The Letterkenny Universe has just gotten a lot bigger with the new spinoff series Shoresy, following the eponymous ice hockey player as he moves to reverse the fortunes of his struggling team, the Sudsbury Bulldogs. Running the hockey organization from behind the scenes is club owner Nat (Tasya Teles), flanked by her trusted associates Miigwan (Keilani Elizabeth Rose) and Ziigwan (Blair Lamora). For all of Shoresy’s foul-mouthed bravado on the ice, it’s these three women that maintain the focus required to ensure the team doesn’t go completely off the rails.
In an exclusive interview with CBR, Teles, Rose, and Lamora shared what it was like to jump into the comedic world of Shoresy. They explained how they developed the strong rapport between themselves as characters and co-stars and how they offer a much-needed balance to the testosterone-driven series as it arrives on Hulu.
CBR: Letterkenny has grown beyond Canada to become wildly popular here in the United States. How was it getting the chance to be a part of this universe as it expands with Shoresy?
Blair Lamora: It already has so much love for it, and to be able to jump into this new world that they’re trying to build, it was such an honor. It almost felt like it was already this well-oiled machine, and everybody was so sweet and inviting when we came in. It just felt like a dream.
Tasya Teles: The Letterkenny legacy is a big shoe to fill. Just to uphold that level of comedy and brilliance is such a big undertaking. They’re so good at what they do and understand what they’re doing, and they made it really welcoming and easy to be part of this universe. It was awesome.
How was it sitting down with Jared Keeso and Jacob Tierney to figure out your characters and their place in this wacky world of ice hockey?
Keilani Elizabeth Rose: It was fun!
Lamora: They had a clear vision, and it was nice because we all knew, coming in, who exactly we are. Keilani and I had a meeting with Jared and Jacob, and it was really sweet to talk with them and see what kind of vision they had. We were all on the same page from the get-go, which was really nice. I think that really helped with what played out on-screen because we were so concrete with our characters and their relationships. From the beginning, it was really easy.
Rose: I really feel like Jared hit the casting on the nose. When we came together, everyone’s dynamic just fit together perfectly. I have to give a shoutout to Tasya because there were a lot of first-time actors, and we had the incredible privilege of working with a lot of hockey players and artists outside of film and TV. They came into this [ready to work], and it really took some strong leadership that led us together. I felt a really strong reflection from everyone that was really true to the characters that were written for them. [laughs]
Teles: There were a lot of mixers and minglers and BBQs. [laughs]
Tasya, while Nat is the owner overseeing this team, there is a surprising sentimental side to her. It’s more than just getting bums in seats. Do you prefer knowing as much of your characters’ backstory as possible or learning about them as production continues?
Teles: I do like to know as much as possible, and if it’s not available to me, then I just have to create one. I was looking at Blair and Rose, at this dynamic between Miigwan and Ziigwan, and how there’s this trio, almost like the front line of a hockey team itself. I felt like the office was almost a mafia hangout, the way she’s just sitting back in the chair. [laughs] I was thinking about who were her heroes in trying to develop that backstory, and it was her mom. She grew in the arena.
She lives and breathes hockey. She sees what happens when the community comes together, and so when the hockey team starts losing and it’s empty, it doesn’t sit well with her. There’s a lot of emotion. It’s her mother’s legacy, so she decides she’s willing to do anything to get bums in seats. [laughs]
Your characters really are a trifecta. You’re rarely not by each other’s sides. Do you remember first meeting and forming that rapport on- and off-screen?
Lamora: Of course! We had a little cast get-together party at Jared’s house, and it was really nice because it was the first time we got the chance to be together. We have this cute, little Polaroid of the three of us, and it feels like we’re a girl group. That was the first time we solidified our trio, and it felt so good. [laughs]
Teles: There was definitely an abundance of men at that party, and we were sticking together pretty close. That was the first time we all got together, so everybody was still meeting each other. The three of us had a few days off, so we took a little vacation in Montreal, and there was this one moment where we were in a taxi. This taxi driver was negotiating with us, basically trying to rip us off, and the three of us were in the perfect position, exactly how we are on the show. [laughs]
Rose: I was the mediator. Blair was pissed. Tasya was just trying to sort it out. We just looked at each other and nodded. [laughs]
There is a vocal cadence to the dialogue delivery in Shoresy, and it feels like there’s a lot of rapid-fire lines in some scenes. How was it getting that rhythm down for your performances?
Teles: We rehearsed a lot. [laughs]
Lamora: It was great because everyone was really into rehearsing as well as setting the pace and asking questions if there needed to be any questions. Jared was really into the prep of it as well, so when we were on set delivering lines, it was so natural, like we weren’t even thinking. We were just saying it. It was really nice to get into that groove, and once you got into it, you got into a flow. It was really nice and easy after we prepped.
Rose: We worked just as much off-camera as we did on-camera because of the time we put in really banging out those rehearsals, and it paid off, for sure.
Blair, Keilani, your two characters are especially protective of each other. Did you develop a backstory or find another way that helped inform your on-screen dynamic?
Rose: It’s been a beautiful journey, honestly. When we first found out we were going to meet and play together side-by-side, we had a really cute dinner date in Vancouver. It was just a nice coming together. From there, the trajectory of sisterhood has just been a journey, and it’s beautiful to do this growing and healing beside this badass. [laughs]
Lamora: I feel like our energy is very much like sisters — a lot of love and growing, and I feel like that’s what you need. It especially reflects on-screen as well. We’re definitely a unit with one another, and I think that’s what is most important. That falls on Nat’s shoulders, too. We balance her out in that way, and it was written that way, but it definitely showed on-screen between us, and it was great.
Teles: I feel like Nat is the luckiest person in the world to have you two by her side. [laughs]
Rose: We’re the real Bulldogs!
Lamora: Exactly! We definitely built this team.
One of the underlying themes in Shoresy is that hockey brings us all together. Do you have any formative memories of hockey from your own lives that continue to resonate?
Lamora: 100%! I grew up very much in a hockey household. If I wasn’t watching the Leafs on TV, I was definitely at hockey because my brother played rez hockey. That was the majority of my adolescence. I grew up in an arena. To be in Sudbury, of all places, where northern hockey is so intense, it felt like home and was really nice.
Teles: This memory completely evaded me until recently, but my father and I used to watch hockey together since I was a little kid. Now that I think back to it, my dad was a Brazilian soccer player, so hockey was foreign to him, and yet it brought us together in our household. We watched it like it was a religion. I think back to when I was six or seven, with my dad and I, and it was a very bonding moment for us. We would sit down and watch hockey together, and I love that I have those memories.
Rose: Sports and me, I’m a little bit of a fish-out-of-water because I grew up as a ballerina in a dance studio. I didn’t really get exposed to hockey in that way. Coming into this family has just been that much more special because it’s kind of my first taste of this world.
You guys bring a much-needed balance from all the locker room humor. How was it bringing that perspective to the set and production?
Rose: We balanced out all the testosterone! [laughs] I definitely appreciate the energy of sisterhood that we share, this feminine energy that we get to bring and balance everything out with, but I will say personally that they’re the brothers that I never had and always wanted. We all meshed so well and the picture was completed because of all the moving pieces lined up.
Tasya, I’m a fan of The 100, where you have to have your emotions dialed up all the time. How is it coming to Shoresy? Nat is driven, but the fate of humanity isn’t hanging in the balance every other episode.
Teles: Totally! [laughs] I just don’t know if I could’ve survived another seven seasons of The 100. This was such a welcome change. I love comedy, and I love that I was welcomed into this world. It really whet my appetite for it. I went to see Dave Chappelle here live and am going to the Comedy Store here to see more and indulge in more comedy here in Los Angeles. I was working with an acting coach who worked with all the Letterkenny people, so he had a very strong understanding of it.
He said comedy is like math — there’s a rhythm and timing to a joke setup. Once you figure that out, you have your structure and technique, and you get to fill it in with your personality and quirks. It’s made me so curious about comedy, and I’m telling my agent, “I don’t know if I’m going back to drama for the next little while.” [laughs] This role has been a lot of fun.
Now that the first season is done and you’ve gotten the chance to watch the finished episodes, what are you most excited about getting to share Shoresy with the rest of the world?
Lamora: I’m excited for everyone to become a Bulldog and actually feel a part of something. That was the fun thing, to see it all come together and feel like a part of this project, part of something that’s bigger than you. It’s really positive, and I hope everybody feels that in a way.
Rose: I feel really honored to be part of something that honors indigenous characters at center ice. Representation in that way is so important right now, and we get to see diversity and inclusion in a beautiful way with what we’ve created, and that’s incredible.
Teles: One of the things that excites me the most about what Jared and Jacob do is how brave and bold they are about their comedy. I watched the new Kids in the Hall on Amazon, and they’re brave with their choices and jokes. It’s a great way to bring people together, it’s relatable, and they’re not going for big, broad concepts that can feel like it’s too difficult to swallow. This is everyday life. It’s accessible. It’s fun and funny, and it’s so nice to be part of that. I’m so excited for people to watch it and relate to it. It’s just really exciting!