The incredible Jennifer Cheon truly KILLS on Van Helsing and is kind enough in real life to give us behind the scenes scoop!
What do you think fans love most about your character Ivory on Van Helsing?
I think they love how powerful and ferocious she is. They like to see her fight, and I love fighting as her.
What was your training like for the role?
I train pretty hard…it is a super physical role. It’s definitely a never ending process. Naturally I could just have the life of a house cat, but when you are portraying a Vampire like Ivory, it’s true what they say, there is no rest for the wicked.
Are there any on set secrets you can spill?
I can let you in on a little BTS secret. In the trailer you see Ivory holding up a beating heart. That heart was connected to many wires that were then weaved through my costume into a battery pack that was around my waist. And the little switch that would turn the heart on and off was on one of my belts. I had to have that heart attached to me throughout the entire filming of that scene. So worth it…our FX / props / make up team came together and gave us an amazing final product!
We get to see some of Ivory’s past in season 2 through flashbacks. Did you create any backstories for the character yourself that you can share?
I did..it was kind of trippy how the writers and myself where on the same page about her. I knew she must have been tortured in order for her soul to have so much anger. So when I got the script and learned that she was burned at the stake, I thought that made a lot of sense. I loved those flash backs because it humanized her.
If there is a season 4 (our fingers are crossed!!), how do you hope Ivory evolves as a character?
I love that she is considered a villain so I don’t want that to change. I like finding her truth behind seemingly “evil” decisions. I just hope that if there is a season 4: A) That she will stick around & B) That we get to see her in more action sequences. Filming the fighting sequences are one of my favourite things about being her!
Why is gender equality, LGBT rights and anti-bullying so important to you?
Because they are a community of people that get so much hate, and discrimination. For no good reason at all. I hate that most humans tend to reject things they don’t understand or are afraid to accept them because it might make them have to re think their entire world. I get that, but the way we treat each other is so important for the longevity of our human race. If we don’t start showing each other more love and respect we are going to end up in a really scary place. I mean it’s already happening. So those of you out there, and you know who you are. Just stop it.
How do you feel your Mexican and Korean heritage shaped you as an actor?
It has given me an understanding of what it’s like to be misunderstood or a loner. It has given me a lot of resources to finding characters.
Do you have a dream role you wish you to play?
I would love to be Catwoman. I would also love to be a part of the 007 franchise. A dream role for me would be one that has a lot of action / fighting sequences, but also have complex characters, along with a story you can completely get lost in. Really sink into each scene.
And lastly a fun one, what are your favorite Mexican and Korean dishes?
Ooooo that’s a tough question. I love Korean BBQ. Unfortunately I am GF..so it narrows down where I can have my favourite Korean dish, but it’s Korean pancake. And on the Mexican side, it’s my mom’s enchiladas. I like it in other places, but nothing beats my mom’s version…okay now you made me hungry!
Photography: Jeffery Fountain
Makeup: Caitlin Krenz with Opus Beauty
Hair: Felicia Rials
Stylist: Lauren Taylor