Kyle XY follows a mysterious boy who looks like a teenager, but otherwise appears to be a newborn. The Trager family takes him in as one of their own. The series is produced by Touchstone and executive producers J. Mackye Gruber, Eric Bress, and David Himelfarb.
We had the honor of interviewing April Matson who plays Lori Trager on the series, and here’s what she had to say.
Let’s talk science fiction. I wanted to know your feelings about it and if you had a favorite from your childhood, or if it was Star Trek or if it was a certain series on television, or if you were a Battle Star fan. What is it about science fiction that you like? What is it about the show and the genre that you enjoy your work acting, if you can share that?
I actually – well, I mean most of my part on the show, I’m not that involved with the whole science fiction part of it, and I didn’t necessarily grow up being a fan of any specific type of thing, but I always loved shows like X-Files. I think what I like about our show is it’s not science fiction like there’s not these random monsters and aliens running around. That’s something I’ve never been drawn to, necessarily, but I like that there’s a mystery of a possibility of things that are – I guess that are sort of possible. Like I mean even the way all the mysteries about Kyle, in a weird way you almost could believe that it could be true. So it just kind of – does that make sense? Like rather than there just being a blatant monster that everybody knows doesn’t really exist or like an ET or whatever. It’s kind of like, it’s about this human brain and there’s sort of like a possibility to it in a way that makes sense scientifically that you can buy it. I think that’s kind of an interesting part of the show.
As far as other science fiction, I would say X-Files, which is kind of what I like about the science fiction part of our show is there’s that kind of element to it. … really see the freaky stuff, but it’s explained in a way that you kind of could believe it.
Can you comment on the character of Lori and kind of where they took her the first half of the second season. It seemed like there’s kind of a pretty big change, and she kind of became mean with, I guess, going after Jessie for revenge, and just some of the things that she was doing. I just kind of wonder if you could talk about that and maybe if we’re going to get back to the Lori that we all love.
That’s so interesting because I never really thought about it that way of … Lori got mean. I mean she definitely got angry. I agree with you. The thing I love about Lori is that she sort of has a way of being bigger than everything else and being right and moving on and bucking up. That was definitely a lot of episodes of being really angry and going through everything.
But definitely in the second part of the season, what you’re about to see starting on January 14th, she sort of makes peace with everything, and she does sort of – I don’t know. She does definitely work it out and gets back to her sort of … moving on, songwriting again, more drama with Declan and just she lets go of all that anger, so definitely I think we’ll get back to the Lori that we all love.
It’s so funny. I didn’t realize how much that came off as – how different that was for the character. But I don’t think she was mean, though, but I guess very, very angry and bitter about everything going on, so it will change.
Is there a love interest planned for the future of Lori or maybe a reunion with Declan?
There’s kind of a little bit of both. There’s definitely a new guy in the picture that is a possibility. His name is Mark, and he’s played by Josh Zuckerman, who is such a breath of fresh air. He is so fun to work with and so good on the show. I think everyone is going to love his character. We have a really great chemistry together, so you can look forward to that.
Just everything about it is very funny, the way that we meet and sort of how we become close. There’s definitely that potentially happening, and hopefully when we go up to shoot season three, I believe he’s still going to be around, so he might be sort of a future cast member.
There is definitely some back and forth with Declan as well that becomes a possibility. Declan and Lori sort of talk about it and are sort of exploring that road again. I don’t want to give away what ends up happening, but at the end of … Lori … does what she does best for herself. I have to say that is one of the things that I love about her the most is that she loves Declan, but she loves herself more, and she sort of just does what she needs to do. She really makes the choice that’s best for herself, and I love that… that young girls that are watching the show get that, because in my life at 26, and being in the dating world and having to make decisions about guys and some guys that might have some kind of hold over you. I just love that she’s not desperate and she knows that she doesn’t need someone else to make her happy. I don’t know. I just think it’s really mature of her because I feel like, as like someone who is almost a decade older… learning that right now. I’m learning that from her.
Anyway, I went off a little bit, but the point is there’s some… and Declan steps up. He’s definitely charming and America is falling in love with him. Any time Lori doesn’t sort of go back to him, I think is always going to be disappointing, because he really is so, so charming in the last half of the season.
Have you seen any of the upcoming episodes and which one was your favorite to film and why and which one was your favorite to watch.
I haven’t actually seen any of the final cuts of the upcoming ones, I don’t think. But to film would probably be the last episode, the season finale, because even though it was such a pain, it was a prom episode, and so there was, like, I had to camera test eight prom dresses and there was all this back and forth about what Lori should wear to the prom. I don’t know why for some reason it was more of a project for me than anyone else.
But even some of the other girls, they had dresses made and some of them were … I mean it was like such a disaster. It was pouring rain and we had to keep going in and out of this gym of this high school, so there was mud everywhere. We’re all dressed up, so from my trailer to the thing, they had to practically wrap me up in saran wrap just to keep me dry. So it was difficult to shoot, and we all sort of hated it, but it was so fun because it was our last episode to shoot. It was like eight or nine months of shooting, and all the guys are in their tuxes and the girls are all dressed up. There were tons of extras, and it was really complicated shots.
But we were just sort of all dressed up and, in between shots, celebrating such a great season, so that was probably definitely my favorite, even though I hated it while we were doing it. There were so many complicated. It was some of my best memories were shooting that because we just had so much fun celebrating the whole season and all the work that we had done and how far we’d come, and taking pictures to remember the season. It felt like prom. It was weird. It felt like we were graduating or something.
To watch, I don’t know. I don’t know because I haven’t seen any of them. But definitely the first couple back, like 14 and 15, like the first couple, there’s a lot of cool stuff that happens, so I do remember that being really exciting. Fourteen and fifteen are really exciting.
Do you like playing in high school? Do you feel like you’re reliving your past and doing things that you weren’t able to do, as Lori?
Definitely in ways. I mean because I’m an adult now, sometimes I’m sort of like, okay, it would be nice to play somebody – you know what I mean, like a grown woman with maturity and who is complicated. I think about that, but it is really therapeutic because I’m sort of working out unresolved issues through Lori.
I had a Declan. I think almost every girl has had a Declan, like that guy that just gets under their skin, and it’s back and forth, and they make good friends, but they want to be more. And it’s confusing. I definitely had a Declan, and so in a weird way, this helps me resolve a lot of what that was all about to be an adult sort of going through it again through her.
Like I said before, I learn from her too in the weirdest way, like through the writing, but also just through what I find with she’s really become this other person that I love. I know that sounds weird, but I discover so many things while shooting that she’s like a girl that I would want to be friends with. I always tell people that Lori Trager is so much cooler than I am. It does come through the writing, but she just comes through in a weird way and teaches me lessons. I do like that part of it because I feel like I’m not necessarily going backwards to this immature place, but I’m learning from this young woman, this character that I play. She’s mature and she has a mind of her own and I’m really getting a lot out of it.
Now that Lori knows the truth about Kyle, can we expect to see some changes in their relationship, how she feels about him, etc.?
I have to say, I feel like it’s pretty consistent. I feel like everything remains mostly as it was between Kyle and Lori. They have the same brother/sister bond where they give each other advice and help each other out. He’s very consoling, wise, and they still have that same sort of connection.
Some of my favorite scenes to shoot are the ones with Kyle and Lori on Lori’s bed talking about whatever drama is going on in her life or what is he going to do about Amanda and all that. I feel like, even after everything that happens, they have a pretty consistent bond, and once she decided to love him and let him in the family, he is her brother, and she just sticks by him. If anything, they probably get closer because there’s not this weird mystery. There’s not this, why are you hiding, and why are you going after Jessie? She feels very betrayed, but I feel like once everything is revealed, that definitely helps them to get closer.
Do if you ever thought of the possibility for them to have a love relationship in future seasons? Kyle and Lori…
When we were shooting the pilot, we immediately – we joked about it. We were sitting around one really, really late night and he and I are very, very close friends. We had just met and just adored each other, and so we sort of were teasing the producers that were there. They were like, so Kyle and Lori, what do you think?
They were like, yes, we thought about it. Then into season one, they said that they had thought about it and it had been on the table at the writers … for a while, and then they realized that brother/sister relationship that Kyle and Lori have is so special and it’s almost like it would taint it and it would just be such a soap opera move to do. It’s just so special because Matt and I have that brother/sister close, platonic, amazing friendship and relationship, and he does feel like family and blood and everything. I just think relationships like that are so special. Then when you throw in something sexual or romantic, it throws everything off. I just love the purity of their bond. I think that the writers agree with that. I think it will probably stay that way.
In the second half of the season, are we going to get back to more of a sci-fi plot? Now that the secret is out, is it going to kind of concentrate more on the family and drama side of things, or can you give us any feel as to where we’re going?
It does sort of a flip-flop. It’s like right when you get back, there’s all this cool stuff that happens because you find out. Then all of a sudden, it’s like it goes away. I’m not sure why they did that or if they wanted to take a break from it, but all of a sudden it just kind of takes a break from it. And it focuses again on the family and the relationships and Kyle’s relationship with Amanda and what it is for him to be who he is and live in the world as a teenager, which I love that dynamic of the show. At first I feel like it’s a lot of sci-fi stuff, and then all of a sudden it’s completely the other way and you just see him living in the world and dealing with life, which I like both parts of the show. But I hope that it continues to go back and forth that way.
The voiceover has been the signature for Kyle XY for the show for the first two seasons. To your knowledge, will the writers/creators continue?
Yes. I think so. That will always be – I think that’s just sort of the style of our show. It was originally meant to be from an older person, like Kyle as an old man talking about his experience when this all happened. They wanted a Donald Sutherland type voice, and they couldn’t find it. They tried so many people, and they didn’t find it.
And so they had to do his for the pilot. They just said, let’s use his voice so we can at least show the network a cut of what we have. It just was so good. He was telling it as it’s happening and it was his voice that they ended up just using his. It wasn’t even intended to be Matt doing it. It was supposed to be like an older Kyle telling you what happened so many years ago. But now he does it, and I think – because it’s all about, you know, the show is really about what the world is like through his eyes with his special abilities and his lack of the experience of growing up and how that makes him see the world. I feel like that’s a really integral and very special part of the show. I think that will always be there.
In recent reviews for Kyle XY, obviously it’s a family show, but they’ve sited the improvement in season two over the first … specific time with an 8% increase in adult audience and 2% in women. What aspect of the show and the writing do you think reflects this response?
I don’t know. It’s so hard because sometimes I get so confused because they’ll be going in a direction, and I’ll be like nobody is going to want to see that. Then all of a sudden everybody loves it.
I think probably the first half of the season grew, I mean the mystery got really, really exciting. I feel like, in general, the stakes are higher because everything about what’s happening with Kyle is more dangerous and with protecting us and there’s just more drama. It was just the stakes were so much higher, and I feel like that generates excitement. People want to know what’s going to happen and how is Kyle going to get out of it. That would probably be my guess, if I had one.
Describe how the dynamics of the family unit of characters on the show change with the arrival of Jessie XX, going back to session two?
She caused all kinds of problems, so yes. It definitely – any time somebody like that comes in and is – and I don’t want to say that she’s evil because I feel like one of the things that one of our writers say that I love is she always says nobody on Kyle XY is really ever evil, and nobody is really ever dead either. You have to remember that it can go back. That’s the thing about Jessie. I feel like, is she evil? Is she… ? But she never really caused problems, and any time there’s ever someone that comes in that’s deceitful or not completely truthful or hurtful or anything, it always sort of spreads throughout a group of people, even if they’re people that love each other. It definitely, I think, messes with relationships.
But it also ends up making them stronger because a lot is learned through Jessie coming into their lives. I feel like … because she gets abused and then has to deal with that and has to deal with do you forgive someone that does something like that to you, and how long can you hold onto anger. One of the lessons I learned, especially through this is when you stay angry at someone for something, the only one who suffers is you. I feel like that’s something that the whole family kind of learns. You’re not punishing the person you’re angry at by being angry at them. You’re hurting yourself. That, among learning about the relationships with each other, I feel like a lot of growth comes out of it.
Where you would like to see the story and your character go this year?
I would like to see her have – I don’t know. I mean it would be nice to see her go to college and sort of become a real adult because I feel like it’s almost time for that. That would be fun, and definitely explore her music. But any time I ever think I know where I want Lori Trager to go, the writers always come up with something better. I’m just excited.
I’m sure they … I know that music is definitely going to be in the future. We’ve talked about that. I will be songwriting anything that comes up in the future. It’ll all be my own music, which is really exciting for me. That’s one of my favorite things about, among a thousand other about the show and about playing that character is that I get to sort of explore the whole music thing.
For some actors, longevity is great to have steady work, but for others, they may not necessarily agree with the long run. Would you personally want to play Lori for several more seasons?
You know what, I think about that a lot, and I feel like if something were to happen and God forbid the show was canceled, it wouldn’t necessarily be bad news either way for me as an actor because there’s always an opportunity to do something else. But I love the character and when you’re an actor on a show, especially with everything going on right now with the strike, it’s like I just feel so lucky that I’m on a show and that I’m on a show that I like to work on and that I like to play the character. It’s definitely different than doing a film or a play because… develop a character over so much time that you know so well and you learn from. I feel like, in a weird way, because of the long run of a show, you sort of – I don’t know. You get more in depth into the character than if you would if you worked on something for a couple of months.
I would love to play Lori for several more seasons, but if something happened and there are other opportunities, obviously that would be – it’s always nice to do other things. Even now, I’m going back to class because… is tomorrow and I’m like I just need to break out of it. I need to do something else. I know her so well, it’s getting so easy, so I want to keep my muscles strong, and I want to be able to stay versatile as an actor. I hope that answered your question.
Did the writers’ strike have any effect on Kyle XY? We’re getting a full season. Is that correct?
We have been picked up for ten that we start shooting in March. The writer, our writers are supposed to go back to work this month. If nothing is resolved in the next few weeks, we might have to postpone, but we’re definitely going to have a season three at some point, and hopefully, if everything is resolved, we’ll be able to stay pretty close to our shooting schedule. We were lucky. We were on hiatus anyway. So it hasn’t really affected us, but if nothing happens in the next couple of weeks, then it might postpone things a little bit. But that would probably be the worst of it for us, as far as I know.
So it will affect season three then, if it has an affect – I guess what I was asking is so all of the episodes for the second half of season two are completed?
Yes. We finished shooting those the end of October, so anything that is about to air is done. It was definitely difficult the last couple episodes doing post production because a lot of our producers were writers, and they were like really, really dedicated to the cause. And they weren’t even commenting on episodes until it was like they need to get these approved because of all the post stuff and the music, so I know that was really, really hard for a lot of our post production people. That might have affected the way that a few of them turn out, but you’ll still get to see them all.
Are we going to see more music, your music on Kyle XY, and is your music something you want to pursue as a career, aside from acting?
I never thought I would ever say that, but yes, because I just was so terrified of singing before I had to do it for the show. I didn’t think I could. But I’ve always loved music and played guitar and wanted to write songs. This definitely generated that for me.
I do sing again in the show. They recorded it actually just a couple of weeks ago. On the season finale, there is a new Lori Trager song. It was written, and then I sort of worked with another songwriter, Brandon James, who is amazing, talented, and you will see him out very soon. But we sort of collaborated to rewrite a little bit just to make it a little more personal to Lori’s experience. There were a lot of people involved in writing this song, and it turned out to be something that I was really proud of.
Actually, Brandon James was playing at The Mint in L.A. two nights ago, and he called me up on stage during his show and made me sing the song with him, and I was so mad at him, but I was so in love with him at the same time because he was like, you need to get over it. You can sing. I’m still struggling with live performance singing, and it’s something I want to do so bad, and so he did that.
Then he busted out, Will You Remember Me, the first song, and I sang that. I, like, played a gig. It was so funny. I was like calling my parents. Yes. I did a gig last night. They were like, what? Who are you? What do you think you’re doing? I’m definitely going to pursue it more, and that was really exciting, and I felt like a big breakthrough for me that I sang live for a bunch of people at this show.
I started taking voice lessons since I’ve been back in L.A. and have been working with Brandon James writing a couple new songs for fun, but we want to write and record together an EP or something, like five or six songs. I’ve written a couple outside of the show, so it’s definitely something I’m pursuing.
I never thought I was going to be able to do it. It’s really, really exciting to just, I guess, get over a fear and something that you tell yourself you can’t do, and you limit yourself for so long. Then you realize, wait a second. I really can do anything I want to do. Why do I limit myself and tell myself I can’t do that? People do it all the time. Why can’t I do it? And so I just sort of just did it, and I don’t know. Hopefully I’ll stick with it and continue to grow. It’ll be just another art form, another way to be creative and say something to the world.
Do you have any insight into Mada Corp. and if the Soylent Green reference that Mada Corp. … had any weight. There was something written … referenced to the movie Soylent Green with Charlton Heston. I wanted to know if you had any insight to that as far as what Mada Corp. really was and if it was connected also to Adam Baylin?
It’s definitely all connected. It always is with Kyle XY. It is all sort of connected. It’s not what it was necessarily – I don’t – I think that Mada Corp. turned out to be a company that was not what Adam Baylin intended the whole thing to be. I don’t know. It’s definitely connected to… I don’t know … Mada Corp. … people. I know what you’re talking about. I remember that being on the thing, but I don’t really have any insight to what all that means. I just know that it’s basically the company that sort of backed up the whole experiment.
But there’s more revealed about that in the first couple episodes, I’m pretty sure, and what the connection is with Visix, which is more of a society or like a secret club, I think. But I don’t know. It’s complicated.
When I watch the episodes, especially because I haven’t seen these ones that are about to air, but when I watch it, I learn so much about the show because eating, breathing the scripts sometimes, I’m like, what. I don’t understand what’s going on. Then I watch it, and I get – Matt, actually, Matt Dallas, he laughs at me because we’ll watch an episode together and I’ll be like, no way. I didn’t know that guy was bad. He’s like, you’re in the show. You read the scripts. What’s wrong with you? I know, but I forget, and I’m focused on sort of my story line, and I read the scripts, but I don’t really, really sometimes get what’s happening until I watch it, which is actually kind of fun because it makes me sort of enjoy the show. It’s like I’m watching a different show than the one I’m in because I’m not involved with that whole part of it. Yes. I don’t know. I can’t really give you any more insight than that.
I read that your latest movie or latest movie you worked on is called Black Russian, and I was wondering you could tell us a little more about it and what part you play.
This is actually really, really a fun one. I think it’s coming out soon. Some friends of mine wrote it based on a series of improvs that they had done in class at the Andrew Benne Studio. There was an improv they had done.
Brandon Benne is so brilliant. Part of his class is he’ll give you an improv and he’ll sort of give both actors some private information and then some common information, and just the scene will go. Sometimes you can shoot it. It’s like a short film. These actors always rise to the occasion.
There was this one improv that these two or three guys had done, and it was so good, everything that came out of it. It was just actors being creative and just rising to the occasion. So they ended up doing a follow-up improv. It was like, okay, now this happens. And they ended up writing a script from it.
It’s really good. All the actors in it are so good. The trailer even, I’ve seen the trailer. The trailer I don’t even think does it justice. It’s very good. It’s dark and everything, but it’s funny too, and the relationships are really complicated.
Nick Anderson, who is the author of The Black Russian, gets involved in all of this sort of underground gangster type stuff, and I play the babysitter that he’s having an affair with, but I’m also blackmailing him and in love with him. That was really interesting because I got to play a young… thing, and he and I are actually really, really good friends. And we had to do this crazy make-out scene, and it was so awkward because he’s like a father to me or an uncle or something, so we had to really, really get past a lot of things to shoot this sort of sexy make-out thing.
But it ended up turning out really, really good. I haven’t seen the whole thing, but I’ve seen cuts of it, like parts of it. It’s a really interesting film. I’m really excited to see it all together.
I read somewhere where fans compare you with either a young, or as a young Claudia Christian or Stockard Channing. Any comments?
I’ve never heard the Claudia Christian one, but Stockard Channing people tell me all the time. For some reason … people are saying that. Even at random Christmas parties this year, I felt like so many people that I was just meeting for the first time were like, you look freakishly like a young Stockard Channing. They even said that I remind them of her energy or something, I remind them of that, which I’m flattered by because I think that she’s awesome. I think that’s really cool.
Actually on Wikipedia I think it says that I’m Stockard Channing’s daughter, which is not true. But I think it’s funny that it’s on Wikipedia. I guess the comment – I don’t know. It’s a good one. I like it that I remind people of her because she’s amazing. That’s all I really have to say about that … good question.
I’ve read online that your favorite actress is Hilary Duff and your favorite movie is The Cinderella Story. Is that true?
I have no idea where that came from. Hilary Duff is lovely, and the movie is really cute, but I have no idea where that came from. I think they got it from my fake MySpacer that was on there, like a couple of years ago. That was on the thing, so I think they got it off of that, but I don’t know. I’m not sure where that came from.
If I had a favorite, I mean there’s so many actors that I love and respect, but I’m a huge fan of Kate Winslet and I love Rachel Weisz. I love Cate Blanchett. Those are a couple biggies that I respect and admire a lot.
Favorite movie, it’s so hard to pick a favorite movie. Of course I can’t think of any right now. Then randomly I’ll be thinking, I love that movie. When people ask me that, I’m going to say that’s my favorite movie, and I can’t. I have no idea. I loved Steel Magnolias. Girlie movies, I don’t know. I can’t correct that one because I can’t think of what my favorite movie is right now, but it’s not necessarily a Cinderella Story, not that I have anything against the film. But I don’t know where that came from.
Does she have other facts she wanted to correct? I know it has my birthday wrong. It says it’s June 5, 1985 or something. My birthday is actually March 13, 1981. I have no idea why my birthday is wrong. People think I’m lying about that all the time, but it’s March 13, 1981.
I know that you live with Matt when you’re filming. Who is neater? Are you neater? Is he neat? What’s that like to have that relationship? And either one of you always yelling at the other to pick up that stuff?
Oh my gosh. He is actually – he is such a great roommate. We live together so well because I’m probably – I wouldn’t say that I’m neater because I’m not a neat freak about anything, but I do like, especially because the house that we lived in was so beautiful, I do like it to look nice. But neither of us are really sort of obsessive about anything, so we both kind of do our part and just naturally had a flow to picking up the house and having it neat.
We would have people over a lot on the weekends, so it just sort of – we were working a lot too, so we weren’t really there to be messy. But no, there was never, like clean this up or do that at all. We were actually – I would ask him to take out the trash or this or that, but he is good, like he would see something and know it. If I made dinner, he wouldn’t let me do the dishes. He would want to clean everything up and want me to relax. We were sort of a good little roommate team. We’re definitely going to be roommates again when we’re out there because it’s nice. It gets lonely up here away from everyone else, and we both have dogs, and so we’ve got to help each other out a lot with the dogs, which was nice.
I wish there was a more dramatic story that I could give you some dirt on Matt, but he’s like squeaky-clean. He’s not a neat freak, but I mean as far as he’s just lovely to live with and lovely to be friends with. I just don’t have any major issues to dish about, but maybe I’ll make some up.
Do you have a particular charity or a cause that you’re passionate about. That was brought up a couple of times on the show at the beginning part of the season. Is there something that you particularly like and support?
I support whatever I can, like any time that I ever hear about an AIDs walk or a breast cancer… I’ve done some breast cancer 5Ks. I would support – I obviously want to support everything, but I do have sort of a new special interest in kids with autism because I have recently found out that my nephew has sort of a mild form of it. We think it’s Asperger’s, but that’s got me more interested in all the research about it and what they’re doing.
There are so many different theories on how it’s developed or if it’s hereditary and all these things, and there are so many different kinds of treatment and therapy. It’s been really, really interesting to see him change and become a kid who can function, go to school, and be at a party and not freak out. So that’s definitely something that I’m interested in. I want to get more involved in that.
And animals, anything with an animal rescue – I’ve rescued a lot of animals, and I used to be a vet tech. If I weren’t an actor, I would probably be in vet school. I love animals, and I have a lot of friends that work with animal rescue groups that I try to help as much as I can.
Is there a way that fans can contact you? Is there a Web site, a MySpace, a mailing address where they can tell you how much they appreciate what you do on Kyle XY?
I do have the MySpace, and I actually only have it for fans. That’s the only reason I have a MySpace because there was somebody on there for a long time that was pretending to be me, so I had to make my own to sort of kick them off. And I do get a lot of sort of fan mail comments and messages. I don’t respond to them. I don’t have a dialog with fans online, but I do post a blog every once in a while just to sort of update everybody. And I do read every single comment and I see everything everyone says. It’s really sweet. I really love it because people write in and are so sweet and encouraging. I do have that, and it’s just me, April Matson, on the MySpace.
Then I do have a Web site, aprilmatson.com, that’s sort of under construction, but there is a way to contact me through that too. That sort of just has a few pictures and what I’ve been doing. But it’s about to be reconstructed, so it’s a lot more fan friendly. But you can now contact through that as well.
Kyle XY follows a mysterious boy who looks like a teenager, but otherwise appears to be a newborn. The Trager family takes him in as one of their own. The series is produced by Touchstone and executive producers J. Mackye Gruber, Eric Bress, and David Himelfarb.
We had the honor of interviewing Jean-Luc Bilodeau who plays Josh Trager on the series, and here’s what she had to say.
What drew you to pursue acting?
As a kid, I always loved Jim Carey. I used to do his impersonations and stuff like that. I don’t know what it was, but I just like to entertain people. I’ve always been a dancer. I went to dance competitions and stuff like that, and just being in front of a big crowd of people brings me to an awesome place. So, I think it made me want to become an actor because the majority of famous actors are just in front of everybody all the time and, being in the spot light, I like it. I like to entertain people and make them laugh. Acting just fit the part.
Can you tell us a little bit about how you got the part of Josh, and why you accepted the role, the audition process and stuff like that?
It was pretty much like any other audition for anything else. My agent called up, I had an audition, so I went to downtown Vancouver and I did the audition, thought I did well, and within about a couple of weeks I got a call from some Hollywood execs saying that they wanted me to fly out to L.A. to audition for them. I pretty much just got on a plane, went to L.A., did the audition, thought I did well again, so I was pretty excited and flew back home. Then my agent called and said I had the part. So, it was pretty much just like any other TV show or movie audition.
What drew you to the role? Do you enjoy science fiction yourself?
I guess anything drew me to the role, because I’m going to take whatever I can get, right? But, yes, it is a really funny character. Josh is a great kid and I love his lines. He is such a funny, outgoing person. The lines the writers give me are just hilarious, and I love to play around with it and whatnot. I just got lucky, that’s for sure, with Josh.
So the comedic aspect of your role really drew you to it? Do you get a lot of input on your lines as far as that goes?
Yes. My Mom is always looking at the IMDb message boards, and people always write in, ‘Oh, that line was funny; that line was good.’ I can just credit that to the writers. The writers come up with the best stuff. I get a lot of good feedback, but I think that just goes right back to the writers. They come up with the stuff and I’m just the one saying it. The show likes the funniness of Josh, and I’m overjoyed to provide that for them.
What about as far as your input into your lines? Do you get any input?
No, I have no problems with any of the lines. I never have. There’s a couple of things you’ll change, like vocab. Would Josh say that? Maybe not. Or maybe something doesn’t make sense, but not really. I just leave it up to them. It’s usually all right. I have no problems with any of the lines.
If you could write your own story lines for Josh, what would you want him to do if it was your choice?
Oh, God forbid that ever happens. Josh’d go off to a ninja fighting camp and then come back and beat the crap out of these androids that come after Kyleâ€¦ I’d twist that show up. It would not be on the air any more, probably. I love action and whatnot, so I’ll probably just put myself in this huge army suit with a lot of guns. You wouldn’t be on ABC Family any more, that’s for sure, HBO. I hope that never happens. I would just make it ridiculous.
We haven’t seen much of Andy and Josh lately. Will that change for the rest of the season?
Oh yes. You get to see a lot of the “Jandy” stuff later in the season. You should expect some more of that. They get into a pretty deep, deep relationship. It’s coming. Just wait.
Can you tell us any of how it’s going to evolve, especially now that Josh is hiding a secret from her? Do you think that’s going to impact the relationship, and how that will come about?
Pretty much just like any other long relationship goes, there’s a roller coaster, up and down. You’re going to see us get into a couple arguments. We’re going to bump heads in a lot of ways, but we’re always going to makeup like Josh and Andy do – over a good make-out scene. They just become stronger together. They become closer. The secret doesn’t affect the relationship much. Josh can’t really hide much from her, but he does a pretty good job of this one. No, it doesn’t affect it much, they just kind of move on from it and then they just kind of flourish their relationship even more.
In previous interviews I’ve read it said that if you didn’t get into acting you probably would’ve taken a career in music. I wonder if you have talked to the writers or the producers about maybe, because Lori sings on the show, if you’ve talked about maybe being able to show off some of your music talent on the show.
I would love to pursue a music career. I love music, and I love this whole industry of music and film and whatnot. But I don’t know. I haven’t asked the writers and don’t really plan to. I’m a drummer, so there’s not many ways you can incorporate drumming with Josh. He’s kind of an impatient sort of person, so I doubt that they could write that in. But, hey, if they need something to put in it, for sure put me as a drummer. That would be awesome.
What’s been your favorite episode so far?
Oh, every time someone asks me this question I have no idea what to say. Oh my God. I think my most eye-opening scene would be the one where I got naked in the hot tub, episode 4 of the first season. I was wearing a Speedo. I had never worn a Speedo before, so it was a very eye opening and a pretty fun experience, I’d say. Me and Merritt Patterson had a lot of fun shooting that scene, that’s for sure.
What’s been your favorite story line thus far on the series?
I’ve always been kind of an action sort of guy, so anything to do with Tom Foss and Kyle, all that training stuff, I love that; that’s cool. Pretty much all that action or the mystery between Kyle and Baylin. That’s really cool stuff. I like all the story lines on Kyle, but I’d say the action would be my top favorite for sure.
What’s your favorite part about working on Kyle?
I’d say my favorite part about working on Kyle XY is the actors. Everyday of my life being around them is just so fun, you know? Even if you’re having a hard time, being around Matt or any of the guys, they’re great people. I’d like the show even if they weren’t on it, but they just make everything so much better. I came from commercials to going into TV and they made the transition really easy by being so outgoing and so cool. I’d say that’s my most favorite part on being on Kyle XY.
What’s your least favorite thing about being on Kyle XY?
Oh, that’s a hard question. There aren’t many negative things about being on the set of Kyle XY that’s for sure. I’d say the least thing I like about being on Kyle XY is the fact that I live in Surrey, and they shoot in Vancouver. Surrey is about an hour and a half away from Vancouver where we shoot during heavy traffic. In the mornings, I have to wake up two hours before my call time, so I don’t get much sleep, which I need as a growing teenager, right? But I can’t complain. Kyle XY has been so good to me and I love the show, so I can put up with the short sleep. I’m no baby.
Do you have any funny stories or practical jokes you can tell us about from the set?
Ooh, I’ve got a couple of good ones. One day I just started scaring Matt Dallas. I’d just hide behind things and I’d pop out whenever he was walking anywhere, and I’d just scream really loud and lunge at him. I don’t know, I just started doing it almost every day. A couple of times, he almost punched me in the face once. His gut reaction to getting scared is throwing a punch. So if I get too close to him, I’m going to get a fist in the face. It’s stuff like that. I love scaring Matt. He’s such a funny guy to play around with like that. Other than that, there’s not much PG rated stuff we talk about on the show. So I don’t know. I’d say that the scaring and all that is the biggest practical joke I play on the people.
Who do you enjoy working with the most on the show?
Oh, that’s a hard one. That is a hard question. I enjoy working with them all equally. I don’t have a price to put on that, honestly. They’re all great people. I think the most star struck I’ve ever been with a person on the cast was Ally Sheedy. Ally Sheedy joined the cast within the last couple of episodes, and I love Breakfast Club, and I just enjoy just seeing her. I was star struck; I was done. But I enjoy working with her just because she was on the Breakfast Club, and that’s one of my favorite movies. Everybody else, I love them all and I can’t really say. That’s a hard question.
Can you say anything about Ally’s upcoming role?
I don’t want to say much. Let’s just say she does a great job at it, of course, because she’s Ally Sheedy, and I think everybody’s going to enjoy her part on the show.
Can you tell us a little bit of what we can expect to happen to Josh for the rest of the season? Can you give us a little preview?
Wow, I haven’t done an interview in a while. I’ll have to think about this. I think Josh builds up his relationship with Andy, of course. And again, he’s building up a stronger, brotherly relationship with Kyle. They run into a couple of things during the season. It’s just developing Josh. He doesn’t really involve himself too much with Kyle’s mystery and Kyle figuring out what’s going on with his life. Josh is kind of figuring out himself and just going with it. He’s a family kid, right? So, it’s plain ‘ole Josh. He’s saying the same jokes, being the nice kid he is. So I guess that’s what you can expect from him.
Do you think that we’re going to see any more of the back story of Josh? Sometimes they show things that tell why characters do certain things or whatever. We see more with Kyle and everything, and we’d like to see more of the other characters, too.
Yes, you do. I think this goes for every character on Kyle XY. They all just get a really in-depth look at themselves, so everyone gets to see who they really are. As it goes for Josh, same thing. As the season goes on, you just get to know him better and you just kind of know how he makes decisions and how he thinks. He is a funny, clever kid. He’s a really normal kid. He’s not like Kyle. There are obviously reasons for the way he acts most of the time, because he’s a genius or he’s super human, right? With Josh, he’s just a normal teenager and you can really see that aspect of it for sure.
Has it been hard for you to balance work and school?
I’ve never really liked school, so it’s not too hard, because I don’t really stress myself over a lot of things in school, especially exams. I kinda just do it. Sometimes it gets a little edgy when you’re behind with homework and you’ve got to catch up. But, other than that, school on set is really cool because you’re just with your one-on-one teacher, except with Kristen Prout as well. It’s a cool environment to be in. I can leave the school trailer to go get some food any time I want to, and I can’t do that in normal school, so that’s a plus. It’s been easy for sure.
I saw on MTV that you have a film coming out soon called Trick or Treat. Can you tell us a little bit about it and what part you play on that?
I play a part named Schrader. I don’t know what his last name is. They didn’t give me one. He’s just a supporting character. It’s about these four stories that all intertwine over this one kid. It’s all about people breaking the rules of Halloween and kind of disobeying the spirits, I guess you could say. It’s just them paying the consequences and whatnot. Yes, Schrader, he’s just kind of the cool kid in the group.
Now that you have some experience working on a movie set, how does that differ from working on Kyle XY, and which do you enjoy more?
You can tell the difference. The difference between working on a TV set and a movie set is that, with TV, things have to be moving. There is a time limit and shows are airing, and they need to shoot stuff before the date. It’s very fast paced. On a movie, they can take as much time as they want to, really. On Trick or Treat, it was a pretty long shoot for the stuff I did. If we did the same stuff for the TV, it would be much shorter. We would have just plowed right through it. But, of course, movies have a much bigger budget, bigger time limit. Other than that, I don’t know. I’ve only been on one movie set, so I can’t say much, but I thought they were relatively the same other than the time. I think the timing is much different.
Where would you want your career to go after Kyle XY? Do you want to keep doing television, or maybe move into films?
Whatever pays me more money. No, I’m kidding, I’m kidding. TV is fun. The movie I did was fun. I guess, just whatever comes up first, and whatever seems good and a fit for my career. I’ve worked on TV for two years now, so I think I have more of a TV, fast-paced sort of mind set now that I’ve worked on Kyle XY for so long. But whatever; hey, TV is cool. Movies are cool. Whatever works.
Expanding on what you just said, what would your dream role be if you could pick the kind of role you wanted?
My dream role would be probably a ninja/motorcycle racer/monster-killer guy. I just like that corny action stuff. It’s all good, but I’d say that crazy extraterrestrial-killing guy. I don’t know what you call it, but that’s my favorite for sure.
Interview By: Emma Loggins
– Kyle XY Official Site
– Kyle XY Gallery