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FAN FEST EXCLUSIVE: Shantel Van Santen Talks ‘Timeless’ and ‘Shooter’

We had the chance to sit down with the lovely Shantel Van Santen this week and she divulged to us about her two new projects. The first of which aired this week on NBC.

Shannon: Tell us about Timeless!

Shantel: Yes! It premiered last night on NBC, and it’s amazing. Everybody is saying it is a mix between Mission Impossible and Back To The Future so it has this really fun time-travel aspect. When I first read the script it was great because it was almost a history lesson. It forced me to go and Google to learn about The Hindenberg. My character is Kate Drummond and she’s a photojournalist who is covering the Hindenberg landing in New Jersey.

It’s a really wonderful show Eric Krypke who did Supernatural which and Shawn Ryan who has done a lot of legendary TV and they came up with a concept, we shot it in Vancouver and it was just a phenomenal experience. The whole cast is amazing. I love the aspect of learning something while being entertained so it’s a secret history lesson for people.

Each week they’ll travel back to a different period, a different era, a different event. And it raises some dialoge about where we are now with women’s rights and the issues of race in between it all, and explores the places we can grow and learn from.

Shannon: Can you tell us a little about your character Kate on the show? What can we expect to see from her?
Shantel: I can’t tell you too much its always hard. But there’s a big suprise with the way the first episode ends. I will tell everybody, it is time travel and there are easter eggs so pay attention to those easter eggs. You can go back and see anyone again if you want to.

Shannon: Initially there have been comparisons between Timeless and Legends of Tomorrow, but you can attest they are extremely different. From working on shows like The Flash, where you’re surrounded by people with superpowers, which one do you think would come in handy most for your character Kate?
Shantel: If you watch the first opening sequence you’d probably want to have The Flash’s superpower considering there is a Hindenberg crashing. I think the superhero genre does a good job of grounding superpowers. They’re human beings even though they have these special abilities. In Timeless, their knowledge is really their power in the case of time travel. But I don’t feel they’re similar, they are different genres.

Shannon: While on the topic of time travel, if you could travel to any era what would it be?

Shantel: It was really interesting doing research about 1937 obviously. The beginnings of uneasiness in the world and the upcoming war, and I really identified with Kate. Kate was born out of a love for Amelia Earhart and a woman named Margaret Burke White who was really a photo pioneer in the photojournalism and photo world. But I would go back and be Amelia Earheart any day-who is empowered, a risk taker and can do anything she wants to do.

Shannon: You are also a part of the new series Shooter, which looks pretty sweet. Tell us a bit about that project. And do you get to work with Ryan Phillippe?
Shantel: So yesterday-cut to Timeless premiere and the announcement of the premiere date all in one night, and yesterday was the one year anniversary of when I booked Shooter.

Of course I do, for most people who saw the movie with Mark Wahlberg it’s based off a series of books calls Point of Impact and our show follows the books a little bit more closely. Bob Lee Swagger is played by Ryan and is the hero of our story. They relate a lot to him with the struggles of PTSD.
Ryan is incredible in it. He had to physically undergo a lot. Also it’s a very emotional story. It’s a thriller. It’s intense kind of like Homeleand.

Shannon: In a previous interview you said that Kate Hudson is your style icon, is that still true?
Shantel: I think that I pull inspiration from so many places nowadays. When I started I feel like the only place we had style inspiration was People Magazine and US Weekly. I pull it from so many places from fashion editors to bloggers. I love that we all inspire each others style. If I could have anybody’s I would want to have Cate Blanchett’s now. There’s something About Kate Hudson that’s fun and youthful and sexy but cate blanchett is timeless and classy and out of the box.

Shannon: In addition to acting, you are active in supporting causes such as Lung Force, can you tell the fans a little more about the organization and how they can help if they can’t attend the Lung Force Walk in LA November 20?

Shantel: What’s great is that you can help no matter where you live. There’s a link in my instagram and twitter and you can go and donate and if you can’t walk, you can virtually walk. I’ll be instagramming the whole day so it will be as if you are with us.

My grandmother who helped raise me since I was a little girl and has been one of my biggest inspirations- three years ago this coming March she passed away from lung cancer. She was a non-smoking, healthy, 79 year old. The goofiest, most incredible grandmother, mother, great grandmother-and it was really sudden for us.

I’ve wirtten about my story and it’s still not easy for me to talk about. A TV show I was shooting at the time allowed me to travel and take her to radiation and stay with her in hospice. I was involved in the journey of her being diangnosed and being a previous breast cancer surviver we didn’t think it would affect her as much, but within 5 months I lost my grandmother. So now, the good side of having social media is that I get to tell her story and raise awareness.

You can catch Shantel in Timeless on Mondays on NBC and Shooter on November 15th.

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