Season 2 of Syfy’s Bitten is just around the corner. In anticipation, OHSOGRAY participated in a press call with stars Laura Vandervoort (“Elena”) and Greyston Holt (“Clay”). They dished on their reignited romance, new characters, and the impending darkness threatening their pack.
Bitten returns April 17th at 8/7c on Syfy.
Greyston, can you talk about being with the witches and how it’s going to change Clay this season?
Greyston Holt: Yes. I mean, I think it just – it broadens all of our horizons a little bit you know. It’s a big bomb to drop in our world that there was – there were others out there with you know supernatural abilities and there’s a whole new world that’s opened up and I think it’s just kind of made all of us a little more accepting and trustworthy of the world around us.
Laura, what would a normal date look like for your characters?
Laura Vandervoort: I mean I guess for the characters it would – like we’d go to some restaurant that serves raw meat and maybe go see Werewolf in London at some old theater and…
Greyston Holt: Oh, you’re really hitting on the nose there.
Laura Vandervoort: Yes, and then go – and I’ve thought about this for Elena for a long time – and then have a nice little fire at StoneHaven.
Greyston Holt: Yes, and ‘Hungry like a Wolf,’ you know.
How does the relationship evolve with the witches?
Greyston Holt: Yes. I think you know initially you know the werewolves, the pack, we are you know obviously very weary of the witches and you know their intentions. But as the season progresses you know there’s another darker force out there that we realized and we also realized that we need to – we need their help and they need our help in order to deal with this new enemy.
Laura Vandervoort: Yes. I think – you know this – I – like what Greyston said, the witches are a whole supernatural force that we – like most of the world with us didn’t know existed and it’s not something we can really go up against. I mean, we have brute force and the pack mentality and pack law but when it comes to their abilities, we really have no way to counteract them. And it does seem like they are our enemies but that I think eventually we – without giving anything away, we choose to work together because there’s strength in numbers and combining our abilities to help solve the problem we’re trying to solve this season.
Greyston Holt: Yes. And I think it’s really interesting dynamic that season two is kind of like what Laura was touching on there was – is that, yes, the werewolves, we deal in physicality and strength. And the witches deal in magic and spells. So to see those two sides kind of butt heads and come together is a really interesting dynamic this season.
Does it help Elena at all to sort of have this feminine energy introduced as well since she’s really the lone woman in her pack?
Greyston Holt: Hey, Clay has a feminine side.
Laura Vandervoort: He does – he does – he is concerned about his hair and does take a while to get ready before we go out to hunt. Yes. I mean it was – it was personally nice for me to have female energy on the set because as much as I love the boys, I you know would tend to always be the only girl. So it was nice to have these wonderful actresses on the show. And then for Elena as well, there’s one of the three – well the three witches, she has great relationships with throughout the season, they sort of develop. But there’s a young witch that she sort of takes on a mothering aspect with and has sort of a protective vibe with her throughout the season that just gets stronger as they are sort of forced to be together and to take care of you know one another. And so that’s a thing that’s the nurturing side of Elena because last season you know she was an unsure woman who didn’t know where she belong. This season, she sort of very certain as to who she is and her future and is very violent in ways, but then to juxtapose this little girl brings out the warm side of her.
What can we expect to see in Elena and Clay’s relationship?
Greyston Holt: Yes. Well I think you know there – you know a lot of the big things are out of the way relationship wise but we do face – you know we’re back together you know that’s definite. But there are a lot of obstacles that we have to face this season. I think Clay has really taken – taking a step back and just kind of letting Elena deal with some of her issues this season.
Laura Vandervoort: Her issues.
Greyston Holt: Issues, yes. It’s not euphemism by the way.
Now that you’ve gotten season one done and under the belt, are there any – going to be any other more difference going into season two?
Laura Vandervoort: I mean, I think with a – with a lot of shows, the – you know – I mean speaking for myself but I think it’s most of us, at the beginning of this first season we were all a little bit you know nervous to get it right and make the fans happy because the books existed before, we were recasting the roles and – so that – you know it’s important to the fans.
So we wanted to get it right. And I think now that they’ve accepted the show and they’re happy and the fans – you know the fan base has been growing, it sort of gives us a little more freedom to play with the characters and we’re more comfortable. We were always comfortable with one another but the comfort factor is a lot higher and this season you know it’s a darker show with witchcraft, and it’s gorier. So I think this season we just feel more comfortable to expand our characters’ minds a little bit more and the writers always give us great material. So we are following the books in a way but taking a lot of liberty.
How have the fans of the book series reacted to seeing Elena and Clay come to life?
Greyston Holt: Yes. I mean, we – you know we get feedback on you know many levels. You know there’s Twitter now and the online forum.
But you know the best is you know we go to these conventions and meeting with fans more often and I think you know like anything you know there’s a certain amount of winning friends over in the beginning especially when you know these characters already existed and we have to kind of do our own version of them and our own interpretation.
But I think people have – at least the doubters in the beginning have grown to love our characters and then I think the people who were with us right on board from the beginning are just happy to see it come to life. But everyone, the reaction’s been amazing.
Laura Vandervoort: Yes. Like Greyston said, social media you know this tool now that we can use to interact with the fans has been – you know there’s – it’s a double-edged sword but it’s great when you get the fans that really want to talk to you and are excited about the show.
And you can you know send out behind the scenes photos and get them excited as well and their live tweeting and the instant feedback we can give them on the show as they’re watching it is amazing. And then like Greyston said as well, the conventions. There – it’s just a great way to talk to them what they like about the show, what they don’t like. Hopefully there isn’t anything that they don’t like. But they seemed very happy with what we’ve done so far so we’re grateful that they’re watching.
Speaking of Clay’s hair, how long does it take for his hair to be camera ready?
Greyston Holt: I actually – I pretty much always have long hair… It’s just kind of always the way I like to keep my hair so it’s – unless a part comes along you know my – in the off time from Bitten, it’s pretty much a longer length so I rarely cut it short unless I need to.
Laura Vandervoort: And it is not there because – it’s not there because Greyston will come in to the trailer and like his hair is already perfect. You just have to mess it up.
Greyston Holt: No. But they still put some time – I don’t know, I mean – but I’m still like a good 20 minutes in getting my hair ready. So I don’t know what they do but…
We find out pretty early in season what Clay thought about his childhood and how he came into the Danvers family wasn’t exactly correct. Will that weigh on him through the course of this season now that he has more information about his human family?
Greyston Holt: Yes, definitely. I mean, that was a huge, huge blow to Clay. I mean, it’s everything he thought that was…wasn’t you know. And I think there’s just – it just set in stone in Clay’s heart just what it needs to be done and that you know going to be the bottom of this and capturing Malcolm is just you know priority number one and putting him to justice because he is not a good dude. It’s the thing we’re all chasing, right, is Malcolm. So many reasons – we all have our individual reasons why we want to bring Malcolm to justice and basically squash him, kill him.
Is it physically challenging to do all the action on the show?
Heather McLatchy: I think we all – we’re all very eager to do the action. I think most of the guys –all of the guys actually are very capable of doing all of their own stunts and I wanted to keep up with them. I think it’s a nice break from –we have very dramatic, heavy emotional scenes every week. So when we get an opportunity to be physical like that and I think it’s a nice break for us. We do rehearse on weekends with our stunt coordinator John Stead who is amazing and comes up with these fight sequences that –especially this season, will blow the audience’s minds I think and he always seems to incorporate the animalistic side of wolf fights within our fights.
So I think we enjoy it. It is tiring but definitely worth it. I think it’s better for the audience because they can actually see our faces and it’s more believable. We do have amazing stunt people who step in for us when it’s rather dangerous or we’re not able to do it. But it’s nice for the audience to see our faces while we’re fighting.
Greyston Holt: Yes. It’s definitely a catharsis you know because we go through so many different emotions and it’s such a mentally demanding show, that – in that respect but it’s nice just to shut the brain of kind of and – I mean plus we need the brain for the choreography.
But just the outlet physically is a really nice thing to do every couple of episodes. It’s fun. Like you know this is the first time I’ve really done extensive stunt choreography and it’s like a – it’s kind of like a dance once you know all the moves and the hits and the punches once you’re proficient at it, it’s a lot of fun and it’s nice to come home –most days you come home from set, you’re emotionally drained but it’s nice to like come home and you just beaten and bruised.
Laura Vandervoort: Yes. I’m usually – I’m usually the one that’s extremely bruised.
Greyston Holt: Yes, you bruise easy. I think it’s the way you fight too.
Laura Vandervoort: I think I just don’t know how to hit lightly.
How has it been adding all these new characters this season?
Greyston Holt: Yes. I think it’s – I mean you know obviously it’s just nice to have this female element introduced to our show and then Laura of course. Yes, I think that’s been really great for her to have this female presence around.
But it’s just – when you think that you’re the only ones that exists in this you know in this world and then you find out there are others with powers and abilities, I mean it kind of shocks your world, right? It’s been really interesting and challenging to incorporate these witches into our world and just to interact with them and see how we interact with them and you know my – personally speaking you know the only interaction I have with females on the show is with Laura and she’s like my one true love.
But it was interesting just to have other women around and to see and – you know I didn’t even know how I was going to react to having them around on camera and with you know my character. So it was – it was kind of just you know finding the moments and the beats and seeing how we interact. But it was very interesting and challenging.
Laura Vandervoort: It completely changes the tone of the show. It’s – from the first season to this season, it’s – not that it’s a completely different show but the look and the material that we’re dealing with is completely different.
And for the fans of the witches, they certainly get their share of them this season. And it’s not just the female witches, there is you know a bad presence that is you know after the pack and they have to deal with that and you’ll discover who that is as the season goes on and it’s just someone that they really have no way of dealing with. And – so that last season, our threat was either ourselves or the humans and the mutts, this season, it’s a whole new realm of possibilities and dangers for the pack.
Greyston Holt: That we didn’t know existed until now. So it’s kind of a – it’s a shock.
Laura Vandervoort: Yes.
What is the secret to Clay and Elena’s relationship?
Laura Vandervoort: Passion.
Greyston Holt: Passion, yes. That we all have secrets and sometimes you need your partner to help you keep it secret. I don’t know.
Laura Vandervoort: Or to help you get through it. I mean their relationship is a little you know in flux season one and I think – I mean you have to look at it that Clay is her one true love and she’s destined to be with him and she was fighting that. Maybe human relationships need to look at what their heart is really telling them and to listen to that, because I think we’re all looking for the right fit and sometimes the right fit is the wrong fit and it’s someone not just you truly are in love with and have fun with, and that was Clay for her and she tried to deny that. She tried to you know check off the boxes of what she feels a woman needs in society as a human. But maybe you know as human relationships in the world need to look at passion and what your heart is truly telling you and not try to check off those boxes.
Are we going to get a lot of werewolf changing?
Greyston Holt: Yes, there’s definitely some wolfing out that happens as the season progresses. But in the beginning it’s you know it’s about introducing these you know this new world, the witches, right? But there are definitely some fights coming up that involve you know like actors in wolf form so.
Will Clay be using some of his PhD skills?
Greyston Holt: Yes, you definitely do. And there’s – yes, like you’re saying, it’s definitely like an investigative element to this season. Like a true detective vibe you know. And you know Clay definitely calls upon his skills and his knowledge as an anthropology professor and anthropologist to help get to the bottom of this.
So I think it’s an interesting turn this season, right? It wasn’t just about a wolf instincts, it was about using our brains and you know really figuring how to deal with this new world of the witches and you know it’s kind of an unknown world. I mean at first you know we’re not really sure what to expect and what it is and it’s a lot of just deciphering and decoding the world around us and I just happen to have you know good set of skills in this case to help deal with that.
Laura Vandervoort: But you know what’s funny, Greyston is as you said that this season that the wolves are using their brains more, I feel like Elena’s using it less this season.
Elena is almost feral this season because she’s so hell bent on correcting what happened at the end of last season…
Laura Vandervoort: Yes. That’s to be expected because this season takes up three days prior to the finale and you know as we all saw in the finale, Philip’s head was in her bed so she – I love how that rhymes every time I say it. She is…
Greyston Holt: Real bed head.
Laura Vandervoort: She is still – head in the bed. She’s still seeing red and it’s a nice change for me too because season one, I was just so emotional and, “Oh, where do I belong?” And this season, it’s just go time and that was a lot of fun for me especially you know I am separated from the pack mid season. So she is on her own and very instinctual with the young witch and with protecting herself and this young girl, so.
How big a part did the fans play in getting Bitten a second season?
Greyston Holt: Yes. I think the powers to be take it all into account and I think what it comes down to it numbers are one of the major things they look at but they also look at your fan reaction and the passion of the fans. It’s amazing the power social media now and getting the word out. People are reading positive tweets and things on the show and it’s only going to get more people into watching the show, so it’s definitely talked about and taken into account.
Laura Vandervoort: Yes, I agree. And I know a lot of the fans on social media will tweet saying that they love how interactive the cast is both with live tweeting, and in between episodes we’re answering their questions and talking about them or following them. We have some great fans that I think we’ve all met at conventions that come to all of our cons, to our signings, they make t-shirts, and jewelry, and bags and they’re just phenomenal, so having their support, like any show, helps with the ratings, helps with being picked up and we hope that continues this season.
Greyston Holt: Yes. And it’s funny like on Twitter I’m starting to recognize faces that are more active on our –on tweeting about Bitten and it’s quite a few times have been at conventions now and I see them in line, I’m like, “I know that person.” I’m like, “Oh my God, you’re that person on Twitter that tweets about our show.” That’s cool with this one.
How big of an influence are the books on your performances?
Greyston Holt: Well initially I think we all obviously drew from the books as sort of base knowledge. But it kind of becomes its own thing after that. You make some choices about your character initially, first season and then – and then you really just have to ride out the show, like the show like kind of becomes its own thing after that. This season, we’re stepping a little away from the books. […] I don’t know if I can speak for the rest of the cast. It’s about what’s on the page at this point. Whereas initially, it was – it was about researching the characters. But you have to kind of take some creative license and liberty to make it your own. But, yes, there we go.
Laura Vandervoort: Yes. He kind of said what I was going to say. I read the first book when I was cast just to have an understanding and spoke to our executive producer, but I think, yes, it’s about what’s on the page, it’s about what we’re creating as a show and we want to make the fans happy but at the same time have to work within the realm of what our writers are coming up with, which is always fantastic and shocking and bloody and amazing. So the books are a source I guess if we want to go to to see sort of what the future might hold, but other than that, I’d like to go by the script and be pleasantly surprised.
Are there any other kind of pairings on the show that you’d like to see or any kind of love connections?
Greyston Holt: Jeremy, I think…You know what was – I can’t believe I’m forgetting the police officer in the first season.
Laura Vandervoort: Yes. They need to get together or I think we need to try to bite a female and help her survive for Jeremy or just find a human. You know he needs a little loving too.
Greyston Holt: Like what’s – what is Jeremy doing like to quench his sexual appetite? Like I don’t know. We don’t know.
Laura Vandervoort: Well I have a pretty good idea but he’s our father. We can’t be thinking about that – we can’t – he’s changing. He’s getting his frustrations out wall painting and we haven’t seen him paint in a while so who knows.
What can we look forward to this season?
Laura Vandervoort: This season, the horror definitely adds up. There’s much more blood and gore, but Elena is separated from the pack a few episodes in and ends up at a compound and sort of – there is a character that has the ability to get into the minds of our pack and sort of put the characters into a mind palace with their worst fears coming true and they have to deal with them.
For Elena, you can imagine there’s a lot of things that she’s had go on in her life and guilt and all that that she’s got to basically confront within this mind place and you know we’ve got insane explosions and fight sequences, because Elena is sort of in this assassin mode, she’s ripping body parts off and it did get intense this season and I – actually I’m just looking at a photo where I’m covered in blood that I think I’m going to be posting soon.
So I had a lot of fun doing that this season. I’m a huge horror fan and one of our writers Wil Zmak is aware of that so he wrote an episode I think specifically for me to quench those needs and I had my own little horror movie in one episode which was a lot of fun. Greyston?
Greyston Holt: Yes. I guess it’s – the other person does what you want to say like, “Ooh, I love that.” But, yes, this is definitely a darker, more heady season. It really kind of – it’s twisted and really affects you in a – in a mental level. There’s a lot of unknown forces around us happening and it’s trying to figure out what’s happening in this world, because our world is physical and this new world is very supernatural and magical and fantastical and it’s really thrown us for a loop. But it’s definitely a bloodier, sexier, more violent season. And it just has – we have a new director of photography this season, Boris, and he’s really put a dark tone on the show. He has this thing called the dark side where you’ll notice in this show more specifically on the interior scenes.
There’s a further shot on half of our face and it really kind of add to this dramatic tone. So visually this season is just – it’s – I think affects you more. Even if our show’s not – like visually it looks – it looks really appealing, it’s just very rich and dark.
Laura Vandervoort: It’s like – it’s very cinematic this season. It does look like – it does look like it should be on the big screen like a horror film. It’s great that it’s a two hour premiere because it can – I know that the American fans have been dying to see it and trying to avoid the spoilers on social media. So they get to sort of get caught up within the two hour premiere.
Greyston Holt: These two episodes really do play well. I mean, the whole season plays well as a whole but these two episodes really I think it was smart to play them back-to-back, just artistically and plotwise it’s like it really kind of go together as a nice little unit, like a two hour premiere. So it will be two hours of edge of your seat TV.
Greyston Holt: Or hiding under your pillow TV. It’s pretty twisted and scary. It’s dark.
Laura Vandervoort: And by – and by the finale, you’ll be using the Kleenex.
Greyston Holt: Yes. Oh, yes, God, the last two episodes there’ll be some tears, I’ll say that.
What is the most fun for you guys on the show?
Laura Vandervoort: I think for me, it’s working with all the guys. I mean obviously we love our characters in the show and playing out these characters and all the different scenarios that they have to deal with and watching them grow as we grow, but I just love working with the guys, we all miss each other when we’re not working and we have a lot of fun and we learn from one another so.
Greyston Holt: Yes. I’d have to say the same thing. Like just our family. Like we’re so fortunate too being in a show where– and I know I can speak on everyone’s behalf that we all look forward to coming to work in the morning and just hanging out and then getting to act together and work out scenes and everyone’s very supportive and we go through a lot of heavy emotions in the show and it’s nice to have a group of people that understands the emotions and is there for support. But at the same time because we like each other so much we keep it light. We’re always laughing and having a good time. So it’s a great thing…
Laura Vandervoort: I don’t think any of us have ever gotten into like a fight or there’s never been any awkward personal problems with the cast. We all support one another and after scenes, we’re all congratulating each other on the work that they’ve done or I – there’s never been any bad intentions on anyone’s behalf which is really nice because actors can be fickle people and you never know when you put a group of them together what will happen. But in this case, it’s been – it’s been a dream.
Greyston Holt: Yes. There’s never any like – there’s never any me or I, it’s always like, us the pack, we, us going through it together so.
The show has already aired in Canada. What has the fan response been there to the new season?
Greyston Holt: All the response I’ve seen online has been extremely positive.
Laura Vandervoort: Yes. They’ve been – they’ve been very responsive to the change and seem to be really into it. They love the first season but this season, I’m seeing a lot more interaction on Twitter and the fans are live twitting with us and asking what’s going to happen next and being emotional about what they’ve just seen. So they seem to be loving it and they seem to love the addition of the characters of the witches.
Greyston Holt: Yes. And I think this season – the first season is obviously great and we love it. But I think this season – if you haven’t seen the first season, I think you could probably jump into this one and you know with a bit of basic info and do you know a recap at the beginning of the season on season one. But I think you can really jump into this season and just fall into the world and I think – and that seems to kind of stand-alone.
Greyston, did you work with the boy who played you in the flashbacks at all?
Greyston Holt: Yes. Clay goes very internal and we call it the mind palace and he’s kind of trapped inside his mind and deals with some of his demons from past and we do have some interaction in that. I don’t want to give too much away about how that comes to me but, yes, he’s very sweet kid but that’s the interaction I had with him on the set.