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Actor Greg Bryk on leadership, love, and witches in 'Bitten' season 2

In season one of Syfy’s werewolf supernatural thriller Bitten, Elena Michaels, the only female werewolf in the world, tried to lead a normal life away from the demands of her werewolf family—her pack. But when renegade mutts threatened the pack’s way of life, Elena returned to the family home of Stonehaven to defend them. There, she confronted Clay Danvers, the lover she left behind—and the man who made her a werewolf.

Eventually, Elena discovered Clay had turned her into a werewolf in order to protect her from his father, Jeremy Danvers, the pack alpha. When the renegade mutts attacked Stonehaven in the season finale, Elena, Clay, Jeremy, and the rest of the pack defended their territory in a bloody battle to the death.

In this exclusive interview, actor Greg Bryk, who plays pack alpha Jeremy Danvers, took some time to chat with the EW Community about what to expect in season two of Bitten. Let’s begin!

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY COMMUNITY: Where does season two pick up? Will we see fallout from that epic season one-ending battle?

GREG BRYK: It picks up three days later. Our adrenaline hasn’t even come down from the battle at Stonehaven. Malcolm has escaped, obviously. Elena is devastated from the trauma she’s just gone through. The alpha council has gathered from around the world and come to Stonehaven to question Jeremy’s ruling principals and the way he governs his pack. They threaten to take the pack away from him if he doesn’t deliver Malcolm to the council. And then we have witches that emerge, so it’s a spectacular trouble that the pack is in from all sides. For someone whose sole responsibility is to navigate troubled waters for the pack and to keep it safe and keep us together, all of these elements make it a very trying season for Jeremy. He has to draw on reserves to deal with the complex relationship with Malcolm and also this overwhelming power. The magic of the witches is difficult for us to contend with because we seem helpless in the face of what is an awesome power.

Bitten goes all witchy-woman this season. Has the pack always been aware of other supernatural creatures?

No, not at all! The witches reveal themselves to us and know so much about us, and we don’t know anything about them. Jeremy can deal with any kind of physical conflict, and imposing your will and might on someone else. He understands that field of battle. In one of the early episodes, one of the witches picks him up and makes him float through the air. The pack is helpless against the magic. It was such a male-dominated set, with obviously Laura [Vandervoort, who plays Elena Michaels] being this bit of light in a very dark, atmospheric world. The three witches, Ruth, Paige, and Savannah, brought this great female wisdom and power to the show, and we’re forced to recognize and honor it.

Is that one of the challenges Jeremy will have to manage with the werewolf council—the fact that these witches know so much about werewolves?

Very much so—particularly the youngest witch, Savannah. When the other alphas realize she knows about us, Jeremy is tasked with killing her, and makes a decision that on his land, in his pack, in his territory, he make the decisions. It is the coming together of worlds; I think the show very interestingly deals with leadership qualities and types of leadership. It moves from a patriarchy to a more intuitive style of leadership which acknowledges the feminine; it acknowledges the maternal and also has a nurturing quality. Those styles are definitely at the wedge of a lot of conflict this year.

Sounds like the overall world of the Bitten landscape is really being expanded.

Yeah, you have the global politics of all the other pack alphas coming together, and then you have something that almost transcends our dimensional understanding of reality—because the magic and the witches blows us into other realms, other possibilities. There’s an urgency to the earthly struggle, but then there’s this magical unknown quality, this uncertainty that also creates this enormous pressure psychologically because it’s unknown.

That’s a lot to deal with!

No kidding! And for a lot of this season, the pack is physically not together. We spent so much time forging a bond in season one; this year, we’re torn apart, and it puts the strength of those relationships to the test. For me, as a father, I always feel safest when I know where my kids are and I can protect them from whatever. But then you have to allow them to go and trust that they’re going to make good decisions, that they’re going to keep themselves safe. That is Jeremy’s burden this year.

You’re one of those, “Hey, it’s that guy!” actors. I can always turn on a genre show and be fairly confident that you’re going to pop up in it. But you’ve said publicly that Bitten in particular is a show that has a deep, personal effect on you.

I don’t think it’s an accident that the role came into my life when it did. I think you come to a point in your life where you start to wonder what does it mean to be a man, to be a father, to be a leader in your community. I went on this sort of personal journey, during which I started to volunteer in the inner city and my community, and helping out a lot of young men who were fatherless and at risk. So this idea of mentorship or leadership, of a positive masculine energy, was at the forefront of my consciousness as a person exploring. Then this role came along, which allowed me to have a vessel for that exploration and then take on a mentorship role with the young actors on the set and forge those bonds. And then also Jeremy deals with: What does it mean to be a leader, what does it mean to be a man? How do we deal with the violence and the need for control, for power? How do we learn to listen? How do we learn to be quiet? How do we learn to yield when yielding is necessary? So—I don’t say this glibly—the role has made me a better person because I felt that I had to become a fuller man in order to play it.

I know there’s that fantastical, thrilling element to Bitten and it’s a show about werewolves, but it’s also a show about family and about people. For me, it’s about a man becoming the fullness of what it can mean to be a man and a leader. The stakes are always so high as well, and you’re dealing with these prime emotions. I think the audience enjoys the thrill ride of it and the suspense and escapist elements, but I think we recognize truth too. We all, on some level, want to be loved. We’re social animals. We want the idea that someone loves us unconditionally. Someone will fight and protect and die for us if need be. Someone sees us for what we really are and loves us.

Check back on Tuesday for part two of our conversation with Greg Bryk. There, we talk about lost human mothers, werewolf babies, and the evolution of Elena.

Season two of Bitten premieres on Friday, April 17, at 8 p.m. on Syfy.

TV Families | EW.com
Mark Harris
February 23, 1990 AT 05:00 AM EST

The Bradys are back, with a passel of 90’s hassles. Do they represent the typical American Family? Did they ever? Who does? Stare and compare!

Kind Of Family
TheBradyBunch 1969-74: Blended
The Bradys 1990-: Enormous
Married…With Children 1987-: Postnuclear
Thirtysomething 1987-: Extended
The Flintstones 1960-66: Modern Stone Age

Family Pet
The Brady Bunch: Tiger
The Bradys: Alice
Married…With Children: Buck
Thirtysomething: Grendel
The Flintstones: Dino

Typical Guest Star
The Brady Bunch: Davey Jones
The Bradys: There’s no room
Married…With Children: Sam Kinison
Thirtysomething: Carly Simon
The Flintstones: Ann Margrock

Expression Of Joy
The Brady Bunch: Groovy!
The Bradys: Ritual hugging
Married…With Children: ”Oh, great.”
Thirtysomething: ”Of course I’m happy for you. Really. But what about me? Why does it always have to be about you?
The Flintstones: ”Yabba-dabba doo

Expression Of Rage

The Brady Bunch: ”Hmmm…”
The Bradys: ”If you back away from something you really want, then you’re a quitter!” (the angriest any Brady has ever been)
Married…With Children: ”Aaagh, God, take me from this miserable life!”
Thirtysomething: ”I’m not angry, OK?”
The Flintstones: ”Willllmaaaa!”

Typical Problem
The Brady Bunch: Marcia and her rival both want to be the prom queen.
The Bradys: Bobby gets paralyzed.
Married…With Children: Al doesn’t buy his family Christmas presents.
Thirtysomething: Nancy gets cancer.
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney are staying out too late.

Typical Solution
The Brady Bunch: The prom committee decides to have two queens.
The Bradys: Bobby gets married.
Married…With Children: They hate him.
Thirtysomething: If only we knew…
The Flintstones: Wilma and Betty decide to follow them.

House Style
The Brady Bunch: Conservative but mod, circa ’69
The Bradys: Conservative but mod, circa ’90
Married…With Children: Roach motel
Thirtysomething: Enviable
The Flintstones: Suburban cave

Clothing Style
The Brady Bunch: Early Osmonds
The Bradys: Made in the USA
Married…With Children: Flammable fabrics
Thirtysomething: Eclectic earth tones; nice ties
The Flintstones: One-piece

Most Annoying Character
The Brady Bunch: Alice’s cousin Emma, the substitute housekeeper (too strict)
The Bradys: Marcia’s husband, Wally (chronically unemployable)
Married…With Children: Steve (supercilious)
Thirtysomething: Ellyn (goes through Hope’s drawers, babbles, changes hairstyle every other week, generally mistreats her friends)
The Flintstones: Mr. Slate (bossy)

Attitude Toward Sex
The Brady Bunch: Never heard of it
The Bradys: Omigod — even Cindy does it!
Married…With Children: Peg: Yes. Al: No.
Thirtysomething: They didn’t get all those kids by accident.
The Flintstones: Prehistoric

How Spouses Fight
The Brady Bunch: They don’t.
The Bradys: Infrequently, but it happens
Married…With Children: Tooth and nail
Thirtysomething: They stop talking
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney go bowling while Wilma and Betty max out their charge cards.

How Kids Get Into Trouble
The Brady Bunch: Greg takes a puff of a cigarette.
The Bradys: Carol’s grandson steals her business cards and sticks them in the spokes of Bobby’s wheelchair.
Married…With Children: By committing felonies
Thirtysomething: Ethan plays with a forbidden toy rocket.
The Flintstones: They don’t.

How They’re Punished

The Brady Bunch: ”It’s not what you did, honey — it’s that you couldn’t come to us.”
The Bradys ”Next time, ask.”
Married…With Children: By the authorities
Thirtysomething: It blows up in his face.
The Flintstones: They’re not.

What Family Does For Fun
The Brady Bunch: Takes special three-part vacations to Hawaii and the Grand Canyon
The Bradys: Has flashbacks
Married…With Children: Exchanges insults
Thirtysomething: Talks
The Flintstones: Attends showings of The Monster at the Bedrock Drive-In

Unsolved Mysteries
The Brady Bunch: How exactly did Carol’s first husband and Mike’s first wife die?
The Bradys: What’s with Marcia’s new face and Bobby’s blonde hair
Married…With Children: What kind of hair spray does Peg use?
Thirtysomething: Why did Nancy take Elliot back? What do Gary and Susanna see in each other?
The Flintstones: How does Barney’s shirt stay on if he has no shoulders? Where do Fred and Wilma plug in their TV?

Worst Behavior
The Brady Bunch: The Brady children once made Alice feel under-appreciated.

The Bradys: Marcia’s son Mickey watches Bobby’s car-crash tape for fun.
Married…With Children: The Bundy’s kill their neighbor’s dog.
Thirtysomething: Elliot has an affair and talks about it.
The Flintstones: Characters don’t wear under-clothes.

Best Reason To Watch
The Brady Bunch: This is what life should be.
The Bradys: They’re all grown-ups now!
Married…With Children: Terry Rakolta hates it.
Thirtysomething (Tie) This is your life. This isn’t your life.
The Flintstones: This is what life might have been.

Best Reason Not To Watch
The Brady Bunch: Blurred vision from rerun overdoses.
The Bradys: You’re all grown-ups now.
Married…With Children: She has a point.
Thirtysomething: After a while, you think it’s real.
The Flintstones: The Simpsons

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