SyFy’s Vagrant Queen Director Danishka Esterhazy Dishes BTS Details

Danishka Esterhazy, director of SyFy’s Vagrant Queen encourages actors to make choices and improv, talks heavy prosthetics and teasing Galactic Potential Prequel

James Maple

AfterBuzz TV Host & Writer
April 27th, 2020 8:10pm pst

Maria Menounos
Keven Undergaro
AfterBuzz TV Founders

Founded by Emmy winning journalist Maria Menounos and Producer Keven Undergaro, AfterBuzz TV is the artist-friendly entertainment news platform that celebrates, discusses, interviews, promotes and reports on the widest range of stars, creators and content through video, audio and article publications.


Acting is a job like any other. It has its ups and downs without question. Yes, of course, there are perks like hair, make up, press, etc. However, much like at your job when your boss gives you praise and support, it can mean the world. So when Vagrant Queen director Danishka Esterhazy encourages her actors to “make choices,” they are treated to just that, an actual brand new world. 

The Vagrant Queen director of planet hopping episodes three and four entitled “Nobody’s Queen” and “In a Sticky Spot,” respectively, sat down with our James Maple and Kari Lane to discuss her actor’s ‘choices’ in the latest after show for Vagrant Queen. 

If you are a fan of the show, by now, you know Vagrant Queen’s tone. Nothing is taken to seriously even when the stakes are high, seems to be the overarching theme we are picking up. Regardless, Danishka’s directing in the latest episode of this SyFy adaption is something to admire. From the custom design and prosthetics to improv skills, we owe Danishka the same admiration our ragtag crew gave to those glowing orbs!

All of you Vagrants know the costume and set design in this show are like no other. Creating and envisioning vast expanses of space leaves the brain to wander in creativity while diversity is free to run wild. Danishka takes full advantage of this with her creation of new worlds and those who inhabit them. As we jettison throughout this episode we are reminded of this as the team makes their way to Port 233, an interplanetary checkpoint full of diverse aliens and spaceships. One stand out alien is our old pal from the previous episode Danishka directed, Clive. 


Clive, as a character, is heavy. We mean that both literally and metaphorically. Actor Keeno Lee Hector does an incredible job portraying this lovable glutton. Keeno was able to bring such a sense of brevity to the role. Danishka explained this to our hosts, she says:

“I’m a really big fan of Keeno, he’s got amazing comic timing. He was such a trooper because the Clive custom is probably one of our most challenging in terms of prosthetics. He had to sit in a chair for hours to get his head done and his body done and it weighed a ton. The minute I would yell ACTION he would just bring the comedy so beautifully but the minute we called CUT, he was exhausted. He would just fall back in exhaustion because the suit was so heavy! That is some amazing acting.”

Keeno was also super appreciative of Danishka and our hosts’ kind words. In a follow up tweet made to Afterbuzz host James Maple for their kind words HERE. He says, “Y’all said the nicest things. Much appreciated.” We are happy to know you are a fan of our after show Keeno!

Credit: Keeno’s Twitter

Trust in her actors to make the right choices lead to enhancing the tension of another potentially steamy moment we loved from this episode. Throughout the season we’ve been teased at a potential love affair between Elida and Amae. Though alien love between the two has yet to lead to a kiss, we think it’s only a matter of time. In a recent tweet Danishka dished on how the pivotal hallway scene between Amae and Elida was shot more than a few times, on the requests of her lead actresses, Alex McGregor and Adriyan Rae. Take a look at her response below:


In response to a fan’s question, Danishka says:

“They pulled me aside and they said ‘We don’t feel like we’ve got it. We can do better… Give us another shot. We know this is such an important moment and we really want to make it perfect. It’s like that little thing you can’t really put your finger on. That little magic sometimes in a performance when the actors are really in sync and they really click beautifully and they knew that it was still there, and they hadn’t got it, then they got it.

So, it was really just lovely. And I saw it and I was like yeah, ok, I thought the scene was already great, but that was better. Well done! And that’s the take we used. It was just really nice. It’s so great to work with actors who are so committed and who want to make everything powerful. They want to make sure they are always giving their best. So it was a nice moment.”

That little thing that you allowed to foster made for an incredibly rich and well put together scene, Danishka. Allowing the actors to make different theatrical choices made for a scene that not even the director, herself, envisioned. 

Credit: Danishka Esterhazy’s Instagram 

As it is one thing to have a cast of talented and funny actors, it’s quite another to know how to put the correct ones together. Danishka gave details on how another one of our favorite moments from the less heroic trio in this episode was fostered in improv. She talks about this in regard to the Vagrant Queen ‘JV Squad’ consisting of Ihred, Dengar and Krob. Danishka says, “The moments between Ihred, Dengar and Krob were so hilarious. Those three actors did a lot of improv and had amazing comic timing. They really became this tight little comic unit together. Every time they would come on to set I would get a big smile on my face because it was so fun to watch them work.” 

Although they were dubbed the ‘JV Squad’ by our James Maple, these three ultimately came through with a varsity victory. Danishka loves the trio so much, she even teased a potential prequel HERE. Please direct this potential story Danishka, we’d definitely love to watch. 

One last quick moment we got a big laugh out of was the use, or overuse, of duct tape from Isaac as the Winnipeg spaceship is passing through an asteroid field. We weren’t alone, Danishka loved actor Tim Rozon’s improv as well. She says, “Tim just went crazy improving with that duct tape. Haha. Out of control, taping himself into the chair. It was hilarious to watch on set but I think it turned out pretty good in the end.” We wholly agree with Danishka. 

No matter the job, be it acting, directing or even being in charge of a large briefcase full of glowing space orbs, if creativity is allowed to blossom, the possibilities are endless.  While Danishka only directed two episodes of SyFy’s Vagrant Queen season one, her story telling will live on. Hopefully we will see a return of her directorial stylings for Vagrant Queen season two of the show, or at least a ‘JV Squad’ prequel. Our fingers, toes and all other space phalanges are crossed in hopes of seeing that happen. 


Lastly, on behalf of our fallen heroes from Vagrant Queen thus far, Nim, Ihred and Clive, we pour this fresh Squirp Berry out for you all, our dead homies. This one’s for y’all. We’ll miss you.

Leon Clingman’s Twitter

If you love SyFy’s Vagrant Queen as much as we do, be sure to watch the Afterbuzz TV after show hosted by James Maple and Kari Lane live Sundays at 3:10pm PST. Be sure to share this article with fellow Vagrants and Non-Vagrants alike. For the latest news on your favorite SciFi shows and articles, follow Afterbuzz TV!

About The Author:

James Maple is a LA based TV Host with a passion for music, interviews and outer space. A comedian at heart, James believes laughter, communication and a good 90s jam is a remedy for anything. You can follow him @terrelljamesmaple.

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Founded by Emmy winning journalist Maria Menounos and Producer Keven Undergaro, artist-friendly AfterBuzz TV is the world’s largest digital broadcast network and pop culture news platform, producing post-game ‘after-shows’ for nearly all favorite TV shows, interviewing cast and showrunners and providing the widest video, audio and article coverage of shows, content and influencers than any entertainment news platforms in existence

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