Amanda Tapping & Robin Dunne

We recently had a chance to sat down with Amanda Tapping and Robin Dunne, the stars of SyFy’s hit show Sanctuary, to discuss the upcoming season and perhaps to plot the kidnapping of certain Hollywood elite. We’re not saying anything if Mr. Dunne doesn’t! Here’s the interview!

Aaron MK: Sanctuary is coming to its fourth season – can you tell our fans a little bit about the season premiere, and what they can look forward to this season?

Amanda Tapping: Well the season premiere, again, takes place in Victorian era England. It’s almost a direct cut from how we ended Season 3. So we actually have, the first two episodes of the season are the conclusion to our season finale last year. And we had initially discussed doing them, sort of flashing back and forth between the two storylines, one in Victorian era England and one, what’s happening in current day. And we just realized that in order to service both stories properly, they needed to be separate. There needed to be [or] you would need to jog the audience back and forth. So Tempus is Magnus stuck in Victorian era England, trying to hide from her past self, trying to stop Ian Tracey’s character Adam Worth from altering the timeline.

And the second episode, Uprising, is basically how Will and Henry and Kate and Bigfoot are trying to quell the rebellion that’s happening from the insurgents from Hollow Earth. So that’s how we launch. We launch the season in such a big way. We were kind of exhausted by the end of the first two, where we were like, oh God, how do we keep this up?

But we take you everywhere. We take you to a remote island off the coast of Africa in an episode called Monsoon. Robin directed an episode called Homecoming, in which we meet his dad, there’s a series of flashbacks with his father, and it’s a really poignant and beautiful episode. We take you to an icebreaker in the middle of the Bering Sea, a musical episode, we take you into a virtual Sanctuary, which is kind a, one of our cool episodes called Chimera. And we take you into a cave system in the Andes with Will and Magnus. I mean, we’re all over the place. We’re literally all over the world. And we’re dealing, the whole time, the through-line is dealing with the fallout of going rogue, and separating ourselves from the World Government. So it’s an intense roller coaster ride, but again, not without its humor.

And then the ending, I wish I could say more about our season ender, our two-parter that Damian directed. But it’s, I don’t even want to give you a word, for fear that it will give too much away. It’s incredible, and the way that it ends, I mean, we were shocked when we read the script.

Robin Dunne: Yes.

Amanda Tapping: All, the crew, the cast, everyone was running around going, “what, what, what? How did you – what?” And so, but of course we did, in typical Sanctuary fashion. And I think it’s quite shocking.

Robin Dunne: And we, even just shooting it, just being there and shooting those scenes, it was very emotional, very shocking for us to shoot. And to sort of realize what was happening, not to give it away, but…

Amanda Tapping: Yes.

Robin Dunne: It’s going to be cool.

Amanda Tapping: Which means Season 5, fingers crossed, is going to be even cooler.

Robin Dunne: Yes.

Aaron MK: That sounds really exciting! SyFy has a history of doing crossovers between their shows, like Warehouse 13 and Eureka have had one, almost every season. Will Sanctuary be seeing any crossover this season, or if not, maybe in the future?

Amanda Tapping: We haven’t done any yet, have we?

Robin Dunne: No.

Amanda Tapping: No. We haven’t. We’re sort of in our own little cocoon-ey bubble.

Robin Dunne: The closest we had was maybe having Chris Gauthier…

Amanda Tapping: Yes.

Robin Dunne: …guest star but it…

Amanda Tapping: But it wasn’t a crossover at all, yes, it was a completely different character. Well, you’re not going to see it in Season 4, but we’ll, we’re open to discussions for Season 5.

Aaron MK: I can’t wait to see what you come up with. In closing, what has been your favorite experience while working on this season of Sanctuary?

Amanda Tapping: I would say, one of the most interesting, and really fun experiences was doing (the episode) Fugue.

Robin Dunne: Yes.

Amanda Tapping: It was such a crazy episode to shoot, and it was so far outside of everyone’s comfort zone. And I just felt like, creatively, we all pushed the envelope. And everyone, it was one of those where, you either give into the idea fully, and just go for it, or you’re not servicing it, and so we all kind of had to take this massive leap of faith, which is kind of the Sanctuary logline, and it was so much fun.

Robin Dunne: Just being in the recording studio, recording songs and working with Damian Kindler and our composer Andrew Lockington, who really helped us through that process because as actors and not singers, per se, it was a very daunting task to take on. But it was a really special experience, and I think the episode is really quite good.

Amanda Tapping: Yes, and because it took so long, like it wasn’t just, we didn’t just shoot the episode. We had to go in a couple of weeks before and record the songs, and then the week before we shot, we went into the studio and rehearsed. And so it was just, it was spread out over a period of time and, so when we finally came on to the set to actually shoot the scenes where we were singing, we were so prepared and had a real sense of anticipation. But that was really fun.

Robin Dunne: We had these cool, like, (phonics) things, they called them (phonics) things, they’re like invisible earpieces where, we could hear the music but nobody else could, so we could sing along with the track, but get the singing recorded clean and, I don’t know, it was just, it was kind of like being a rock star for a little while, and it was fun.

Amanda Tapping: Yes.

Robin Dunne: It was a lot of fun.

Amanda Tapping: And I’d have to say for me, Tempus, the first episode of the season, just to be back in that era, and wearing those clothes, and playing two different versions of Magnus, you know a much younger, more innocent, wide-eyed version and the fairly beaten-up version that she is now, was really satisfying, creatively. It was really fun.

Robin Dunne: And also the way that episode was shot, and technologically, how you had to do it…

Amanda Tapping: Yes.

Robin Dunne: …to shoot both characters…

Amanda Tapping: Using stop-motion camera, and just the set was, I mean, we built this beautiful Victorian set, and then made it rain the entire time, inside the studio, which seems sort of counter-intuitive when you live in Vancouver, and we have so much rain outside. But we, yes, it was just a really, very cool and soggy.

Aaron MK: It sounds like it was a lot of fun to shoot!

Amanda Tapping: Yes!

Aaron MK: I’d like to thank you for your time, it’s been great talking to you, and I can’t wait for the silent movie Sanctuary episode.

Amanda Tapping: That would be cool!

Robin Dunne: That’s coming, yes.

Amanda Tapping: That would be so cool. Thank you!

Aaron MK: Thank you for your time!

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