EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW With KILLJOYS’ Tamsen McDonough aka Sassy Spaceship LUCY!
For fans of Syfy’s Killjoys, with Lucy, it was love at first snark!
Tamsen was cast as Lucy after the first season was already shot. (Season two is currently airing Friday nights on Syfy.) Show creator, Michelle Lovretta, and the writers liked Tamsen from her “very snarky and very sassy” role in another well-known Syfy series, Lost Girl. They wanted her to “bring that kind of flavor” to the part of Lucy.
Tamsen gives props to Michelle Lovretta and the writers for creating a great character. “I got this really, wonderful silly character. How can you not do something fun with her?” says Tamsen. “This is just a good character who has flaws and weaknesses, and sometimes goes to the dark side. She sometimes makes huge mistakes and has to fix them. That’s what is interesting to me.”
Tamsen had nothing but high praise for show creator, Michelle Lovretta. “She’s so clever! She’s quick, creative, imaginative and somebody I aspire to be. She portrays women in an empowered way. It’s not always strong. It’s well-rounded. Not patronizing.”
To create this lovable character, Tamsen says she drew inspiration from other famous AI’s. She describes Lucy’s personality as a cross between Iron Man’s Jarvis, Star Wars’ C3PO and Knight Rider’s KITT. “I loved the first Iron Man movie. I looked at C3PO in Star Wars and then my mom loved Knight Rider. I watched a little bit of that on YouTube.”
Since everyone on the cast has a secret past, it stands to reason Lucy might have a few secrets of her own. Even though technically Lucy is Dutch’s (Hannah John-Kamen) ship, Lucy has a soft spot for Johnny (Aaron Ashmore). Tamsen revealed she “would love to see how Lucy was acquired by Dutch. I had heard at one point Johnny tried to steal Lucy because she was the prettiest ship he had ever seen. I would love to go back and see those scenes.” Tamsen imagines that, upon initially seeing Lucy, Johnny would exclaim, “‘OH I WANT THAT! Wow! That is shiny!'” “Lucy is Johnny’s precious,” Tamsen jokes.
Just like a cat, Lucy has her own rules. “I love her bluntness about how she feels about things and people. I find as humans we tend to tippy-toe around and avoid. She’s real, confident and owns who she is.” says Tamsen. “Even though Johnny doesn’t own her she is very keen on him and completely plays favorites. I like how she is unabashed in how she feels with people I am a little more chicken with those kind of things.”
On a recent Killjoys episode, Lucy’s AI was transferred into a robot. “Lucy Bot” as Tamsen calls her was “so much fun!” Tamsen revealed the episode “was a surprise for me when it came down the pipe.”
The smokin’ hot second kiss between LucyBot and Johnny was Tamsen’s idea. “He’s her boo. for sure. The scene called for a kiss, but I thought, ‘mmm, I don’t think Lucy would be satisfied with that little tiny kiss.’ I went to Aaron, the writer and director and said, ‘So what do you think about Lucy going in and grabbing for a second kiss?'” And they agreed. “She’s not going to be satisfied with that little bit. She’s finally got a body and she’s going in for broke!”
The kiss led to one of Tamsen’s favorite lines – “Thank you for the data.” Because really, what else would expect Lucy to say? “I really loved that moment of their kiss. Johnny couldn’t help himself because finally he gets to kiss a robot! He gets to make out with his precious. What more could you ask for?” says Tamsen. “I [also] loved that D’avin (Luke MacFarlane) was in the corner cringing. It just makes the moment so perfect. That was absolutely the cherry on top!”
Of course, fans all want to know if we will see Lucy in corporal form again. While Tamsen could not disclose that answer, she shared her own aspirations for her character. “An actor is always aiming for the desires of our characters to be realized. We are always pushing for our characters to get what they want. I believe that Lucy does love her role as the ship, but I think she would also love to be human. I would love to see that pop in every so often jut because I know that is something she would like. As an AI, Lucy is always looking for more to try and get a sense of the human experience. I love her curiosity.”
With only three episodes left this season, I wondered if Tamsen, or Lucy, had any advice for fans. “Lucy is going against Dutch by keeping Johnny’s secrets.’ said Tamsen. “Secrets always worm their way out. Lucy might have to put up some electronic barriers to keep them from each other. She’s also started to really like D’avin as well. The last episodes it’s a killer. It’s good. It’s really good.” And, with regards to Lucy’s advice Tamsen just leaves us with, “Strap in, shields up and brace for impact!”
In closing, Tamsen gave a huge shout out to Killjoys fans. “I want to thank the fans. Tweeting and chatting with everyone is so much fun. It completes the experience of watching a show. They notice everything. Things I completely miss. I don’t think I could watch the show without the live tweets because now I catch more things. It is so much fun. The cast and crew really appreciate it . We would be nowhere without the fans, so we really appreciate it.”
Be sure to live tweet with me, @PxlWvr and Tamsen, @redTamsen, during tonight’s episode of Killjoys. (Syfy, 9:00 p.m.) For more on Killjoys, check out other cast interviews; Hannah John-Kamen, AaronAshmore and Luke MacFarlene.