WARNING: Mild Shadowhunters spoilers
In the series premiere of the Freeform fantasy series, Shadowhunters, Jocelyn Fray decided way too late to fill her daughter in on some very important details about their past, about Clary’s heritage and who she really is.
Right before she’s able to come clean, all hell broke loose and Jocelyn was kidnapped by her ex, Valentine. She’s been lingering in a coma ever since. And now Clary’s trying to save her mom. At the same time, the teenager’s discovering this cool and scary new world that’s opened up to her. She realizing’s the power she’s capable of and, in the process, she’s learning how to outwardly channel her inner badass.
TV Goodness talked to the actress who plays the fierce and fabulous Jocelyn Fray. Here are 10 Things You Need to Know about Maxim Roy.
Roy never heard of the Shadowhunters novelsÂ before she auditioned
Roy prides herself as a lover of fantasy and supernatural juggernauts like Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter. She’s also a fan of Underworld, especially Kate Beckinsale. So, for her, it’s surprising that she never heard of The Mortal Instruments franchise. “I never read the books. I was living under a rock because I love that genre,” she confesses. “So it was weird that I never heard about it.”
She says she promptly rectified this matter after the audition. “I Googled the series. The books. I was like, Oh my God, this was what I auditioned for? I was like, I hope I get it.”
She nailed the audition with the help of her iPHONE
Roy admits that at the time she was set to audition for Shadowhunters, “I was going through a dark period in my life — it wasn’t like the best time. So I was just going through the motions.”
Then she got the call from her agent.
“My audition was for a Friday and I show up and there’s construction,” explains Roy. “The noise was terrible, so I called my agent and say, ‘I can’t do this. Forget it. I’m not going to get it anyway. They’re going to cast somebody from L.A.'”
Thankfully, she received good news. “He calls me back. Yeah, they’ll wait for you. So I went to my friend’s house the next day and took my iPHONE and taped my iPHONE to something and did it in the bedroom and it was just a weird audition. And we were laughing. This was ridiculous. But I managed to do something good because they liked it and they cast me. But my frame of mind was so out of it that I wasn’t expecting to get it at all.”
Roy and her TV daughter, Katherine McNamara (Clary Fray), shared a meet-cute moment
Ten days after her audition, Roy learned she won the role of Jocelyn Fray. From that moment on, it was whirlwind experience after whirlwind experience. Once the deal was sealed her agent calls her and says, “‘Pack your bags. You’re leaving tonight. You’re starting to work tomorrow,” tells Roy.
She was the last one cast. “I was in the read-through the next day at 9 a.m. with everybody from [then] ABC Family and the whole cast was there. Katherine got up when she saw me and was like, ‘Mama!’ And jumped in my arms. It was really sweet.”
Much like Jocelyn, she’s able to kick ass when it comes to action
Roy’s done boxing and martial arts. Plus there’s something that gives her an extra edge. “I was raised with three boys so I’m a tomboy. I know how to defend myself. Don’t push me,” she warns.
During the filming of the pilot, she knew a fight scene was on the horizon. “I was like, how big is the fight because it’s coming up on the schedule and I haven’t rehearsed it yet,” she says. “They’re like, ‘you’ll be fine. You’ll be fine.’ I was like, no, I really want to rehearse this because there’s a sword. And I’m holding a vial so I have to do this with one hand and the swords are incredibly heavy.”
She learned the particulars of the fight scene on the day they were to film it by watching her stunt double and the stunt team. “And they were just doing it and I was like, okay. Okay. This is what. So I rehearsed with my stunt double and I did it,” she recounts. “[Executive Producer] McG was like let’s do it with the stunt double. I was like no. I want to do this.”
And she did. “It’s 95 percent me that you see,’ she says proudly. “I felt like queen of the world when I finished that day.”
Roy loves working with Katherine McNamara
Katherine calling her mama wasn’t a one-time thing. “That’s what she calls me all the time. Even off work, she’s like, mama,” she says. “She’s incredibly smart. And she’s emotionally smart, too. It makes it really easy. She’s very mature. She takes her job incredibly seriously. But doesn’t take herself seriously.”
She and co-star Isaiah Mustafa are like brother and sister
“Isaiah has become a brother. Just to be clear. We’ve posted a couple of pictures together and people were like are they together? We’re not a couple. We’re very good friends. He’s a brother,” Roy explains. “He looks out for everybody on set so we are the mom and the pop on that set. Very protective. So he’s a great guy. Very nice. Everybody’s really nice. It doesn’t happen very often.”
Roy is very protective of her character
“I’m one of those people who gets emotionally involved with my characters when I play them. And the story. And I defend my character. Even when I play somebody that’s not likable. You have to have empathy for the person that you’re playing. When somebody asks me how do you cry? I think the best quality for an actor is to have empathy.
She talks about Jocelyn in terms of superheroes and other fictional forces of nature. “To me, she’s a heroine. She’s Wonder Woman. I always compare her to Aragorn. Like a female Aragorn. She’s a fighter. She’s fearless. She’s tough. She does things.”
Jocelyn isn’t completely fearless.
“She’s afraid of Valentine. She’s afraid because she has a daughter,” she analyzes. “I think she would stand up if it was just her — she would have stood up to him. But because she was pregnant, she ran away. She’s just this amazing heroine.”
There are a couple of episodes Roy can’t wait for fans to see
“My favorite episode is episode ten. What I can say is — I think Isaiah put it really brilliantly. He was like, you know when you have a negative of a picture? When you turn that negative, when you invert the colors, you see something else? That’s the episode,” she teases. “You’re gonna see everybody in a very different light. It’s a different perspective.”
The benefit of a special episode like this is that it’s coming so late in the first season. “Because we’ll know these characters really well by then,” she feels. “I loved shooting that episode. It’s a lot of fun. I think it was brilliantly written and such a great idea.”
There’s another one she’s especially excited to talk about: the season finale. “Fans are going to be shocked, I think. Surprised. Pleasantly surprised. It’s a great cliffhanger for the second season.”
A cast that gets a tattoo together stays together
Roy and many of her Shadowhunters cast members bonded in a big way after the Season 1 wrap party. Â They ended up getting tattoos.Â The one hold-out was Mustafa.
“Even Alberto [Rosende, Simon] got one and that was his first tattoo. We got the same size. His was on his calf,” she says. “There was like a bond that was created that night. At the wrap party across the street, there was a tattoo shop. We’re getting tattoos, like Lord of the Rings! They all got the ring, right? It was like adolescence. Alan [Van Sprang, Valentine] got the angel rune here and it’s pretty big. He saidÂ come on, I’m paying for the tattoo. I’m like, okay, let’s do it. And we all got it.”
Roy currently stars in a Canadian series along with her Shadowhunter gig
The French Canadian actress also stars in a police drama that’s based in Montreal. 19-2 follows the lives of a couple of beat cops who start out in an antagonistic relationship because the partners are two very different men.
“I play a Sergeant Detective,” says Roy. “She’s a very complex woman. She was married to one of the cops, one of the lead guys. It was a very difficult relationship. They both still love each other but they can’t be together.”
While she’s a red-head on Shadowhunters, Roy had to transition back to her natural brunette state for 19-2. “Actually, during filming I had to be a brunette again which is really hard on my hair. So that’s why I cut it off because it broke,” she explains. “The red is tough on the hair.”
Since she’s simultaneously starring on an American and a Canadian series, she’s the perfect person to ask if there are any differences between the two productions. “What’s really different is the publicity,” she reveals. “French Canada promotes its own stuff. We have amazing ratings. We have three million people that watch one show. For a province like Quebec, that’s huge. Huge numbers.”
It’s a different story for other Canadian series and films, she says. “But English Canada — and I hope somebody’s going to read this — we have this difficulty of promoting our own stuff.”
She thinks it’s a matter of manners. “I think we as performers and as Canadians are so friggin’ polite that we’re afraid to say, you should watch this. Whereas in Quebec, we’re not afraid to say that. In the States, you do that. You’re doing press and it’s so important.”
Part of it lies in the way you utilize social media, she feels. “I don’t post anything personal. I mean, I go to a hockey game, that’s not really personal. I don’t talk about who I’m dating. That’s really private. I think people should just, especially with social media, we need to get out there and not be embarrassed to say watch this.”
You can watch Maxim Roy on Freeform’s Shadowhunters Tuesday nights at 9/8c.
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