LOST GIRL: Anna Silk, Ksenia Solo and Kris Holden-Ried Interview (2012)

For the love of all things Fae, the Syfy series LOST GIRL has invited viewers into a fantastically fun universe were the supernatural live amongst us. Walking the fine line between the Light and Dark Fae factions is Bo, a perhaps “chosen one” who has decided to align herself with humans – and making herself their appointed guardian, although usually for a price. Aiding in Bo’s adventures is her trusty friend and ally, Kenzi, and her reluctant Light Fae friend and sometimes lover, Dyson. Taking a few minutes to chat with press in a recent conference call, stars Anna Silk, Ksenia Solo and Kris Holden-Ried reflected on what makes the Fae stories so intoxicating and irresistible.

How do you think the show has changed since it started? And why do you think it’s been so successful?
KSENIA: Well I think that in Season One we were really finding our footing. We were discovering who we are as our characters and we were really discovering who we are as a show, what our voice really is; and I think we all knew that we got involved with something very unique. Of course we didn’t know what the fans’ response was going to be, and the fact that it’s been what it is has been incredibly humbling and incredibly exciting for us all at the same time. I think Season Two we really came back with more “oomph,” if I can say it that way. We really had time to explore in Season One and Season Two, and we came back ready to kick-ass. It was also getting a chance to meet our fans at Comic-Con and Fan Expo and all these different events. It’s been really amazing and what I thought was the most kind of exciting was when I saw other girls dressed up as Kenzi. For me, that was like a sign of like, “wow, people really enjoy these characters and they really love the show!” And just we couldn’t be happier.
ANNA: Yeah, and I think the show — I mean it’s from the first episode there was so much room for growth and the show could only sort of grow and develop from there, playing Bo, this whole world was brand new to her. So it was brand new to the audience as well. So we had so many places to go and so much to explore and that’s what we’ve done. I know that first season is still airing here in the U.S. and it’s gotten a great response. The show continues to grow, like Ksenia said, first season really laid a good foundation for the second season. And we really sort of took off from there and took it in new directions, which I can’t wait for everyone to see. The fan response has been incredible. I know I said this before, but people have really taken ownership of the show and really invest in the lives of these characters — ad in our lives as a result. So it’s really cool.

Anna Silk

How do you think has the dynamic between the cast changed between the first season and the third season?
KSENIA: I’m always like taking quotes from what [Anna] says. I’m always like well — as Anna puts it — you mentioned like how we came back and we really felt each other’s rhythms, like a real family did.
ANNA: We did, yeah. Like I can remember that first few episodes back, the whole cast was in a scene together and everything just felt like a family, like everyone sort of naturally knew when to come in and obviously it’s written out on a piece of paper for us as well. But we naturally sort of have each other’s rhythm and energy as actors, but also as these characters. So again because the show starts with everyone meeting for the first time the relationships have naturally evolved and changed — and as actors on set, we’ve just sort of bonded as the episodes went on. So it’s been really great.
KSENIA: I mean personally I hated everybody but . . .
ANNA: Yeah, Ksenia hates everyone. [Laughter]

What do each of you like best about working in sci-fi and if you have had any downside working in it?
KRIS: I love working in sci-fi and fantasy genre because it allows us to have so many different creative story lines and characters that we can explore. I mean having super powers or being able to be really old, these are things that, as an artist, we don’t get to often explore or learn to express. It’s a lot of fun. It’s very imaginative and it’s a great playing field to work with. So, yeah, I’d do it all the time. The only downside is – one I don’t really get — but the girls, I guess, have to wear a lot of tight uncomfortable fitting corsets and stuff.
KSENIA: I think the only downside is when you have like crazy intense emotional scenes but you’re acting against a green screen, or like a tennis ball. Like that’s always an interesting experience, and you always feel a little bit stupid I have to admit but the challenge is just making it as real as possible. But I completely agree with Kris that you get to kind of go outside of reality and it’s always a lot of fun. You get to go wild.
ANNA: Yeah, I mean you get to just play. This scenario on the show and the circumstances and all the stuff that’s going on is really real to these characters. And we take it seriously but we don’t necessarily take the world that seriously because it’s crazy Fae world, so we get to laugh at it a lot too and have fun with it. But the downside — I don’t know, I mean I guess along the lines of what Ksenia said, I’ve had to sword fight something that’s not there, and it’s a little weird. But you just have to trust that it’s going to look good in the end, and it usually does. So it’s good.

Anna Silk and Ksenia Solo

Since you are currently in your third season, is it tough doing press for Season One?
ANNA: Yeah, I think so, I mean these are things that we’ve done quite a while ago and the show has really continued to grow from there. So as actors and as the characters, we’re sort of in a different place than where we started. I’ve actually had to kind of review some of the Season One episodes in order to be able to do press because it was quite a while ago. So it’s challenging for sure, but it’s really exciting to bring it to a new audience and it’s really cool to see a whole new response to people that are experiencing it for the first time. So it’s challenging I would say a little bit.
KRIS: But rewarding.
ANNA: But rewarding, yes. Yeah.

Can you talk a little bit about next week’s episode?
ANNA: Yes, it’s Episode 10 that they’re showing next week. It’s the one where Inga’s character is introduced, yeah. Well, it’s definitely from Bo’s perspective. It’s an episode where there’s a new character introduced that is going to have an impact on her life, and it certainly has an impact on her life in that episode. I don’t want to give away too much. But she meets someone who has something very much in common with her, which is a first for Bo. So it’s something that is gong to change her a little bit.
KSENIA: And I believe Bo and Kenzi get to do a little speed-dating, which is always a fun time.
KRIS: And Kenzi discovers something about Trick.
KRIS: And Dyson needs a haircut. [Laughter]

Can you talk about a memorable experience from filming this show?
KRIS: There’s so many!
KSENIA: I know, there’s so many.
KRIS: My gosh. I guess for me I’m going to take it right back to the pilot. That was the first thing we ever did together, the three of us.
KSENIA: Yeah, that first day freezing our tushes off on Clean Street.
KRIS: That’s right, when we all sort of met and we had no idea what we were doing but we were creating this world for the first time. It was very exciting.
ANNA: And we were all trying to be like really cool, but it was so cold, so we all had runny noses.
KRIS: And we’re doing this big acting. We’re like, “yes, we thought we had the idea of what the show was.” We were really serious about everything, and it was a great episode. I still think it’s one of our best episodes — but that first time when we were all together working, with Penny and I laughing and Anna trying to figure out how to have a sex scene that was properly executed.
ANNA: Yeah, and that opening of Episode 8 was airing a couple weeks ago here in the US was – Episode 8 was our original pilot, so that sex scene that Kris is talking about was almost like doing a stunt. I mean it was exhausting and I remember it was my birthday that day. Do you remember that Kris?
KRIS: That’s right.
ANNA: And I spent it nude, covered in blood on top of you. It was a great way to spend my birthday. So that was really great. That was a good memory.
KRIS: Yeah, absolutely.
KSENIA: I don’t think I can top that memory, so I’ll just leave that with you.
ANNA: And I think in terms of when you say off the show, I guess you just mean like behind the scenes. I mean we all have a lot of fun. It’s tough shooting a series obviously, it’s hard on everyone. It’s long hours and that kind of thing so it’s great that we all get along and sort of support each other when someone needs a little extra support we’re all there for each other. I mean we’re a very happy cast and crew so those are the good memories from that, I mean it’s great.

Kris Holden-Ried and Ksenia Solo

When you went into Season Two, you knew that you were going to have U.S. distribution and then you found out you had the Season Three renewal. How did that change the dynamic since you knew you were going to have some time developing these characters?
KSENIA: We all became really big divas. [Laughter]
ANNA: We all got bigger trailers. I mean for myself I don’t know that it necessarily changed the dynamic, but because I think that LOST GIRL has a long way to go, I think that because it’s such a vast world to explore there’s a lot of possibilities. And we still haven’t tapped into many of them. So I guess it changes your mind set a little bit in terms of like, “Okay, we’re in this for a while. So let’s pace ourselves a little and think about sort of how to . . .” I guess it makes you kind of think about some subtleties you can bring into the character that you’re playing. I mean, I can only speak for myself, it was just exciting news really. I mean it was just exciting that we get to be on the show and get to play these great parts and do all this fun stuff for longer — and bring it to a bigger audience. So it was just exciting news.
KRIS: Yeah, I don’t think it really changes our day to day performance. I mean we have a certain job to do, and it requires a lot of presence in the moment, and that’s what we focus on. But, I mean for me, it’s nice to know that we’re going to continue to work on this. It’s kind of a relaxed sort of, “okay, now we can keep telling our story for a longer time.” And the age old actor’s phobia, “When am I going to be out of a job? When’s my next job” has been sort of put off for a little while.
ANNA: I know it’s weird. I’m not used to that feeling.
KSENIA: I think just as much as the fans are excited to see where the show goes and what’s going to happen to the characters and what new guest stars and creatures are going to come in, I think we all feel the exact same because we obviously don’t know what’s going to happen. And it’s cool that our story lines can really at this point go anywhere, so it will be fun for us to explore different avenues in that sense.

Have you had much input into what actually has happened with your characters?
KRIS: I was just going to say we kind of have as much input as we want. There’s a chain of command that also has sort of decision-powers or vetoes. But I think we’re very fortunate. It’s not a huge sort of network show, so it’s still an independent production where we actually can converse with the writers and executive producers one-on-one when we need to, and they’re always open to our story ideas. So we’re very fortunate to be able to have input. However much we take it is up to us, I guess.
ANNA: Yeah, and I also think that –I’ve felt this way but over the course of the two seasons that we’ve done — the writers that have gotten to know us tend to write more to our strengths. And it’s when that sort of changes that I might speak up about something and it’s generally been welcomed input. So it does feel very collaborative.

Ksenia Solo

Is there anything that you’ve brought into your acting that you think has maybe helped you — that you think is important to your characters?
KRIS: Yeah, absolutely. The sports has been a huge help for me. It’s how I got into acting. Especially with Dyson being such a physical character. That was one of the things that I liked about it. It was an inspiration for me to get back in shape and like stronger again. And it was fantastic, up until I injured myself in the middle of second season. But I’ve bounced back from that. The thing is you have to be careful always doing stunts. It’s like I’ve been in the O/R. Accidents happen and you just have to be careful. But it’s great to be able to bring a physicality. With Dyson, it has a lot to do with energy work as well, because playing a super hero you need to have these super sort of charged energy. So there’s all kinds of different sort of tricks that I’ve learned along the way to get my energy up.
ANNA: And for Bo I definitely try to stay fit. I don’t have the same kind of sports background that Kris has, but I try to learn little skills along the way and work with different trainers and my stunt double and that kind of thing. Then in terms of other life things that have helped me prepare, I mean just every little thing in my life really helps you prepare to play any character. I mean for Bo, being vulnerable and afraid most of the time, I’ve got that down pat. So that really helps a lot to play this character. But, yeah, I guess every little aspect of your life kind of prepares you.
KSENIA: And for myself I really take inspiration from great actors that I admire from movies, from people I know. Kenzi, she’s really so full of life and she has so much energy that that’s one thing that was very new for me — playing a character that was (a) the comedic relief, (b) somebody who’s just seems like she has a rocket on her somewhere because she’s constantly go-go-go-go-go. So that’s something that I’ve always kind of have to work on – to remember to make sure that I eat properly, make sure that I physically have enough energy to make it through the long days and keep that energy up and keep Kenzi as colorful and bright as she is.

Why do you think Vex had such a strong impact on both the audience, as well as you as actors?
KRIS: Well, it’s a combination of Paul Amos being such a fantastic actor and also the character being so interesting and having the power to manipulate to be a Mesmer. It just fits so well with us because, as supercharged as all of us think we can be, here’s a guy who can just take control of you at any moment and use your power against you. And also Paul Amos is just an awesome fellow, he’s become one of our best mates and luckily he’s become more and more involved in the show as its gone on.
ANNA: Yeah, and the thing about Vex too is that he’s so powerful. He’s so in control, but he doesn’t take any of it seriously which kind of drives us crazy. As a character, not as Paul, Vex just kind of gets under our skin and continues to do so in the series. And he brings a lot to the show. He’s just really fun and funny and really committed actor. He’s great.
KSENIA: I feel like a lot of people, a lot of actors can play like the evil character, but there’s something about Paul that is so incredibly intriguing. He’s such a physical actor. And he is uniquely talented. Working with him you really get sucked into his energy. I think the fact that Vex is so manipulative and so sexual and just so many different characteristics that help create the all powerful being that he is. He really reminds me of Johnny Depp. The fact that he’s British I think just makes him like way cooler than any of us.
ANNA: And he has a lot of sex appeal. Paul does himself. but also as Vex, he’s got this real strong sex appeal which is . . .
KSENIA: Nobody can wear a pair of leather pants like he can! There has been many times on set where I look at him and I go like, “Damn Paul! Like you’re looking good! I really don’t know who else could make those look good. But you make them look good!” [Laughter]

Will Vex be back going to be in the next season?
KRIS: Paul comes back.
KSENIA: Yes, he’s back.

Kris Holden-Ried and Anna Silk

Kenzi gets some really great lines, do you have any favorites?
KSENIA: Oh goodness, I get this question sometimes and there’s been so many that it’s really hard to pick. But this speed-dating episode and the quoting Ludicris was definitely one of my favorites. Also in the first seasons — I guess it would have been episode 8 if my memory serves me correct — there’s a line I have where I say, “It smells like fried bitch.” That was the very first episode we filmed, so I was just getting into the groove and the mojo of Kenzi. So getting to say that line our like first week of filming was definitely a lot of fun.

What are your perspectives on playing such overtly portrayed sexual characters?
ANNA: Well, Bo is essentially an overly sexual character because that’s what she is. I mean she’s a succubus. So that’s who and what she is. It’s definitely refreshing. I think it’s one of the things that we’re most proud of on the show is the fact that there’s this love triangle that gets established in the first season between Bo-and-Dyson and Bo-and-Lauren, and both of those relationships kind of rival each other. They’re really strong. They’re sexual and they’re real. So I definitely think I agree: it is refreshing and it is something that we’re really proud of. It’s funny, in watching some of the episodes from first seasons which I’ve done lately to kind of try to remember what we did, I can’t believe how many people I kissed. Like oh my gosh, I kissed so many people which is an interesting part of my job, but it’s an important part of the show and an important part of the character.
KRIS: I think one of the things that we’re really blessed with on our show is the great chemistry we all have with each other. So it really makes taking a leap from a true caring friendship with the actor you’re working with and then spinning it towards putting in tones of sexiness isn’t a difficult step. And that real trust and chemistry we have with each other is I think what transcends through the screen.
ANNA: Yeah, and we all like each other too. Kris is very likeable obviously and very respectful actor to work with, so any of the stuff that we’ve done is just sort of comes out of mutual respect and caring for one another. It works.
KSENIA: And I think sexuality is such an important part of life. I think the fact that our show is so open to it, and it doesn’t matter if you’re gay or straight or you’re blue or black or green. It doesn’t matter. It’s open to the entire human race. It’s open to everybody and, for Kenzi, she doesn’t have that much to do with the sexual content in Season One but in Season Two she gets her own taste of it.

Anna Silk and Kris Holden-Ried

Ksenia and Kris, could you talk a bit about working on and acting opposite each other in those scenes in “Food For Thought”?
KRIS: Yeah, where you ate the soup and you were dying and Kenzi and Dyson had some nice moments together.
KSENIA: Thank you! Do you want to go first?
KRIS: Sure. I mean Ksenia and I right from the very moment when we met on the pilot, we found out that we’re half Latvian and we had immediate bond. When we finally got a chance to work together all of that stuff kind of just came right to the surface so quickly and made for some really [great scenes] . . . It’s about chemistry and we are just so lucky on this show that all of us gel together. So when we get a chance to work with each other, whether it’s with Ksenia and Anna, Ksenia and KC or myself, we just all sort of have our own little nice little niches that we work with each other. And luckily that episode really got to show what Ksenia and I can do with each other and I’m really glad we did.
KSENIA: Yeah, it was a very emotional episode for myself and we’re so lucky to have Kris on the show. I’m not trying to kiss his ass, but he knows. I tell him this every day that I think he’s so incredibly intuitive and talented and working with him, it just makes your job so much easier. Because you really are as good as your acting partner. So he really lifts us all up and I really think that he truly is one of the best Canada has to offer and we’re lucky. We’re also lucky that he’s so sexy and he takes his shirt off a lot.
KRIS: Oh my god.
KSENIA: I wish he had his shirt off all those scenes when I was dying. I’m sure it would have made me get better sooner.
KRIS: Wow, I wish I had an audio recording of this so I could play this back in my dark days.
KSENIA: I tell you every day anyway, you’re spoiled that way. [Laughter]

The development of the Bo-Dyson-Lauren triangle has been both really cool and completely unpredictable. Could maybe tease that, where that goes over the rest of the season?
ANNA: Yeah, gosh, well both of those relationships they’re brand new in Season One and they develop their own strengths and then they get challenged. I think both of those relationships get challenged in Season One. The Lauren relationship is one that I know in Episode 8, which aired a couple weeks ago, Lauren was being dishonest with Bo and that has changed their relationship for now. It definitely continues to evolve as the season goes on, but also in Season Two. And Bo and Dyson, I mean I can’t really give anything away for the season finale for Season One, but something big does happen between them. And it’s something that is going to impact Bo in a big way and Dyson in a big way in the next season. I know it’s very vague but I don’t want to give away anything.
KRIS: I couldn’t answer it any better either. Something big comes down that affects us and brings us all the way through to Season Two.

Kris Holden-Ried and Anna Silk

Anna, in this next episode you kind of find out that Bo may have some other powers, is there going to be more beyond that? Are the seasons go on is she going to find out that she can do other things that we don’t know about?
ANNA: Definitely. I mean I think that in Season 2, Bo starts to experience some new powers and in the next episode in Season One, you see a new power that she might be able to do. I think that’s the first time Bo realizes that there’s more to who she is and what she can do. So we definitely see that change a little bit in Season Two. Her powers are pretty new, so to her, she’s still developing them and still has a lot of surprises in store for herself.

We know Kris has an athletic background, but Anna and Ksenia, what do you guys do to prepare for your more active scenes on the show?
ANNA: Well, I try to just stay really strong and fit because that’s really what you kind of need to be able to kind of have the stamina to do the season. But then between first and second season , I worked with a martial arts trainer who does specifically fight training for movies and TV. So just trying to learn to be a little bit more grounded because I don’t have a marital arts background. And in the first season my stunt double, her favorite thing to say was, “Stop bouncing!” Because I was a little bit too bouncy for what I needed to be doing. So I learned how to stop bouncing and learned to be a little bit just more grounded and a little bit more fluid. Maybe a little more ninja and I certainly learned some sword skills as the series progresses as well so that’s something that I’ve had a lot of fun doing as well.
KSENIA: And I come from a dance background which has always helped me in any stunt work that I’ve had to do.

Kris Holden-Ried

Is there something still that you would like to know about your character’s back-story that they haven’t at all yet talked about?
ANNA: Oh yeah.
KRIS: Good question.
ANNA: I mean I think that for Bo, I mean I had a pretty clear understanding of what her back story was before we ever started Season One and I’ve gotten to know more as the series has progressed through writers and through my own imagination. But not as much as been shown to the audience yet. So that’s something that will be shown in Season Two and certainly in Season Three. I just think it would be good for people to see a little bit more about where Bo came from and why she was the way she was at the beginning of the series, when she was pretty new to everything really. A real “fish out of water,” I guess. But I don’t know what else I’d like to know. I think that revealing things a little bit at a time is kind of the way to do it. I think that’s all Bo can handle and I think it’s better for the audience that way as well.
KRIS: With Dyson in Season 2, we get to explore a little bit of his past. There’s some flashbacks in an episode. I’d love to see a little bit more of that. I love showing the different sort of ages of that our characters have lived through. I think that brings a nice depth and breadth to the show. But I’m looking forward to, hopefully, some more back-story exposed and maybe some flashbacks.
ANNA: And you’ll get to see Kris in sexy long hair in that flashback.
KSENIA: I would love to also explore Kenzi’s childhood and her family and her family’s ties to the Russian mafia and why she ended up living alone on the streets and where she gets her kleptomaniac tendencies from and all these kind of cool things that I think we can really delve much deeper into. I would love to explore it more.

How would you describe your character in just three words?
ANNA: Oh gosh. Well I mean I can think of three. I mean they just might not be the most interesting answer, but it’s certainly truthful to who Bo is. I mean she’s strong, she’s loyal, and she’s vulnerable.
KSENIA: Kenzi is a fashionista, a thief and a very loyal friend.
KRIS: I think Dyson has got loyalty going on. He’s — I’m just going to throw in the generic old and I don’t know — damaged or just wise. No, he’s not particularly wise actually. No, I’m mixing up Season Two and Season One. I’m like in Season One, he’s – loyal, ancient and –I don’t know guys, what’s the third one for Dyson?
ANNA: Oh gosh, he’s kind of brooding. It’s always like he knows more than he ever says. He always knows more than he says. I know that’s not one word.
KSENIA: He says everything with his eyes, not through words.
ANNA: Exactly, it drives Bo crazy.
KRIS: Mute with chatty eyes. [Laughter]

Anna Silk and Ksenia Solo

What’s your favorite moment working with Rick Howland, who plays Trick?
ANNA: Working with Rick, who plays Trick, he’s such a great actor and he’s such a calming presence on set. When I do scenes with him as Bo, Bo and Trick have such a unique bond and there’s this trust that she has in him. So Rick, he embodied all of that. He’s got so much presence and I can’t really think of one specific moment but he’s just a great guy to work with.
KSENIA: Yeah, and he’s an incredibly gifted actor. Every time I do a scene with him I always have to stop and be like, “Seriously, like you’re amazing! Like how are you doing this? You’re just amazing.” And he’s a wonderful man and a wonderful friend and we really are so lucky to have him. His sense of humor is out of this world. So we all enjoy him very much and he’s a very, very special person, I love him very much.

With four more episodes from Season One to air on Syfy, what impact has the new American audience had on all of you?
KSENIA: It’s cool. Because LOST GIRL is shown all over the world, and it was showing in Australia and England before it ever aired in the States. So I think it’s just a really great addition to our audience and we’ve wanted to air in the states for a long time. So it’s been really exciting for us.
ANNA: Yeah, and there’s such an online community globally. So it was interesting to see that people from Australia and the UK and from Canada are sort of already in touch with the new fan base in the U.S. Because I’m in the US right now, I definitely feel an impact on the show. Just more people being vocal about it. People sharing online what they like about it and it’s been really pretty great.
KRIS: Yeah, absolutely. It’s such a huge audience and they tend to love this genre, Americans, and there’s been so many other successful shows down there in the sci-fi genre. And we’re so glad that we’re part of the party.

So to see more of the alluring and exciting adventures of Bo, Kenzi and Dyson in LOST GIRL, tune in Monday nights at 10:00 p.m. on Syfy.

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