The Magicians' Jade Tailor on heisting, punching and goblin killing

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Mar 8, 2017

SPOILER ALERT: The following discusses plot points from "Plan B," the seventh episode of Season 2 of The Magicians, which aired on March 8.

Fellow Fillory-philes, we just got a magical heist episode, and it was amazing. The dialogue was snappy, the music spot-on and the magic both fun and dangerous.

Plus, the entire gang got together for the bank-robbing antics, which resulted in the season's best episode yet. Even though each of the characters pretty much had their own agenda – either to fund Julia's demon abortion, to fund the bankrupted realm, or hell, just for fun – everyone pretty much worked together despite their general dislike of at least two other people.

But from an episode of standout performances, Jade Tailor as Kady was especially notable. Kady's friendship with Julia (Stella Maeve) has been honest and compelling, and she has emerged as a force to contend with amongst the Brakebills bunch. And while it was great to see Kady and Penny (Arjun Gupta) reunite, it was additionally satisfying that they didn't have to unload all the emotional stuff right then and there when there will be time for that soon enough.

Plus, Kady has literally been kicking ass as of late, and there was no shortage of that in tonight's episode (she not only punched Q and took down two goblins, she made the line "I need its spoon" sound hardcore).

I caught up with Jade Tailor to talk about tonight’s episode as well as Kady's character and where she may be headed.

This has been my favorite episode of the season so far. How was it from your perspective to do this heist story?

Jade Tailor: Honestly, it was probably my favorite to shoot. I had the best time. It was the first time all the characters got together, which was really exciting for me. I got to play a lot with Hale Appleman and Jason Ralph, who were big goofballs like myself. We had so much fun, and who doesn't like to be in a heist? And I love the battle sequences. And Penny and Kady reunite in some capacity, so that was exciting as well.

I want to hear more about being with everyone on this. How was the dynamic different for this ep?

I think everyone was excited, so it felt really heightened in many ways. To play with the dynamics of all the different characters was fun. The last time you see Kady interacting with the characters, it isn't the most loving scenario. To be able to play against that was really fun. And you get to see how unique each character is. For me, as a character and actor, it was really thrilling.

Kady has been the take-charge character of this episode, and she's been this street-smart woman who steps in. Has this been an energizing evolution for her?

Absolutely. That's what I love about Kady. Even though she has all this vulnerability, and things she's had to deal with, at the core – because of these things – she is a badass, and has a tough skin. It is fun to play this strong character who has no fear in many ways, on the physical level. I had so much fun beating these people up! But it's also so empowering playing this woman who isn't afraid to stand up for what she believes in and isn't afraid to stand up for the people she cares about.

She's helping Julia and wants to stop Reynard, but what is the long-term goal for her?

Well, I don't think she has a view of what are her long-term goals. She has been a survivor her whole life, and so she's always in survival mode. There is also a loyalty aspect to her. So right now, she's really just on this mission because she feels, in a way, obligated to Julia, to help her through this since she wasn't able to help her before – and Julia has saved her life a couple times. I think it is a drive to do what's right, and survive. Of course she loves Penny, and that has many layers to it, but she doesn't look at that as "This is what I want." All her actions come from a place of wanting to protect and do what's right.

It would almost be too easy to be back with Penny right now. This isn't all sunshine and rainbows with them now …

Is it ever?! I'm talking about life, and the show! They have a lot of history, and a lot left unsaid. There is a journey there. They get to explore that. I'm excited to see what comes out of that, because it's always unpredictable. With regards to them, they obviously love each other, but love is never enough.

I really enjoy that we see more of this multicultural magic community being revealed. Is there an aspect you'd like to see more of?

Kady has been exposed to much of this. Unlike the other students, she's lived in the real world of magic, not just learned it in books at school. She has experienced a lot, so I don't think much phases her. She doesn't explore Fillory often, and does – literally and figuratively – live in the real world. Personally, I would love to see her explore Fillory more. All the characters get these elaborate costumes when they go there, and I want to see Kady as Xena or something like that when she goes there, or how Fillory changes her in some extravagant way.

She is the most street-smart character of this core group. Have you received some backstory on Kady, beyond what viewers know?

That's a great question, because I called [showrunners Sera Gamble and John McNamara] several times at the beginning of Season 1, asking to understand who she is and where she's coming from. So I could create this character and her arc. At first, they basically said "Trust us," which is fair. But then they started to go into the story with my mother and how it's shaped me. But she really comes from the streets of magic.

But things change. I keep telling Sera she should come and play Kady's sister or aunt. We have similar features, and she used to be an actress. So I don’t know; we might create a whole other backstory if we add that in!

Finally, if you were in a real bank heist, what would your job be?

I would be running the whole thing! I would be Margo, and driving the getaway car. Or no, I would want to be in the action. And probably be Kady, or planning the whole thing, and in the middle of it. I sort of lived out the fantasy of doing what Kady did.

What are you next looking forward to for Kady?

I will tell you I'm excited for people to see what happens with Chris Gorham's character [who will recur in Season 2 as a senator who discovers he has supernatural abilities]. That was a really fun storyline to play, and I loved his work and loved working with him. I think people will be really surprised on where that storyline goes.