INTERVIEW: Stephanie Leonidas

45 Magazine sits down with sci-fi actress Stephanie Leonidas at Sheffield Film & Comic Con to talk Defiance.

Q: Is it a dream come true to be playing Irisa in Defiance?
A: Definitely I mean Irisa is a dream part, you grow up kinda watching characters like that on TV dreaming of jumping into that world and to be able to do that is incredible.

Q: You mentioned growing up watching characters like Irisa, so what was your favourite series you have watched when you were younger?
A: You know I was just talking about that, it’s in my head now and we were just talking about The Dark Crystal and I used to watch that over and over again as a kid. So all that fantasy stuff I was very into, I mean yeah just in terms of stuff like The Goonies, E.T and The Never ending story. It was endless stuff that you know if there was something like that on the screen I would just watch it. So yeah I guess you could say I grew up with Sci-Fi and fantasy. It’s just great to be a part of that myself now too.

Q: Yeah I mean I’ve always wondered when actors and actresses are cast in Sci-Fi and fantasy shows are they fans? Or not? Because I think if they are fans it makes their performances that extra bit more believable.
A: Definitely, if you’ve grown up with the series and films like that it helps and it just I mean you have to believe in the world you have to inhabit. I mean we are lucky with Defiance because we have an incredible set, so as well as doing green screen, we have this town that has been built for us which is a real treat because it comes alive before our eyes as well.

Q: So how do you prepare for your role on Defiance? Do you do all your own stunts?
A: Yeah we’ve done a lot of knife training and I do have a great stunt double, so I have to say that because she’s brilliant and I love her so I can’t pretend too much that I do everything myself. She lets me do as much of the stunts that I can and want to do and I always want to jump into it. The funny thing is as soon as I’m in costume as Irisa, I literally feel like I’m invincible, so they have to stop me sometimes because I suddenly find myself feeling like superwoman.

Q: What would you say was your favourite moment on the set so far? Any funny stories?
A: Yeah we are always pulling pranks on each other and one prank I remember that happened during season one. I needed to get Grant (Nolan) back who plays my dad quite badly because he was always pulling pranks on me. So I went to the writer’s office with Mia Kirshner and we got them to write a scene on properly headed paper and everything so it looked like new script that had been sent out. It was a scene where Nolan turns to Irisa and she’s looking at him differently and goes to kiss him. His reaction was epic and we really got him and it was just very funny with all the crew laughing as well. It was hilariously sick acting that Irisa could have those feelings about her dad like that.

Q: There’s going to be some disturbing fan fiction when that story gets out. What can we expect in season two?
A: Well season two is going to be a lot edgier, meatier and darker. I mean season one was a way to introduce you to all of the characters and season two flips it all around and takes you on a path that might not have expected to take. I think Irisa goes on one of the biggest journeys of her life in season two, it’s not an easy journey but it’s definitely a fun one to play.

Q: Can the fans with myself included expect a season three?
A: I hope so, fingers crossed we’re gonna know by next week. So as soon as we know you can expect me to be on twitter like mad letting everyone know.
Thank you so much for your time.

You can catch Defiance season two starts on Thursday the 18th of September on the Syfy at 9pm.

Read the Sheffield Film & Comic Con article here.