Exclusive Interview with Paul Amos of Lost GirlInterview by Jamie RubyWritten by Jamie Ruby
Tonight's episode of Lost Girl
introduces the new character, Vex, played by Paul Amos. The character seems to be quite evil at this point, but we will learn more as the season progresses, according to Amos, who recently talked to Jamie Ruby of SciFi Vision in an exclusive interview.
Amos got the role of Vex after auditioning. "I auditioned for the show, it was a pilot. I think a lot of people were auditioning for the show. It was a project that I think a lot of
people wanted to be part of. I got to audition for Vex and, to be honest, it's kind of my ballpark, this sort of thing. But there were a lot of different people and given the project I was just like, "Well, who knows?" But they offered me the part bearing all that network approval stuff. And then we got greenlit, I think I was in Morocco at the time and I got a call saying we'd be doing it in like a week's time.
"So I flew back and we started doing the project. To be honest with you, the two weeks that we were filming it – which is a lot longer than we spend on every episode – we worked really, really, really hard for that period of time. Vex isn't in it a great deal so I was in for a few days. And before, we'd had quite a few meetings discussing the characters and trying to create this world, so there were a lot of costume fittings, there was a lot of discussion of what we think they might wear and what worked and didn't work with us. And then we went into it."
One of the things that first interested Amos in the role was the director. "John Fawcett who directed Gingersnaps
and a bunch of other stuff, he was directing it. I was a fan of Gingersnaps
from when I was a bit younger, in my late teens and early twenties, and I thought he did a great job with that movie. And I saw that in the U.K., so when I knew he was directing it I was like "Oh, awesome!" And he really was great."
Vex first appears in episode eight of season one, which was originally shot as the pilot of the series. His role was originally also much shorter. "Vex dies in that episode. So it was like the big death of the pilot, but I guess they liked the character so much they kept him alive."
Not much about the character is revealed early on. "You don't know too much about him to begin with, particularly in season one. He is always a wild card but you don't get too much background information on him.
"...He's Dark Fae, and he's favorite of the Dark Fae elders, who no one has actually met yet. And he is sort of the right hand man of The Morrigan [Emmanuelle Vaugier], who is the leader of the Dark Fae, but obviously the elders are above her. And he's sort of a hit man and he's a bit of a court jester. But he happens to have what probably is essentially one of the most powerful Fae powers, which is that he has the ability for mind control and he can make people do anything...And he's kind of quite sadistic. He's like the evil version of Kenzi [Ksenia Solo] at times, in terms of his humor. He's just a real wild card, which the show doesn't really have, because a lot of the other characters, their tracks and their character journeys - you know what they are, you know where they're going and where they're coming from. But with Vex you don't really know what you're going to get or where it's going to come from."
The character of Vex is quite deliciously evil, but in a fun way. "It was sort of a free-for-all, really, and they were showing us what they wanted to do with the show and then we were talking about the characters quite a lot, and who these characters could be, and our feeling was that the Dark Fae were involved in more of the real nightclub-type debauchery scene. Anything that was free, fun and loving, these people would be part of.
"This character was to be more powerful and was somebody that the elders, the people in charge that you never see, he's their favorite and he's obviously going to be involved in some pretty dark shit. We thought that he would be the sort of person who would be in S&M clubs, but he might be in a rock band. He's probably into everything, he's probably the one character in the show who could flip, sexually, both ways, and all ways and not care about it. He's kind of an "anything goes" character."
This aspect of the character made it easier to become Vex. "It was quite easy to get into because the script was really fun and the character was written as a lot of...the show is. Kenzi's humor is pretty mean; it's quick, it's flip. And she's a lot of fun. And that's what he is. She's like the good version of him, really.
"But it's not difficult to get into, to be honest with you. He's so much fun to play and to be honest with you, I've got to work and I take the piss out of people and I wear leather. It's the best job possible."
So far on the series, Bo thinks that Vex has information on her mother. "I think that this storyline, which is really interesting, and the U.S. viewers go through this, the storyline is really driven towards her mother in the first bit. And Vex is kind of part of that, but I think what we'll start to find out with Vex, is that he's integral to their journey at the moment, and particularly Bo's. I'm not quite sure how yet, but there's definitely something deeper at stake.
"...Within season one, what you get from Vex is that he is the link between whatever's happening with Bo and her being a chosen one and then finding out that her mother had all this crazy history that will soon come out throughout the show. He is the watcher, observer, and he comes in and manipulates at times. And I think we'll see that a lot more, the U.S. viewers will. For season one, Vex is a bit of a fun, evil wild card that will get a lot deeper as the show goes on. He's got a really interesting journey ahead.
"...in [episode] eleven, he really comes back to the fore. And in that episode you start to see the link that he has with Bo. They're kind if similar characters in many way. They're both, in lots of ways, the only two unaligned people. As much as Vex is a favorite of the Dark Fae elders, and he is the right hand of The Morrigan, you also feel that he's playing on his own terms, and I think a lot of that has to do with having such an amazing power, which is being able to control people."
Amos thinks viewers need to decide what Vex's loyalties are. "I don't think you know whether you trust Vex. So even if he is helping [Bo] out or if he is against her, you don't know what his motives are at the moment. There's a link between those two characters that almost is like brother and sister, and I think that's how it's played out. He's sort of like the brother that just shows up. They're kind of integral to each other and they're part of the same journey.
"That's not saying that they are brother and sister, but it's kind of the relationship they have. Those main characters are like a family and they develop very much like that. In this world where nobody really has a mother and father, your family becomes your clan of sorts and then even a tighter-knit clan beyond that. In a way, Vex is part of that. He's the brother you can't trust; he's the brother that's going to go out and lose all his money and get involved in some kind debauchery that's going to get him sent to jail. And you never know when he's going to be out or when he's coming back, or whether he's going to be begging for money, or stealing money, or giving you money. He's just one of those characters.
"In this world of the Fae...I hope the U.S. viewers are getting that this show is very much a hero journey arc, and all of them are on that journey is some shape or form. And it's going somewhere big and all these characters are going to play a part in that. And that's what's fun, and Vex is in it, just at the moment. And I'm sure even while he's doing it, and even after he's done it, you're still not sure whether he's for or against, or right or wrong, or good or bad. He's just a total wild card. All these shows need a character like that to keep a certain balance for the show and a certain sense of anything can go wrong, and he is definitely that character."
Vex could have quite a lot of fun with the other characters, and Amos jokes about some of the fun options. "I'd love to do some fun things with Dyson (Kris Holden-Ried). I think of all the characters that Vex wants to have fun with, I think he likes to wind Dyson up. I think he'd like to make him bark like a little Chihuahua, or a poodle, one of the two."
However, when playing Vex, Amos stays close to script. "I don't know if you know anything about British actors and the setup there, but there's a real respect for the writer. I'm kind of like that on set but with this show and particularly with this character. I tweak a lot of my lines because I am British and I do know what they would say. Sometimes I know that line would be funnier because it would be more real, that there's a slightly funnier way of saying it.
"For instance, on the show we're not allowed to say – on most shows really – Jesus Christ." Well, in the U.K., in London, there's a cockney rhyming slang for that, it's "cheese and rice." That's the sort of thing that you throw in and it's very current and British people know what it means. And to North Americans and other people around watching it, it just sounds like a funny line.
"So we do stuff like that a lot, and there's a little bit of improv that happens...But we tend to stick with the script."
Amos enjoys the social media aspect of television and how the fans interact. "I think that a great thing about this show, which is a good thing about watching it week to week, is the social media crowd. You're watching it with all these other people at the same time, and there's this timeline of people all commenting on the show, during the commercial breaks, which is so much fun to do. And I think that's what you don't get when you're just downloading them and watching them. You can enter the Fae social discussion, but when they're on and you're watching it, I think that's something that I really love about shows at the moment: watching them on a week to week basis [with the US], when you know that a majority of people are watching them at the same time, it's like being in the biggest theater of all."
Amos is looking forward to the US fans learning more about his character. "For the first few times you see him, I think you're only getting snippets of who he is, regardless that all the time he's a lot of fun, and you get that there's a lot of evil potential.
"But I think what I'm really looking forward to the viewers seeing, as you go much further into the show you really get a sense of who this guy is – him as a person and then you get to see what the Dark Fae people are like as human beings. And that's what I'm really looking forward to, because I think the show works quite well in terms of its relationships. And they develop a lot of good relationships, so it's not necessarily about monsters and the rest of it. It's really about these people, as they are Fae people, trying to go through on this journey and be who they are and that they have emotions and the rest of it.
"And I'm looking forward to that happening to Vex, because that makes him a much more complex character then, and he's not so clear-cut a villain, or he's not so clear-cut a court jester, he's not as clear-cut as a wild card, and he becomes that much more interesting.
Waiting for his character to develop is one of the things Amos finds the most challenging. "That's definitely been frustrating, because with any actor, with a great character you just want to get in there and get it done. So there's been a lot of having to go, "Okay, I've just got to wait, and when his time comes, it's really going to come."
Amos loves working on Lost Girl
, but he does have ideas of what he would like to do next. "My ultimate dream role after this [is] something really serious, I don't know, like a medical drama. I'd like to do something a little more serious and maybe a little bit more action-oriented. I'd really love to do something that's very modern, with real people. I'm fine with shows like The Wire
and stuff like that. Boardwalk Empire
and all those sort of things.
"...This is at the fun end of my scale and Vex is a pretty big character, so there's a lot of acting that goes on and sometimes it's nice to do roles where you don't quite see the acting as much. But this right now is a great character for me, where I am in my life and where I am as an actor.
"I did a lot of theater and now I'm starting to do a lot more TV and film, so it's really combining a lot of my skills between those two right now. He's quite big, he's quite theatrical, but at the same time there are moments where he's really real and dark, he has to be very filmic and real. So I'm having a lot of fun with him right now, at the moment. And as he's developing I'm getting to do that more and make him a bit more real.
"But as a dream role, I'd definitely like to do more film now, too. And something a bit more action and real."
Amos still enjoys working in theater. "I did a play recently in the UK, a very short run of one, because I hadn't done it for a few years and I wanted to make sure I could remember the lines. And that was okay but I think I realized I can leave it there for a while. I can still do it; I did it in a regional theater and it was a lot of fun to do. Theater's quite difficult, it can leave you quite quickly because it's such a difficult thing to do if you don't do it a lot. I don't think people realize that. There's a reason why a lot of film and TV actors don't do theater, and it's because if you don't do it for a while it becomes really difficult to do.
"I definitely will go back, and I would like to do a play with some of the people from LG
because I know that there's a few really good theater actors in that cast who want to do it again. But I think we're all in a similar place right now, we're enjoying the ride of doing work on TV and film."
The actor has also thought about who he would like to work with in the future. "Ksenia worked with one of the directors I really wanted to work with, which was Darren Aronofsky. I've always loved his movies and I love that kind of work.
"There's a few good TV directors, [one] did an episode of Lost Girl
not too long ago. There's a guy called Clark Johnson, he's done a lot of really good TV and he just did an episode of The Walking Dead
. He was on The Wire
in season five. Some people like that, I'd really like to connect with, because they work in Canada and that's more realistic.
"And there's a few really good directors in TV in Toronto like David Wellington who I've met but I've not worked with yet. And I'm about to work with a guy who did a really good movie with Zoie [Palmer], a guy called Jeremy Lalonde, and we're all about to do an indie movie called Sex After Kids
, which Kris and Zoie are doing as well, and I'm doing, and a load of other really great actors. So I'm looking forward to that.
"And then you could rattle off all those amazing directors in Hollywood whom we all want to work with, from the Woody Allens to the Scorseses to everybody."
There was a bit more that Amos could reveal about his upcoming film. "There was a campaign that was just released yesterday. I think Jeremy's going down the Edward Burns route of indie-gogo. So it's crowdsource funding, he's going to fund it himself. And I think there's a website
and he's going to raise that, and we're going to start filming it in May. It's not a very big budget and people can buy credits and they can name a character in the movie, and they can get a dinner with a cast [member] and all that kind of stuff as a means of funding the movie. This is quite common now with indie movies, it's really going this route. A lot of people are wanting to try and get people to back their film in terms of their support by giving a little bit of money to it so we can get it made. And then they feel a part of it and we get a little more control over what we can do.
"The cast is fantastic and all of my scenes are with Zoie, we play brother and sister in the movie. That's going to be a lot of fun, and the characters are really fun and Zoie's character is very far away from what she plays in [Lost Girl
], but I think something that's Zoie's fans will absolutely adore. So it's going to be fun."