Melanie Scrofano On "Wynonna Earp," How Impactful A One-Episode Role On "Supernatural" Was, And Much More
"This show has really taught me how to connect with a character in a way that I've never been able to do before."
Melanie Scrofano's work as Wynonna on Wynonna Earp has been career-defining as she has showcased the power of a female-led TV show. After watching Melanie in four seasons of Wynonna Earp, it's hard not to be proud of all that she has accomplished.
To celebrate Wynonna Earp Season 4B, Melanie sat down with us to chat about everything — like why she didn't think she'd land the role of Wynonna, a moment on the Supernatural set that still means the world to her, the importance of Wynonna's journey in Season 4B, and much more. Here's everything we learned:
1. First, what's your favorite thing to cook?
Pizza. I just do an amazing crust and then I let my son make a sauce. Four ingredients, that's all you need. And then, a nice mozzarella. Done. Don't mess with it.
2. Which emoji do you use the most?
The eek emoji (😬). I do it when I'm being passive-aggressive with my husband all the time.
3. What TV shows have you binge-watched recently?
Murder Among the Mormons and the new Unsolved Mysteries.
4. What's your favorite movie of all time?
Inglourious Basterds. [laughing] "Sound good!" I say [that quote] to my sons when they have to do something they don't want to do. I'm like, "Sound good!"
5. Is there a movie or TV show that made you want to become an actor?
It's a weird one. Quills with Kate Winslet and Joaquin Phoenix. It was dark and twisted. I remember being like, "Oh, they're really good at acting." And then, I wanted to do it. I've always been rather dramatic as a human, so I was drawn to that aspect [of acting].
6. Who was your favorite TV character growing up?
I was really into Xena. I just thought she was beautiful but also so powerful. I had never really seen that on TV before. Also, Buffy, for the same reasons, but she was like a softer version. I remember being like, "You can be strong but soft?!"
7. Who have you been the most starstruck by?
Daphne Zuniga, who was in Spaceballs. I've seen that movie like 200 times. At 7 years old, I started watching that movie and I just didn't stop. I remember we were shooting a TV show together and it was like my first job. She sat at the lunch table with me. I was like, "I am not worthy." She could tell I was not playing it cool. She was talking about something serious, and my mind was just like, "SPACEBALLS!"
8. Have you ever caught somebody else watching one of your movies or TV shows on a flight?
[laughing] You know me, so you're going to laugh. There was someone sitting next to me on a flight and they were looking for a movie. They were scrolling through the movies and I leaned over and was like, "I'm in that one." I didn't know this person. We hadn't even been talking first. Now, after I said that, of course they had to watch it. They fully watched this movie I was in. I don't even know if it was good. I just couldn't keep my mouth shut. It was so embarrassing. Oh my god, and I remember, they were like, "Is that you?" and pointed to the screen at one point. I was the only brunette female in the movie, it was kind of hard not to find me. I forgot this even happened until you brought it up.
9. Do you ever go back and watch your previous work?
Nope. I'll tell you what happened once. Dominique Provost-Chalkley was at my house, and that movie that I made that poor person on the plane watch came on. It was one of the few times I've watched myself.
BuzzFeed: Do you rewatch Wynonna Earp episodes?
I do, but that's different for me. First of all, you know, I'm live tweeting. And second, I just love this show so much and there are a lot of parts that I'm not in. I love getting to watch my friends.
10. Have you kept anything from a set over the years?
I did Supernatural at the beginning of my career, and Jensen [Ackles] and Jared [Padalecki] were such great leaders. I was like, "Oh, that's how you lead a show. That's how you be a good person." I think Jensen could sense that I was like, "I'm just happy to be here," and he gave me a ring from set. It's something you never would've seen on camera, but he took it and gave it to me as a souvenir. That still means so much to me, because who does that? That was so kind. Also, just having an actor recognizing a new scared actor and being like, "Okay, here. You're gonna be okay." I'll never forget it.
11. Do you remember your Wynonna Earp audition?
Emily [Andras] always remembers that I was chewing gum. You're not supposed to do that [in an audition], but I really didn't think I'd get it. So, I was like, "I'm just gonna have fun." I was trying to seem cool. I remember seeing the comic book and being like, "Whelp, I don't look like that, so I guess I won't be doing this." I remember kind of throwing it away, in the sense of, like, not being too precious about it because I truly thought I would never get it. But I guess that kind of became my superpower in the audition.
12. Do you remember at what point during the audition process you crossed paths with Tim Rozon, Dominique Provost-Chalkley, and/or Shamier Anderson?
I actually drove to the airport with Shamier to go to LA [for a chemistry read]. We get there and Dom hadn't been cast yet, but it was me and Shamier and Tim. As for guys, that was it, if memory serves. So I was like, "Well, I guess they got it." But there were a few Wynonnas. I was sweating. Then, Shamier and I went to the airport together and drove home together, and I remember both of us being like, "Our lives could completely change." We were both kind of in stunned disbelief.
13. In Wynonna Earp Season 4, Episode 10, Wynonna is forced to confront her drinking in a big way. What was it like finally having an episode that addressed it?
I think it was important to do. What I love is that Emily doesn't take things like that lightly. At first, Wynonna's drinking starts out as a fun quirk, like "Oh, she's just a heavy drinker," but I'm grateful we got to dig into what is the reason for that. Throughout the series, we watch her self-destruct, in many ways, using sex, alcohol, and quips to cope, and it became something that we couldn't not address.
I also thought the timing was interesting because of COVID. I think everybody who is struggling with mental health is now grasping for whatever tools they have, and some of them can be self-destructive. I mean, for me, absolutely, it has been hard, and, you know, we're not all born with great coping mechanisms. So yeah, this episode came at an important time.
14. The moment when Waverly confronts Wynonna about her drinking in the yard was emotional. How was it performing that scene with Dominique Provost-Chalkley?
Jem [Garrard] was our director and she was very generous with Dom and I. For me, it was really important that when Waverly confronts Wynonna outside the house that it just had to be really honest. It was hard because it was a sunny day, we were in good moods, we were happy, we love each other, we have a great relationship, so it had to be real acting. There was nothing, real experience wise, to draw on in that moment. So, Dom and I kind of just improvised. We took the actual lines and left them in, but around those lines, we improvised and pushed each other. We tried to ground it in some actual turmoil, by like actually shoving each other, because it was so important to do that scene justice.
15. Wynonna and Waverly's dynamic in Season 4B shifts slightly, with Wynonna realizing she needs to share the responsibility of protecting Waverly with Nicole. What was it like exploring this new Earp sister dynamic?
Anybody who has been abandoned, by a friendship even, knows what this feels like. When you're suddenly like, "But we were a thing?! You're my thing and I'm your thing." I think Wynonna is just so scared. I don't think it's because Wynonna doesn't trust Waverly, I think she knows Waverly is the smartest, she doesn't actually need to worry, but being the sole protector of Waverly has been her job for so long, so to let that go would be a major step in a direction I don't think she's ready to take. She doesn't want to lose someone else, and what if she never finds the acceptance she feels with Waverly again? It's an evolution she's hesitant about.
"She doesn't want to lose someone else, and what if she never finds the acceptance she feels with Waverly again?"
BuzzFeed: The moment when Wynonna let Nicole go into the fog to find Waverly in Episode 10 was a huge character growth moment too.
Yes! Especially because Wynonna distracts herself from being scared with action. She's like, "If I'm moving, if I'm killing, if I'm shooting, then at least I don't have to sit and wonder." In that moment, it's one of the first times where she just has to sit and wonder and hope that her sister's okay. I think it was a big moment for her.
BuzzFeed: And every other time we've seen Wynonna sit still, she leans on those coping mechanisms you were talking about before.
Yes! Season 1, Episode 9 is the perfect example.
16. Is there a particular Wynonna storyline that will always be special to you?
I mean, Season 2. Just the fact that they let us do it. The fact that they wrote [my pregnancy] in and didn't try to hide it said a lot about the quality of people that I was working with. It said a lot about our show. Speaking of mental health, that was a really hard one. My self-esteem was so bad, but I had to go on TV. It made me go, "Oh my gosh, I might feel a certain way, but I can still do the thing that I feel like I can't do. I'm still worthy of something." That whole experience taught me a lot and it's something I will never forget.
17. What's your favorite Wynonna line?
[laughing] You're going to hate me, but I really love, "I never blow jobs without a please first." It's so good. It started us off and it was the line where I was like, "Oh, we're gonna have fun! This is a good show!" I mean, there are a lot [of good ones] and there are some that are more grounded and beautiful, but this was the one where I was like, "Oh, we're gonna play." It's not an "I'm all in," but it's pretty great.
18. What's your best fan story?
One I always remember is the karaoke bus from San Diego Comic-Con. It was just nice because it was like we were watching the fans perform. It was a nice role reversal because our fans are so talented. They make art, they are storytellers, and they're performers. So, it was nice to just watch them. Just being nourished by our fans is a nice reciprocity that I really like.
19. What's the best piece of advice you've ever been given?
"The universe doesn't give you anything you can't handle." Or, "Just say yes and then figure it out."
20. What's a role people would be surprised to find out you auditioned for, but you didn't get?
Oh god, there are so many to choose from. The one that just came to mind was a role in another Syfy show called Alphas.
21. What's a hobby you've picked back up or gotten into during quarantine?
Knitting. I'm making a Pikachu hat.
22. Who's your favorite musician of all time?
Probably Tina Turner.
23. Was there specific music you listened to before filming Wynonna Earp episodes?
Yeah, a lot of Johnny Cash.
24. What's the one thing you can't live without?
Coffee. Coffee. Coffee. Coffee. Coffee.
25. What's something on your bucket list?
What does it say about me if I can't think of anything? I mean, I'd like to go to Vienna. Go to a castle. Like, if I'm in Austria anyway and I happen to find a castle, I'll go in it. I'll have a coffee in a castle. It would be reckless not to.
26. Is there something from Wynonna Earp that you're most proud of?
I feel like every season I've grown in some way. Like, in Season 1, I got to do that slide under the serpent monster, and just things like that are so cool and have become iconic in the show, but also I didn't know how to do that before. Just the growth and technical aspects of how to make a TV show have been some of the most rewarding moments, especially because we really push things as far as they can go, for all the creatives.
Also, I think just finding the truth in things. This show has really taught me how to connect with a character in a way that I've never been able to do before. I hope I'll be able to take that other places.
"This show has really taught me how to connect with a character in a way that I've never been able to do before. I hope I'll be able to take that other places."
27. And finally, what does your perfect day look like?
This is it. You and me doing this. Just catching up with friends. Also, spending a day on set with my Wynonna Earp people. It's always a pretty perfect day. Like, I'm thinking about when we went back to shoot Season 4B during the pandemic and it was the summer. The sun was out, my crop top finally made sense, it was great.