9:05 pm EDT, July 23, 2016

‘Wynonna Earp’ at SDCC: Actors talk LGBT representation, bulletproof vests, and what’s next for WayHaught

Wynonna Earp‘s’ WayHaught couple, Katherine Barrell and Dominique Provost-Chalkley, want to stress the importance of layered LGBT characters.

One thing is having LGBT representation on your TV show, another is fleshing out complicated, three-dimensional characters that are allowed to be a part of the show’s universe without having to be token representation.

Wynonna Earp‘s Waverly and Nicole are an example of LGBT representation at its finest; Officer Nicole Haught is a capable, out police officer who knows what she wants, while Waverly is only just discovering her bisexuality and working out how she wants to deal with that.

Related: Syfy renews Wynonna Earp for season 2

At San Diego Comic-Con 2016, we sat down with the actresses to discuss their characters’ status as LGBT icons, what might be next for WayHaught, and what else is going on with Waverly and Nicole as he head into season 2.

Dominique Provost-Chalkley discusses the exciting cliffhanger we left Waverly on, and goes on to talk about the fan reactions to Waverly/Nicole.

“This is really special, and a special thing to be showing on TV,” she says, “but I didn’t realize that everyone was gonna react to it the way they have.”

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Provost-Chalkley feels “grateful” for the character, saying, “the whole story of her coming out was approached so well; Emily is so delicate with the way that she deals with things, and I just feel super proud that I get to represent Waverly’s journey of coming out.”

Katherine Barrell’s character Nicole got shot in the season 1 finale — but, to the delight of all viewers, she was wearing a bulletproof vest.

Barrell reveals that this scene was actually shot in January, before all of the LGBT character deaths of 2016, and she was completely unaware of the Bury Your Gays trope that Wynonna Earp so expertly avoided.

She goes on to stress the importance of her character not being defined by her sexuality, saying, “I want Nicole to just be like every other character on the show, who happens to be gay. Because if she’s just there to be the gay character, you’re not moving forward.”

“It didn’t even cross my mind that Nicole being gay… I just thought ‘oh it’s awesome,’ it was just a part of her. And I want to keep the original way I saw her, I want to see that for her,” she says.

On Nicole being a gay icon, Barrell says, “I love it, I think it’s great, I hope I do it justice. It’s a huge responsibility and it’s an honor.”

She goes on to discuss the importance of female characters like Wynonna Earp on screen, and her thoughts on the season 1 cliffhanger.

‘Wynonna Earp’ returns in 2017 for season 2!

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