Exclusive: Tim Rozon Was Born to Play Doc Holliday

Tim RozonTonight on Syfy, on an all-new Wynonna Earp, based on the comic book series created by Beau Smith, Agent Dolls (Shamier Anderson) and Doc Holliday, played by Tim Rozon, race to save Wynonna Earp (Melanie Scrofano) from a Revenant serial killer.

Rozon recently talked to Jamie Ruby of SciFi Vision in an exclusive interview about his work on the show, including growing his moustache, geeking out, and handling Wynonna.

SCIFI VISION: You talked previously during the conference call about looking to the script and finding the character organically, but being based on a real person, did you do any research into Doc Holliday?

Tim RozonTIM ROZON: I did. I wanted this part so bad, because I've been a Doc Holliday fan and a western fan and a sci-fi fan, so I really wanted the part.

But then when I finally got it, it kind of hit me, like, 'Oh shit; now I'm playing this iconic gun slinger, who was a real person, who's been portrayed amazingly already by the way, by a lot of talented actors.'

So I wanted to do my best job and to be as accurate as I possibly could, and that's why I ended up growing the mustache the way I did, because when I looked at his pictures, unlike the movies that I had seen, he actually had a big mustache. So I started growing the mustache, and I learned that he was a dentist and a professional poker player.

You know, to be honest, historically he actually didn't kill that many people [like most people think]. They know him as this bad guy who's killed all kinds of people. From what I've read, there's only maybe one person that he actually shot and killed.

When becoming him, was anything specific that you particularly connected to portray him?

I can't explain it, but the Doc Holliday that you see, he was just there; he was in me. It sounds cliché and kind of corny, but I was just born to play this part. I've known that since I went after the part; I just had to play him. I needed to do it.

I mean, to be honest, it's a crazy thing, because if we don't get a season two or whatever, I think for the first time ever I have a new experience, a new feeling as an actor, and that's just going to be character withdrawal. I'm going to be sad not to be able to play this character. I'm going to be sad for a lot of reasons, because it's such an amazing project to be a part of. I just really want to do it.

You really embody him. I didn't recognize you at first.

He's a character, right? I mean, that's what every actor wants; you want to play characters. He's one of those guys where every day I get to play. Why would I not want to do that forever? That's all I want to do is play and have fun, and that's what this character gets to do, so it's been super amazing.

A big part of the character is his signature hat. Your mannerisms with your hat, how long did it take for that to become second nature?

You know, it's so funny, because when I arrived in Calgary, I went for a fitting, and we tried on all kinds of stuff, and then we finally got to the hats, and it was such a big thing. I remember Emily [Andras] came down; everybody came down; a lot of producers came down, because everybody wanted to have their say in Doc Holliday's hat, because it's such a big part of the character.

There were like ten hats, and I swear it was a waste of time, because every person there, including myself, knew which one it was. It was the hat I ended up wearing; that was the one. And out of the ten hats, we just knew. And I tried on every hat. They're like, 'We're going to try on the hats anyway,' but we knew right away. It was like the third hat I tried on; that was Doc's hat. And then it was super amazing, and they ended up making a custom-made hat, and I got that amazing hat.

And then you're suddenly Doc Holliday.

And I'm telling you, I get changed, I put the hat on, get the guns strapped on, and boom, he's there.

Obviously Doc has a thing for Wynonna, and they've been together, but I've noticed recently that Dolls seems to maybe have a crush on her as well. Is that something that maybe could evolve where there could be like this, I almost want to say, love triangle, or is that just something that's just on the surface right now?

Let me say this: Emily is an amazing story teller, and there's not one part of this story that won't get resolved at some point. So any hints of stuff that you're getting, don't worry about it, it's all coming.

Tim RozonBut yeah, there's definitely is, and to be honest, I think Wynonna has feelings for both men too. I mean, it's funny, because people are always trying to pick a team - Team Doc or Team Dolls, but I don't think there is a team. I think it's the combination of both. If you could somehow morph Doc and Dolls together, maybe that man would be enough to handle Wynonna. I don't think one of them by themselves could handle her either way. [laughs] I think it would be a morph of the two of them that could do it.

But watching this show, I think Melanie and Shamier are doing a great job, and the chemistry they have, just watching as a fan, it's electric. I hope something happens. I mean I know what happens, but I'm hoping something happens, you know? [laughs]

Going off of that, Doc is attacked by the Revenants, because he's been helping Wynonna. Do you think he keeps doing it, because he likes her, or because he feels a debt to Wyatt, or maybe a combination of both, or maybe he just thinks it's the right thing to do?

Well, he's such a complicated guy, but at the end of the day, for me, Doc was always simple in the fact that the only thing that mattered to me as I played Doc, was getting my revenge on Constance Clootie (Rayisa Kondracki). So everything that he does revolves around her.

Then along the way, he obviously found this relationship with Wynonna, and whether he admits it or not, he cares a lot about Wynonna, and I think everything he does for her from now on is pretty genuine.

In the beginning maybe he was being friends with other people, because he was just trying to get information to find Constance Clootie, but now that he knows where Clootie is, I think at this point what he's doing that involves Wynonna and the Earps is pretty genuine. I think he's got a soft spot for both the Earps.

Obviously Doc is after Constance for revenge for leaving him in the well, but does he also want her to take back his immortality do you think, or is it just revenge?

I think, to be honest, he's a simple man. You or I will never know what it's like, but he was trapped at the bottom of a well for over almost 200 years, literally trapped by himself with his thoughts, and he can't die. And immortality, that's got to lay on a man's psyche. He wasn't a demon; he was just immortal, cursed with immortality. He's a regular man sitting at the bottom of a well, stuck for almost 200 years thinking of one thing and one thing only, and that was revenge. So I think when he comes out, he's very simple and driven towards one thing, and that's revenge.

He's kind of got these blinders on, and it kind of gets my character in trouble from time to time. And we'll see all the way to the end. Like I said, Emily's an amazing story teller, and all parts of the story get resolved. And not everything stays perfect with all the other characters within our relationships either, and that's because, like I said, Doc is so hellbent on revenge, that he doesn't care who gets in his way, friend or foe. He's going to get his revenge.

So you don't think though that he cares if he continues to live forever though? They haven't really gotten into that, I don't think at all.

We never really too much got into it. I think Doc right now is too simple in his thinking. Even if he had that thought it would be so far gone. If he had the choice to become mortal or kill, he's going with kill. That's all that he has; that's all that he knows.

Tim RozonIn episode eight, there's a fantastic fight between Doc and Dolls. Can you talk about that?

It was such a crazy day that day. The stunt team is so amazing. Steve McMichael is the stunt coordinator; he's an amazing guy and he's worked on so many things. I'm not as physical as Shamier Anderson. Look at him; he outweighs me by fifty pounds of pure muscle, and not only that, but he can dance, and he's very flexible and fast and athletic, and he's an amazing guy.

So for him, he'd been looking forward to a day like that forever; I was dreading fight day. [laughs] I don't want to fight.

It was a crazy day to film, and we ended up having such a blast doing it. The relationship between Doc and Dolls is super fun, because they're two guys who are kind of on the same side, but so different from each other and so complex. And when the fight happens, it's really cool, because the audience is really the only other ones who knows what's going on; he got betrayed by Dolls. So Doc is trying to get back at him for betraying him. He's hurt once again; he's been betrayed. And we have this big fight.

...And I think it's kind of cool people think [Doll's] is dead for a minute, right? People are going to go crazy for a minute and wonder what's up. But I don't think anybody's safe, you know? That's the other thing I've learned about sci-fi. But the good thing about sci-fi also, unrelated, is that at least if you die in a sci-fi show - I don't know how many times I died on Lost Girl, but I know I came back - So the good thing about sci-fi is, even if you're dead, it doesn't mean it's the end of your job.

Did you do any weapons training or other stunt training for the series?

I had done weapons training. I got pretty comfortable with the pistols; that was very important for me to do. So I made sure when I got up to Calgary I went and shot Doc's exact pistol, the Colt Thunderer, and the gun guy was amazing. Our gun trainer Greg [Auch] was amazing, and he tried to make everything as authentic as possible, which was really important to me.

I mean, I was at the gym probably more than Shamier, but he's growing muscles; I'm just trying to stay lean. When I first got the part for Doc, I wanted to be really lean, because I didn't know if we were going to be playing the tuberculosis or not. So that was in the back of my mind, to keep him lean and mean.

It's funny, because I was like, 'Oh my God, how am I going to do this fight scene?' And they're like, 'Don't worry; we've got a stunt guy. We're going to dress him up like you, and he'll do all the crazy stuff,' but I ended up doing everything, and I'm super proud. Every frame of that that you see is me. So I was super happy getting my ass whooped. [laughs] Every scene you see is me getting beaten up. Hey, I took a beating, let me tell you. Shamier is a tough kid, and you know, I was sore for like a week, but it was all worth it when I saw it. It was really awesome.

Like I said, it's a testament to the stunt coordinator and the crew. These guys are amazing. We practiced, and they worked that whole thing out, and [McMichael] was really open to both of our ideas, and we kind of made this little dance, and we just did it.

The energy of the background performers that day were amazing. The background performers were so into it that me and Shamier just got so pumped up, that it was just so easy to give those performances and really just give it. I was like, 'All right, let's just go for it.' And I just took the beating.

Doc knows at this point that Dolls betrayed him by getting information on him for his boss, but by the end they seem to come to an understanding. Dolls was like, "It was you or Wynonna." Doc seemed to get that. Can he ever forgive him? Will they be able to continue to work together?

I think to a certain degree. I don't know if it's forgiveness, but definitely I think they find a mutual respect for each other. They at least know finally where each other is coming from, and that's enough. I think they finally have started to understand each other, and that's enough they can kind of be around each other and work together.

They both are fully aware that they have one thing in common, and that's that they care about Wynonna Earp a hell of a lot. I think they're both men enough to respect that in the other one for how good that is, instead of being threatened by that, to actually appreciate the fact that there's another person that cares about her wellbeing.

Tim RozonIn one of the episodes, the one where we find out Dolls may be a demon, or at least something not human, because of his glowing eyes, Doc says to him he knows what he is. Did Doc just know he was addicted to something that was causing him problems, or does he know more? To me it was not completely clear how we as an audience were meant to take that.

I think you're exactly where you're supposed to be. I don't think Doc knows exactly what Dolls is. I think Doc is just the first person to know something's not right; something's up. Don't forget, Doc's from the past, and he's in the future, and that's very scary to him, but the one thing that he still has from the past is that his profession was that of a card shark. He was a professional poker player, which was an honorable profession in his day, so his other skill is reading people. So that's why it was easy for him to read the behavior of Dolls right away and know something was up. It was really hard to get any BS past Doc Holliday. His BS detector's on one hundred, so he kind of picked up right away that there's something up.

And Doc Holliday was also an addict himself. He suffers from all this, so if he sees that in another person, it's also easy for him to pick up and see and know right away and say, 'Wait a second. I know exactly what this behavior is; this was me.'

Like I said, once again, this was all Emily. She's a brilliant human being, if people don't know that already. Everything's there for a reason; she's a very clever girl.

Can you describe your character in three words?

Hellbent on revenge

You said before you were a science fiction fan, what's some of your favorites?

Just science fiction in general; it's just my genre. I grew up on Star Wars and that was my stuff - Transformers, toys, and comic books. I'm a huge comic book fan. I've got a comic book collection at home; I've got long boxes. So when I got the chance to be in a comic book show based on an IDW book, it was like Christmas for me.

When we went up to Wondercon, the first thing we did was we got to tour the IDW offices, and it was like - I can't explain it. I was walking around hanging with Beau Smith all day. And I got to meet Kevin Eastman, who created The Ninja Turtles.

Mel and Dom [Provost-Chalkley] were kind of, 'Look he's freaking out;' they'd never seen me freak out before. And I was just going crazy.

Like when we were at IDW, I was taking pictures of the IDW sign on the wall. And they're like, 'Why are you taking pictures of that?' And I'm like, 'Because we're at IDW!' The little kid in me had never been happier.

Tim RozonAnd I had also watched Lost Girl before I got the part, so it was pretty awesome. I knew what it was; I knew I was super ready for it.

Do you have any favorites that you watch now on television?

I'm not watching too much TV now. To be honest, I just don't really have time, other than, you know, Game of Thrones started again, so I don't miss that. And I've been watching [laughs] the cartoon The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes. Both seasons are amazing. You can't beat it.

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