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article image'Wynonna Earp' star Tim Rozon resurrects Doc Holliday Special

By A.R. Wilson     Apr 8, 2016 in Entertainment
Montreal actor Tim Rozon tells Digital Journal about bringing Doc Holliday to life on 'Wynonna Earp,' learning from comedy legends on 'Schitt's Creek,' and suffering from mustache withdrawal.
"These last three years have been the years of facial hair," Tim Rozon laughs.
Not only does the Montreal actor rock a full beard on the hit CBC comedy Schitt's Creek, now airing its second season on Pop TV in the U.S., he grew an epic mustache for his role as legendary gunslinger Doc Holliday on the new supernatural western Wynonna Earp, which airs Fridays at 10 p.m. on Syfy in the U.S. and Mondays at 9 p.m. on CHCH in Canada.
"When I first saw the old picture of him, I thought, 'That's a real big mustache,'" he recalls. "It took me about four and a half months to grow."
Rozon is near giddy when he calls from WonderCon in Los Angeles. A couple of days earlier, the Wynonna Earp cast was treated to a tour of IDW Publishing, which issues the Beau Smith comics the series is based on, and he's still buzzing from the thrill. "I've been a comic fan since I'm a kid," he gushes. "I've got a comic book collection at home. I've been waiting for this forever. Even when we got to go to San Diego and tour the IDW offices, I was taking pictures of the IDW sign, and everyone's like, 'What are you doing?' And I'm like, 'You don't understand, we're at IDW!' You know, we met Kevin Eastman, and I was freaking out, and Jim Lee came by to see us. I mean, these are the people I was freaking out for."
In truth, Rozon has been freaking out since he first found out Doc Holliday was up for grabs in Wynonna. "It's just one of those parts that I had to have," he says. "I knew I could play it. It's the one that had been waiting for me."
Not that landing his dream role didn't come with pressures. "I panicked," he laughs. "I mean, when I got the role, as elated as I was, I panicked because it's Doc Holliday, you know? It's a character people love and they do not want you to mess it up."
In movies, Holliday has been played by everyone from Kirk Douglas to Dennis Hopper to Val Kilmer, and Rozon was careful not to fall into mimicry when he brought the icon to the small screen. "I'd seen a lot of those performances and loved them," he explains. "I made a point of not going back because I wanted to do my own version of Doc."
As for his version of Holliday, he says, "I tried to make it a little funner than I think he's been done before."
Holliday cuts a mysterious figure early in the series. Crawling up from the botton of a well into the modern-day town of Purgatory, Wyatt Earp's former sidekick doesn't immediately seem interested in helping Earp's great-great-granddaughter, Wynonna (Melanie Scrofano), hunt down rowdy demons that have been resurrected by a family curse.
"People always ask, 'Well is he good or is he bad?' Rozon says. "They're like, 'Is he a villain?' But I'm going to tell you, in my experience in playing villains, when I play a villain, I don't think the things that I'm doing are bad. I think the things that I'm doing are good. It's the way you perceive them as bad, you know what I mean? I think Doc lives in a gray area where he has his own mission throughout this show."
Wynonna Earp was shot in Calgary and he says the set was laid-back and happy. "Eveybody was super present. We really lucked out on this cast. Everybody was super chill and everybody believes in the project, so it was just fun. And Calgary, it's beautiful."
As for Doc Holliday's grand 'stache, he shaved it off immediately after production wrapped. But not without regrets. "Seriously, I had mustache withdrawal," he laughs. "It's a thing. People don't know it exists, but it does. As quickly as I thought I wanted it off, when it was gone, I didn't."
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Courtesy of CBC Television
The mustache may be gone, but Rozon still has facial hair to keep him company. For two years, he has played fully-bearded Mutt Schitt on Schitt's Creek, and the show — which nabbed nine Canadian Screen Awards in March — will soon begin filming its third season. He's coy about Mutt's future on the show, but admits his face is a bit of a giveaway.
"I'm not allowed to give spoilers, but I will say this," he offers, pausing dramatically. "I'm right now growing a beard. How's that?"
Rozon, who is also known for roles on Instant Star and Lost Girl, says Schitt's Creek has been a challenge because he hasn't done much comedy over the course of his career, but being around the show's megawatt cast has been humbling and inspirational. "I've just been so blessed to be a part of it, because, I mean, they're just legends. You know, Eugene [Levy] and Catherine [O'Hara], and Chris [Elliott], they're so amazing and they're so funny and they make the whole process look so easy. But there's a science to comedy that I'll never quite understand, and I think they're just born with that, and it's amazing to watch."
He says the show's younger cast is just as impressive. "Most of my stuff was with Annie Murphy and she's so good, she's so great. She plays a character that if you read her on paper, most people would think that they wouldn't like, but you end up falling in love with her, and that's just a testament to her, you know? And what most people should know but maybe don't know is that the show is Daniel Levy. I mean, he's not only starring in it, but he's writing, he's producing. Without Dan Levy, there is no Schitt's Creek."
Next up for Rozon is attending the premiere of his new film Unearthing at the Arizona Film Festival on April 20, and in his downtime, he can be found helping out at Garde Manger and Le Bremner, the two restaurants he co-owns in Montreal. "I love them just as much as I love acting," he says. "To be honest, you'd never know I was an owner, ever. If anyone would ever see me there, I'm probably wearing an apron."
And if restaurant patrons happen to see Rozon sporting a mustache and a smile, they'll know Wynonna Earp has been renewed for Season 2 and Doc Holliday is about to rise again.
"I tell everyone now that if you see me with a mustache, I'm a happy guy," he says.
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'Wynonna Earp' airs Fridays at 10 p.m. on Syfy in the U.S. and Mondays at 9 p.m. on CHCH in Canada (Note: Canadian viewers can live stream 'Wynonna Earp' on the CHCH website at 10 p.m. on Fridays and again at 9 p.m. on Mondays)
'Schitt's Creek' airs on Wednesdays at 8 p.m. on Pop TV in the U.S.
'Schitt's Creek' can be streamed on CBC.ca in Canada
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