traditional stuff you see on shows like no morning sickness. I tried to keep it as steady as it happened because I really wanted it to be as big a surprise for Wynonna as it was for the fans. It is, honestly, a miracle in this day and age that we kept that a secret though. It’s funny too for our younger fans, I just remember…In my day, in the cave… [laughs]…We didn’t have the internet so we didn’t get spoilers and I feel like spoilers are so much a part of every day culture that if you’re a rabid fan it is hard to avoid them. You think you want to know even though you might not want to. So, what an amazing gift for the audience that so many of the fans were surprised. We were all in it together when we found out and what a testament to the cast and crew that everybody kept it quiet. It just speaks ot the love we have on set and the respect we have for Melanie that everybody just really took it seriously. Sure, I wanted to do it, but I didn’t think we’d actually pull it off.
Q) Was it always the plan to have Wynonna pregnant?
A) Nothing was always the plan! Once pregnancies happen you’re like, “Ahh!” But, honestly, when we did the math of how far along Melanie was – we were like, “She still looks amazing!” She was seven months along! She gave birth four days after we wrapped. So, it was like a miracle that we made it, which is also part of the reason we knew we had to incorporate the pregnancy. She was at nine months and this isn’t a sitcom. So, we couldn’t have an increasingly large set of laundry baskets. [laughs] I wanted her to kick some ass. So, I was proud of that episode. It’s a bit of a supernatural genre trick, but it was all done in good faith. If you know that trope, then I hope you get it is a little bit of a wink. So, yeah, it was fun. Also, to be honest (just talking about the type of character Wynonna is) – she is single and a borderline alcoholic. Do I think that she would keep the baby if given the choice with the fate that an Earp heir? As a feminist show, I think that it needed to be put on the table. But I also think so much of the theme of the show is destiny keeps screwing over Wynonna and not giving her a choice, but every day she gets back up and is like, “I’m still going to get up and fight to make the choice that I want where ever I can. It all kind of came together. Plus, The Sand Man!
Q) Have you thought about Season Three?
A) Sure. Possibly. I will have a minute of elation and then immediate panic. As soon as you lose that fear as a writer you’re dead. I look back at the season before and think, “How did past Emily do that?!” I don’t remember how to do this. So, I’ll keep telling these stories as long as you’ll let me. Try to stop me. I’ll show up at Syfy’s door and say, “Here are the scripts!” And they’ll be like, “We didn’t order these.”
Q) You previously worked on “Lost Girl. Did you learn any lessons from working on the series when Anna Silk was pregnant?
A) The slight difference with Lost Girl was that Anna was just pregnant for the finale. So, she wasn’t showing. She had the baby between seasons and then she just needed a bit of time at the beginning of the next season. So, I certainly wasn’t a stranger to working around pregnancies, but this was the whole kit and caboodle. God bless Melanie, but the timing could not have been more crazy! I think the truth is you have to put your money where your mouth is. When you cast actresses of a certain age, sometimes people want to have kids. You just need to be prepared to honor those commitments. If you say that you’re a feminist you I think you have to back it up. Please don’t let Dom and Kat get pregnant. I’m just saying…[laughs] Challenge accepted, though!
Q) Are there any more surprises to come this season?
A) Yes. All cliffhanger endings from here on out! It’s crazy. I think the cast is so strong that one of my favorite things to do is exploring weird relationships. I want to know what Dolls and Nicole (Katherine Barrell) are like or Doc (Tim Rozon) and Nedley (Greg Lawson). I like to do it all! The cast is so strong I feel like that’s really fun to put two characters together like in the workplace, what are they like without Wynonna?
Q) And will we be getting more of the backstory of the characters?
A) For sure we learn a bit more about the Earp curse through a very interesting device. Of course, we have to figure out if Waverly is really an Earp or not. Sexy backstory! Is there any other kind? [laughs]