(Image Credit: Ross Hicks Photography)
It’s been one hell of a rough ride for Irisa during Defiance Season Two. After resurrecting Nolan in a pact with an Irathient god, it looks as though she might well bring about the end of the world. But surely things can only get better?
During an exclusive interview at Cardiff Film & Comic Con, I spoke to Defiance star Stephanie Leonidas about Season Three of the popular sci-fi show… and it looks as though there could be some even tougher times ahead for Nolan and Irisa.
“Without giving too much away, there’s been a few clues as to how they are going to be brought back for Season Three,” she said. “It sounds like things are going to take a bit more of a turn and I hope that the twistedness of Irisa’s storyline just continues in different ways.”
Of course, Defiance Season Two hasn’t reached its rather epic conclusion just yet. At least, according to the UK schedule. So for those who haven’t yet seen the season finale, let’s just say that Irisa and Nolan are left dangling…
But what would Stephanie like to see in the upcoming Season Three?
“It’s important to get that relationship back between her and Nolan,” she said. “I’d like to see more between them and see how they’re dealing with everything.”
Throughout Season Two, we’ve seen some colossal changes for Irisa… and with the Arkrise imminent, it looks as though Irzu might just manage to wipe out all life on earth. But how did Stephanie handle such an enormous change, both emotionally and physically?
“It was exhausting last year [filming] Season Two,” she explained. “Because she’s not only going through this huge transformation and quite a rocky rollercoaster of a storyline, but she went through it on her own.”
Of course, Irisa only recently revealed her secret to Nolan… and has been trying to deal with it herself for some time.
“I didn’t have as many scenes with Nolan and so a lot of Irisa’s stuff was quite isolated and I felt quite isolated on set,” she explained. “It was strange. Without giving too much away, it was heart-breaking stuff that she went through so yea. It’s always hard.”
“It was quite hard to deal with [not working alongside Grant Bowler],” she added. “Especially, I think towards the end we started getting more scenes together and they were these big, emotional scenes. It felt like that was needed because for a whole season they’d really separated. It’s important to have those scenes still – he is basically her father figure and so he’s there for her no matter what. It was quite sad playing a lot of the stuff on my own.”
Obviously, I had to ask Stephanie about the physical transformation when it comes to playing Irisa. After all, she’s a very different person in real life. And that’s all down to a rather gruelling make-up session.
“It’s two and a half hours make-up,” she explained. “I think quite a lot of people have been quite shocked at the transformation – there’s me sitting here grinning away next to photos of Irisa holding knives so, it is quite a big jump. But yea, it’s been brilliant. I love watching myself transform in front of my eyes every morning.”
“It’s mad actually – I’ve never really gotten used to it. Every day, just seeing it happen again is nuts because it’s a massive jump. The prosthetic really changes the shape of my face and then you’ve got the wig and everything else. So yea, I don’t think I’ll ever get used to it. I love playing her – it’s good fun.”
I have to admit, I think Irisa and Nolan’s relationship is one of the high points of Defiance. But ever since we first met them all they back in Season One, they’ve clung onto the hope of one day finding their way to Antarctica – an almost mythical haven that’s their own, personal promised land.
But will they ever find their way there?
“It’s funny,” she said. “I think they have this dream of living in Antarctica – that postcard they carry around with them, that scrappy thing – but I think the idea of it is what keeps them alive, what keeps them going. And I think we all have our Antarctica of some sort. I think the best thing for them is to never get there – to continue to have that postcard and that dream.”
Of course, I can’t help thinking that Defiance has become their Antarctica… even if they don’t quite realise it themselves. They’ll fight and die to protect the people and the town that they love. And in the end, perhaps that’s more important than finding paradise.
Either way, it looks as though both Nolan and Irisa will be back in Season Three… but how they’ll deal with the aftermath of the season finale is another matter entirely.
Are you looking forward to the Defiance season finale? What do you think will happen to Nolan and Irisa in Season Three? Let us know what you think in the comments below…