THE MAGICIANS at SDCC 2016 | Interview with Summer Bishil and Hale Appleman

Summer Bishil and Hale Appleman talk about the comedy involved in The Magicians and what they want to see happen to their characters.

SyFy surprised us with one of its best shows in a long time with The Magicians earlier this year, and we couldn’t wait to spend time with the cast at this year’s San Diego Comic-Con. Summer Bishil (Margo Hanson) and Hale Appleman (Eliot Waugh) got to talk to us a bit about their characters (which you can hear me claim my love, love, love for Eliot in a less than professional manner.)

Obviously, we started with Hale as he refreshes our memory of Eliot’s emotional state at the end of season one:

“It’s important to note the kind of darkness that he was experiencing at the end of season one and the sort of revelation of a kind of higher purpose to his life, and that sort of blindsided him,” he states. “And (that moment) being a kind of important anchor in his kind of ultimate evolution. So, that’s what I’ll say.”

When asked about their characters’ relationship, he continued on in

“We had to kind of confront emotions together in a way that they probably hadn’t had to before, and didn’t perhaps have the tools and the language to work through some of those harder hurdles that you have to grapple through with your closest friends and loved ones.”

Summer Bishil added to that as well:

“We sort of learned how to talk and be honest with each other towards the end. That’s hard in any relationship and I think it was particularly hard for those two.”


They also talked about how they were able to be a little less serious than some of the other characters on the show, basically going with the “there’s no such thing as too much” rule, with Hale adding that they still tried to “ground the comedy in the relationship.” 

Summer did give credit to the script and the story for the levity, which made it easier for them to act on.

In regards to the menage-a-trois scene with Jason Ralph’s character, Quentin, they revealed there were no qualms from any of them as they worked through it very easily as they were comfortable with each other, which, considering their chemistry on screen, shouldn’t be surprising. (Forgive my stumbling, as the short amount of time that we have with these actors makes it hard to formulate the question that I really wanted to ask.)

However, Summer did express her enjoyment with the scene she had with Quentin before that tryst:

“It was also gratifying because Margo had a really fun scene with Quentin before it happened, and that was really fun to have a more grounded moment with her because they were—I didn’t have any in the first—it was all sort of shits and giggles, so it was nice to just have a scene where I had my guard down.”

Hale did add there’d be room for “subtle dynamics in evolution of those relationships,” and more vulnerability between the characters.

In regards to what they want for their characters in future episodes/seasons, Summer seems open to whatever they want planned for Margo although she did note the journey that Janet (in the books) goes through in self-realization, something that she’s attached to.

Hale, on the other hand, has been begging executive producer John McNamara to get a scene in the show where Eliot fences, as it’s a dream of his. Being that Fillory is a real place for these characters, we believe this can happen.

Season 2 of The Magicians will air sometime later in 2016.

By Molly

Molly is a proud Canadian who is currently attending university in Scotland. She loves to read, write, watch films, and talk about Sarah J. Maas books. If not snuggled up with a book, Molly can usually be found tapping at the dance studio, or writing yet another essay.

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