EXCLUSIVE: 'Van Helsing' star Rowland Pidlubny says Scab faces fear upfront and has gotten stronger over the years
In an interview with MEAWW, the immensely talented actor also outlines what fans could expect this season
Van Helsing has run three successful seasons and is now going strong with the fourth. A strong storyline and an impressive cast have contributed to its success and one of the actors who's dished out an impressive performance is Rowland Pidlubny as Scab. In an exclusive with MEA World Wide (MEAWW), the actor who shed some valuable insights on playing the character and his evolution since season 1.
Fans have termed Scab's biggest strengths are his loyalty and fearlessness. What are your thoughts on this?
Our fans absolutely rock! Being both loyal to our show and being fearless in expressing themselves. With Scab, having those qualities are a thrill to play in a character. It all comes from his backstory as once being human, being bullied, dealing with fear, insecurities, and anxiety. Becoming a vampire is much like a snake shedding one's skin, there is tremendous strength in completely letting go of obstacles and facing your fear, stepping past it. The loyalty really showed in the devotion to his Master Julius, (Aleks Paunavic), who turned Scab into a vampire. Looking up to Julius as a leader, for pulling him out of the human condition. When Julius became human, Scab saw it as a loss of honor. A disgrace.
His loyalty has never been stronger than that which he has now with the Sisterhood. He plans to never leave their side. You don't earn loyalty in a day.
Can you shed light on Scab's evolution since season 1?
It's an extraordinary story. Originally, my character was written only to be in one episode. The outstanding people at SYFY, NBC Universal, Nomadic Pictures and our showrunner with Van Helsing for the first three seasons, Neil LaBute, saw the further potential for Scab. I continued to develop movements and the raspy voice of the character, I would listen to music on set keeping me in a dark state right up to picture. Studying how crows or panthers would act in a group and bringing that animalistic inspiration into a scene.
He's come a long way from dominating with Julius to teaming with Dmitri, eventually becoming part of and ruling with the Sisterhood. Each step, Scab has acquired knowledge and vampiric strengths, to where now he's become a total menace. Being able to walk in the daylight and healing faster than before. His scream has become a thing, I don't mind at all when someone asks me to do the scream... makes it interesting if you're at an airport or in a bank line up though.
I adore creating a world for a character and to become that entity, to open the gates along with the other energies on set. Jennifer Cheon Garcia Warn, who plays Ivory on the show, is such a charismatic and giving actress, really enjoys working out scenes with her. Our characters have definitely become one of the strongest team-ups on the show. We both do our own fight scenes and stunts on the show and we drive each other to be as dark and wicked as possible.
Do you agree that season 4 is relatively darker in tonality than it's previous installments?
Absolutely. It's just awesome to feel that dynamic on set. That's evidence of the talent of the writers on the show and where the story curve has been able to fold out. Our new showrunner for SYFY's Van Helsing season 4 is Jonathan Lloyd Walker who has been with the show in a huge way since day one!
We're having an introduction to a female Dracula, the Dark One played by Tricia Helfer. A couple of great dynamic actresses new to the show, Keeya King as Violet and Nicole Munoz as Jack are making their mark. Kelly Overton is a constantly intense driving force as Vanessa, who's finding that the light is her path and with Sam played by Christopher Heyerdahl who is now an Elder with an extreme attitude... darkness towers over, trying to extinguish the light.
Scab has always been loyal to Julius and now that the latter is seen as humanity's last hope. Will we see that have an impact on Scab?
Yes, Julius is becoming a bit of a pain in the neck for team vampire isn't he. Season 3 we saw Scab drain Julius' love before his very eyes, taking great pleasure in seeing his former Master suffer loss as a human. They've now met at the start of season 4 with a bloody hands-on battle, boxer vs vampire, forcing Julius to call Scab, "Master". Neither one will stop until one bathes in the blood of the other. Scab is going to bring all that is in him to make sure humanity sheds a tear for the Mighty Julius.
Like Julius said to Violet, "Vampires are relentless, even when you think you're winning you're not."
What else can you tell us about season 4?
Our very own Axel, Jonathan Scarfe directs episodes 4.04 and 4.07 this season. One of our stunt coordinators Kimani Ray Smith had the opportunity to direct 4.06 which is a really impressive looking episode and WWE wrestler, The Big Show, Paul Wight makes his appearance later in the season. We have a crazy ride happening, brace yourself. A lot of the cast including myself live tweet during the airing of the show on SYFY and we all love the fan art and support for the show. Helsingfors is our family and we're glad that they are enjoying the show as much as we have made it.
Where can we see Rowland Pidlubny next?
Wanted posters at the post office, the back of milk cartons, and everything in-between! I really love creating interesting villains. You'll see me playing more of those roles, as well as doing some full-on comedy which is a real natural passion of mine. I'm really grateful to be working alongside dedicated people with SYFY and NBC Universal.
'Van Helsing' Season 4 Episode 7 'Metamorphosis' will air on Syfy November 8.