Adapted from Kelley Armstrong’s best-selling Women of the Otherworld novels, the supernatural thriller Bitten is back on Syfy for its third, and likely last, season. Picking up several months after the harrowing battle in the Season 2 finale, the Pack is bolstering their ranks for strength and protection. At the same time, Elena Michaels (Laura Vandervoort), the lone female werewolf in existence, is struggling with their alpha Jeremy’s (Greg Bryk) new leadership style while making a shocking discovery about herself.
During this exclusive phone interview with Collider, actress Laura Vandervoort talked about how proud she is of Season 3, what playing this character has meant to her, the biggest challenges, tension among the Pack, what sort of alpha Elena would be, and that fans will be very pleased with how this season turns out. She also talked about her upcoming recurring role on Supergirl (a character that she, herself, previously played on Smallville) as DC Comics superheroine-turned-villain Indigo, a living, strong-willed supercomputer now on Earth who will let nothing stand in her way.
Collider: This is the third season of Bitten, but it’s being marketed as the final season. How do you feel about that and the possibility of leaving this character behind?
LAURA VANDERVOORT: We’re really focused on the third season because I’m proud of the cast and our crew, and everything we accomplished this year. We have such dedicated fans. It’s grown, over the years. I never like to say something is gone. You never know. We’re just really excited we got three seasons, which is an accomplishment for our show, and I just really want to see the show do well this year.
What has playing this character meant to you, and where does she fit in with some of the other cool characters you’ve gotten to play?
VANDERVOORT: I’ve been lucky to have played a lot of these women, over the years, especially in the sci-fi genre. All of them are special to me, in different ways, and I hate comparing them because it’s like comparing people. They’re different. They’re different experiences, and they require different things from me, emotionally and physically. Elena has definitely been one of my favorite because I grew up with her, emotionally. And as an actor, throughout the three years, I’ve become more comfortable within my own skin and confident. The fact that our cast got along so well and became a real family, it allowed all of us to feel comfortable to open up emotionally, try new things, and test out our boundaries with our craft. Elena was such a well-written character. So flawed and so strong, at the same time. She was a joy.
You’ve talked about how you guys go off book this season and that you think that’s really important for the fans. How surprised do you think viewers will be, by the way things play out this season?
VANDERVOORT: Being off book allows for everybody to be surprised, and happily so. It just made for a dynamic series, this year. We have new characters coming in that, even when I read the script, completely changed my opinion of Elena, how I had portrayed her for the last two seasons and who I thought she was. I was even shocked at what was written on the pages. It unfolds this season, but it hits the ground running in Episode 1. You are gifted with a huge secret within the first episode.
What were the biggest challenges for you, specific to Season 3?
VANDERVOORT: I love working with Greg Bryk. For the last two seasons, we’ve pretty much played father-daughter and supported one another. For the majority of the two seasons, she had her trust in him and followed his lead. So, one of the tough things this season was seeing our characters butting heads, disagreeing and keeping secrets from one another. That was tough. Personally – and I can’t speak for Greg, but I believe this was the case – it was hard for us to act in that way, as we adore each other and working with one another. It was nice, this season, to have the Pack back together. We were in a lot of our own storylines, last season, which was great and changed the mood and vibe of the show last year. But, it was nice to get back to the Pack and really bring it back to family and their priorities.
In the season premiere, we see Elena have this very dire premonition. How will that continue to play a role in the season?
VANDERVOORT: This premonition is a basis for the theme throughout the entire season. Keeping the secret from people close to her, trying to determine whether she can change or alter the direction of the premonition, and whether the premonition is really a metaphor for something else and not actually physically being the house engulfed in flames, is the theme throughout the season. It creates a majority of the tension for the Pack and draws the line in the sane between her and Jeremy. But the major shift this season is this new, mysterious Sasha character and the drama that he brings with him. We also find the Pack dealing with international Pack alphas this year and international Pack law, and that’s another tricky situation for Elena and Jeremy.
Elena is really the only thing that could get Clay to even consider leaving Jeremy and the Pack behind. How will her evaluating and questioning Jeremy’s approach create tension, in that regard?
VANDERVOORT: I always compare it to, if you’re dating someone and you don’t like their father or their mother and you’re verbal about it, it’s going to cause tension between you and your significant other, and that’s definitely the case with Elena and Clay. Jeremy has raised Clay and basically bred him into the man he is today. Once Elena discovered his secret that Jeremy was trying to kill her, the first day she stepped onto Stonehaven, put tension between her and Jeremy. But she let that go, a little bit, until this season when she sees Jeremy’s new draconian leadership and really sees Jeremy becoming Malcolm, his father and someone they all despised. Jeremy is transforming into Malcolm, in a way. Elena does play a part. I’m sure she can rationalize with him to agree with her. But at the same time, Jeremy is alpha. Outside of emotions and family, within Pack law, we do have to obey and listen to him. That’s what Elena struggles with.
If Elena were ever to take over as alpha, what sort of alpha do you think she’d be?
VANDERVOORT: I wish she’d be the alpha that instills movie popcorn night and says, “Let’s all just take a break and relax.” Realistically, I think she’d be a strong leader. I think she would definitely lead by instinct and follow her own path, and not obey the old Pack law and rules. She would start anew. But she would also have a sense of compassion, as well. She still remembers what it was like to be human, and she does have that quality to her. I think she would be a great leader, as is Jeremy. Jeremy has just gone a little rogue this year. Everyone just needs a hug.
At the end of this season, will there be a sense of closure to the story?
VANDERVOORT: I believe that the show really does a great job, this season, of taking the characters to where they needed to be. Whether fans like or dislike that, we’ll have to wait and see. I’m pleased with the direction it went in. I do think it’s a nice closure for the characters. I like to say that there’s always a hope. It’s just difficult because you never know with television what will happen. But I think what we’ve done this season should make fans very, very pleased.
People are very excited about your upcoming recurring role on Supergirl, which starts with Episode 15 (airing February 29th). How did that come about? Had you been talking to them about doing something on the show?
VANDERVOORT: When the show was airing, I tweeted that I thought it was fantastic and that they were doing a great job. And then, a couple weeks later, I was at an awards show and met one of the executive producers, Andrew [Kreisberg]. He came up to me and said, “I’m one of the executive producers on the show, and we would love to have you, one day, if your schedule permits.” I said, “Just sign me up now and tell me when and where.” So, once Bitten had wrapped and schedules were a little easier to work around, Indigo popped up and they came to us with her. It was intriguing to me, and it’s been a lot of fun to play her.
How much fun is it to play the baddie? Do you just get to have an absolute blast with that?
VANDERVOORT: Yeah! She’s been particularly fun to play because we didn’t really have much time to discuss how they wanted Indigo to come across, so by the time I was on set in my wardrobe, I was just feeling her out in her skin, so to speak. I just started playing and having fun with it and trying strange things that I don’t normally get to try. You can get away with more when you’re a villain because you’re a little mentally unstable. It’s been a true joy, so far. I’ve got a few more to do.
Is it surreal to have played Supergirl yourself, and to now be on the set of a new Supergirl series as the villain to a different Supergirl?
VANDERVOORT: Of course, it’s a little strange, but at the same time, it’s a new show and it’s a different character. It’s not the same Supergirl. She just has the same name and history, but they’re portraying her differently than we did on Smallville. I think it’s great. I think it’s nice to change things up. It is a lot of fun. It’s a wink at the audience when I’m with Melissa [Benoist] in a scene, with everyone knowing that history. It’s great.
Bitten airs on Monday nights on Syfy.