Since premiering on Netflix earlier this month, Sweet Tooth, based on the DC comics by Jeff Lemire and executive produced by Robert Downey, Jr., has captivated the world.
With fans crossing their fingers for a second season, Supanova caught up with stars Christian Convery (Gus) and Stefania LaVie Owen (Bear) to unpack the stunning series.
Why do you think that people are loving the show so much?
Christian: “It’s nothing like you’ve ever seen before. Sure, it’s a sci-fi and there’s a virus that kills off most of the population, but there’s the twist of ‘hybrids’ in it. And that’s why I think lots of people are watching it. And also because it’s an adventure about hope, friendship and love in a dystopian world, while at the same time being a really dark show and a bright show.”
Stefania: “I think that people are connecting with the show because the past couple of years have been really tough for most people, and there’s been a lot of change and people are re-jigging their lives or have lost things, and there’s just a lot going on. And I feel like the show deals with those tough subjects, and it’s very relatable because we’re all going through this change in these tough times.
“But the show also brings so much light and hope and kind of paves a positive way of seeing something like a pandemic where, depending on your perspective, you could treat it as something that just is the worst thing in the world or an opportunity for change.
“And I feel like even my character, Bear, she uses that opportunity to try and change what she believes needs to grow and develop. And she builds an army to really help hybrids and to share her message. I think it’s a show that’s dark, like Christian said, but has a lot of hope and friendship and love.”
How do you relate to your characters?
Christian: “So me and Gus are the exact same person besides for the fact that he’s a deer. We both have an amazing sweet tooth. We both love cakes. Second, we both love running and jumping. Three, I’m just going to stop the list here because if I don’t, I will get carried away.
Stefania: “It’s true. [Christian] would like jump around in-between takes. When we had to do scenes outside, he’d be on the trees or running around somewhere eating candy.
“For me, I relate to Bear in a lot of ways, and one of them is just being in, I think they call us, Generation Z. There’s a lot of anger and frustration about how the world is and we want things to change. And there’s a lot of passion in this generation to make a difference, whether it’s about global warming, animals, whether it’s about race, Indigenous cultures, the list could go on.
“Bear is an activist, and I feel that in my blood as well where I feel that passion and anger about things. And I feel like when I read that character, I could really see that parallel. And especially with what was happening in the world while we were filming and watching the news sometimes, I’d get very sad about what was going on and I used it for the character.”
The sets and locations are amazing. What was it like filming in New Zealand?
Christian: “You know, getting to be there in New Zealand was incredible because it has all these different places; you have the countryside, you have the city, you have all these different places that really make Sweet Tooth‘s fairytale-like aspects come alive on screen. So that’s what I really did love about filming on location there.
Stefania: “Usually when films or shows are set in an apocalypse, it’s quite dark and gloomy, but Sweet Tooth, you’re in an apocalypse, but it’s so beautiful. We filmed in Queenstown as well, which is so dramatic and beautiful, but also the crew made the most incredible sets that were indoors – these forests and these incredible cabins. And so it was also not only the dramatic New Zealand landscape, but the artistry of these Kiwis that built the landscapes and the sets.”
Did you get to keep anything from the set?
Christian: “The mould of me. A mould is when they layer paste and glue over you to get an outline of your head, which is the skull cap right [behind me]. So that’s a little souvenir from getting that done.”
Stefania: “So that’s literally you?”
Christian: “That is literally me being under paste for an hour straight breathing little pinpricks.”
Dedication to your craft. How about you, Stefania? Did you get to keep anything?
Stefania: “You know, I was going to, but then I decided with the head of costume, Amanda [Neales], to leave it with the character because we’re hoping for [season two] and I wanted to leave it with Bear.”
‘Sweet Tooth’ season one is now streaming on Netflix
LEAD IMAGE: Stefania Lavie Owen as Bear and Christian Convery as Gus in Sweet Tooth. Image by Kirsty Griffin/Netflix