INTERVIEW: Katherine Barrell Talks Wynonna Earp and #WayHaught
Katherine Barrell stars in SyFy’s Wynonna Earp and plays fan favorite, the sexy and confident, Officer Nicole Haught. She is also set to play a neurotic mom on a comedy series, Workin’ Moms. Read our interview with the vivacious Katherine about her work and what kind of supernatural creature she would choose for a pet…
Tell us about Wynonna Earp and Officer Nicole Haught. What is your favorite part about your character?
Office Haught is a confident, smart determined cop who lives in the town of Purgatory. She is a newcomer to the town and quickly falls for local sweetheart, Waverly Earp, who also has a pretty complicated family – essentially Waverly is a demon hunter, which probably makes Nicole fall harder!
I like that Nicole is confident and likes to have fun. She seems like that solid friend you always turn to when life gets you down. She knows how to find positivity in any situation—I love that about her. She has a good attitude and knows that no one else is in charge of her happiness except herself.
Are you a believer of the supernatural?
I definitely believe in a spiritual world. I think the universe is so much more complex then we can every possibly understand. I think I believe in spirits—I have a close friend who sees them and I’ve definitely had several strange experiences with her. From a ‘universe’ perspective I believe in the power of energy and that the thoughts we have and energy we put into the world will always come back to shape our reality. We have a lot more power than we believe to change our situation.
If you could have one supernatural creature as a pet, which would it be?
Ohhhhh! I’d like to be friends with a mermaid. I love the folklore of them seducing men to their deaths with their siren songs—I think they’re dangerous and sexy.
Fans are loving the WayHaught coupling. How did you approach playing that side of Officer Haught’s character?
I always wanted the relationship to feel very genuine. I really appreciate that the writers let the relationship build over the course of the season. I felt like I had to play a delicate balance of being firm with what Nicole wanted but gentle enough that she didn’t intimidate Waverly. I was lucky to be given such great writing to work with!
What do you hope for Officer Haught and Waverly’s future together?
I hope they get to work together more as a team. I think they would make a great pair—but I also know that it can be difficult to work side by side with your significant other. It can create a lot of tension and I think from a story point it would be interesting to watch Waverly and Nicole navigate that.
What can you tell us about your new show, Workin’ Moms and your character Alicia Rutherford?
Workin’ Moms is a half hour comedy premiering in January of 2017 (on CBC in Canada) about young parents and how they deal with the stresses of balancing family life, career and personal. Essentially the impossible task of trying to do it all and all! I love this show and it was a joy to film a comedy with so many other incredible female comedians. I hope it will be available on an international stage soon! My character, Alicia, lives behind the facade of being the “perfect mother”, she makes her own organic baby food, reads all the latest research on child rearing and drives the other Mothers in her ‘Mommy and Me’ group nuts spouting unsolicited advice. She was a blast to play and SO different from Nicole who is always calm and centered—Alicia is quite neurotic!
Do you feel that more and more movies and television shows are pushing boundaries on how women are portrayed on screen? Where do you feel there is room for improvement?
Absolutely! I was privileged this past season to be on two completely different shows that are both female created and starring women. The landscape is definitely getting better for showing more complex women on screen and giving them more power within the story. I feel like we can still improve by showcasing more women of different ethnicities and women who are more mature in age. We need to see women in their 50’s and beyond as smart, powerful and SEXY. The must be aspirational—I want to watch these characters and say “I want to be like that some day”. I want to see my mother on screen who ran our house, kept a full time job caring for sick people and looked stunning at the end of the day. My aunt who has run her own super successful company since her early 30’s and my grandmother who survived World War Two by running to a nearby village while bombs were being dropped on her home. You can take your meek two-dimensional “gentle, sweet grandmother” cliche and shove it as far as I’m concerned – I have no interest. Can you tell I care passionately about this one?
We have to know. If you could have any superpowers, what would it be and what would you want to do with it?
I would like to be able to hold my breath underwater so I could go swim through ship wrecks and coral reefs in the ocean without having to wear scuba gear or come up for air. I love the water!
Photos courtesy of David Lopez.