Jaime Murray Talks Unlikely Defiance Bedfellows, H.G. Wells' Subtext-y Warehouse 13 Return
As Syfy promos have been trumpeting, those who tune into the cable channel this Monday will get “two times the Jaime Murray” when the British beauty reprises her role as H.G. Wells on Warehouse 13 at 10/9c, after figuring into a juicy arc on Defiance (9/8c), where she plays the mysterious Castithan Stahma Tarr.
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A STORM IS BREWING
First up: Defiance will mix-and-match curious character combos when a lethal “Razor Rain storm” — “one of the effects of the climate change that happened due to the alien invasion,” Murray explains — traps residents indoors, where they learn more about themselves and others.
“It’s an interesting mechanism for throwing people together who might not otherwise spend time with one another,” Murray tells TVLine. For her character specifically, “Stahma has gone to the Need/Want to talk to Kenya (played by Mia Kirshner) about an entirely different matter, and ends up stranded with her.”
While viewers will recall Stahma previously claiming that she is the only woman in town that bordello proprietor Kenya will walk up to on the street and hug, there is the chance that was a Castithan-white lie. As series cocreator Kevin Murphy told her at the time, “You never know if what Stahma is saying is true,” the actress relates. “She said that to Amanda in that moment to achieve an objective. So I don’t think it’s like she and Kenya are buddies. I don’t think Stahma is close to anybody.”
WHAT A GIRL NEED/WANTS
But is that about to change? After all, a promo for this episode got sites such as AfterEllen buzzing with a glimpse of Stahma in a sumptuous Need/Want bed, and Kenya in very close proximity. Murray is tight-lipped on what transpires ‘tween the ladies, only saying, “I don’t think you ever really know what Stahma’s Need/Want is — and that’s one of the interesting things about playing her.”
All told, Murray enthuses that Stahma is a “really fun” role to inhabit, an “interesting mix of archetypes and complexity. She’s otherworldly yet also kind of strangely familiar, because there are cultural and time clashes going on in her make-up. Sometimes I feel like I’m in a Shakespearean play or something.”
Plus, she always keep viewers and the Defiance locals guessing. Take the aforementioned heart-to-heart with Amanda, which started off as a quiet confession of sorts but ultimately proved to be a savvy political overture benefitting her crime boss husband Datak. “She’s a steely woman, and though she behaves in a subservient way because it’s her culture, I don’t think that’s her nature at all — and that’s confusing for the audience.”
Defiance fans who stay tuned to Syfy will get a second helping of Murray when Warehouse 13‘s H.G. Wells “gets pulled into a case out of necessity, though she’s not working directly with the Warehouse anymore,” the actress previews. “She has maybe been looking for a slightly quieter life, so it’s interesting when she meets the gang again.”
Curiously, on the same night that Defiance teases a new bond between Stahma/Kenya, Murray says Warehouse 13 will “definitely” touch on a preexisting subtext between H.G. and Myka (played by Joanne Kelly, who previously has vouched for such a vibe between the women). Murray however notes that the mutual fondness is not a prurient appeal to fanboys and -girls but instead comes from a place of reverence.
“Because H.G. comes from another era, and she was probably part of the suffragette movement, and she lived in a time when she had to write under her brother’s name, she might be slightly less tolerant of Pete’s roguish charm. In fact, she kind of rolls her eyes at it.” Conversely, “She has more of an affinity for Myka because she in many ways is the embodiment of the freedoms H.G. wishes she’d had in a time that couldn’t give them to her.”
Additionally, “Myka has been kind of struggling with her own things over the past four seasons, and I think H.G. would have a compassion for that,” Murray observes.
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As for how Warehouse 13 builds on that Sapphic subtext tonight, Murray says that she and Kelly did their collective best to get people talking.
“There was a scene that Joanne and I were quite excited about, but looking for more from it. But the show creator was like, ‘No, no, this is it,’” she shares. “But when he left for a meeting or something, Joanna and I were left on our own on the set, so we certainly mined it for all the subtext we could find!”