Katherine Barrell is a Canadian actor, producer and most recently director, known these days for her role of Nicole Haught on SYFY’s show Wynonna Earp. On a new exclusive interview for our site, we’ve been able to sit down with her and talk about the show and her experience representing the LGTB community on TV.
Checkout the interview in Spanish just by clicking this link.
– Hi Katherine, thanks for your time, it’s great to be able to chat with you. So, with one season aired and a second one to come, what can you tell us about your experience on SYFY’s Wynonna Earp?
It’s been an absolute whirlwind of a year and I never would have guessed I’d be where I am now! It feels like this a time where a lot of hard work over the years has paid off. I am extremely lucky to have been entrusted with the beautiful character that is Nicole Haught. She is kind, courageous, proud, passionate, hard working and steadfast. It is a privilege, especially as a woman working in the media industry, to play such a complex and strong character.
– How important is it for you to play a LGTB character on television?
I love playing an LGBT character! The community has been incredibly supportive and I have so much love and positivity directed at me. Really, I am extremely lucky. I love that my work as an actor seems to have now taken on some social responsibility and advocacy. I feel like a lot of the parts we play as actors feel like “just another role” but Nicole really started a movement and I have been given a one in a million opportunity to be part of it.
– Have you heard about the “Bury Your Gays” trope? Did the fact that Nicole was wearing a bulletproof vest when she was shot have any significance towards it?
At the time of shooting that scene I did not know but the “Bury Your Gays Trope”. It wasn’t until months later when it aired that I realized the significance. It has been a very sad year for queer characters in the media and I feel very blessed to be a part of what I feel is a defining moment in the movement towards more diverse representation. I do not know if our writer, Emily Andras, knew how huge that moment would become, but I certainly didn’t. I am glad for that though, if I had known how much it would mean to the community I think I would have felt a lot of pressure carrying that torch. It felt very organic the way everything has evolved since.
– What season one scene / moment would describe as defining for Nicole?
I think Nicole’s last scene in Season One when Doc Holiday explained the Earp curse and Agent Dolls welcomed her into the Black Badge Division was pivotal for her. She had been following her hunch all along that something was amiss in Purgatory but she always kept a level head – she resisted stepping over the line with her superiors and kept her integrity as a police officer until she was welcomed into the unit – that takes a massive amount of self discipline. She definitely earned that promotion!
– Have you started production on season two? Could you tell us anything about what we will be seeing?
No we haven’t started filming yet and I actually don’t know anything about what has been decided for Season Two that I am able to share. The story lines are kept under tight wraps but I am excited to see how Nicole’s new welcome into Black Badge plays out!
– What would you like to be next for your character?
I would like to see Nicole break down. She is so calm and collected so I would like to see something set her off and watch how she deals with hardship. I think it would be inspiring to watch her handle something like that.
– Something that really impressed me is that despite that the series is still quite new, you people already have a great fanbase like we could see, for example, at this year’s San Diego Comic-Con. Do you have the same feeling? I’m sure your social media could be another example…
The fans have been absolutely incredible to me and the interest in my character and me as an actor has exceeded my wildest expectations! One of my favorite parts of my job is interacting with fans and hearing their stories. I feel like I will forever have a community with these wonderful people and that’s extremely sacred to me.
– Before we finish, are you working on new projects?
I am in a new series called Workin Moms on our Canadian National Broadcaster, CBC. It is a half hour comedy premiering in January of 2017 about young parents and how they deal with the stresses of balancing family life, career and personal; Essentially the impossible task of trying to do it all and all! I love this show and it was a joy to film a comedy with so many other incredible female comedians. I hope it will be available on an international stage soon!
On January 10th ‘A Nutcracker Christmas’ premiered on The Hallmark Channel. It’s a lovely family Christmas movie I filmed this fall where I play the sister of Amy Acker (Person Of Interest) who was an absolute joy to work with! I also recently shot a thriller, ‘Girls Night Out’ which will premiere on the Lifetime Network in 2017.
An interview by Chris Patterson for Lovingseries.
Main photography by David Lopez.