Wynonna Earp’s Dani Kind on What Makes Mercedes So Resourceful

Photo by: Michelle Faye/Wynonna Earp Productions, Inc./SYFY

If there’s one thing Wynonna Earp fans know about Mercedes Gardner (Dani Kind) it’s that she is resourceful. From having her face used by the Widows in Season 2, to getting it magically fixed in Season 3, and then once again reappearing to help Wynonna (Melanie Scrofano) in Season 4, somehow Mercedes always seems to find a way. Just at the end of last week’s episode, Mercedes surprisingly showed up to help Doc (Tim Rozon) and Jeremy (Varun Saranga) after they were captured by Black Badge. Unfortunately, that didn’t end as well as Mercedes was shot and looks to be seriously injured heading into this week’s episode, airing Friday at 10 p.m. on SYFY and CTV Sci-Fi.

To discuss what may still lie ahead for Mercedes this season, The TV Junkies recently chatted with Kind. She looked back upon Mercedes’ journey on the show thus far, as well as shared thoughts on what Mercedes’ relationships with Wynonna and Kate (Chantel Riley) may have looked like. Kind also spoke about what it was like returning to Calgary to shoot during COVID and why she was thrilled to be back for Season 4. “One of the greatest things about this season is that it’s a real tribute to the fans,” said Kind. “They went above and beyond to check off boxes, and to add in lines and jokes. I don’t even know of a show that’s done that before.”

The TV Junkies: You came back to work on Wynonna early on in the pandemic and it was one of the first shows to resume shooting. Did you have any reservations about heading back? What were some of the biggest differences you noticed in shooting? 

Dani Kind: The weather change was great and it’s always great to not shoot in winter. I was hesitant, not because of the production, but just because of my kids. If I didn’t have kids this whole thing would be a lot easier, but I’m so hyper-aware of everything I do and not putting them at risk. That’s the only reason I was a little nervous, but I talked to people in the cast and they were already there shooting. They said they felt so safe, and I knew that was true because of the consistency in their crew. It’s familiar faces and because it’s the same crew, everyone cares about each other and knows about each other’s lives. That set is a well-oiled machine, and from day one it’s been such an incredible experience with them. 

The biggest thing that sucked for me is that talking to crew on sets is one of my most favorite things to do. I get to act, but the total of that during the day is maybe an hour during a 14-hour day. This time we were in pods to stay safe so I couldn’t talk to the crew as much. I found that the hardest because I love the crew.

TTVJ: We learned at the beginning of Season 4 that Mercedes has been working at The Glory Hole. What did you think when you heard about her new occupation? Can we also please talk about that entrance she made? 

DK: There’s nothing that Emily [Andras] can come up with for Mercedes at this point that I’m not, ‘Oh yeah, this makes total sense.’ Anything could work for that character. She’s so insane! I was terrified to do that stage number. It’s probably the scariest thing I ever filmed. It’s not my sweet spot, that’s for sure. I was so scared, and they sent me a song that I didn’t know and told me to learn the lyrics. I wanted to vomit, but Mel was directing it and I wanted to do the best job I could for her. That was a good thing to focus on and ended up trumping all my nerves.

TTVJ: Well you DID get to enter through vagina curtains so…

DK: That’s a goddamn dream come true. That should be on everyone’s bucket list for life.

TTVJ: Mercedes was a real estate agent, survived a new face, and now is making her way at The Glory Hole as the town is overrun with demons. I don’t know if anyone else is more resourceful than Mercedes. Why do you think she’s able to adapt so well to all these different situations?

DK: You mean why hasn’t she really died yet? [laughs] She’s clearly smart, but also just a little ‘Whatever’ about everything. Ignorance really is bliss. There’s a reason why when a nuclear bomb goes off the only one to survive is the dum-dum who fell in the hole. That’s Mercedes and she just looks good doing it. 

TTVJ: We may never know the truth, but what do you think happened with Mercedes and Kate (Chantel Riley)?

DK: I think they had wild, passionate sex filled with tons of orgasms, Bridget. Someone please tell me what Chantel Riley says about that. Somebody get her on the phone right now!

TTVJ: When we last saw Mercedes, showed up at BBD with Doc and Jeremy and was shot. What can you preview as to how she may fare in the next episode?

DK: All I can say is that based on what happens in the next episode, and Emily has never done this, but she texted me before I got the script and said, ‘Hey, just checking in regarding what happens to you.’ I ran and read it and it’s incredible! She just wanted to touch base about it because she’s an incredible woman and showrunner. When I read the script it was just so satisfying.

TTVJ: As we said, Mercedes has gone through a lot of changes over the seasons. What’s been your favorite iteration of Mercedes: Widow Mercedes, Mean Girl Mercedes, Faux Vamp Mercedes, or something else?

DK: I think the version where she gets her face back. I call her Mercedes 2.0. Through that journey there’s small moments she gets with Wynonna and that’s the only time we get to see her be vulnerable with somebody. She got really fucked up, let her guard down a bit, and she chose Wynonna to do that with. I thought that was really special. It’s so fun to be a villain, but it’s not my sweet spot to put on heels and be a sexy lady. So that’s been a good, exciting stretch for me and really fun to play.

TTVJ: Do you ever wonder what Mercedes and Wynonna’s relationship was like when they were younger? Was it similar or different to what they have now?

DK: I think it was similar because they were both just horny young girls that slept with a bunch of people, which is great and good for them, but they weren’t outwardly friends. Nobody in their high school knew, but they ran into the bathroom together to smoke cigarettes in a stall together. They’d check in with each other, but then didn’t look at each other in the halls the rest of the day. 

TTVJ: So they were basically Rayanne and Sharon from My So-Called Life?

DK: Oh my god, did you just say that? I fucking love that show so much! It’s so true and I’m so flattered you said that. 

TTVJ: You’ve done a lot of the virtual cons throughout the pandemic. What’s it been like chatting with Earpers from all over the world or Earpers you hadn’t met at previous cons?

DK: I’m not excluding myself from how lonely it’s been during COVID. I don’t hang out with anyone so doing those cons really fills me up. It’s interesting to speak with people all over the world because we’ve come so far from the beginning of the pandemic. I talk to people in Australia now and they’re on the beach because COVID isn’t a thing there. Then I talk to people in the U.S. that have been vaccinated already, but I can’t see that happening for me in Canada any time soon. I find that’s been really interesting. It also makes my heart explode to think that people who’d never get the opportunity to go to a convention, this has created that for them, and I’m really touched by that.

Wynonna Earp airs Fridays at 10 p.m. on SYFY and CTV Sci-Fi.

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