Exclusive: Anna Silk on "Lost Girl" & its Move to Syfy

Exclusive Interview with Anna Silk of Lost Girl
Interview by Jamie Ruby
Written by Jamie Ruby

Anna SilkAnna Silk stars as Bo in the newly acquired Syfy series Lost Girl. Bo struggles as she learns why she is different – she is a Fae, a succubus to be exact, who feeds off of human sexual energy to survive. She must learn to control her hunger and stay safe as the two opposing clans, the Light Fae and the Dark Fae, try to force her to choose sides. She is helped by Dyson (Kris Holden-Ried), a detective and shape-shifter of the Light Fae, and Dr. Lauren Lewis (Zoie Palmer), a human, both who become one-third of Bo’s love triangle.

The actress recently sat down with Jamie Ruby of SciFi Vision for an exclusive interview to talk about Lost Girl.

Anna SilkSilk did not expect to get the role of Bo when she first sent in an audition tape, but she knew she loved the part. "I'm Canadian, I had lived in Toronto for several years, and worked in Toronto, and then I moved to LA about five years ago, so I was still putting myself on tape for Canadian projects, or anything that was shooting in Canada basically, mainly Toronto. And Lost Girl was a project that came through that process, so it was something I put myself on tape for.

"When you're an actor, you audition a lot, and so you try not to get your hopes up too much about anything, because usually you don't get parts, right? So when this came along...when I read the description of what the show was about, I thought, "Oh my God" - supernatural seductress who feeds on sexual energy to survive. I thought, "What is this?" But I read it and it was a really great character and a really great part, and she was so much more than that. And that's what I loved.

"So I put myself on tape, my husband was my reader with me, which he always has been. And I sent it off, just like I do any other project, then I kind of said to him, "Well, I have to move on, I have to let it go, because I really like this part, but I have to let it go, because, chances are, I won't hear back." But I did - about maybe two days later, something like that, I got a call, and they said you know they're really interested in you and they want to fly you up to Toronto to screen test.

"So the next thing I knew I was up in Toronto screen testing, and there was another girl there up for the part, and there [were] a couple of Dysons, and Kris and I we were paired up with different people, then Kris and I were paired up and auditioned together, and about four or five days later I found out that I actually got the role, so I was pretty excited."

The actress didn't know when she started working on the series that it would become so popular, but she is very grateful. "I'd never led a show before, and I felt like I was really ready for that experience. It's an experience that honestly, most actors don't get to have, so I feel really lucky; I feel like I really won the lottery with this, in a way.

"And then when we started, you don't know it's going to be successful, so you just start and do what you can to make it come to life, and you hope that people like it. Now I don't think we could have really expected the fan response we've gotten, because it seems like it's very popular, so, yeah, it's pretty cool.

"And now I've done two seasons of the show, and I feel like I have a pretty good handle on what it means to lead a show, in terms of the demands that are actually put on you. It's pretty intense, but it's worth every second of it, because it's a really fun show and a really great character, and if people are actually watching and love it, then it just makes it even better."

Silk credits the online community as a contributor to the show's success. "I really think one of the reasons for the success of our show is the online community. [It's] sort of this international online community that really stays in touch with each other and really shares information and shares what they like and don't like.

"And I noticed the night that we premiered in the US, people started writing about it, and people [who had seen it] were saying, "Okay, this is what's happening," "Okay, that will be explained later," "Okay, keep watching." It's like people sort of have these ushers that are kind of guiding them into the Lost Girl world, which is cool. So, I'm really glad for the positive US response, and I think it will continue. I hope it does."

Anna SilkA succubus may be a rather different concept than the supernatural creatures that are usually on television; however, Silk was already aware of what one was before she auditioned for the role. "I definitely knew what a succubus was before the show started...It's really true that I used to have a recurring nightmare when I was in high school, and after high school it would come to me for like three nights in a row and then I wouldn't have it again. Then I'd have it again. It was this really intense nightmare, where I felt like something was sort of sitting on my chest in the night, and it was paralyzing me and I was scared.

"And then my mom was on an airplane reading an article, called "The Incubus/Succubus Phenomenon," and it talked about that being, you know, this is what that is; this is what these nightmares are. So she ripped out the article and brought it home, and I read it and went, "Oh, that's what happens."

"So that's how I knew what a succubus was. Whether or not that's what was happening to me I don't know (laughs), but that's how I found out what it was."

The actress had to figure out at first how to play Bo's supernatural side. "In terms of playing [her], Bo is really relatable in a lot of ways from a human perspective, and I guess...the ideas we put on ourselves as humans, she's very relatable with all of those sort of qualities. But in terms of being a succubus and in terms of playing a succubus, I think that you just have to kind of ask yourself, "What would that mean?" I'm putting a human idea onto it obviously, but she's not human; she's something else. And it's that growing desire. It took awhile to figure out what that would be, what that would feel like. It's something I still play with, and luckily I have good writing that supports it, because that's something that's tricky. But I guess it's getting in touch with that growing desire in yourself that absolutely must be satisfied, whatever that may be, and translating that into the character."

Lost Girl is a series with a lot of action. Silk had to learn some choreography and fighting skills to bring Bo to life. "It's funny, when you work with stunt coordinators, if it's the first time they work with you, the first question they always ask you is, "Do you have any dance training?" And I'm always like, "Nope," and they're kind of worried. But I'm pretty good at picking up choreography pretty fast. I mean, I'm certainly not an expert fighter, that's something I've had to learn, to sort of be a little bit more grounded, or at least appear to be, but I do find learning choreography and putting all the pieces together, it takes a lot of hard work, but it does come somewhat easily to me, I should say. But I have a lot of help. I have great coordinators and a great stunt double, who not only doubles me when I need to be doubled, but she also sort of trains me as I go in terms of watching what I'm doing, and correcting me. The first season I had a tendency to hop a lot, and she would correct me, like, "No, you're hopping, you're hopping too much." So I would sort of learn to be a little bit more solid on my feet, which is kind of cool, because I think that Bo's powers are just sort of growing in the first season. So I think as I got better, she became a little more grounded."

Anna SilkIn addition to having great moves, Bo also has a great wardrobe, attributed to designer Anne Dixon. "She's our wardrobe designer and costume designer, and she's really created a look for each character. Definitely she's been open to having actors' input into that for sure. I can only really speak for Bo specifically, her look is sort of sexy and all of that stuff, but it's also kind of ready for action, ready for fights, or all kinds of action actually (laughs). But definitely ready for a fight, and it has to be something I can move in as well. It's always tricky to try to find things that are going to look good and be sexy and sort of reflect the character. I mean, Bo's a succubus, she's a sexual creature by nature, and I think she should [be]. Bo has curves, luckily so do I, that I get to keep (laughs). So I'm glad that is somewhat on display in a way that makes sense with the character. I find myself dressing like Bo. Sometimes I'll go out to dinner, and I'll say, "Oh my god I'm dressed like Bo." I'm just kind of used to that look, and I like it."

Being a succubus, it isn't surprising Bo is involved in scenes of a sexual nature. She is involved in a love triangle with Dyson, a shape-shifter, and Lauren, her doctor. The actors are always professional when working on intimate scenes. "I'm really lucky to get to work with Kris Holden-Reid and Zoie Palmer. They're both really nice people. We're all very respectful of each other and we have a very respectful cast and crew. So filming scenes like that is always a bit challenging, but I'm lucky that they're both really great. We want to make those scenes real and truthful and organic feeling as much as it can be. It is true what they say in terms of like you have to "cover this and show this, but not too much, and make sure you're in the light, but not covering something else," so it becomes a bit of a challenge. It's been pretty great, I have to say. It hasn't been torturous by any means. I really just always say, "You just kind of have to go for it." "

Bo feeds off of human sexual energy, but other Fae feed off of humans in other ways, and as the series goes on, we will get to see more of these Fae. "Particularly in the first season, I think every week Bo meets a new type of Fae character or creature. I can't remember if it's exactly every week from what I'm remembering, but it's really a learning curve for her this season, and for the audience too. They get to meet all these different creatures.

"What I love about the different types of Fae that she meets, the Fae feed off of humans in a variety of ways, so they might be feeding off of their talent, their luck, their bodies, literally. Bo feeds on sexual energy, obviously, but there are some pretty dark characters that are going to be introduced in the first season and in the second season. I don't want to give away too much, but it is interesting; it's a very subtle power at times. It's something humans don't even realize is being taken from them, but it's keeping a whole other species alive."

A Fae creature that Silk would love to see on Lost Girl is an incubus. "I want to see an incubus, I think that would be cool - a male version of me."

Silk enjoys Bo's power, but she also has some other favorites that she thinks would be fun to have. "There's a character that's going to be introduced in the first season who has the power to control people. He's kind of a puppet master and he can literally make people physically do what he wants them to do. He's a great character."

Anna SilkIf Silk had to choose a character to play other than Bo, she knows which ones would be interesting to play. "I don't know, there's something great about the way Kris plays Dyson. Kris is so good with his physicality, he actually kind of looks like a wolf, and the way that he moves. And you get to see more of that as the series progresses. He really had this incredible strength. I'd want to be able to do it as well as him, I suppose. I don't know if I be the right one to play that, but I think that would be kind of cool.

"And also the character I mentioned, who's kind of the puppet master, he's pretty devious. That would be really fun too.

"It would also be fun to play, in the first episode you meet The Morrigan, who is the leader of the dark Fae, played by Emmanuelle Vaugier, and she does it so well. I think it would be kind of cool to play that kind of a character as well. Just so evil, and enjoying every second of it."

The actress has learned a lot from her character, and has also gained confidence. "One thing that I've sort of realized recently, is when you play a character for a long period of time, something I've learned, is that that character is basically you. I feel like I bring what I bring to Bo and what I realized recently is that I've actually learned a lot from her as well, as a person...I've learned a lot from playing a character that's so loyal, and trusting, and strong, and devoted to her friends. And I think it's interesting how it's filtered into my own life. Just the idea that I'm not going to back down on certain things may be as easily now. So it's been good; she's taught me a lot."

Anna SilkSilk worked behind the scenes early in her career, and she would be interested in that aspect again, especially writing. "My very first experience on a TV set, I was actually behind the scenes. I'm from Eastern Canada, in a place called New Brunswick. Before I moved to Toronto to pursue acting, there were some movies that were coming to town to shoot and I worked on three of them behind the scenes. I really want to be an actor, but I'm really glad I did that, because I learned what everyone is doing on a film set and TV set. I learned that when maybe it looks like some people are standing around for a long time, they're actually not, they're actually really important in their role in getting the show made. So I got to learn what everyone does and it was such a good experience for me to do that. I think at this point now, I would love to write and directing would be really cool as well, but I think writing would be pretty cool."

Silk is somewhat of a science fiction fan, and would love to have appeared in some of her favorite shows that are no longer on the air, such as Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Alias, as well as some current series. "I not going to say I was the biggest sci-fi fan in the world my whole life or anything like that, but I certainly like the genre...I love Fringe, I think that's a pretty cool show, I think that would be cool to guest star on. Supernatural is pretty fun...I think that's a pretty cool show."

Lost Girl will be starting its third season on Canadian television soon, but for now, Silk has some time off. "For me it's been all Lost Girl, all the time. I'm heading back to L.A. next week and I will likely just take some time – take a belated honeymoon with my husband and rest and continue training, hopefully, and gearing up for the third season. I think that's pretty much what I'm doing is sort of getting ready to keep going with Lost Girl. It's been a really pretty fast moving train so I've got to stay on it."

Lost Girl airs Mondays nights on Syfy.

You can also check out other Lost Girl interviews at SciFi Vision, including at the Syfy Digital Press Tour that was in October. Stay tuned for more exclusive photos and videos of Anna Silk from that event.

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