You may recognize Jordana Lajoie as the enigmatic Cherie in this little known show called The Boys. The Eric Kripke-led anti-superhero series has proven to be a winning ticket for Lajoie. Audiences everywhere have been entranced by Cherie and Frenchie’s connection. But that’s not all Lajoie has on her plate — she’s also a talented writer with hopes of bringing her own work to fruition once the world returns to normalcy.
While in theater school, Lajoie founded her own theater company called Last One Standing. In addition to her extensive theater work, Lajoie went on to star in short films such as Morning After, which solidified her as a “scene stealer.” Lajoie also starred in Patrice Lemieux 24/7, a French Québec TV series. Of course, after amassing an impressive resume, Lajoie snagged a recurring spot on The Boys.
Recently, I had the pleasure of chatting with Lajoie. We talked about her origin story, The Boys, her dream role, and what’s next. When the apocalypse known as 2020 ends, of course.
Melody McCune: Here at Geek Girl Authority, we are really into super heroes, villains, and origin stories. So, what’s your origin story? How did you contract the acting bug?
Jordana Lajoie: Oh, I love that. Every time people ask me that I always come up with a different answer, because I don’t really know. I know that when I was a kid, I always loved putting up little shows with my cousins. I was just very, very comfortable being on stage and doing these little talent shows.
So, I always felt comfortable doing that. And I’m more on the introverted spectrum, but whenever I’m on stage, for some reason, it always feels very comfortable. Eventually I took some acting classes as a hobby, but I was really, really not set on becoming an actress. I didn’t think it was a possibility for me. I was going into law and political science. And I thought, “You know what, I’m just going to take some cool classes here on the side to help me with public speaking, especially if I want to get into international law and deal with really important people.”
Then, I became fascinated with storytelling. I decided for the fun of it that I was going to audition for a theater school and I got in. So I put aside my law career and all that just to try this, and then I just stayed with it.
MM: Is that what inspired you to create your own theater company?
JL: Yeah, I was in theater school when that first came about. Theater school was very intense and a very rigorous program. You’ve got to give it your all and they were not very open to people doing things outside of school. But what I saw was that it was great storytelling as well. We were able to work the classics and all that, but I wanted to, at the same time, experience more edgier things. Things that are a little taboo. So I just decided, “You know what? I’m going to make my own stuff. I’m going to meet people outside of school, and I’m going to do my own thing. I won’t tell my teachers, my deans, I’ll just do it.”
And that’s how it started. It was because I wanted to try and touch upon subjects that were a little taboo at the time. Now, it seems like everybody’s talking about it, but at the time it still felt kind of like we should probably not get into these conversations and I really wanted to.
MM: That’s great! You started to de-stigmatize these conversations. So, then you did a production called The House of Yes. What’s the premise behind that, and what fueled you to create it?
JL: Well, it’s been awhile. It was a dark comedy, I believe. It touched upon really weird things like love, but also incest and mental issues. It did take a bit of the pressure out. So, I thought that could be interesting. It had some comedic aspects to it, but then we could still talk about the weird stuff.
We just decided as a group, as a troop, and as an ensemble, “Hey, you know what, let’s just try it and see how it goes.” We went along and we produced it. I think that was in 2012. But I think it was after, or during my second year in theater. Again, I couldn’t really talk about it, otherwise I’d get in trouble. But I really wanted to try something that was edgier and different. And it was definitely that.
MM: So, I’m going to switch gears a little bit. Speaking of edgy, what was the audition process like for The Boys?
JL: Yeah, speaking of edgy! It was a very standard self-taped request. My agent sent me something along and I didn’t really know much about it. I remember seeing some names and I just put myself on tape. Didn’t really think much about it. I was like, “Okay, for this scene, I’ll grab a bottle and put some Windex in it.” It looked like a bomb. It was funny. And I just did it, and I sent it along. Then, the next thing I know, a few days later, they called me. You know what, I guess the little Windex thing worked. I don’t know why. So they said, “Come on down,” and I got the part. And that’s when it kind of hit me, because I didn’t know what that was all about.
MM: You have really great chemistry with Tomer [Capon], who plays Frenchie. Did you guys read together at any point, before you got the role of Cherie? And then how did you foster that connection that you guys have on set?
JL: Yeah, that’s a great question. Tomer and I have great chemistry, for sure. I think he was coming from Israel when I was coming from Montreal. So, we’d never actually had a chance to meet. But he was one of the first actors that I met before shooting. So yeah, I was very lucky, because sometimes you don’t actually meet your colleagues. And he asked the AD at the time, “Hey, I really want to meet Jordana. Can I get her number?” So, they set us up and we went out for fun to a bar. We drank and we talked. He was like, “What do you think your character’s about?” I started talking and he’s like, “Well, that’s what I think.” Then we’re like, “You know what? We have this thing going on.”
It was just beautiful and organic. Then, when we were on set, it just kind of exploded. It was something that was really awesome. We shot a lot and there are much less scenes than you would’ve seen if they had kept some of the things. You’d see even more of the connection there, but you saw it. There’s a bit of history still there, so that’s good.
MM: That’s great that you guys were able to meet ahead of time, so that whenever you were on set, it just felt like a natural, organic connection. Do you have any fun stories from the set?
JL: All of it was fun. I think for me it was a funny, awkward moment when I first met Jack Quaid. Like it was very “rush, rush” and then the next thing I know I’m supposed to be touching his face forever and ever. It was really funny. We were trying not to break and it was just ridiculous. I don’t know if you remember Season One when I just touch his face.
MM: Yes, I do!
JL: It seems like it’s 10 seconds, but we were doing take after take. And I’m just massaging his face and everyone’s trying not to break. Karl[Urban] is looking at us straight, like, “Yeah, this is normal day-to-day activity.” Like, “I see this sh*t all the time.”
MM: Right? “Hey, nice to meet you! Let me just caress your face for a little bit…”
JL: Let me just rub your face, right? Great way to break the ice. But otherwise, any time I was with Tomer we just had fun listening to music, being silly, and dorky. Yeah, the whole journey, I think, was really fun.
MM: Without giving too much away, what can fans expect for Season Two of The Boys?
JL: Great question. It’s going to be a different ride and you guys are going to switch gears as far as how you feel about certain characters. And that’s the thing about humans. Sometimes you think someone is good and then there’s something about them that you don’t know. Likewise, sometimes you look at someone and you’re like, “This guy’s a SOB.” So there’s definitely going to be more of that, I believe, in Season Two.
And some interesting characters, of course. Some have already been revealed like Stormfront (Aya Cash). So, that’s going to be really, really exciting. More origin stories, which I think that’s always fun, because you connect more with certain characters when you see a bit of who they are or who they were.
MM: I think that’s one of the great things about this show is that there’s equal amounts of screen time among everybody, and you get to really know each character as you go along. It’s not just well, “there’s so-and-so in the background.” You actually get to dive into those backstories, which I think is really interesting.
MM: Do you have a dream role? It can be in like film, TV, or theater.
JL: Yeah, that’s a hard question, but I love it. I would lie if I didn’t bring up Catwoman, Selina Kyle, and I’m so excited to see Zoë [Kravitz] do her thing with that. But Catwoman, in her purple original suit, with her long, beautiful, curly hair. I’d love to play Catwoman.
MM: You’d be a great Catwoman, for sure!
JL: Thank you! She’s very complex, right? And I love those type of characters. Then, of course, anything comedic or period pieces. Because I used to do comedy, but I don’t look like a comedian. That’s the thing — sometimes it’s all about looks. But definitely, I’d like to go back into comedy or period pieces. I’d love like a Downton Abbey-style period piece.
MM: I know that you initially started out on stage. Do you have any plans to go back to theater once things return to normal?
JL: Yeah, I would love to. Somewhere in New York or something, definitely. It’s been too long. The last piece I directed I wasn’t even able to be on stage, and I would just be really jealous of my actors. But I definitely want to do more acting on stage. So, hopefully when things come back around, I would, yes. The answer’s a hundred percent yes. I’m down for it.
MM: A lot of actors listen to music or they write as their characters to prepare for roles. Is there a particular method that you use to get into character? Or does it depend on the role?
JL: It’s a bit of both, actually. And I’ve got some little magic tricks that I’m not going to share, but…I’m joking. I’m joking. No, definitely music is super important for me. It helps, especially if you’re busy, if God is great, and you’re busy working on two projects. You’ve got to switch gears sometimes from one day to the next. I find that having a playlist that defines one character, it helps when you need to go on to the next character and you switch playlists. It’s worked wonders for me.
But definitely, a backstory and all that jazz. All the little things that actors do to kind of give themselves a bit of that confidence boost. Because at the end of the day, that stuff is in the back. It’s what’s happening in the moment. It’s more of a crutch. It definitely helps us. And I do believe you need to ask yourself questions, like, “Where is this person from?” For sure those are important questions. But at the end of the day, in the moment, you tend to forget all the other stuff.
MM: I had an acting teacher who told me that once, too. You prepare for the role, you do everything you can for that role and then once you’re either in front of the camera or you get on stage, you forget about it. Just be in the moment.
JL: Exactly, yeah.
MM: Have you thought about writing your own film and TV projects?
JL: Yeah, a hundred percent. I’m currently writing right now. This pandemic, it definitely helps in that sense. Less and less interruptions. There’s still a lot of interruptions, but definitely more time for writing. So, writing is now probably my main goal and hopefully directing. Because the projects that are introduced to you, or the opportunities, depend on where you’re at. Where you’re sitting. I’m in Canada right now, so I have to wait for projects that are being filmed in Canada. And they’re not all necessarily projects that I want to be a part of. They’re great, I’m sure they are. So, I decided that this is too much. I’ve got to start writing now. Hopefully developing a story for film and TV. We’ll see which one I’m more interested in. But yes, the answer is definitely yes.
MM: That’s awesome! I can’t wait to see what happens with that.
JL: Thank you!
MM: Do you have any advice for aspiring performers?
JL: If you’ve never done it before, just sit in on a few classes. Watch, just watch. Don’t be scared. I’ve received a few questions actually on social media regarding that. A lot of people are anxious, I think, at first, but just go in and sit. Just watch and enjoy it. Then, just take a few classes and follow your heart. If your heart aches whenever you’re thinking that you’re not doing it, that you’re not acting, then that’s an answer. I was going to become a lawyer and it felt great, but at the same time, I always felt like, “Ah, there’s this other part of me that really wants to do this [acting].” If that’s how you’re feeling right now, then go for it. Just follow your heart. Have courage and just go for it.
MM: So, I know you completed filming for The Office Games. What was it like working on that project?
JL: Oh, it was great! It was a bit of a whirlwind as well. I was in Montreal. I was living in Vancouver at the time, so I had to travel. It was fun. It’s a young, peppy film for young gamers. Like I would watch the show if I was anywhere from 16 to maybe 22-23. It’s fun and it’s a great, great production. Hopefully it’ll resonate with people.
MM: Is there anything else that’s coming up besides The Boys and The Office Games?
JL: A few things are put on hold, so I can’t tease them just yet. Sorry about that! But hopefully, yes. I’m going to say hopefully yes. No idea what’s going on, but…
MM: Does anybody have any idea what’s going on?
JL: Oh, my god, right? But at least we’re all in this together. That’s the only thing I can say. That’s really great.
MM: That’s the one unifying factor here — everybody’s going through the same thing. Speaking of that, have you binge watched anything lately?
JL: Yeah, I have, finally. It took me awhile to watch The Umbrella Academy. I know one of the exec producers on it, and I was like, “Yeah, I’m going to watch it. I’m watching it. Just give me some time.” I don’t know what it is, but I just need to feel like watching a show. I watched the first episode. I could not stop. Then I was like, “Oh my God.” Thankfully, it was about a month or so ago that I finished watching the whole show.
So now, the second season came out, and guess what? I haven’t watched it because for some reason, I know Season Three stopped being shot. I’m like, “I can’t watch Season Two, because then I’m going to be depressed there’s no Season Three.” But it’s so good. The music, the soundtrack — so good. I do want to shout out a beautiful Canadian production called Schitt’s Creek. If you haven’t watched that…
MM: Oh, I love Schitt’s Creek! It’s so good. I finally watched the final season. I had been putting it off for a while, because-
JL: Oh my God. Same thing. I literally just watched the first episode. And I was like, “No, no, no.” Because I’m very emotional watching it…
MM: Oh, me too. You’re going to cry. I’m just going to tell you that right now.
JL: Oh, I know!
MM: Last question. Name your top five favorite films. And…go!
JL: I’ll put The Lord of the Rings trilogy all in one. Then Star Wars, the original three as well. Shawshank Redemption really, really spoke to me. I don’t know why. The first time I watched this movie, I was 12 years old. What did I know about life? I had no idea. It completely ruined me. What else?
MM: Fun fact: I’ve been to the Mansfield Reformatory where they filmed it.
MM: I’m from Ohio, so it’s not far from where my family lives.
JL: You know what? I think Eric [Kripke], our showrunner, is from Ohio, too. That’s so cool!
MM: Yeah, represent!
JL: I definitely love Fight Club. Anything from David Fincher. And I can’t take another one from Fincher. So, just for fun, because this is a fun question, I’ll pick the one with Tim Burton. What’s it called? Big Fish, was it?
MM: Big Fish! That’s a great one. Well, thank you so much for chatting with me! I really, really appreciate it. I hope you start filming things again.
JL: Thank you! This was a fun interview. I really had a great time. I’m so happy you liked Season Two, and hopefully the rest of the world will enjoy it as well.
MM: It’s bonkers, so I’m sure they will! I hope you have a great rest of your day!
JL: Awesome, thank you! You too and take good care. Stay safe!
Be sure to follow Jordana on Twitter (@jordanalajoie) and Instagram (@jordanalajoie)! Season Two of The Boys is currently dropping new episodes every Friday on Amazon Prime.
This interview was originally published on 9/10/20
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