MacKenzie Porter Discusses Netflix’s ‘Travelers’

ATM: Describe your onscreen connection with the character David.

MP: Onscreen and off-screen we have a similar relationship. There was this instant love for each other. Especially for David’s character. Even from Marcy having learning disabilities, he just instantly fell in love with her, and she fell in love with him. This kind of love stays true to every progression in the Marcy character that I have played. He fell in love with this version.

ATM: Prior to the show, what were your thoughts about time traveling? Did it give you an eerie or calm feeling?

MP: If it were possible, then it would be the coolest thing. I get an exciting feeling from it. I love thinking about this kind of stuff. If we were able to get back in time or to the future, then I feel like this would be the most amazing thing. For me it is not eerie, it would be exhilarating.

ATM: Do you believe knowing what the future holds could hurt the present time?

MP: It could. If we knew the horrible events that were about to happen in 20 or 30 years, then it might affect the way we live now. There is that aspect to it. There is also it being 10 thousand years of this beautiful place that we have been able to be around. This would be a nice thought. It probably is not good to know the future. It is good to live in the moment, although it is kind of a fun thing to think about.

ATM: How would you analyze your character?

MP: I have been so lucky to play so many versions of Marcy. Throughout three seasons there are four versions of her. This for me as an actress has been a challenge and very fun. She is this badass woman that kind of adapts to everything she must go through. There are so many things that come up in her life that she deals with. My favorite Marcy version that I get to play, which I only get to do in two different two episodes, is the young Marcy with the learning disability. These were my favorite days on set. I get to really play a story that does not get to be told that much. Somebody who struggles with a disability like this does not get to be on screen.

ATM: How does the “Director” on this show affect the lives of people who are time travelers and people who are not time travelers?

MP: He is who we are living for. He is like our God. Every move that we make is supposed to be under his direction. This is putting your trust in an artificial intelligence. This is an aspect the show really talks about a lot. People are people and mess up all the time. We go with our gut feeling outside of what the director says. As far as for the people who are not travelers, they are kind of getting the second smoke of what we are doing. They are not directly affected. Like David, the different things that I have to do in completing a mission, he gets easily affected by it.

ATM: Briefly describe a day on set.

MP: I have the earliest call time. If I am in the first scene of the day, then it is hair and makeup. I usually get up at 4 am. This year I am 30 minutes away from the set. I go to hair and makeup and get into my Marcy wardrobe and look. Right away we are jumping into the first scene of the day. If we are in the studio, then we have a pretty well-oiled machine. If we are on location, then everything kind of takes longer. Three seasons in, we move pretty fast. We do the scenes a couple of times, we sit and wait while they change the camera angles. We run around the lines. There is a lot of emotional stuff for my character. I would either listen to music or do whatever I have to do to get prepared for this. It is usually a 14-hour day for me. They are long and can be tired. Especially the emotional scenes are the hardest because it is hard to stay in this state all day long.

ATM: What does your character and the other lead female character say about the progression of the female lead role in a sci-fi series?

MP: It is a positive thing. We have an ensemble cast. There are more males than females. Nesta’s character is a warrior. She does not show a lot of emotion, and this is different than a lot of female leads. She feels good because of about this in her character. I get to play someone who is a little bit emotional but is also a strong woman. Even in the relationship with David, she is kind of the leader of the two. This is about having great writers who believe women should have cool roles and can carry a show.

ATM: When time is manipulated, how does this change humanity or people?

MP: We only travel one time. The characters on our show can only make one travel. Every little thing is effective. This has changed the future. The first time we come into the bodies this right here has changed the entire future. The little changes. If I went to the cafe and stayed five minutes longer than the original Marcy would have, then this changes the future. This is a cool thing to think about. Everything is different, not only this one person. Everyone detail of the future and the timeline is off. We can only jump once, which is interesting.

ATM: After the time traveler gets into the humans that are presumed dead, is there is a snippet of the person who is presumed dead that connects to the time traveler’s soul that gets into this body?

MP: I would say no. Eric’s character is able to find memories deep inside his brain. There must be something that is left over. I am not sure about the actual soul. It is a totally different person in a new shell, and they still have these memories locked somewhere in their brain. We do play with this idea. For my character, she does have some brain damage; this is something I had to deal with as well. I would say no, but there is something that ties the two people together.

ATM: What do you believe this story-line evokes about how we might perceive time?

MP: It is the fact that we are saying you can jump back into time. You can jump into the future once the future jumps into the past. It brings up the thought of time travel but in only one direction. There is nothing in our show that says we can go back into the future. They have only mastered the one side of it. They are saying time is valuable on one side.