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Q&A: Jade Tailor

The talented actress has some (magic) tricks up her sleeve

So far, the magic of The Magicians seems to be rather powerful. The series, which recently began airing on the Syfy channel, has already been renewed for a second season and seems to have no problem enchanting viewers. Plenty of that can be attributed to the compelling and familiar storyline, which finds a lost young man (Jason Ralph’s Quentin Coldwater) stumbling upon an academy for aspiring sorcerers. But the real charm of the series comes care of its impressive ensemble; there are good witches and evil warlocks and miserable mind readers and almost every other iteration of enchanted individual possible, which gives the series an enjoyable depth.

One of the most exciting characters is Jade Tailor’s Kady Orloff-Diaz, a (surprise, surprise) mysterious witch whom Coldwater meets at school and whose company becomes an integral part of his education. Here, Tailor explains how the character of Kady initially charmed her.  

This series is based on a beloved series of books with the same name. Was that something you were familiar with before landing the job? 

I had heard about them. I have a couple of friends who are big fantasy nerds and they were telling me about them so I was like, I’ve got to read these books. But when the time came that I got the script, I didn’t really have enough time to prep for the audition and also read the book, so I just focused on the script. I read them after I had auditioned and I fell in love with them. 

It would be awkward if you didn’t.

There’s something really unique about the books and how Lev Grossman writes. He creates these fantastical circumstances to express human condition and human emotions, so everything comes from this really grounded, human place. I just think they delve even deeper than [something based in] some fantasy world. 

What about Kady spoke to you?

I got the script and, funny enough, when I first read it, I wasn’t sure which role I was going to be into—and then I fell in love with Kady. But in the first draft she dies. I was like, Oh darn, maybe there’s another role that I am right for but it turned out that they kept her around and I am glad because the character is so fun to play. I get to levitate and do magical things—it’s a dream job. 

Getting to be magical at work must be a blast.

Oh yeah, it was amazing. You never knew what you were getting into because of the different special effects and all of the different worlds that need to be created. On one particular day, we were doing this huge green screen scene and there were probably about 100 people on set. I can’t really give away what we filmed, but at the end of the scene everyone was clapping and cheering because they were so in awe of what had just happened.

What can you say about the season?

I will do my best to be as vague as possible! There’s a lot to learn about Kady. You find out where she comes from and why she is the way she is. You see, people just automatically assume she’s devious, which is very possible, but in this season you learn about the journey she’s been on. And by the end of the season she’s totally transformed.   

If you could have any one of the characters abilities, which would it be?

Kady’s, absolutely. To be able to levitate and have physical magic and physical abilities, I think that’s just so awesome.