Pack Means Family: A Bitten Q&A

There is a hierarchy in the dynamics of a wolf pack; the alpha leads, the betas keep things in order, and they are a fierce, loyal, protective group. Showing us on Friday night that they have embraced their roles, the Bitten cast took to the stage at the Sheraton at 7PM for their first group Q&A of Dragon Con in true pack fashion. Greg Bryk came to the stage first and introduced Steve Lund, and each member in turn introduced the next, full of anecdotes and accolades about the relationships they share. In fact, much of the answers centered on family, and pack, and how close everyone is. Greyston Holt, when asked about the cast chemistry, called it “dumb sh*t luck” that they all liked each other and bonded right from the start.

Photo by Tito Hernandez
Photo by Tito Hernandez

One of the first questions, that got the banter off on the right foot, was about what super power each cast member would like to have. Holt immediately answered that he wants a bottomless stomach, so he can just eat everything. Laura Vandervoort, a self-described homebody and introvert, thought invisibility would be great, so she can go do things without being bothered. Michael Xavier took the time-travel route, although when pressed, he had to think before deciding he’d rather go back in time (“to change stuff”), instead of forward. Lund thought a moment before landing on shape-shifting, because he could be anything. “A bird … a hockey puck … (“You like being slapped around?” Vandervoort inquired) or a dildo …” Lund was also quite proud of his restraint that it three answers to provide us with that particular object. We never got Bryk’s answer, possibly because he was too busy looking for a censor button for Lund for the rest of the panel!

[SPOILER ALERT] Quite a bit of discussion centered on bringing back Xavier’s character Logan, who was killed off toward the end of season two. The way that he was missed—even as season three hasn’t started filming yet (it starts on Tuesday)—was apparent whenever Logan was mentioned. With the first specific question regarding Logan’s death, and the possibility of Xavier returning, he spoke very eloquently about what he loved about the business of acting and the art of storytelling. “Sometimes you got to tell certain stories that are tough to tell, but it’s so you get the sit down afterward and watch a character grow. I like that there can be an end. That there’s a beginning, a middle, and an end, and to be able to form a character around your specific story, it’s worth it; that’s what we do.” He would love to come back, but the time they had on set was a blessing.

Bryk admitted that his patriarchal role is something he finds carrying over into real life, referring to “pack dinners” with the cast at his home, and that Xavier is still very much there in his mind, still part of the family, and that he’s having trouble adjusting to his being gone. Speaking of pack dinners at Bryk’s home, the cast delightedly pointed out that they don’t even have to wait for Bryk to eat first (as the pack does on-screen); Bryk assured us that he eats something before they arrive so in his mind, he still ate first.

Lund, at times seeming so hyped up about being at Dragon Con that he couldn’t sit still, jumped up so he could demonstrate for the audience how the cast films the scenes running through the trees. This involves two crew members holding branches and hitting the actors with them while they run in place in front of a camera (Vandervoort has video on her Instagram here). Demonstrating this seemed, at least, to burn off some of Lund’s excess energy for when the panel took another serious turn, the theme of pack and family wrapping its way back around the rest of the Q&A.

Holt was asked about [SPOILER ALERT] the scenes where he had to play Clay as possessed by Aleister, the dark witch who wreaked havoc over the second season. Having to essentially play Clay as Alesiter playing Clay was a challenge, trying to portray the villain just enough for the audience to see it, but not so much to tip off the other characters. This meant working on his mannerisms and physicality to change them but rein them in at the same time, a fine line and an exciting challenge.

The cast all turn to Bryk for fatherly advice on a regular basis, the man playing a role of confidant and inspiring presence for them on and off the camera. Bryk became serious and a bit emotional as he reflected on being a father, and how once he got to know his cast-mates, he loves them in a similar manner. “I think it’s rare in this industry that you can come together as people, it’s ambitious and it’s a fragile peace that you have on any set, but right from the start, everyone supported each other, challenged each other to do their best, to bring the most, to be vulnerable and take risks … [I] give them bits of advice, but also I get so much from them, because they’re all so magical, and beautiful, and talented, and bright, and I get to know them as people and I cherish it.”

Asked about the introduction of the witches to season two, an extreme dynamic shift of magic and power on the show, they all expressed an initial concern of taking away from the pack. Bryk didn’t like it, as it made the wolves feel impotent in the face of a power they don’t have and can’t beat. The actual on-screen time was also shifted around, a lot less focus on the pack, physically separating characters that had been so close, emotionally and proximity-wise, in season one. Season three, Holt promised, is back to being pack-focused, as everyone felt it should be.

No one was very good at explaining themselves about how they were similar to their characters, but others offered suggestions. Lund felt the first time he met Holt, at a read-through, that he was a lot like Clay; i.e. boring. But as they got to know each other, he discovered that Holt is in fact goofy, jovial, and always hugging people (“It’s hard walk through the mall, strangers, that guy looks like he needs a hug … !”).

Vandervoort was having a lot of trouble figuring out how she is or isn’t like Elena, but again, Bryk showed his love for his cast-mates, taking the chance to sing her praises where she was too humble to do so herself. He spoke to the level of difficulty to carry a show, to carry the pack, to balance love, family, and responsibility. “You have been so extraordinary, bringing this woman to life, and creating such a positive role model,” he told her, grateful that she has worked to build a character that his 12-year-old daughter can look up to.

Not finished showering praise onto the others, Bryk heaped adjective-laden kudos on Xavier for how he handled the role of Logan, the changes and challenges that came from playing a soon-to-be father, and is sincerely looking forward to more from him, wherever it may be.

Lightening up the mood some toward the end, the cast was asked what they’d want to see at Dragon Con, and Holt was disappointed at the lack of Food Network stars, although he did perk up when he was informed Alton Brown lives in Atlanta. Sadly, no one had Brown’s phone number handy—we’ll try better next time, Greyston!

A last side-trip away from Bitten, Vandervoort informed us of a children’s series she’s the creator and executive producer of. Super Duper Deelia is about a 12-year-old superhero trying to figure out how to handle her new-found powers, and is designed to be a role model for young girls. Vandervoort will appear occasionally on-screen as well, as her busy schedule allows.

Author of the article

Brynna Owens is a mild-mannered freelancer by day, but by night, she's working on joining the Justice League. Cutting her teeth on fanfic before she knew there was such a thing (Frodo/Sam based on the books, anyone??), she's been writing since she learned that you put words together and form sentences. Her calling as a Professional Fangirl started with the X-Files, where she honed her writing and editing skills via fanfic that she finally had a name for, and discovered the amazing world of online fandom via IRC and AOL chats. And now, having written that, she feels old! She currently resides just outside Seattle, is owned by a cat named Gandalf, aspires to save the world, and owns over 100 tubes of lipstick.