INTERVIEW: Kelly McCormack Talks About Joining SyFy’s Killjoys, Sci-Fi and Writing Inspirations
We always love talking to a fellow nerd and Kelly McCormack is a huge sci-fi, fantasy and video games fangirl—she is lucky enough to join one of SyFy’s biggest show, Killjoys, in season 3! She spoke to us about her experiences, her inspirations as a writer and her future projects including CBC’s The Neddeaus of Duqesne Island and Sugar Daddy.
And of course, you will find out what super powers she chooses. Her answer may be the best one yet!
Are you excited to join the cast of Killjoys? Zeph sounds like she will bring a lot of fun to the characters and story. Can you talk to us more about her? What has been the best part of joining the series?
I am beyond excited! I can’t believe how lucky I am to be joining this incredible cast and to play a character as fun as Zeph. She’s a farm girl turned awkward science nerd loner with no ﬁlter and the deepest passion for biological science. I’ve always been a huge sci-ﬁ fan, so to be in a spaceship on set and be handed a new and incredible space prop for every scene by the art department was a surreal dream. I felt like I was in a video game half the time. But hands down, the best part of joining this series has been joining this special family of actors and creatives. They are a hilarious, kind and passionate group of people.
Do you think you would survive as a bounty hunter in space?
I would make a kick-ass bounty hunter in space. Zeph… maybe not. She’s a little more nervous and jumpy than I am. But in my real life, I like to go rogue and break rules.
Are you a fan of of sci-ﬁ adventure? What do you like to watch?
I am a HUGE sci-ﬁ fan. I grew up reading almost exclusively sci-ﬁ and fantasy books, playing video games, and like every normal person, I loved Fireﬂy. I would hurry through the reading list in schools so I could do a readers report on John Wyndham books and pissed off one of my teachers by making her read Isaac Asimov’s Foundations. I was obsessed with fantasy movies like The Dark Crystal and The Labyrinth and to top it off, I was an extra on Battlestar Galactica all through high school as one of my part time jobs! I’ve always been a sucker for any dystopian science ﬁction story.
When did you know you wanted to pursue a creative career? What inspired you?
It really came out of nowhere. I was seven and my mother took me to see the musical Show Boat and in the audience I had a full on seven year old panic attack when Julie started singing the song Bill. I was hit so hard with the acting bug right then and there, I stopped breathing, started shaking, sweating, and gritting my teeth. After the show I ran upstairs to my room and burst into tears because I wanted something so bad and was devastated that it wasn’t me up there on stage. Ever since then, everything I’ve ever done, has been geared towards performing and storytelling.
What has been your best experience as a an actress so far?
Whoa! Tough question! Killjoys is a frontrunner along with a toss up between some of the weird experimental musical shows I did in New York, working with the legendary Liz Swados (this woman is worth a google), a pantomime where the show changed every night and the actors shit talked each other on stage, my ﬁrst feature Play the Film I produced with Kristian Bruun which we shot in two weeks and produced for $1000, a play called Delicacy by Kat Sandler, or The Neddeaus of Duqesne Island, the series I produced for the CBC that we shot in the woods on a remote island for four weeks with my best friends. Clearly an impossible question to answer! But the common denominator for me tend to be bizarre roles, in experimental shows, under absurd conditions.
As a writer, what kind of projects will you pursue and what are you most passionate about?
I always return to stories that explore what I call “gender pain”—unpacking the absurd man-made expectations we have on masculinity and femininity. Narratives like that always do the trick—as in, they make my blood boil, make me cry and keep me up at night. It’s a constant source of inspiration and obsession for me and I want to do what I can to set people free of archaic and painful ways of viewing gender. I need to feel like a project is thoughtful about how it presents gender before I will sign on or pursue it.
Can you tell us about any projects you are currently working on?
The digital series I produced for the CBC The Neddeaus of Duqesne Island just came out! It’s a faux 1970’s documentary about a bizarre island dwelling family that looks and feels as weird as Grey Gardens but with a title no one can pronounce. And I am getting ready to shoot my next feature ﬁlm Sugar Daddy directed by world renowned music video director Wendy Morgan and produced by Lori Lozinski and Lauren Grant. I’ve been affectionally calling it my “Rocky”. The ﬁlm follows the story of Darren—a struggling musician who is too broke to work on her music so she signs onto a Sugar Daddy website—a growing online phenomenon where rich older men pay to go on dates with younger women. The ﬁlm takes on the commodity of sex, art and self-worth, and follows a ﬁery, smart, talented young woman as she negotiates the various expectations of Sugar Daddies against the backdrop of the already sexualized high-stakes of the music industry, begging the question: Is there a right way for a woman to behave?
If you were suddenly given superpowers, what kind of powers would you want? Will you be a super hero or a super villain?
Oh, easy question! I’ve always wanted to be able to breathe and live underwater. But I don’t want to be a super hero or super villain though… I just want to be one of those all-knowing impartial underwater oracle types that that super hero visits for a hot second to seek guidance. She’s terrifying, her hair is all medusa like, she controls the waves, and she lays down some truth and sends the hero on their way. Then she gets left alone to chill with the ﬁsh for most of eternity. Maybe she shows up for the Avengers ensemble movie deal and wields the ocean like it ain’t no thing.
Photo Credits: Will O’Hare Photography, Kat Webber Photography, SyFy.
Follow Kelly on Twitter at @kelmccormack.