Tim Rozon is geeking out. The Canadian-born actor is a self-proclaimed comic-book nerd with a massive comic-book collection. During our conversation, he referenced the Infinity Gauntlet and cited the Silver Surfer as his favorite character. Heck, Rozon even incorporated superheroes into his wedding invitations and cake. So it’s only natural that Rozon feels he hit the jackpot with Syfy‘s new supernatural Western, “Wynonna Earp.”
Based on a character created by comics writer Beau Smith, the series finds Wyatt Earp’s descendant, Wynonna Earp (played by Melanie Scrofano), returning to her hometown of Purgatory after her uncle mysteriously passed away. The rough-around-the-edges Wynonna soon discovers she is destined to hunt and kill monsters using Wyatt’s “Peacemaker,” a long-barreled Colt .45, with an unusual assortment of allies at her side. Among them is Rozon’s Doc Holliday — yes, that Doc Holliday — a man obsessed with exacting revenge on the witch who cursed him with eternal life, no matter the cost.
On “Wynonna Earp’s” Calgary set, Rozon spoke with CBR News about why Holliday is his dream job, whether he’s ultimately friend or foe to Wynonna, and the physical demands the role brings with it.
CBR News: “Wynonna Earp” creator Beau Smith mentioned he was so impressed by your performance as Doc Holliday, he’s worked it into his comic book. What’s it like to get that kind of love and feedback from the creator of the property?
Tim Rozon: I’ve heard talks of it, but I’m very much a “until I see it, I won’t believe it” type of person. I will tell you what I told them when I did the test for this part: everyone wants something different in life. Everyone has different dreams. For me, my dream has been to get to Comic-Con. I love comic books. I’ve been reading comic books forever. I have a comic book collection at home.
When I got the breakdown for this — and it was a sci-fi show, a Western about Doc Holliday in a science-fiction show — I knew right then and there I was going to make it to the end. I knew there was no way I wasn’t going, because this is it. This is the dream role I’ve waited for my whole life. There’s other times where — I never lied, but, people ask, “What do you think about the part?” “Oh, it’s great to be part of this.” For this one, when they asked, “What do you think about maybe playing Doc Holliday?” I said, “There’s not a level of humility that exists. There’s not a level of dreams that aren’t big enough. We’re talking about Doc Holliday, in a science-fiction show, and you’re going to make a comic book about it? And my guy is going to be in the comic book? What are you talking about here? How am I not mind-blown happy?” If Beau Smith likes my performance and is writing the guy based on what I’ve done, yep, I’m happy.
What motivates your Doc Holliday to saddle up with Wynonna Earp?
In this storyline, Doc is driven by vengeance. He wants revenge, [but] he gets sidelined and meets the Earps. If you’ve met Wynonna Earp, she will take your attention, and she takes Doc’s. The main thing is, he’s driven by revenge, and until he’s killed the witch who cursed him to begin with — that’s his main goal is to kill that witch.
He’s a hard guy, but at the same time, I wanted to bring a playfulness to him. He’s a gentleman. He’s a bit of a charmer. I wanted to bring a playfulness to his danger. I just didn’t want it to be “danger,” and a one note, angry, bitter guy. At the same time, he has a new lease on life. He’s out there, he’s with the Earps and he does start developing feelings for Wynonna.
Are viewers supposed to question Doc’s loyalty, whether he’s he friend or foe, good or bad? Are you playing up that ambiguity?
In the beginning it’s definitely written that we’re not supposed to know. As it goes along, I think a lot of people will like Doc. But then, those same people may be disappointed because he’s not perfect. He’s a very flawed character. He never said he was a good guy. He’s got good intentions, but a lot of people have good intentions and we see how that works out. He’s driven by one goal, and one goal only, and that is to kill the witch. Revenge is on his mind. He’s hellbent on revenge at all times. That’s the only thing he cares about. Sometimes the people who care about him, they get put on the backburner. They can be hurt by Doc because they are not priority number one. Most of the time, he’s looking out for himself. Yes, he does have a soft spot for Wynonna Earp. Yes, he will have her back at times. I can see him being one of those characters where people are angry at Doc’s behavior from time to time.
What is Doc Holliday cursed with?
He’s based on the real Doc Holliday wo was around in the 1800’s. He was definitely sick with tuberculosis; he had consumption and knew he was going to die. He made this pact with a witch, who ended up cursing him. We don’t know the reasons, but we will find them out. The witch gave him eternal life, but then she stuck him at the bottom of a well. He was stuck, living forever by himself. He can’t die of starvation or dehydration, so it was torture. Then along comes Wynonna Earp looking for the Peacemaker, the only weapon that can kill the Revenants, and to cure her own curse. While she looks for the Peacemaker, well, guess who else she also digs up out of the well?
Has the witch cured Doc of his disease, then?
The witch, the wonderful being that she is, cured him of his tuberculosis. Don’t get me wrong — we said in one of the scripts, “a bullet, a knife or train can kill him.” He’s not a Revenant, but he has eternal life.
What does Doc make of Agent Dolls?
Doc doesn’t think much of him, doesn’t trust him. From day one, he knows there’s more to Dolls than Dolls is saying. Doc is so self-absorbed in his own mission in life, that he misses some clues that would help him put the pieces together quicker. At the same time, don’t make any assumptions about Dolls, either. He’ll surprise you, too.
Today you were filming a fight sequence opposite Michael Eklund, aka the demonic Bobo Del Rey. How much have you enjoyed doing the action choreography and did it require any special training?
Every day is the funnest day ever. Gun-wise, when I did get the part, I ordered a replicate Colt. I did research for his exact Colt. It’s called the Colt Thunderer. The weight is a little off, because the guns that we use are real guns. They are very heavy, but I practiced. To be honest, all the spinny stuff, if it was up to me, I wouldn’t do too much of it. Doc is the fastest draw in the West; no one said he was a trick gunslinger. It’s a little Hollywood, but it looks pretty cool. A lot of times, the director was like, “Do a little spin at the end.” “No problem.” It’s super-cool to do. I practiced — I wanted to get good at the guns. That was something I took seriously, to be honest.
The fight that is coming up is the one I’m looking forward to the most. The physical stuff, for me, has been the hardest stuff. I’m the one after who is like, “My back hurts. My neck hurts. Doc has tuberculosis, guys!” Dolls is a professional fighter. Doc has guns for a reason. He can’t be doing drop-kicks and roundhouses. He has the guns.
It’s demanding on me. I’ve discovered something new in my life that I didn’t know existed called Epsom Salt. I didn’t know what that was before playing Doc Holliday, but an Epsom Salt bath is just nice.
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