GS EXCLUSIVE: Interview with ‘Continuum’ Star Rachel Nichols

m_Continuum-RachelNicolsBWith season 2 of Continuum set to air on Syfy UK next week, we thought it was a good a time as any to catch up with time travelling protector herself Rachel Nichols.

For those who need a refresher, Nichols plays Kiera Cameron, a City Protective Services officer in 2077-era Vancouver. Life goes on in apparent freedom under a technologically advanced high-surveillance police state but when a group of “freedom fighters” called Liber8 escape execution by time traveling to 2012, Kiera is involuntarily transported with them and joins local law enforcement to track them down while concealing her identity as a time-traveler from the future.

Geek Syndicate – Hi Rachel.

Rachel Nichols – Hello.

GS – Thank you so much for giving us your time.

RN – Oh absolutely, thank you so much for wanting to talk to me.

GS – No definitely. So Continuum Season 1 absolutely brilliant! We were so happy that there was a season 2 and that it is even longer which is brilliant.

RN – Good.

GS – So what attracted you to the role of Keira and Continuum as a show?

RN – You know, I actually came about the first script for the pilot in a very unorthodox way. One of my best girlfriends in the entire world called me one day and said ‘my friend is casting this show, and it is a Canadian show, but it is really good, is it OK with you if I send the script to you, or do you want me to send it to your agent first?’. I said ‘No, no, no it’s fine you can send it to me, and I’ll read it and see what I think’. And I was about ten pages in, and I went ‘I have to get this role!’, I have to do whatever it takes to get this job, I have to have this role.

The role of Keira Cameron is…you don’t see leading female roles on TV like this very frequently, and it sort of reminded me of Alias, of Sidney Bristow and Jennifer Gardiner, and that strong female lead, who does the fighting, and does the problem solving but also has that emotional core and that emotional centre. And the script just has everything, it had your Sci-fi elements, your futurist elements, your drama, your character development. The idea that there was emotion there, and there were feelings and it wasn’t just being a talking head. There were so many elements to the show, and the role and I just…as I said ten pages in I have to get this job, whatever it takes, I have to play this role.

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GS – Brilliant. How much input do you actually get into the development of Kiera? Do you get to say ‘Oh I think that she would do this more’ or ‘I think this’?

RN – Absolutely. That is the brilliant part about our show, and about the writers, and the creator Simon Berry. Everything really trickled down, from him, everything, whether it is the writer’s room, or the different actors on the show, everything trickles down from him, and he is such a pillar of co-operation, and teamwork, and everybody is allowed to collaborate, and especially for me with the role of Kiera, I get into I and if something doesn’t ring true in the script, or I think ‘Oh can we change this a little bit ever so slightly’ or ‘I don’t really think she would do this’, absolutely.

And we all get to do that with our characters whether it is Lexa Doig and working on Sonya Valentine, or Erik Knudsen working on Alec Sadler, it is a very sort of collaborative environment which is commutative for putting out the best product. If you have a group of people who like each other, which we all do, and work well together then that is the best thing.

GS – You mentioned the character Alec at the end of season 1. Your dynamic looks like it is going to possibly change a little bit. Can you tell us what is going to happen, and a bit about the ‘Destiny’ theme we having been hearing about coming up in this season?

RN – Absolutely, absolutely. At the end of season 1 Alec gets that message from his future self, and at the beginning of season 2 he is very concerned with who he becomes. And he is very concerned…I’m not sure if Alec has said anything about future Keira, I don’t know if future Alec did or did not, I’m not privy to that sort of information, which is good as I shouldn’t be.20120225Continuum

GS – (Laughs)

RN – But he is very concerned about who he becomes and Keira is obviously a big part of that and Liber8 and the members of Liber8 that are here. The theme of season 2 is very much destiny orientated and responsibility orientated because more so than in season 1, especially for Keira comes the idea of ‘Wow! Everything I am doing now may affect the future that I am trying to get back to’, ‘the point in the future that I am trying to get back to may no lot exist as I remember it, giving what I am doing in this world right now’.

And I have a lot to do with Alec and his destiny. You know [the] poor kid 16 years old and received a message from his 70 year old self basically saying ‘You need to change what you are going to become, because I am here now and it is not great’.

So that kind of thing, I mean it is obviously going to be much more involved than that, but I am only allowed to say so much. But especially for Alec and Keira this season is about responsibility and about destiny and about can they change the future, can they not change the future. Obviously Julian Randol plays a large part in this as well, so you have a lot in store for you story wise.

GS – Brilliant, can’t wait. So how is your dynamic going to change with Carlos? Are you actually going to let him in and let him know what is going on? Or is he still not going to have a clue?

RN – Well again at the end of season 1 obviously Carlos has been suspect of me the whole entire first season – rightfully so. And I disappear in front of Gardiner at the end of season 1 and he has obviously worked with Carlos as well, so Carlos becomes even more suspicious because we have Gardiner on my tail saying ‘How can you believe her?’ and ‘How can you not have questions?’, so without saying to much – because I think I would be beheaded if I gave everything away.

GS – (Laughs)

RN – Carlos and Keira at the beginning of season 2 start out at odds. Keira is very much a lone wolf at the beginning, Alec is trying to figure out what he wants to do, Carlos is kind of fed up with Keira and she is sort of a vigilante at the beginning of season 2. There does come a point where Carlos does get new information about Keira that is something perhaps she would never have told him before. What that information is I can not tell you.

But it is the straw that breaks the camels back and he has got to hear a story or two to have his need for details vindicated so that Keira can continue doing the work that she is doing whilst she is here, and I am sorry that is the most vague answer possible – but I wanna keep my job, I don’t wanna get fired! (Laughs)

GS – (Laughs) No, no that’s fine! Going on from that apparently in second episode of season 2 Keira moves slightly more outside the law, is that something that we are going to expect more of? And is that going to make Carlos distrust her even more?

RN – Yeah, you know I love vigilante Keira, I love rogue Keira, I love kicking arse Keira. I find that so much fun so I encourage all of that. I was going through a read-through the other day and I was talking to some of the Liber8 guys and they were saying ‘Oh you should come over to the dark side!’ and I said ‘Oh I don’t think it’s going to go that far!’.

But there is even a scene in episode 1 where she has clearly gone…she is clearly taking matters into her own hands, thinking ‘You know what, I don’t want to be confined by the rules of the PD in 2013, I’m gonna take things into my own hands and just go out on my own’. And she does and I like it when she does that, I think it is very cool and makes very good TV.

GS – It is very cool. Definitely, especially when you have the suit and all the gadgets and everything, that is awesome.

RN – Oh yeah, that is one of the most fun parts of my job, when I get to…you know I have gadgets and it is very important that Keira, even though she has the gadgets she is also still human, they have done a very good job. There are times when she is and there are times when you have to worry for her. She is not a supergirl she is a human, she is a human girl from the future and has certain elements like her tech that make her supergirl-esque in certain ways, but at the end of the day she is still human and you know still makes those mistakes and isn’t completely untouchable  as a superhero would be. She has her faults, she has got her flaws.

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GS– I think that is quite nice, the fact that you don’t rely on the suit, you don’t go a bit like the sonic screwdriver in Doctor Who, it will save all. The suit does break down and you have to deal with that.

RN – Yeah and that is so important especially because we don’t want her to look invincible, she has got to be human, because she is human and they have done a very good job with that. The tech breaks down, sometimes it doesn’t work, but you know what sometimes the tech is wrong and that was the really important thing for her to learn because in the future the tech is never wrong and she is told to completely rely on it.

And she does even when Carlos says to her ‘You need some bedside manner. You look straight through people, you have essentially zero bedside manner. What is wrong with you?’. And she doesn’t get it, she doesn’t understand what instincts are really, she has relied on tech for her whole career. Being in 2013 she has to become more of a human than she ever was in 2037.

GS – Brilliant. So! Do we know if Season 3 has been greenlit? Is there another season to look forward to?

RN – We are all hoping so obviously. Three episodes have aired here [in the US] and the fourth is to air on Sunday, it is doing really well, so fingers crossed! But I doubt they will announce anything until it has aired both in the UK and the US.

GS – Well I really hope they do because it is so nice to have a fresh sci-fi show out there that is just brilliant to be honest.

RN – Oh thank you so much! It is so nice to talk to people who love the show. It makes me so happy so I really appreciate it. I have really enjoyed talking to you and thank you for watching.

GS – Thank you for doing a brilliant job and thank you for giving up your time this evening – or afternoon to speak to me.

RN – Absolutely! Have a great night.

Continuum season 2 kicks off on Syfy UK on Thursday May 23rd at 10pm.

Interviewer: darkphoenix1701

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