If you’re a fan of prime-time dramas, it’s time to give the Western series Wild Roses a try. This series, which aired for a single season in Canada, is the tale of two families who find themselves vying for a single plot of land. But of course, it’s more complicated than just that. To get a little more insight into the show — and the drama — we asked co-creator Amy Cameron and co-executive producer Jordy Randall to tell us more about Wild Roses, which made its U.S. debut here on Hulu last month. — Rebecca Harper (), Editor
Hulu: Since Wild Roses is new to Hulu and most American viewers, can you introduce the concept to us?
Amy Cameron: Wild Roses is a one-hour drama, a Shakespearean tale of family loyalties, love, betrayal and alliances forged on two Southern Alberta cattle ranches.
Jordy Randall: [It’s about] two families, the wealthy McGregors and the debt-ridden Henrys, [who] clash over land, love, and loyalty. Their stories tangle against the backdrop of boomtown Calgary, Alberta, where oil rich executives play at being cowboys and the surrounding ranchlands are in danger of being consumed by the new-West gold rush.
What led to the concept?
Cameron: There’s the grand vision stuff: the world of oil had gone crazy, prices were through the roof, and the money that was pouring into the once traditional ranching area around Calgary was redefining the lines between rich and poor. We wanted to explore that tension between the traditional and the new, the urban landscape and the rural reality.
But basically, I wanted to write about families and sisters, in particular. Two families who were destined to fight, fall in love, and help and hinder one another.
What US shows would you compare it to, if any?
Cameron: It’s essentially a modern Dallas. We also referred to to Brothers and Sisters and Friday Night Lights in terms of tone and handling a large cast.
Can you tell us about the McGregors and the Henrys? What’s their connection? What’s their relationship like now?
Randall: Patriarch David McGregor rules not only his family, but McGregor Strategic, an oil exploration company, as well as Montrose, his sprawling ranchland estate that has been in his family for generations. Still it is not enough. David has set his sights on Rivercross, a small but stunning parcel of land left to the Henrys by David’s father upon his death. The Henrys are determined to hold onto their homestead, relying on their wit, passion and unwavering loyalty to the land and each other.
Cameron: [David is] smart, ruthless, stern and an excellent, if devious, businessman. He’s was an indifferent husband and is a terrible father – more interested in his son’s accomplishments in business or in rodeo than he is in their actual lives. He is closest to his daughter, Rebecca, who is made in his image.
Tell us about the Henry girls – what are they like?
Randall: Kate is all business. She runs the ranch and thinks that everything would fall apart without her, and she’s probably right. Lucy is a free spirit who is trying to prove herself in her own right. She wants to live life to the max and feels there are alternative ways to prove her worth other than working on the family ranch. Charlotte, the youngest Henry girl, is in full rebellion mode. She’s a teenager who’s experiencing everything for the first time and making plenty of mistakes as she goes.
The show was shot on location in Calgary. Tell us about the location — the scenery is beautiful.
Cameron: The beauty of Alberta is like another character in the show – we really wanted to highlight the gorgeous landscape and also capture the urban flash of Calgary. So many films remembered for their stunning vistas, from Brokeback Mountain to Unforgiven to Legends of the Fall, were filmed in Alberta. Truthfully, we wanted to show off a little bit.
Every TV dynasty has skeletons in the closet. Can you tease some of the family secrets that might be unveiled early on in the show?
Randall: Let’s just say that relationships and events from the past always find a way of resurfacing.
Wild Roses wrapped after one season. If you had the opportunity to continue the show, where would the story take you?
Randall: Without giving too much away, we would answer the many questions that arose from the finale’s cliffhanger and follow the characters as they deal with the fallout caused by those shocking events.
Dylan Neal (who played Dillon) is among the more familiar faces on the show (at least here in the US) since he’s appeared on a host of popular shows, including Smallville. Can you tell us more about the cast? What are they up to these days?
Cameron: Michelle Harrison, who played Kate Henry, appeared in V and Supernatural.
Adam MacDonald, who played Peter McGregor, just [wrote and directed] his third short film called In The Dominican. He also had a role in Rookie Blue, a new ABC cop drama that will be aired in June 2010.
Amy Lalonde, who plays Rebecca McGregor, also had a recurring role in ABC’s Rookie Blue.
Clare Stone, who plays Charlotte Henry, just finished her final year in high school.
Thanks, Amy and Jordy, for telling us a little more about the show!