Up-and-coming Canadian actor Steve Lund stars as Nick Sorrentino in Syfy’s new werewolf series Bitten, but it’s probably not the first time you’ve seen him in a Sci-Fi role. You may recognize Lund from his run as The Colorado Kid on the hit supernatural drama Haven, or his appearances on shows like The CW’s Beauty & The Beast and Syfy’s Defiance. He even jokes he’ll become “that guy who only works on Syfy shows,” but as far as I can tell his career will be much more prolific than that!
I recently had the privilege of speaking with Lund, and since our interview I’m itching to see him in action. With the release of Bitten just around the corner, I have no doubt I’ll see him nonstop streaming through my facebook newsfeed this time next year. He has all the makings for your next obsession—he’s talented, he’s got his whole career ahead of him, he’s charming, hilarious, and he’s got poster-perfect hair!
Find out more about Steve Lund and what to look forward to when Bitten premieres in an exclusive interview here on the The Daily Quirk.
The Daily Quirk: Can you start by telling readers what Bitten is all about?
Steve Lund: Bitten is a werewolf series, based on the only remaining female named Elena Michaels [Laura Vandervoort], and she’s a werewolf that was bitten against her will, by a man that she was in love with at one point in her life, but didn’t know was a werewolf. Then she stays with the pack for a while, but the temptation of a normal human life got the best of her and she tried to emancipate herself and live in the human world, as a human, but with obviously a big secret. While living in Toronto with her boyfriend who has no idea she’s a werewolf, she’s sent back to the pack to help them with a sort of coup d’état that was being orchestrated and she has the keen sense to catch the bad guys. So where the series picks up, she makes her trip back to the pack after being away from us for a year.
TDQ: So, what attracted you to the role of Nick Sorrentino?
SL: Well, Nick is a little bit more of a fun-loving guy, from the other werewolves who don’t really have as much of a sense of humor about themselves, so I kind of related to Nick in that regard, for sure. I initially read for the part of Clay, but quickly realized that I just wasn’t masculine enough, unfortunately. When the role of Nick came around, it certainly clicked a lot better for me.
TDQ: It takes a real man to admit that. So when you got the script, did you know you wanted in right away?
SL: Yeah, definitely. When I got the script I was also given the bible for the show. Any new series has a bible—basically all the back story that you need to know. It’s pretty much just like pages and pages of history and all that stuff. So it’s one of the only shows when I auditioned for during the pilot season in LA that had all that information, so there was so much to go from. Also the fact that it’s based on a novel series was like kibble for an actor, you know? All that information is really, really helpful to have. So upon reading the first script, I knew it was shot in Toronto, that was something I wanted to do as well, because it’s sort of been my home for the last couple of years. If I were to look back on my first series, you know my largest role to date, that I’d want to be home, and that worked out.
TDQ: As you mentioned, Bitten is based on Kelley Armstrong’s Otherworld series. How closely does the show follow the books?
SL: It’s pretty accurate. They definitely have a good handle on things, and Kelley Armstrong herself has said she has full confidence in the writers, producers, and all those people in charge of the adaptation. There are a couple key things that happen in the books that don’t happen in the series—I don’t want to spoil anything for you, but we believe it’s for the betterment of the tv series. There were some great characters we wanted to expand upon, but there were a couple small things we didn’t adhere to. Greg Bryk who plays Jeremy doesn’t have a drop of Japanese in him, but in the book he’s half Japanese, so I think a lot of people were upset about that, but as soon as you see him a few minutes on the screen, you’ll forget about all of that, as well as see that he’s the greatest man of all times.
TDQ: Since Nick comes directly from the books, was there any additional pressure in taking the part of a character the audience already knows and loves so well?
SL: Definitely. There’s always going to be people that hold so closely and have such a loyalty to the book series, so when they see small changes, they feel as though they’ve been wronged in a way. But I think that we’ve done a pretty good job in the casting process. I’m not just talking about myself—everybody else on the show is right off the page, basically. We’ve done a really good job of capturing those characters, and I don’t think anyone will be upset.
TDQ: How did you prepare for the part in terms of research, or werewolf training?
SL: Yeah, it’s always fun to think out of character like that. I’ve never done a werewolf, per se, but to incorporate all of those animalistic traits as an actor. I’m not exactly acting like a werewolf in my day to day life—that would be difficult to navigate, always biting people at restaurants. It’s definitely just considering your more primal instincts, having that unique intensity that an animal in the wild would have, trying to incorporate that into the works. I know that Greyston [Holt], who plays Clay, tells this story of how he went running in the woods naked in Vancouver to prepare for the role. I didn’t do anything that extreme. There’s a great video of it somewhere, I’m sure, we’ll try to find that for you guys.
TDQ: What is the dynamic like on the set of Bitten?
SL: Oh my god, jeez—it is so much fun. I have the time of my life. I tell everybody it’s the greatest experience to date for me as an actor. But it’s so much fun. Everybody—the writers, the actors, the crew—really just got along since day one.
Like I said, I wasn’t really too familiar with this world, in terms of like a long scale thing through the course of the season, how the dynamics work and everything. I kept hearing and was told often that this is the best crew and cast that people have worked with, and I’ve had nothing to compare that to, but people keep telling me—‘No it’s not normally like this. It’s not normally this good, it’s not normally this congruent, camaraderie isn’t always this high.’
TDQ: Sort of like a family.
SL: Yeah, it’s so much fun hanging out together. I miss those people on a day to day basis. Like I got to see some of them recently, and it was like hanging out with my family. For five months, their faces were the ones that I saw every day, and they were there for me, they made me laugh, I cried in their arms—it was very much a home away from home, I suppose. I recently went to New York City with one of my cast mates as well, Michael Xavier. Him and I went down there to take some acting classes, and it was cool—we’re like brothers, you know? We are in the show, and it hasn’t been difficult at all to incorporate that into our lives.
TDQ: So, what has been the biggest challenge in filming so far?
SL: Probably all the stunt work, I’ve never done anything like that before. And, you know, I thought at one point that I would be pretty good, because of all the Matrix reenactments that I used to do with my friends when I was like ten or twelve years old, but it’s a lot harder than you think to make it look natural. And I’m like this tall really lanky dude, and so watching myself back on camera, I just look really flimsy, and kind of just weird, like a bunch of limbs flailing. I look like one of those wacky inflatable arm balloon men at a used car sale lot. But we had an amazing stunt coordinator, and he worked with us diligently on everything, but to really make that look cool, like I knew what I was doing was certainly a challenge. You’ll see when you watch.
TDQ: I look forward to it! Can you tell me about the special effects used on the show?
SL: Yeah, well obviously—well, maybe not obviously, but—all of the werewolf stuff was computer generated, so that’s a huge part of it. A lot of people are anticipating and asking what the images are going to look like because when it is such a huge portion of the show, if it doesn’t look good people aren’t going to be too interested. So we were very fortunate to have a lot of time between shooting and our release date in January, to work out the kinks and to really take our time with the whole process and produce something that we’re all really happy with. Unfortunately, you don’t ever see me in wolf form in Season One, but that’s why I’m really hoping for a second season, so I can see what my wolf looks like. He’ll probably have super sweet hair.
TDQ: With so many shows currently featuring werewolves, what makes Bitten unique?
SL: We get asked this question a lot, and it’s hard to truly express it. I have such a love for this whole world and the people that we collaborated with to make this show, so to me it’s just that one feeling every time I think about it, what really separates it for me… It’s not a genre I’ve watched a whole lot of in the past, but I think that that feeling that I get will be communicated to all the viewers as well. This show is very family-oriented. Although it does feature beasts of an other worldly type, it’s very family driven. It’s very humane, and you’re seeing constantly themes of loyalty and love, and just that passion for life that I think a lot of people will be able to resonate with.
TDQ: You previously did a run on another Syfy series, Haven. What was it like playing the Colorado Kid?
SL: Ah, dude, it was so cool. That was my biggest role to date then, and when I booked that show I chose it because it was filmed in my home province of Nova Scotia. So I got to go home and live at home, eat home-cooked meals, see all my friends and do what I love. But also, the Colorado Kid was a character that was alluded to for three seasons, and nobody ever really explained who he was. The entire series is based on a Stephen King novella called The Colorado Kid, which is an unsolved John Doe murder case in the small town of Haven, so to be that character, there was a lot of excitement with the crew and the cast and all the viewers and everything. So it was a tall order, but it brought that energy to the part, and made it that much more fun to embody such a heralded character.
TDQ: It’s seems like the Haven cast would be a fun bunch to work with. Did you enjoy your time on the show?
SL: Absolutely. I’ve had a couple instances, a couple opportunities to run into a few of them. I worked with Lucas Bryant on another show called Beauty and the Beast. He was a dead body, and I was the medical examiner, so I was probing at him all day, which was pretty funny. I was poking at him, trying to get him to laugh. And also the executive producer Shawn Piller, he and I have kept in touch. He came out to visit the set of Bitten, partied with us at our wrap party, just hanging out, and we actually had dinner together a couple times in LA when I was down there. He, Laura [Vandervoort], who played my on-screen wife [in Haven], and I, so we all kept in touch which was really cool. So it was very much a family down there as well, and to get to work with all those friendly Nova Scotian and Atlantic types wasn’t a bad experience at all.
TDQ: In addition to being a regular on Haven, you’ve guest starred on other Sci-Fi themed shows, like Defiance and Lost Girl. Do you seek out those kind of science fiction and paranormal roles, or do they seem to find you?
SL: I just have the right hair for it. I don’t really go looking for any role in particular, just whenever they come around, you know I respond to them or I don’t. I just so happened that I land those Syfy shows. My hope is one day I can go to Comic-Con or some kind of science fiction convention of some sort and be known as that guy who only works on Syfy shows.
TDQ: So it’s something you want to pursue?
SL: Yeah, it’s a fun genre. It’s limitless, obviously. There’s always opportunities to do really fun stuff on Syfy, so I have no quarrels with it whatsoever. Thank you, Syfy, for giving me jobs.
TDQ: How do you like to spend your time when you’re not busy acting?
SL: I have a really nice community of friends here. We do a lot of fun things, see a lot of shows, musical shows, I see loads of movies—a couple a week. I play a lot of hockey as well. I do training and that sort of thing. I keep myself busy and ready, ready for that next job I guess. I’m actively searching for it obviously.
TDQ: We like to end things on a fun note, what would be one quirky or fun thing fans would be surprised to find out about you?
SL: I sing Whitney Houston songs at the top of my lungs in a falsetto to prepare for an audition.
TDQ: In front of people?
SL: No, normally in a private, sound-proof room.
TDQ: That’s what I would do.
SL: But I’m not ashamed or anything, it’s just part of my process. Especially if I have to be sexy for an audition, it really helps me get into that whole zone.
TDQ: And one more just for fun. You appeared on another werewolf show, Hemlock Grove, so we have to ask, who would win a fight: Hemlock’s resident werewolf Peter Rumancek or Nick Sorrentino?
SL: Oh my god, Nick, of course. No questions. Tell Peter I said that.
The Daily Quirk would like to thank Steve Lund for taking the time to chat! To find out more about Lund, you can “follow” him on Twitter and Instagram. And be sure to tune into Bitten premiering on Syfy January 13, at 10/9c!