NYCC 2013: Interview With The Cast and Crew Of SyFy’s ‘Defiance’

Defiance is a multi-platform science fiction venture from SyFy, presenting a shared world through a MMORPG (Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game) and a television series created by Rockne S. O’Bannon (Farscape), Kevin Murphy (Caprica), and Michael Taylor (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine). First airing in the spring of 2013 on SyFy, Defiance is set in 2046 and tells the tale of humanity’s struggle to adapt to a new world in which multiple alien races now inhabit Earth. When Joshua Nolan (Grant Bowler) and his adopted daughter Irisa (Stephanie Leonidas) settle in the town of Defiance — what used to be St. Louis — tensions between all races quickly begin to rise.

At New York Comic-Con this past weekend, Bowler, Leonidas, Jaime Murray (Stahma Tarr), Julie Benz (Mayor Amanda Rosewater), and producer Michael Nankin sat down with Geeks of Doom among other media outlets and shed some light onto the new season of Defiance which will begin airing in 2014.

Continue reading to see what they had to say.

The group was first asked what they were allowed tell us about season two of Defiance. “Things get darker; things get more dangerous; things get, we’re hoping, more unpredictable,” Nankin said. “All of the characters are adrift in territory they never anticipated — almost forced to the end of their rope.” Benz added “In season two we see Amanda in a much darker place. At the end of season one she lost her job, her sister disappeared and she’s struggling to define herself in the town.” Bowler noted that he is pleased to see the direction the series is taking. “Season two for me is the season one I would have wanted to make. I had always pushed for a little darker,” he said. “Season one came in at a nice tone to introduce the series, but for me, my character and the show this season is exactly what I was dreaming of when I got the initial seven-page theoretical pitch.” Murray chimed in by relating the setting to her character. “The town is called Defiance because it is quite a defiant town. But each of the characters have their own journeys of defiance,” she said. “I don’t think that Stahma did in the first season — she kind of kept her mask on. This season, the title theme of Defiance will show more in Stahma’s storyline.”

The discussion turned to both Leonidas and Benz, who were commended for their careers portraying strong female roles. After being asked if this is why they accepted their respective roles, Leonidas replied by saying, “Absolutely, and also the fact that they’re aliens. When I first read the script I didn’t want it to be about these aliens that no one can relate to.There is a real humanness and emotion,” she said. “At the same time, Irisa can really kick butt.” Benz explained, “It’s actually a conscious choice. Surprisingly, Dexter was an offshoot for me, playing the victim, but she still had strengths within her victimization. What I loved about the Defiance script when I first got it was how complex all the female characters are in the show. Here is a show, I thought, where all of the female characters are complicated, damaged, and active. None of them are the mother/wife victim.” Revealing her real-life strength, Benz said, “I love doing stunts. I love doing all of the action stuff — I’m extremely competitive and athletic. Amanda, this coming season is fulfilling all of the things I want to do as an actor.”

To close, the cast and crew was asked what the fan reaction has been like for them. Nankin jokingly answered, “I have no fans,” to which the rest of the cast had a good laugh. Murray spoke up saying that, “Julie was saying earlier, we actually did San Diego Comic Con straight after the pilot and we were still trying to fully understand what we were doing at the time. The next year we came back and the show had aired and just to see that room quadrupled in size. And to see little Irisas running around, different Irathients, and people dressed up as my character; the questions that people would ask were so informed and thoughtful — you could tell that this show was really resonating with people.”

Defiance: Season 1 is available now on Blu-ray and DVD.

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[Photos by Sarah Pfeffer for Geeks Of Doom.]

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