Haven Panel with Richard Donat and Kate Kelton at MCM Birmingham Comic Con

Haven Panel (Richard Donat and Kate Kelton) (4)

Richard Donat and Kate Kelton were in attendance at the MCM Birmingham Comic Con at the NEC to talk about the roles in the Syfy series Haven.

Richard stars as Vince Teagues, one of the editors of the Haven Herald, who also happens to be the leader of The Guard, a mysterious organisation that helps those who are ‘troubled’. Kate plays Jordan McKee, a member of The Guard who is ‘troubled’ herself, causing pain to anyone she touches.

With questions opened to the audience, one of the first had them being asked what ‘trouble’ they would choose for themselves. “Probably a food trouble,” said Richard.

“Just everything you touch turns into food?” asked Kate.

“Yes,” said Richard. “Really good food.”

That’s not bad,” said Kate. “I can see the repercussions of that already.” Kate explained how she always wanted to be a mind reader and so would make that her ‘trouble’. “I think I could actually deal with the repercussions because people change their minds too. So if you read their mind, then they thought something else the next day, I guess that would be the drawback, but at least you know what they were thinking.”

They were then asked how they got into acting and if they had any tips. “I couldn’t quite figure out what else to do,” said Richard. Kate explained how acting runs in Richard’s family, at which point he mentioned that his older brother Peter is an actor, and that he is also the nephew of British actor Robert Donat. “It was sort of uncertain as to what I was going to do with my life and it was something I just had to try. I don’t think I’m a born actor.”

“I disagree,” said Kate.

As for advice, Richard said to simply give acting a shot and to not be afraid of failure. He also suggested starting in the theatre. “You could get into a play,” he said. “Acting is acting. It doesn’t matter if it’s the theatre or on film.”

“Or a Tic-Tac ad, like me,” chimed Kate, referring to her work as the ‘Tic Tac Girl’ in their adverts. “I came out of film school and I suddenly had a reel,” she said. “That’s what I take to agencies.” Her advice was to look for film schools and see if any of them hold auditions looking for actors. “That’s a great way to get into it.”

With a lot of surprises in Haven, they were asked what the biggest surprise was for them on the show so far. “I get the script and suddenly, woo, phew, I’m the leader of The Guard,” said Richard. “I go, ‘Okay’” Kate then asked Richard on whether this revelation made him question his performance in past episodes, to which he replied, “Well, yeah. Maybe I could have performed differently… yeah, that was a surprise.”

“I fell over on my chair when I read though that script,” laughed Kate, referring to the episode Thanks For the Memories, when Richard’s character Vince is revealed to be the leader. “Literally, my chair tipped over!” Upon being told that this shock nearly killed her before she went on the set, she joked, “Our insurance isn’t very great!”

An audience question had the two being asked if there were any episodes that they wish they were featured in. Kate answered first. “I actually haven’t seen any since my… um… thing that happened to me,” she said, trying her best to not give away any spoilers. “But I did hear that there was an episode aired recently in the States about the town not having troubles.” Talking of the episode The Trouble with Troubles, she said, “That would have been ideal, but I probably would have just been walking around petting everybody, so maybe it’s for the best that I wasn’t included.”

“I can’t think of one,” said Richard. “Of course, some of them I haven’t seen.”

“We’re the worst fans ever,” laughed Kate. “So fired!”

“I must say I’m not very fond of seeing myself onscreen,” said Richard. “It’s one of those things where I think, ‘Oh my God, look at that.’”

Haven-Countdown (Richard Donat and Kate Kelton)In response, Kate described how her appearance on Haven is the first time she’s actually enjoyed watching herself onscreen, because her character Jordan looks so different. “I have no idea who that is. I lost weight for the role. I just literally don’t recognise myself.” 

When asked if there were any other characters in Haven they would like to play, Kate immediately said Duke. “I actually sometimes feel like Jordan might be the female version of Duke, in terms of how sometimes he has this weird sense of humour amidst chaos.” She then turned to Richard and asked him who he would play.

“I’d play you,” said Richard, drawing a huge laugh from Kate and the audience.

They two were then asked on how they landed their parts on the show. Richard said that he auditioned, with the producers approaching him. “They were looking for people to play characters. Me and my brother in the show, John Dunsworth, first we auditioned singly, then they put us together.”

“Chemistry,” said Kate.

“I guess that’s what it is,” said Richard.  “That’s the way they wanted it and that was that.”

Kate revealed how she initially auditioned for the character Claire Callahan, but didn’t get the part. “I had just done a show called Bullet in the Face,” she said. “It hadn’t aired yet, but they had it in my contract that I couldn’t do more than five episodes guest starring on another show. The role of Claire was supposed to be 11 episodes. I remember thinking, ‘Okay, well I didn’t get that, but hopefully it’s because my contract wouldn’t let me.’ But then a month later I heard that they loved me so much that they wanted me to come in and read for this Jordan character.”

When questioned on what drew them into Haven, Richard put it down to his character and the ‘troubles’ on the show. “I must say that it’s the character that I play,” he said. “And I love the whole idea of the various ‘troubles’. You don’t know what they’re going to come up with next.” He then mentioned the episode Stay as an example and that one of the funniest scenes was a guy running naked down the street with a dog collar around his neck. “I didn’t even know what was happening.”

Haven Panel (Richard Donat and Kate Kelton)From recalling the scene, Kate burst out laughing. “Okay, I have to tell everybody about this,” she said. “This is so hilarious to me. They were wearing…” She paused slightly trying to find the right words. “I don’t even know if there’s a name for this, but it’s like a headband, but… for down there. So they’re literally wearing headband banana helmets and they’re running down the street in broad daylight. We don’t cordon off the street; the public is still walking around. Hats off to those guys because that was a hard job.”

The final question from the audience had Kate being asked what her relationship with fellow Haven star Lucas Bryant was like in real life, to which she replied that he’s a sweetheart and hilarious. “The man’s sense of humour is warped,” she said. “We just got along like a house on fire. It was definitely fun making him squirm and be nervous while we were having make-out scenes… because he had to go home to his wife and explain,” she laughed.

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