Robin Dunne: No Safe Haven on “Sanctuary”

Robin_SanctuaryAs Dr. Will Zimmerman on Syfy’s gothic series Sanctuary, Robin Dunne plays a forensic psychiatrist whose belief in supernatural explanations for many crimes has been ridiculed and discredited by his mainstream peers. But he finds a useful and welcome home in the Old City sanctuary for mutants (“Abnormals”) good and bad run by the mysterious, ageless Dr. Helen Magnus (Amanda Tapping). The show is groundbreaking in that it is the first television production to be shot almost entirely in green screen, which is certainly a challenge for the actors on top of exploring a world of strange and seemingly impossible beings and things. The second season starts in October, and I spoke to Dunne recently about the bumpy ride that the fans (and the cast) have in store for them. (Click here for my Amanda Tapping Q&A.)

So you’re enjoying the ride so far?
Yeah. We’ve been on hiatus for a while, so I feel like a ball player who wants to get back on the field and play. We had such a great time with season one, and I think it’s just going to get better and better with every episode.

How do you feel you’re similar to your character Will, and what have you learned from him so far?
I guess the main thing is that Will is a guy who gets involved in these things and gets presented with these choices, and against his better judgment goes with the dangerous choice. Magnus says there’s this world, the Sanctuary, do you want to come in? It’s going to be crazy, and your life is going to be threatened on a daily basis, but it’ll be interesting. He inevitably chooses that, and I think there’s a correlation there between what we’re doing in this business and particularly what we’re trying to do with this show. Martin Wood, Damian Kindler and Amanda Tapping went out on a limb in creating this show and took a risk, and we all went for the ride believing in it. I think there’s this similarity between what’s going on in real life and with the characters. And what have I learned from Will? Just try to be as understanding at all times and don’t be afraid to use a gun, if you have to. Will’s a guy whose mind is his weapon, but there gets to a point where he has to defend himself because he gets himself into these hairy situations.


Robin Dunne with his co-star Amanda Tapping.
I hope I look as good as she does when I'm 157.
(Photo courtesy of Syfy.)

Are there any interesting new characters or plot twists coming up in season two?
The closest I can tell you is that it’s going to get really complex, and the stakes are really high for these characters. They were in season one, but in reading the first few scripts of season two I see it’s gotten really crazy. There’s some heavy stuff in the two-hour opener that I think fans are really going to be blown away by. This adhesive that keeps them all together, this belief, gets rattled a little bit, and I think the characters are going to really struggle to hold on to what it is they’re doing and what the idea of the Sanctuary really is and try to hold true to that.

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