We Love TV!
This is just an unofficial fan page, we have no connection
to any shows or networks.
Please click here to vote for our site!
Interview with Jonathan Scarfe of "Van
Helsing" on Syfy 9/30/16
I really love the show, so I was glad to have this
opportunity to speak with the star!
Here's a recording
of our interview. Below is the transcript by
1. Please tell us how the part came about and how you were cast in the role.
I'd worked with Chad Oakes before on "Hell on Wheels." He gave me a call. I
was down in LA. I was looking for other work. He said, "Hey, man. I've got a
part. I think you're perfect for it, but we're casting like right now, and I've
got other people. We're in a room together. Can you fly back up, come and meet
us, and talk about it?" I took a look at the material, and, basically, reminded
myself that he said the words "Neil LaBute," and I said, "Hell, yeah. I'll hop
on a plane. Yeah." So, I went up there and did it. It was really quick and easy
like that, you know. Chad was ??, and Neil thought, "Yes, sir, that's the guy,"
and that was that.
2. Do you do any of your own stunts?
I do some of my own stunts, but I don't like to ?? any of that, because honestly
99% of the time, actors that say they do their own stunts are lying. I do as
much as I can. I do everything that is reasonable, but there's an amazing stunt
coordinator and an amazing stunt guy that covers me and makes me look good. It
would be insane for -- I have an incredible stunt double, and I feel like I
gotta give them a huge shout out. They do amazing work.
3. Had you handled weapons before or did you have to learn how to use them?
I've done a bunch of westerns in the past and have done a bunch of gunplay and
stuff like that, but I've never been a Marine, I've never had to take care of a
weapon, and there's always different sort of fighting style, depending on what
kind of stunt coordinator you have working with you, so there were things about
it that were new, but I had some idea of how to handle guns and all that stuff.
I'd done that before.
4. Did you have to do anything extra to beef up for the role or get more muscular?
[Laughs] No donuts! It was just no fun. It sucked! There's no pizza. There
was no beer. There was no donuts for like two months. I'm a pretty big guy,
and I work out a lot, but to try and get ready for that shower scene, it was
just all about what to eat. Can't have anything fun for a long time!
5. Will there be some more romance between Axel and Vanessa?
I don't want to spoil anything, but no. I think what we do start to see deeper
into the season is this deepening of trust between the two, and with that trust,
maybe some intimacy. No sexy guitar reps. We don't get there yet. [Laughs]
6. Have all of the episodes for the first season been filmed, or are you still
We're finished with season one. I think we've delivered 13 episodes, so we're just
sitting around waiting to see if enough people like it to order up a Season 2.
My sister is like 10 years younger than me and has been begging me for ages to
watch "The Walking Dead." I remember when the pilot came out. I think I read for
Shane. And I gave it a crack a couple of times, and I just couldn't get into it.
It just didn't get me. And she was like, "No, no, no, no. You have to ignore
Season 1. Season 1 is garbage. The rest is amazing. You have to get past those
first six episodes. I was like, "All right, fine." So like the third attempt, we
got past the first six episodes, and then I actually got into it. And then, I
gotta say, it really did hook us. So, we're kind of lost right now. We're
waiting to see what the heck is going on. Who got smacked in the head by Negan,
and all that stuff. But my favorite little ?? was basically "The Walking Dead,"
but the walkers should run. You know? They're superfast.
7. Where was it filmed?
Mostly downtown Vancouver for the first half of the season, then we're out in a
suburb. There's a really nifty weird compound that used to be a mental health
facility. It's kind of a sprawling complex, but the facility [Riverview
Hospital] has been shut down for years, but it's an amazing site to go and film,
because there's interiors and exteriors, and it encompasses something like 40
acres, so we ended up moving out there [in Coquitlam] halfway through the
8. Had you worked with any of the cast or crew of the show previously?
Yeah, so Christopher Heyerdahl and I had worked on "Hell on Wheels" and I was
just a gargantuan fan of his, because I think he is one of the most talented
actors living, and he's phenomenal on this show as well. Other people I've
known. I met David Cubitt when I was 14, 'cause he was doing a series with my
mom. There's a Canadian series set in Toronto years ago called "E.N.G." that my
mom [Sara Botsford] was a female lead on. And in its final year, Cubitt came on
as a new male hunk. I wasn't even 14. I think I might have been 12. Yeah, so we
were joking about that last time. I was like, "I met you when I was a child,
David." He was really happy to hear that. That was great!
9. Why does Axel stay guarding the doctor and Vanessa for all those years?
Because he has no better idea. You know, honestly, and he thinks he was given
the mission for a reason. He's doing his duty. And I think it's one of those
things where once you get locked in that situation, you have kind of two
choices. You can either say, "Oh, fuck it," and leave or you can stay. And if
you stay, the only way you can stay and stay sane is by convincing yourself that
what you're doing is as important as you think it is. It's a challenge to try
and leave. That would be a risk, but if you're gonna convince yourself that --
Can you imagine two and a half years of going through somebody's daily routine
and no one is there and nothing is happening, and you've got to keep yourself
motivated to like believe that this is worthwhile? This is a determined OCD
motherfucker. When I heard about this story outline, I thought, "Well, this
guy's obviously just crackers," but then I thought, "Well, he's also been on a
??, so he probably can't be totally crackers," but, by all rights, he should be
10. Did they give you much backstory to the character before you started
They did not, and they sort of left that purposely ambiguous because there were
still very ?? writers around me. They were starting with so much, in terms of
what they were going to do to build this world and what the rules were, the
parameters were in terms of vampires and all of that stuff that I think they
wanted to give themselves some wiggle room when it came to some of these other
characters and how they were going to put them together. I mean, we had a couple
of discussions about whether or not my ?? or not and, because I'd worked with
some of these other guys, I thought, "You guys know I can do kind of like a
Southern dude, and that would be all right, but I'd rather not with him. I'd
rather let him be kind of working class New England, you know? Like kind of a
Jersey boy, kind of guy, and they seemed fine with that. But other than that, we
didn't get deeper into that.
11. Are there any guest stars this season that you can tell us about?
There's a lot of people that come through the show. I'm trying to think if I can
talk about this. It's not really spoilery. Ahh, no one particularly significant
that I can talk about. Sorry!
12. Do we find out this season why Vanessa's blood turns vampires human or what
happened to her daughter?
We definitely reconnect with the daughter story. What's happening with Vanessa's
blood, I think, by the end of the season, we develop that a little bit, but it's
still an ongoing mystery. Dmitri and Rebecca get their hands on a sample of
their blood, and start to put together an idea of what they think they could do
with it, but they don't get to the conclusion. But we definitely do reconnect
with the daughter story, for sure. I mean, that's got to be the most important
thing for Vanessa, and I think that was one of the biggest things -- It was a
challenge for the writers to try and figure out a way to establish a vampire
show, how do we get into this world, and set it up in such a way that -- I think
the most important thing is that the character of Vanessa and her daughter's
relationship was so key to set that up early, 'cause that's the only thing you
have to care about, right? If you don't care about them, there's no show. If
you're not onboard for the "this lady just woke up and her daughter's gone, and
oh, my God, can you imagine?" If you're not there and you're not in for that
ride, then we're screwed, right? So -- You know, I never talk about having that
scene be an early draft of the pilot. That scene was upfront. That was the first
thing we saw, and I was a fan of that version, but... but either way, in Episode
2, if you haven't managed to get the audience invested in that dynamic, in her
plight of how unbearable that need is for her to get out of that hospital and go
find her daughter. If there's any chance of her being alive, she's got to try,
right? I hope the people dug that version, because I think that's super
credible, that everyone cares that she needed to go find her.
13. What have you enjoyed most about filming the show?
Well, you know, it was a real privilege to get to work with Neil LaBute, because
I've been a fan of his for years, and I have a huge amount of respect for him,
for his work, and the idea that he was going to be the guy guiding this story;
and, of course, it's sci-fi and we have vampires and blood and gore and all that
stuff, but, at the end of the day, it's about the people and what their
relationships are like in the midst of all of this kind of chaos. And Neil
LaBute was the guy who was going to be sort of figuring out the ins and outs and
the intricacies and dynamics between these people. I was like, "Oh, man. This is
cool. This is really fun." I mean, that was my favorite part, just kind of like
going along with Neil on that ride and just watching his creative process and
getting to be a part of it.
14. What has been the most challenging aspect of filming?
I'm too old for this shit, you know? [Laughs] Getting bashed against walls. What
the hell? I'm 40. My kids are teenagers. [Laughs] No, I mean, that was actually
fun. That wasn't really a down. That was awesome. I love doing all that stuff.
There's no challenge. It's fun! It's a good gig! Doing a TV show is a good gig.
Anybody that tells you it was a big hardship is kind of an asshole. I mean, for
real. I've sailed around the world with my kids, and we've been in some hard
situations, and we've certainly come across some people that are in incredibly
difficult situations, and we come back from that experience, and you look at
your life as like my day gig is going out and making a TV show? There's no way I
could possibly tell you anything was difficult or a hardship. Yeah, long hours,
getting bashed against a wall, it's no biggie! It's all good!
15. Anything else you'd like to tell fans of the show?
Hang in there, man. I think if you've got some questions or feeling a little bit
like maybe we haven't given you enough yet, hang in there 'cause we will. All
things will become clear.
Read Our Review!
Interview with Kelly Overton
Back to the Main Articles
Back to the Main Primetime TV Page
We need more episode guide recap writers, article
writers, MS FrontPage and Web Expression users, graphics designers, and more, so
please email us
if you can help out! More volunteers always
Page updated 10/6/16