Video Interview: Muñoz, Scarfe, and Helfer Talk Van Helsing, Premiering 4/16

Van HelsingLast season on Van Helsing, after being brought to the Dark Realm, Jack (Nicole Muñoz) and Violet (Keeya King) were told by Dracula/the Dark One (Tricia Helfer) that she gave them the visions that led them there. She also told them that they were created as a means for escape for her and that they are not Vanessa’s biological daughters. Whether that is the truth has yet to be seen.

While Violet returns through the portal, the Dark One shapeshifts into Jack, leaving her somewhere locked in a coffin. The Dark One eventually kills the president and shapeshifts again to look like her, leaving in a helicopter with Violet unable to stop her.

Meanwhile, Axel (Jonathan Scarfe) and Julius (Aleks Paunovic) enter a field with orange powder where they are attacked by some new kind of super daywalker. The two are badly hurt and not healing because of the powder. They reach a locked building but pass out on the doorstep.

Muñoz, Helfer, and Scarfe talked to the press earlier in the week promoting the series, which returns for season five on Syfy on April 16th.

The actresses talked to SciFi Vision about how their characters’ relationship and interactions evolve this season. Muñoz teased, “I think we definitely get to know each other, maybe more than we would have wanted to this season, our characters…I do think that Jack gets some answers. Some she likes; some she definitely doesn't. It's kind of the feeling of the floor coming out under you, or the rug coming out under you.”



Helfer told the site, “For me, Dracula didn't really know much about anything going on. She'd been in the Dark Realm. So, she's kind of at the end of the season coming into the world, and she definitely has her confidence shaken a little bit. I mean, she maybe had a little bit too much of an ego…[and] she starts to question who she can trust and things like that along the way. Throughout her [interactions] with the Van Helsings and the other characters in the show…she comes to realize they're more of a formidable foe than she maybe gave them credit for. So, if anything, I could say there's maybe a little bit of a more of a respect for them than she would have thought at the end of season four.”

Scarfe told the site that besides Dracula’s origin, fans will get more on the Van Helsing sisters. “…A couple other things you get to discover this season is not just the origin stories of Dracula, which are totally unique to the show; they've completely invented their own version of what that would be, but also the origins of the Van Helsings, where they came from, how they evolved and like how intertwined the two are in a particular way. So, that's all fully revealed by the end of the season, and I think it's like the most fun thing about the season, personally, so I'm really excited for fans to check that out and see how they respond to it.”

Be sure to check out the full transcript after our portion of the video interview.


Zoom Interview
Van Helsing
Nicole Muñoz, Jonathan Scarfe, and Tricia Helfer

April 12, 2021

Van HelsingQUESTION:  
How do you relate to Jack as a person? How do you get into that character and follow her through, I guess, season four and into season five?

NICOLE MUÑOS:  I was just saying before, I have some similarities. I think Jack has really helped me grow as a person, and in terms of offering me some inner strength and some confidence, Jack’s stubbornness and tenacity are things that I think come decently naturally to me. [laughs]

So, at least a fun thing about Jack this season is we kind of get to see a bit more of her humor, which kind of is coming out just because of the circumstances. And I do think that I kind of get to put a little bit more of my personality into Jack, this season. And she's a little bit less on edge. She's kind of come into a bit more of “this is the reality that we're dealing with, and now we're gonna go forth and push on.”

JONATHAN SCARFE:   Oh, I was just saying that Jack has to like find her alpha this year, big time. So, that was, I think, pretty fun for Nicole.

NICOLE MUÑOS:  Yeah, and Jonathan helped me with that, immensely. Yeah. It was a lot of “what would Jonathan do?” [laughs] “What would Axel do?”

QUESTION:   Trisha, how you relate to Dracula, but also how you relate to Jack and how you relate to Nicole, on and off set.

TRICIA HELFER:  It was definitely a lot of fun getting to work more. I mean, I was only in two episodes last season. In the first episode, Jack and, well, Keeya - I keep saying your names wrong – Violet…were basically knocked out the whole time. So, it was a real treat to get to kind of work with everybody more.

I can't say I necessarily relate to Dracula myself, but similar to what Nicole said…I do play a lot of very strong characters, and in person, I'm a little bit of an introverted goof. I can come off as cold, because I'm shy quite often. So, it allows me to really kind of just be something that I'm not in my own life. So, sort of learning - I can't really say I learned much useful from Dracula [laughs] that would be legal in our society, but certainly playing her does give you a sense of confidence and just sort of a take charge mentality that hopefully I can kind of take that into my own life at some point. Lost our voices a few times, though didn't we, Nicole?

NICOLE MUÑOS:  A few, yeah. [laughs] Thanks Jon.

TRICIA HELFER:  It’s Jonathan’s fault.

SCIFI VISION:  I'm going to alter my question a little bit so Jonathan can add to it too, but my question was, we don't really even know if what the Dark One said to them about Vanessa not being their mother is true. I'm kind of still wondering that, but this season, at least at the beginning, you too definitely, I'd say, [since last season] have different interactions and relationships since they're not, you know, [in the same place] as where they were last season. So, can you kind of talk about how that relationship between the two of you is going to continue this season and change? And then Jonathan, your relationship with - well, you probably don't really have one with Dracula, [laughs] but maybe with Jack.

JONATHAN SCARFE:   Yeah.

NICOLE MUÑOS:  [laughs] Wanna try to work around spoilers.

SCIFI VISION:  Just kind of how those relationships will evolve this season.

NICOLE MUÑOS:  ...Yeah, I think we definitely get to know each other, maybe more than we would have wanted to this season, our characters. I think spoiler-wise, I'm gonna stay very far away from this question, but I do think that Jack gets some answers. Some she likes; some she definitely doesn't. It's kind of the feeling of the floor coming out under you, or the rug coming out under you.

Nicole MuñozTRICIA HELFER:  For me, Dracula didn't really know much about anything going on. She'd been in the Dark Realm. So, she's kind of at the end of the season coming into the world, and she definitely has her confidence shaken a little bit. I mean, she maybe had a little bit too much of an ego, and again, not giving away spoilers, but she starts to question who she can trust and things like that along the way. Throughout her relationships - interactions, not relationships - interactions with the Van Helsings and the other characters in the show - it's hard to say without spoilers - she comes to realize they're more of a formidable foe than she maybe gave them credit for. So, if anything, I could say there's maybe a little bit of a more of a respect for them than she would have thought at the end of season four. Did that give away too much, Jonathan?

JONATHAN SCARFE:  No, I mean, I think that - we were talking about this earlier - I think the writers did an amazing job, but it was, I mean, to not spoil things, but to try and pique some curiosity for the fans, is that, you know, a couple other things you get to discover this season is not just the origin stories of Dracula, which are totally unique to the show; they've completely invented their own version of what that would be, but also the origins of the Van Helsings, where they came from, how they evolved and like how intertwined the two are in a particular way. So, that's all fully revealed by the end of the season, and I think it's like the most fun thing about the season, personally, so I'm really excited for fans to check that out and see how they respond to it.

QUESTION:   …Let me just congratulate you all, I mean, five seasons finally coming to an end, which is hard to believe. So, let me just ask you all a pretty generic question, Nicole, I'll start with you, then, we'll go to Jonathan and Trisha. It's been five seasons; it's coming to an end. So, first up, how excited are you that these final episodes are coming out and we get to see the Van Helsings and the Dark One come head to head? Then, of course, how are you feeling? A little nostalgic given the fact that the shows come to an end?

NICOLE MUÑOS:  I'm excited to see the reaction of the viewers once they get to watch the final few episodes. I also think the first few episodes of this season are going to be pretty revealing and very exciting to watch the reactions. I will definitely be looking on Twitter this year and reading what everybody has to say about this season, because, I mean, if I'm this excited, everybody's gonna be even more so when they watch, because I already know what's about to happen. But just reading the scripts even was a very fun thing to do, and I like rifle through them so quickly. I can only imagine what that feeling would be like for you, Jonathan, being in this thing for five years, because I only hopped on in season four. What do you think?

JONATHAN SCARFE:   Yeah, well, you know, it's like all things, like this show, you bring it; you're grinding it out, and there're ups and downs and the challenges that you kind of face, and then you turn around and five years have gone by, and the thing’s coming to a close. Yeah, you do get definitely a little bit nostalgic thinking, “Oh, gee whiz, this is it. This is goodbye to all these people that have become kind of family and his character that's kind of become a second skin.” So, yeah, it definitely had a little melancholy to it, for sure, when we came to a close.

QUESTION:   Right and Trisha, let me ask you the same question. What should fans expect on this final season?

TRICIA HELFER:  Well, knowing that it was the final season, we had the liberty of being able to follow the mythology from the four seasons prior and really give a conclusion to it. So, we faced a lot this year, like the entire world did, so some alterations were made along the way but not affecting the story, which is great. I think with the first three episodes with the origin story of Dracula and how the Van Helsings meet this character, I think is really going to set it up for the rest of the season, because stuff that happens there and stuff the audience will come to learn is really what drives a lot of the rest of the season to its ultimate conclusion, which I think leading up, I think it the last couple of episodes also really ramp up to this, you know, something's gonna go down. And, you know, being part of it for really only one season, just briefly introduced in season four, of course, it would have been fun to play longer for me, but I understand what Jonathan's saying then, it's a little melancholy when you've been on a show for five years or something, and it's like your second skin. When you're first playing a character, you're figuring it out and whatever, and then, by season five, you can just go on set and know who the character is. You almost answer in the character's voice without even thinking about it. I didn't necessarily have that with Dracula with only being in the one season, but, boy, did I get some fun stuff to play with.

QUESTION:   …You were doing a series that, although it was a supernatural pandemic, it was still a virus like pandemic kind of thing, and you're doing that for, well, I guess three and a half seasons, four seasons, and then all of a sudden, you're living through a real pandemic. Did that change your perspective in any way in your characters, in your performance? Did you have maybe more understanding of people who are like hiding inside? So, how did COVID affect your characters is what, I guess, I'm trying to say.

JONATHAN SCARFE:  Well, I mean, yeah, I'd had all kinds of resonance in terms of that, you know, what isolation feels like, and we had just come back from shooting the first three episodes before the initial shutdown happened, and then there was a big question mark as to whether we're gonna be able to get back to work. Then, we were lucky enough to be able to do that. I think we were one of the first shows back in Vancouver working with all the new COVID protocols. The company did an incredible job setting those up, and there's a lot of pressure on them being the first show back not to screw it up. So, we're happy that we didn't, but…other than the stress that might have been visible in everyone's eyeballs, I don't know how much it impacted performance, but but it certainly resonated.

TRICIA HELFER:  I mean, I don't think it necessarily affected my character per se.

Jonathan ScarfeJONATHAN SCARFE:   They didn't care.

TRICIA HELFER:  I mean, it did affect shooting for me, because, like Jonathan said, we did the episodes in Slovakia, and then literally all flew home just before the lockdown happened. So, there was a lot of stress for everybody. I really give credit to the production team and studio and network and everything, for getting back up and running as quickly as they did. For me, it really only altered filming in terms of changing schedules. I mean, so many things had to be changed, because you want to have less people on set at a time and less interaction and things like that. So, all my stuff that I had left was consolidated into the very end of the shooting. So, you guys all started shooting way early, and I was down in Los Angeles. So, they all started shooting way earlier, and then, when I came in, it was quarantine, obviously, government quarantine, and then fast and furious shooting everything I had for the rest of the season all in, you know -

JONATHAN SCARFE:   All in a row. Exactly.

TRICIA HELFER:  All in a row. So, it was -

JONATHAN SCARFE:   Like episodes three through thirteen, all your scenes, all the time, nothing but for the final three weeks of shooting.

TRICIA HELFER:  It was like a lot to do in the Slovakia episodes, and then nothing, and just sitting there twiddling my thumbs in LA going, “They’re shooting; they’re shooting.” I felt so left out of it, but I'm so proud of them for getting back and then just being fast and furious at the end. But, I mean, Dracula is sort of like an enigma. I don't know she's - I’m  babbling, but it sort of did, without giving away too much, Dracula was sort of feeling a little bit on edge toward the end. So, there was maybe a little isolated that we haven't seen of her aside from being locked in the Dark Realm. I guess she was locked in the Dark Realm for a long time. That would have been very isolating. Maybe I could have related to that a little bit. I didn't put too much into it at the time, though, because just everything so new with you just trying to do a good job trying to keep everybody safe and have fun with the character at the same time.

TRICIA HELFER:  Trying to remember to take your mask off when they say, “Rolling.”

QUESTION:   [laughs] That happened?

JONATHAN SCARFE:   Oh, yeah.

NICOLE MUÑOS:  Sometimes it did, yeah.

TRICIA HELFER:  Yeah, it happened more than once, [laughs] because everybody's in masks. It's like the first time you put on a mask, you feel really bizarre, but then when everybody around you has a mask on, and you take your mask off, you actually feel bizarre.

NICOLE MUÑOS:  And we even incorporated masks into some of our costumes for a little bit there. I think, character-wise, yeah, it may be a little bit of a stretch, but it must have had some sort of impact just having been isolated. I also came back from Slovakia, and then we isolated for a while, and then they started filming. It was like that feeling of, “I miss everybody, and I can't wait to see everybody.” Then, once we started filming again, it made those scenes of reunion or scenes with some intimacy in it just that much more important and impactful. And that like yearning for it was more already at the surface and more accessible, I guess, as an actor.

TRICIA HELFER:  I don't think Dracula gets to hug anyone, but it was like, if you got to hug anybody on set, you're like, “I'm not letting go!” [laughs]

NICOLE MUÑOS:  Yeah. It’s like, “Jack, don’t let go.”

QUESTION:   I really enjoyed the three episodes they let us watch that was great. Without spoilers obviously do you think that fans will enjoy the ending?

TRICIA HELFER:  I do. I was the most excited I've been about the show in ages was when I read those first three skip scripts for this season. I thought “Wow.” I had no idea how the writers were going to try and figure out a way to bring the thing to a conclusion, and I think they exceeded all expectations and in terms of what they came up with. So, I'm really excited to see the fan reaction to it.

NICOLE MUÑOS:  Yeah, the first three episodes play out of like a mini movie, and, yeah, I think it's going to be very satisfying for everybody to watch, and it's going to be quite the launching board for the rest of the season.

Tricia HelferTRICIA HELFER:  That's exactly what I was just gonna say, Nicole. It’s a launching board for the rest of the season. So, even though they are like a little mini movie and set in Transylvania, where the rest of the season isn't, it really does set up what the characters are going through, and knowledge and experience and questions, to figure things out. But the following episodes are really where all the mythology from the first four seasons really gets layered into the very end, and there's a nugget at the very end in the finale that I just think is so fun...that I think is just going to have some some fans drop their chins to the floor.

QUESTION:   This is for the entire cast. How would you describe season five in three words?

JONATHAN SCARFE:   Season five in three words, wow. “Big questions answered.”

NICOLE MUÑOS:  “The final season.” [laughs]

TRICIA HELFER:  ...I want to look up my notes for the other day. What did I say?

NICOLE MUÑOS:  Had I done my press homework, I would have actually had the answer to this. [laughs]

TRICIA HELFER:  Family is one of my words. Family, [resilience], and teamwork? I'm trying to stay away from like bloody and gashy and death. [laughs]



JONATHAN SCARFE:   Jaw freaking dropping.

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