(Photo by Daniel Esteban & Hailey Voorand)
In an exclusive interview with Villain Media, actress Jordana Lajoie talks about her role as weapons specialist, Cherie, in the Amazon Prime drama, The Boys. Based on the Garth Ennis and Darick Robertson’s cult comic book from Dynamite Entertainment, The Boys take aim at celebrity culture and superficiality with their special band of anti-heroes.
As we previously mentioned, The Boys explores what happens when superheroes, who are as popular as celebrities, become influential as politicians and as revered as Gods. How do you stop them when they abuse their superpowers rather than use them for good?
Jordana Lajoie is an actor, filmmaker and artist. Her most notable work is the French Quebec TV series, Patrice Lemieux 24/7, where she played the character of Shannon Lemieux, the wife of famous NHL player, Patrice Lemieux. She has also played roles in films A Gingerbread Romance, Terrified at 17 and Zoe. In The Boys, Cherie (Lajoie) is an explosives expert and in a love/hate relationship with Frenchie (Tomer Capon).
With the first season of The Boys now available on Amazon Prime, Jordana Lajoie discusses how the role of Cherie came about, getting into the skin of her character, and creating the chemistry with her co-stars. Check out our review of The Boys as we head off to the actor’s studio to talk about the craft of character-building.
Villain Media: Tell me how you became involved in The Boys.
Jordana Lajoie: It all started with a simple audition process; sent a tape in, and the next thing I knew, my agent was telling me to get my suitcase ready. He called me when I was on my way to another audition, and it was just a really sweet moment! I had no idea what the show was about; I just knew the names involved and was excited.
VM: As a fan of Supernatural, I love Eric Kripke’s work on The Boys. Tell me about bringing Cherie to life after reading Kripke’s script.
JL: Cherie is a special lady, no doubt, and that is mostly thanks to Eric’s script, which made it easier for me to get into that skin. The set and costumes and everything really cemented the character for me; where she was, who she was with, what she was doing, all these elements played a part in creating this character. The writers know what they’re doing. She was meant to be a weapons dealer mixed with a bit of that rave party girl energy. I added some of my own goth undertones to it, and it just kind of meshed well. I love her!
VM: In episode 2, entitled “Cherry,” you have a great scene with Karl Urban and Jack Quaid. Tell me about working with them.
JL: They’re both very talented and had amazing chemistry on set! And they’re also funny! I remember filming this somewhat awkward scene with them, and it was one of the first times we interacted as actors, where I’m rubbing Jack’s face for a really long time, and it took everything that we had not to break character. Imagine having to rub someone’s face you’ve never really hung out with before, for a really…really long time, and having to do it more than once. Did I mention Eric Kripke is a total dork?
VM: Even though Cherie isn’t from the comics, she feels part of the world that writer Garth Ennis and artist Darick Robertson created. Was it more of a challenge or more freeing jumping into the show’s specific tone and voice?
JL: It was a bit of both, to be honest. Some of my closest friends know the comics so well, and I didn’t want to feel like a fraud, especially since I don’t exist in the books. I think the moment that I really felt good about her existing in the show was when Darick Robertson — co-creator of The Boys — tweeted that he loved Cherie more than he did Marie, who was Frenchie’s original girlfriend in the books. That’s all thanks to Eric, who has quite an imagination, who loves this universe so much, that he doesn’t fail to make original choices that are almost always better for the storyline and the audience watching today.
VM: You were also in the television series, Patrice Lemieux 24/7. How does your experience with The Boys compare to Patrice Lemieux 24/7?
JL: Well, first off Patrice Lemieux is a French TV show. So being able to act in my mother tongue is always a fun thing. That’s right, nerds, I’m the real Frenchie!
I had a much bigger role on that show though since I was playing Patrice’s wife, so more responsibilities as an actor; can’t really compare. I find sometimes having less “importance,” for lack of a better word, in a show is a bit more freeing. Pros and cons to both for sure. But at the end of the day, when you love what you do, you don’t mind working long hours or learning new lines last minute or having to carry a show, so when I say cons, I don’t really mean that.
I will say this; I find supporting characters, for the most part, way spicier.
VM: The Boys has been renewed for Season 2. What excites you the most about returning to the role of Cherie?
JL: Honestly, just being in the presence of the genius that is this show — no bias — the talented writers, the directors, the crew, the actors. It’s one of the better experiences I’ve had on a set. It’s wild, and it feels like home.
VM: How did The Boys change you as an artist?
JL: It gave me hope that you can work on an original project, with like-minded individuals — dorks — and still manage to make a living while doing it. You know, I love indie projects because there’s so much heart, and the crew is like a family, and the stories are usually better. But of course, you can’t pay your mortgage with that or support your family. Still, you do it every once in a blue moon because it reminds you why you “became a storyteller” in the first place, or because your friend needs your help, and you have to be a good friend once in a while.
When I was hired to play Cherie, who wasn’t supposed to be anyone majorly significant, if we can be real for a minute, I still felt this amazing energy that I feel on smaller-scale projects, and I couldn’t explain what it was at the time. I just felt really exciting energy, and I couldn’t be bothered by the number of lines she had or whatever.
I’ve been on larger projects, and although you get paid well, you don’t necessarily feel that magic all the time; it almost feels like a waste of talent. I would rather not be a part of those projects at all, even if sometimes they do help financially for quite a while, they also make me question a lot of things when I watch the end result, and that disappointment really isn’t worth the financial security. Totally loco.
Moments where you go: “Oh…this script is actually good,” and “Oh…these directors aren’t cocky at all, maybe a little bit, but the really good kind of cocky,” and “Oh…this is what I’ve been wanting to do all my life; play in a badass comic book universe surrounded by amazing people who are enjoying the work that they’re doing and aren’t ashamed of it.“ Okay, I never want to leave this place. That was The Boys for me.
Whatever this energy is, it’s addictive; it’s scary, rare, and beautiful. I hope that answers your question.
VM: What are you working on now?
JL: Currently, I am back home visiting my mum and just taking a break from everything, being surrounded by my loved ones. I want to give a little shout out to my mum, who is currently fighting Leukemia. She’s been such an inspiration to me, has always cheered me on, and I am so blessed to have her in my life. I’m so proud of her perseverance and will to fight. She’s my superhero — the Starlight kind.
Chase your dreams, but don’t forget who’s cheering you on the sidelines; they are so much more important.
Readers can find out more about Jordana Lajoie here:
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For my birthday Darick Robertson co-creator and illustrator of the Boys (the comics) drew me as this version of Catwoman. Super blessed and grateful for the many amazing individuals I was able to meet on this journey. 🖤🦇. Happy #batmanday dorks. JL #theboystv #darickrobertson #cherie #comics #catwoman @theboystv
Readers can binge-watch the first season of The Boys on Amazon Prime. Season 2 is coming soon.
[Writer’s Note: This interview has been edited for length and clarity. Links are highlighted in bold.]