Wonder Con 2015: Courtney K spends time with the cast of SALEM to preview Season 2
On the first day of WonderCon 2015, I had the pleasure of meeting with some of the people that bring the show, Salem about, with the much-anticipated today! Needless to say, I was very excited to talk about Mary Sibley (Janet Montgomery), John Alden (Shane West) and the rest of dark and twisty characters of Salem with the shows main cast and creators/executive producers Brannon Braga and Adam Simon.
Q: Season 2 for Mary Sibley, she’s got a new rival coming into town, where is this season going to take her?
JM: Good question, we’re still shooting it! The fact that she believes John dead, again, she has her son now so you get to see a very different side to Mary. She’s much more about fighting for her son and the love for her son and a new world. She’s being manipulated still, the Essex Witch Clan are still manipulating her and getting her to complete The Grand Rite. She definitely has a lot more enemies this season and very few allies. So you see her toughen up somewhat because you don’t get to see her break down in the same way she did last year. There’s a maturity to her this year, I think.
Q: There’s a new romance on the horizon too, isn’t there?
JM: It’s interesting! There are 2 new guys and it’s still early days with them but, you know, Mary loves John. That’s the bottom line of it. But we all know you can be attracted to other people when you love someone and you can have different relationships with other people. I think that addition of Stuart Townsend who plays Dr. Wainwright, he really taps into the darker side of Mary in a very interesting way. There’s Joe Doyle who plays Sebastian, he’s someone that Mary sort of needs somehow; they’d be like Bonnie and Clyde together. He’s just as bad as Mary, so that’s a fun dynamic!
Q: Last we saw John, he’s presumed dead, though we know he’s been dragged off and saved by his Native American Tribe friends, what’s he going to be like after all he now knows?
SW: He’s revenge based this year! He’s more focused. It’s a lot easier to play him this year than last year. Last year he was much more confused about his surroundings, about everything, about love; he’s not very confused this year!
They show that there’s a period of time where he’s recovered with the tribe, the same ones that rescued him years prior. In the first episode of Season 2, he makes a dark and serious decision to go through a physical, spiritual, and mental transformation that the Shaman doesn’t’ want him to do. Warns him about what potentially could happen to him if he goes through with this. What’s amazing is that, yes he decides to do that because he wants to rid his town of witches and get revenge on Mary Sibley and possibly kill her; and you’ll start to see as the episodes progress that the Shaman was right! The tattoos are affecting him. The things that he went through, is affecting him. The gifts that he’s given by the Shaman start to affect him. It’s almost like he’s made a deal with the devil, and essentially become a little witch-like himself!
Q: So he and Mary, that’s over then?
SW: As a basis to start the season, yeah! But we like to say that “love conquers all” and in a story like this you hope that would be the case! What he’s unaware of is that, they have a son. So I’m assuming that at some point when he discovers that, it’ll halt everything.
Q: Last year, it seemed like Mary was clinging to humanity; are the roles switched now?
SW: Last year he was ALL human! It is a weird role reversal that he’s giving up of his humanity to stop the inhuman things going on in his town! Her son is bringing back her humanity, while John is losing it.
Q: Season 2, The Witches War; how badass is this going to get??
BB & AS: As badass as possible, we’ve got Lucy Lawless!
As you saw in the finale, which was the culmination of this ‘pensifying’ and diversifying story lines; that’s where we start. And that’s how it goes this season. Last season was suspenseful, scary, sexy but more contained. It’s exploded this year! It’s a larger canvas, there’s new characters coming to the show, it’s incredible!
There was a Witch War on in Season 1; it was mostly between the Witches and the Puritans. To some extent, they (the Witches) fundamentally won that war in the more unexpected way possible by getting Increase Mather slaughtered by his own son, Cotton, as the final victim of The Grand Rite. This Season, the Witch War is much more an Inter-Witch War as it were. What if there were different tribes, ethnicities and peoples of Witches just like there were with the initial settlers that came here? Just as there was a war brewing between the French, English, Germans and the Spanish with who would colonize this land, what if there was equally as true for the Witches? Just because they’re all witches doesn’t mean they’re on the same side!
Now that the Witches have control of Salem, and they do, who’s going to rule the New World?
Check out all the pictures from the room!