Disguises, Surprises and Cross-Over Ideas – Lost Girl Panel at MCM London Comic Con

Lost Girl Panel_MG_7829

After running for three hugely successful series on Syfy, Canadian supernatural crime drama Lost Girl will be entering its fourth season next year. Three of the show’s actors, Emmanuelle Vaugier, Ksenia Solo and Rachel Skarsten (who play, respectively, Evony Fleurette Marquise, Kenzi and Tamsin), along with Executive Producer and developer Jay Firestone, came to MCM London Comic Con to talk about their work.

To get things started, the panel were asked how they’d found coming to London and meeting their UK fans. Instantly, Rachel Skarsten’s eyes lit up.

“Bloody brilliant!” she said, laughing and explained that she’d been trying to learn some English phrases, practising her accent by copying people on the tube.

The first audience member to speak up commented on how Lost Girl invests a lot of time in exploring friendship between female characters. Even today, this is still relatively unusual, so the panel were asked about which other TV shows they thought portrayed female friendship well. Orange is the New Black and New Girl were volunteered by Emmanuelle and Ksenia. Rachel, on the other hand, looked for an excuse to talk about her favourite television series, The Walking Dead.

“Female zombies can be friends,” she insisted.

Picking up on the comic aspects of the show, particularly Kenzi’s propensity to rattle off one-liners, another audience member asked about where these had come from and whether the panelists had any one-liners of their own to share.

Lost Girl Panel_MG_7846“My one-liner is ‘Get out of my office now!’” Jay joked, before going on to describe how Kenzi’s one-liners really came about by accident, after they’d tried to think up a good line for her to deliver in a specific scene. The jokes just happened to suit the character so well that they stuck.

Next, the panel were asked who they would like to see put in a guest appearance on the show. While Ksenia felt that Adam Driver from HBO’s Girls would make a great fae, Vaugier optimistically hoped that someone might be able to persuade Johnny Depp to join them – maybe as a long-lost relative to one of the characters. Failing that, she suggested Marilyn Manson, but Jay immediately dismissed this idea, telling a story about how Manson had let them down because he was too busy getting a tattoo done with, funnily enough, Johnny Depp…..believe it or not at your own discretion.

In a similar vein, the next question was about which other shows they’d like to do a Lost Girl cross-over with. Naturally, Rachel chose The Walking Dead:

“I need to be a zombie!” she cried, before launching into her best undead impersonation.

Ksenia chose Homeland, on the grounds that she’d love to see the US government full of faes, while Emmanuelle would like to see them all taken back in time in a Downton Abbey crossover. Still more unlikely was Jay’s own suggestion:

“I just want Iron Man to show up. I just wanna be Iron Man. I can’t exaggerate that.”

Next up was a question directed to Ksenia about the supernatural powers possessed by the fae. Since Kenzi misses out on these as a human character, what fae power would she like to have, given the choice? High-mindedly, Ksenia initially opted for the power to stop war.

“For Kenzi, it would have to be something noble like that,” she said, thoughtfully, before adding, “or something related to food!”

lostgirlAs well as her one-liners, Kenzi is also known for her many disguises. Asked about her favourite of these, Ksenia replied that she’d loved playing the Shaman in a long blonde wig in Season 1’s ArachnoFaebia episode.

Returning to the rest of the panel, one fan asked whether they had any funny stories from on set.

Kris [Holden-Reid, who plays Dyson] and I just spill food on ourselves all the time,” said Rachel. “It’s become a bit of a problem.”

Ksenia, meanwhile, spoke more generally about how they often laugh all day about “so many little things.”

“It gets worse at the end of the day when everyone’s tired,” Emmanuelle continued, describing regular fits of the giggles at about three o’ clock in the morning.

Anna [Silk, who plays Bo Dennis] is the worst!” Rachel added.

The actresses were then asked about whether they had done any good ad-libs in the show. Ksenia was sure that she had, but couldn’t remember any off the top of her head. According to Jay, however, most of the ad-libbing in Lost Girl comes from Vex.

The character of Kenzi is a mysterious one, with a pretty obscure past. One audience member was curious to know whether we expect to see any of our questions about her answered in Season Four.

“Yes,” Ksenia began, treading carefully. “We learn some things about her past…..and that’s really all I can say.”

“I call it ‘The Season of Discovery’,” said Jay, mysteriously.

But according to Ksenia, it’s not just straightforward answers we can expect from Season Four – there’ll also be a lot of surprises. Asked what she’d been most shocked by when reading over her scripts, she described this coming series as the most shocking so far.

“They never know things too far in advance,” said Jay. “We like to surprise them.”

Rachel, on the other hand, spoke about the moment when she learned that Dyson and Tamsin were going to drive off a cliff. After hearing this, she told Kris that his character was going to die, leading him to call Jay up in a panic.

“He asked me if [Dyson] was going to be brought back because he had just bought a new house,” Jay chuckled.

Next, the actors were asked what were their favourite things about playing their characters.

“I love being able to say things that I would never normally say,” Emmanuelle replied. “I get to be really mean!”

lostgirl2“I enjoy Kenzi’s fashion sense,” said Ksenia. “And her sense of humour,” she added.

“I just love what a little sh*t Tamsin is!” said Rachel, rather more bluntly.

But however awful Tamsin may be sometimes, she’s nevertheless a complex character.

“I love her vulnerability, her guardedness,” Rachel said, in response to a later question. “And her sense of humour.” Recognising that there’s a kind of sadness to Tamsin, who never seems to be really content, she went on, “I’d like to explore Tamsin’s heart a bit more and find out what makes her happy.”

Asked who their favourite love interests in the show were, both Ksenia and Emmanuelle declared themselves “Team Dyson”. A show of hands revealed the audience to be in accord.

Outside of the world of Lost Girl, the actresses were asked whether they find it weird to watch themselves on screen. The answer was a resounding “yes”.

“It’s like looking at yourself in a mirror,” said Rachel. “You’re always your own biggest critic.”

“Or like hearing a recording of your own voice,” Ksenia went on. “It’s never quite how you imagined it to be.”

The final question was about how the panelists had found themselves working in acting and producing. For both Rachel and Jay, it seems it was a kind of lucky accident. For Emmanuelle, it was a chance to do everything: instead of choosing whether to be a doctor, or a lawyer, or anything else, she eventually realised she could just play them all on TV. Ksenia, meanwhile, grew up in a family of actors and dancers, and has known what she wanted to do for as long as she can remember.

“There were no other options for me,” she said.

Season Four of Lost Girl will be broadcast on Syfy next year.


Photographs by Kay Ibrahim.

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