It takes a special kind of person to become best friends with a succubus. On Syfy's Canadian import series, Lost Girl, that honor goes to Kenzi (Ksenia Solo). Ever since the sexual-energy-feeding Bo (Anna Silk) saved Kenzi from being date raped, the two have become inseparable. Together, they share their dreams, problems, drinks, and yes, regularly tackle bizarre folklore-ish Fae creatures that prey on humans. Recently, Solo spoke exclusively to me about her spitfire character, bucket list items for Kenzi and interpreting a malevolent spirit.
You've appeared in supernatural projects before. When you received the script, what was different about Lost Girl?
Well, a major thing was I had never heard of Fae before. I was like, "What? Are they people with wings that look like Tinkerbell?" I don't know. Of course reading the script, it was so much darker than I initially thought. It's so fascinating these creatures that feed off human emotion, karma, chi and sexuality. I thought it was so fresh and exciting. The fact Kenzi was this human that would be living among these creatures, and happily doing so, was very appealing.
With Kenzi, you also get to explore your comedic skills, which are new to your wheelhouse...
I always wanted to do comedy. The better part of my career has been spent crying or in life-or-death situations and being kidnapped and having drug addictions. It's all this crazy intense stuff, so the fact I would be the comedic relief of this show, that definitely stood out.
Is it challenging to keep up Kenzi's limitless energy? She's always the life of the party. Do you have a case of Red Bull stashed in your trailer?
That's so funny. You're the first person to talk about this and it's interesting you noticed. In my life, I'm very quiet and more of a loner. I would say this show is a challenge. Kenzi is so incredibly full of life. I always wonder "Where the hell did she get this energy? Her and Bo can barely afford to eat three meals a day. They live in this shack, so where did she get all this energy?" I do what I can try to be healthy as possible. I don't know about Red Bull, but I try to eat lots of vegetables to fuel my engine.
The show's title "Lost Girl" refers to Bo, discovering she's a succubus and the journey that ensues. Do you feel that title also applies to Kenzi?
I do. I really do. As much as Bo was lost and alone in the world, I feel that equally applies to Kenzi. She's this young girl that's had to grow up alone on the streets. She's never had a real love in her life. In her right, she's also a survivor, just like Bo is a survivor of her world and circumstances. I definitely agree with you. They are both lost souls and find each other at the moment when the stars align and it's supposed to happen. Now they have each other, now they have family and that love. They were both lost and now they are found.
What makes Bo and Kenzi's relationship so unique?
It's rare to have a friend like this, somebody who would risk their life in a heartbeat for you and protect you with every ounce of their being. That's what Kenzi is to Bo and what Bo is to Kenzi. That's what people really respond to in their relationship. It almost goes beyond sisterhood or friendship. There's this bond which is untraditional. We all dream of having a friendship like that.
Is Kenzi both a help and a hindrance in Bo's life?
I don't think hindrance is the right word because as much as Bo and Dyson have to save her under certain circumstances or protect her, in many ways, it also works the other way around. She doesn't have fancy Fae powers to rely on. She has to rely on her smarts and creativity and street sense. Kenzi is really a survivor and has gone through so much shit in her life, so she approaches every situation with bravery.
Do you enjoy those action sequences where Kenzi pitches in?
Oh my God, yes! I'm always begging them to give me more. "Guys, I want to do my own stunts! Let me fight! Let me kick some ass! Please!" I'm constantly campaigning for "Give me more stunt work!" I've done it before in my career and once I had to fly out of a plane. I really look forward to it. One of my recent memories is getting to do this sword fighting scene with Bo. It was pretty fun.
Obviously, Kenzi has a special dynamic with Bo, but what's her interaction like with other Fae such as Dyson (Kris Holden-Ried), Trick (Richard Howland) and Hale (K.C. Collins)?
With Dyson, they have a special connection. I think it's because he truly loves Bo and Kenzi feels that. There's something very intuitive about their bond. Kenzi understands Dyson's devotion to Bo and I feel Dyson equally understands and respects Kenzi's devotion to Bo. For Dyson, it almost becomes a fatherly bond with Kenzi, and Kenzi really loves Dyson.
Trick is a guru of the Fae world. He is one of the most influential figures of their world and the oldest and one of the most powerful. He really accepts Kenzi and accepts her flaws, like how she steals his 1000-year old liquor that is priceless. Or how she's really hungry all the time and wants free drinks and is always interrupting. He really accepts her for who she is. Trick has a lot of respect for Kenzi, but she's earned that respect. It's a really beautiful relationship.
Hale is a really great friend to Kenzi. They have an amazing camaraderie. Hale enjoys Kenzi's sense of humor, and I think she enjoys his. They have a lot of fun together. They connect on an interesting level. They are both very protective of their best friends because Hale is Dyson's number-one guy. Also, I think Hale has a soft spot for Kenzi.
Bo and Dyson have this sexually charged relationship. Were you hoping the writers would go there with Kenzi and explore those romantic avenues?
Yeah... You don't really hope they will write in that you have to make out with all these people. God bless Anna, for taking charge of that. But yeah, I had asked them. I really hoped that Kenzi would get to experience love. I'm into seeing a different side of her. Now, in season two, we've gotten to explore that. I feel everybody deserves love.
What role does Kenzi play in the season one finale and in Bo's battle against her mother?
Kenzi plays a very important role. Kenzi is the only one who doesn't turn her back on Bo. In the end, at a very crucial moment, where it's life-or-death for Bo, Kenzi comes in at the right time and saves her life.
Syfy is airing seasons one and two almost back-to-back. After everything she's been through, how would you say Kenzi has evolved?
We start the series off with Bo and Kenzi meeting and obviously Kenzi is very lost, as we said before. Kenzi was lost and alone in the world and then she has this beautiful friendship. Kenzi was thrust into this crazy world of the Fae. Somehow, and I really don't know how, she approaches every insane situation with enormous bravery. Kenzi is quick on her feet. She doesn't have a sexy power. She really has to rely on herself, her street smarts and courage. As the next season progresses, Kenzi slowly, but surely, begins to transform into a warrior in her own right. By the end of season two, she's really grown as a person, as a woman, as a friend, and as a fighter alongside these Fae creatures. She's there and holding her own ground.
In what way does having this new musician boyfriend, Nate, not only enhance Kenzi's life, but maybe complicate her friendship with Bo, as well?
One of the things that is touched on is how do you get involved with somebody, somebody you truly care about and love, when you can't be honest about your daily life? Kenzi is constantly running off to solve cases and help Bo or Dyson. She's almost leaving Nate in the dust because Kenzi can't tell him where she's going. The emotion is so strong it's hard. The fact is Kenzi is going to have to make a really serious decision and determine where her life ends up. It's very intense.
You also starred in the spooky Locke and Key pilot. How would you describe your character Dodge and what makes her the evil antagonist?
Dodge is a supernatural force. She's this awful monster who lives in a well, but she appears as this creepy angelic girl. What's cool about Dodge is she has the ability to communicate through water. She does so with this teen boy, Sam Lesser (Harrison Thomas), who would kill for her, because she's this master puppeteer. She manipulates him into killing for her. She's responsible for the death of Mr. Locke and all the sorrow and pain that the Locke family have experienced. What's eeriest about her is Dodge doesn't kill with her hands; she kills with her mind by manipulating others to physically do it for her. By the end of the episode, she's free from her prison and continues on her murderous quest, which I wish we could film. Unfortunately, that's where the pilot ends.
With her pale skin and long black hair, Dodge certainly has a Japanese horror vibe to her. Did you turn to anything for inspiration in her speech or movement?
The resemblance is kind of creepy with all those well girls from The Ring and other films that have the long black hair and wear a night gown, or whatever it's called. You're very right. I see how I resemble that, but at the time, I completely did not think of that. It was one of those amazing times I picked up the script and had this weird feeling of "I have to play this role." I saw her as very androgynous and creepy, but at the same time, she had to be vulnerable and soft spoken and almost like a snake. You couldn't touch her because she was so slippery in the sense that you couldn't figure her out. Dodge was just this mystery.
How disappointed with you when Locke and Key wasn't picked up?
I was incredibly disappointed. I wish it had been made into a feature and that way it could have lived on forever and the world could have seen it. It's very upsetting. We were so incredibly passionate about the project and the comic book is really one of a kind. It's so beautiful in this unusual, raw way. We were lucky to have this incredible film director, Mark Romanek. He really made it look like a feature. The whole time, I was like, "God, I wish this was a movie so people could really enjoy it on the big screen." In the back of my head, I am hoping one day we will get the chance to make the series come to life.
With credits that include Lost Girl, Locke and Key, Moonlight and the upcoming film The Factory, what's so fulfilling about working in this genre?
I love fantasy. I love being transported into a different world and I think this world comes with a lot of freedom. You really have to access your imagination. It's a really beautiful genre because it takes you completely out of reality. That's one of the things I enjoy most about movies. I am an avid movie watcher. If I'm ever having a hard time in my life, it's always something that saves me. Watching movies and being taken out of reality is something I really love. And just being able to act in these projects is a lot of fun.