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