ComingSoon Associate Editor Spencer Legacy spoke to Shoresy co-creator Jacob Tierney, Consulting Producer Kaniehtiio Horn, and star Harlan Blayne Kytwayhat about the series. Shoresy debuts on Hulu on May 27, 2022.
“Foul-mouthed, chirp-serving, mother-loving Shoresy join the Sudbury Bulldogs of the Northern Ontario Senior Hockey Organization (The NOSHO) on a quest to never lose again,” says the official series synopsis.
Spencer Legacy: Jacob, as co-creator of Letterkenny, what made Shoresy stand out as a character who should have his own show?
Jacob Tierney: Jared [Keeso, co-creator of Letterkenny and Shoresy and actor for Shoresy] had an idea. That’s really it. Jared had an idea for a show about Shoresy. Clearly, we like hockey. We love hockey on our show and he wanted to do a hockey show and Shoresy was kind of the road to that. So that was how it came about.
Kaniehtiio, you have extensive experience both on the camera side and behind the scenes for both Letterkenny And now Shoresy, do you have a role that you prefer out of the two?
Kaniehtiio Horn: No, because they’re so different. Coming onto Shoresy as consulting producer was really cool because I started realizing that all of this experience that I had as an actress for almost 20 years, I was exercising these other muscles now and still getting to be creative and still getting to see all of the casting, getting to help design some of the characters’ wardrobe. And I got to use all of these other muscles that I didn’t realize that I could flex.
Harlan, Sanguinet is one of the few people who really willingly puts up with Shoresy as a close friend. How natural was the chemistry between you and Jared, and how did that contribute to the way you played your character?
Harlan Blayne Kytwayhat: Oh, even when we first got on set, it just felt right away like this guy can be my older brother if he wanted to be. And so I feel like that carries on to Shoresy and Sanguinet in the show. Yeah, that’s where I feel like we stand with that.
Jacob, as Canadian as Letterkenny is, Shoresy is even more so because it revolves around hockey. So how difficult is it to kind of convey that distinctly Canadian identity with in a sea of American shows?
Jacob Tierney: We’re just doing it. It’s like that’s the show we made, you know? There’s no attempt to make it Canadian anymore than the attempt is to actively reflect what hockey is like in Northern Ontario. You’re gonna have French people. You’re gonna have Indigenous people. That’s the way it’s going to be. There’s no larger agenda than that to it. And then there’s always a part of us that are like, when we release something new … I guess we felt this way when we launched Letterkenny, for the first time in the States, we were like, “will people care about this? Will they give a shit?”
And there’s a part of me that feels the same way about Shoresy, but I trust our fanbase. They’ve been along for quite a ride in America. They seem to love the show. So hopefully they’ll love Shoresy too. Or they can just keep imagining we can do a dubbed version where they just say football every time you say hockey.
Kaniehtiio, how different is working on this show compared to Letterkenny? Was it more or less challenging?
Kaniehtiio Horn: Again on Letterkenny, I just come in and do my Tanis thing and get out of there. But this one, I got to sit behind the monitors and, to be honest, it’s not that I don’t know anything about hockey, but it’s like … I come from a family of all women, none of us played hockey. We did play sports. So I am into sports. If you tell me to cheer for a certain team, I’ll be like, “okay, so that’s who I’m like gunning for.”
Jacob Tierney: You just want to pick a side!
Kaniehtiio Horn: When there was like things written about I’m like, “I have no input on this. I trust all of you.” I was more to just help guide the Indigenous representation. I think because of Jared and Jacob’s experience with me on Letterkenny having me come over to Shoresy, was just sort of easy. I didn’t have to say “no” to anything. It was more like,” Hey, what if you do this? And then maybe add a little bit of this and that will make it like super authentically Indigenous,” you know? Because of working with me before, I think they already get it
You can tell it was very important to have that indigenous representation. Was that difficult to kind of do or did it come very naturally?
Kaniehtiio Horn: I think it came pretty naturally to them already from the time spent on Letterkenny. Like there were things where I got to get beaded medallions made, or I was like, watch, we’re going to get Harlan dressed up when he gets dressed up, oh my God, the women are going to want him because he is gonna have all his hair in braids, and have a nice big medallion. And I was like, trust me on that. and so those are some of the things.
I wanted to make sure that it was authentic in that way. And like I’d said to some other people, what is exciting about this show is that it’s just Indigenous people being Indigenous people, playing hockey. There’s not some big revolution happening. The revolution in itself is just that we’re get to be us. We get to just be there, you know? And we’re part of the landscape that is Canada and that is hockey and just allow us to be there. It would be weird if we weren’t, you know?
Jacob Tierney: Yeah. I think that’s an important point is that if you were going to tell a story about hockey in Northern Ontario and you didn’t have any Indigenous people in it, you would be specifically eliminating them from that. They’re there, you know? That’s part of the makeup of it. It would be like trying to tell a hockey story in this country without having any French people involved or you’d be like, “well, that’s not a thing we all know that’s not a thing.”
Exactly to Tio’s point. People are just there, that’s the makeup. And something that we’ve always taken a lot of pride in, but also taken seriously as a responsibility because God knows few other white people will put Indigenous people on TV. So it’s something that matters to us. Harlan’s the one I regret though, he’s not in this room is he? Oh! Harlan, hi!
Harlan Blayne Kytwayhat: Oh, hey!
Jacob Tierney: Oh, that’s awkward. You can’t — you’re — I was on mute. Wait, never mind. Go ahead, ask Harlan a question.
Harlan, how similar are you in Sanguinet? Is the character informed by you or was it written already?
Harlan Blayne Kytwayhat: I think there’s a good balance between both. I tried to do a little bit like of the Letterkenny thing. I remember in one of my auditions and it was like, no, Sanguinet’s a little more shy and reserved. I was like, “oh, so I just play myself then? Okay.” So there wasn’t really too much to try to make that … except the fact that Sanguinet has all these ladies looking at him and I got maybe one ,and that’s maybe one, maybe
Jacob, what made the Big Nickel the place that made sense for this show?
Jacob Tierney: We’ve been working in the Big Nickel.
Kaniehtiio Horn: We live there.
Jacob Tierney: Yeah, seriously. We feel like we live there. So it was actually just kind of finally surrendering to where we are, I suppose. And also, I think that we both felt confident that we could film this city. We know this city, we trust ourselves with this place. We’ve been literally basically spending every summer and some winters there for seven, eight years now. So Sudbury chooses you, you don’t choose Sudbury.
Kaniehtiio Horn: Also I think the cool thing is Sudbury is a character, like it’s a character I would say in the show. Because it’s interesting enough
Jacob Tierney: Yeah, it is. I mean, until you’ve been there, you don’t know.