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Amanda Tapping on 'Sanctuary': 'I'm not ready to let it go'


  • Magnus (Amanda Tapping) and Tesla (Jonathan Young) share a moment in the "Sanctuary" Season 4 finale.
Magnus (Amanda Tapping) and Tesla (Jonathan Young) share a moment in the… (Syfy )
December 31, 2011|By Curt Wagner | RedEye

“You will know everything when the time is right.”

That's what Helen Magnus (Amanda Tapping) told her No. 2 man, Will Zimmerman (Robin Dunne), throughout Season 4 of “Sanctuary,” (spoilers ahead!) refusing to tell him the plan she had set in motion while trapped in the past. As we saw in the two-part season finale, “Sanctuary for None,” her secrets nearly destroyed the sanctuary and their relationship.

Wait, it did destroy the sanctuary, but she meant to do that. And that has opened up uncountable storytelling opportunities for a fifth season. That is, if Syfy picks it up for another season. There’s still no word on that, but Tapping wants another season.

“A, I'm not ready to let it go, but also I think the concept right now could be so interesting,” she told me recently. “I just think there are so many opportunities for us to revamp without losing our unique flavor, but I think it could be a really fresh, invigorating start. It already is with the new sanctuary. Just to explore that, it’s beautiful.”

Here’s the last segment of my interview with Tapping from before Part 1 of the season finale aired, which includes all the spoilery stuff I didn’t want to publish before. So if you haven’t seen the finale, SPOILER ALERT!

Click these links for parts 1 and 2 about the finale:
Amanda Tapping teases "Sanctuary" season finale
"Sanctuary" wraps Season 4 with "final reckoning"

Leading up to the season finale, Will and Helen didn’t seem to get along so well. They have fought a lot. I've said more than a couple of times, “I hate it when Mommy and Daddy fight.” What’s up with them?
In the playing of it I don’t feel like [they fought that much.] I feel like there has been a lot of tension between the two of them, but I don’t feel like we’re always fighting.

I think what has happened is Helen—well you’ve now seen the final two episodes, so you understand that Helen has had this mission and is now in a position where she can actually finalize it. She is so driven by this singular mission that I think she can’t see the forest for the trees and therefore tends to do things in such a bold and almost arrogant fashion. Will bristles at that because the relationship has changed because he knows she is up to something, but she is not honest enough or doesn’t feel like she can be honest enough to tell him what it is.

So it creates this massive underlying tension between the two of them. She knows she is not being honest with him. He knows she is not being honest. But she doesn’t see it as a problem because all will be right in the end. Whereas for our lovely mere mortal Will it’s like, “That’s not how human beings treat each other.” But I think if it wasn’t for their incredible respect for each other and the fact that they love each other and that they are so connected and so dependent on each other it wouldn’t be as tense because nobody would give a shit. Do you know what I mean? It would be like, “Oh Helen is acting this way.” Instead it’s like, “God damn it!”

We have so many layers to this relationship and you throw a tiny little wedge in it and the whole thing starts to implode because it is so intense.

And he has known all along that she has had something going on, but he didn’t figure it out to Part 2 of the finale.
Of course he does and she keeps saying, “Just give me time. One more time I need to not tell you the whole truth. Oh, wait; remember I said last time that that was the last time? This will be the last time. Oh, wait, wait, remember the last time and the last time that I said this was going to be last? Now it’s going to be the last.”

It’s a lot for somebody to have to take where you finally say, “I call bullshit. You still aren’t being honest with me lady. Come on.”

Again, I think there is such a love for each other and such a mutual respect that I don’t always see the tension in the playing of it. I know it’s there, but I didn’t look back at the season as a whole and go, “Wow, Will and Helen really didn’t get along.” I find those moments where they really did or I know the motivation behind why she did the things she did. But then I guess for an audience member for sure you’d be like, “Mom and Dad are still fighting.” I know.

“Whose house are we going to live in?” Which will be an even more apt question by the end of Season 4.

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