THE MAGICIANS — “Be the Penny” Episode 304 — Pictured: (l-r) Stella Maeve as Julia Wicker, Jason Ralph as Quentin Coldwater — (Photo by: Eric Milner/Syfy)
In three seasons The Magicians has continued to build a solid following and garner critical acclaim. A big part of its success lies in ever shifting ambiguity of its lead characters, especially with their relationship to magic. The series also has an open world feel to its narrative – what began as the seemingly inextricable bond between longtime friends Quentin (Jason Ralph) and Julia (Stella Maeve) has expanded into many different directions.
“It just poses the question of what is good (and) what is evil,” said Maeve. “And I feel like every character is kind of fighting against themselves. You are, essentially, your own worst enemy. So we get to see all of these people who are essentially on the same journey to bring back magic but they’re all going through their own individual journey of just battling themselves.”
Click on the media bar to hear Jason Ralph talk about the “full body experience” of The Magicians and how it relates to acting:
None of the lead characters inThe Magicians have had it easy during their journey, and actress Stella Maeve has been able to explore the inherent courage and flaws of Julia Wicker throughout the show.
Julia’s journey had her being excluded from Brakebills after failing the entry test and leading her to find her own path through magic. This decision led to an initial estrangement with childhood best friend Quentin Coldwater (Jason Ralph) during the first season but her all consuming desire to learn magic has ultimately put her in good stead.
Playing an intense character who has had her share of tragic events can be an all consuming process for Maeve, and during our interview with the actress she humorously admitted that it’s a hard character to shake once her work day has ended. Click on the media bar to hear Maeve talk about playing Julia Wicker:
The Magicians, co-starring Olivia Taylor Dudley, airs Wednesday evenings on SyFy (9/8c).
If you’re in need of a show that doesn’t pander to viewers but instead presents its protagonists in a much more realistic light, then The Magicians should be up your alley. The story of several talented magicians (topliners Jason Ralph, Olivia Taylor Dudley, Stella Maeve) who try their best to reconcile their passion for magic while maintaining some semblance of sanity is filled with unexpected and often heartbreaking turns.
“It’s a world full of real, complicated characters,” said Ralph. “One of the inherent things that we do on the show is that we blur lines between good and bad, and hero and villain.”
Click on the media bar to hear co-star Olivia Taylor Dudley explain how, when it comes to the people on The Magicians, they are a “few decisions away from a bad one.”
The Magicians airs Wednesday evenings on Syfy (9/8c).
Garnering a solid fan base and acclaim last year, The Magiciansis back for a second season. With the first batch of episodes dealing with the young magicians’ origin stories and their evolving abilities, a new chapter will hopefully bring an even bigger playground to the Lev Grossman (the series is based on his bestselling novels) created universe.
“In this season, we get to explore a lot of new landscapes,” says Olivia Taylor Dudley, who plays Alice on the show. “We go to Fillory and Fillory becomes a big character this season. The magic in Fillory is a lot darker than the magic we were experiencing back on Earth or at Brakebills. This year, they’ve built some amazing sets and the cinematography in each world is so different. They pick different lenses, different costumes, different characters – it’s endless with how many different places we went to.”
Since any show that centers on magicians will inevitably have its Harry Potter comparisons, we asked cast members Dudley, Stella Maeve, and Jason Ralph if this reference is valid. Click on the media bar below to hear the actors talk about the program.
The Magicians returns Wednesday, January 25 on SyFy (9/8c).
Airing Monday evenings on SyFy, The Magicians centers on Quentin Coldwater (Jason Ralph), a grad student who joins Brakebills University for Magical Pedagogy to cultivate his magic skills. Co-starring Stella Maeve, Arjun Gupta, and Olivia Taylor Dudley, The Magicians is based on Lev Grossman’s bestselling fantasy trilogy.
For Ralph,The Magicians offers more than just the visceral thrill of seeing something out of the ordinary. “The show and the books are sort of a second coming of age story,” says Ralph. “It’s about this post grad voice that a lot of people find themselves in where the world expects you to have your s**t together – and you don’t. I think that’s something this generation particularly is experiencing right now. There’s not a set place for people to enter the job market or anything really. So there’s a lot of people trying to forge their own way through the world and I think this series explores that.”
In the following video below, Stella Maeve talks about the joys of acting in The Magicians: