TV Shows

SDCC Interview: Olivia Taylor Dudley from THE MAGICIANS

Olivia Taylor Dudley talks about THE MAGICIANS, fans and trolls on the internet, and Alice’s dry sense of humor. 

We started off The Magicians interviews with Olivia Taylor Dudley, who plays Alice Quinn on the show. They had just started filming for season four, but when asked if she could recite what the first line she spoke was, she just couldn’t remember it. Oh, well, that’s how life goes when you’re going from episode to episode and can only take a breather to visit San Diego for Comic-Con International.

But she can tell us where she is at the beginning of season four, which she states is right where we left off at the end of season three.

“So Alice is in jail, still. I’m the only one that is still the same character, and I’m the only one who knows— the other characters don’t know that they’re somebody else right now, so Alice kind of has an advantage, plus disadvantage because she’s in jail. I get to spend a lot of alone time at the beginning of the season.”

Sounds lonely, but we’re sure that’s not going to be the case for the whole season. However, she did some stuff last season that fans might still be mad about and might want her to stay where she is. Olivia understands, but she has her own opinion about it.

“I still stand behind what she did last season, and I think she would, too. I think that she was doing the right thing, and she just wanted to protect her friends. [The fans] were very mad at me, but she was really trying to do what was best for her friends and for the world,” Olivia admits. “I don’t know, I don’t think she regrets it, but she has the most complicated relationship with magic out of everybody else because she was the only one born into it, so it’s something she’s questioned her whole life, which is a fun thing for me to explore. I like that part about her character. Magic’s never been romantic to her in any way. That’s something that I explore a lot this season; it’s still her relationship with magic. It’s like magic and Quentin, she could never figure it out.”

We agree about that last part, Olivia! But what is her plans for this coming season? Not even she knows it all, but has a feeling that she might know where her character is going.

“They only give us the scripts about a week and a half before we start shooting them, so I don’t know where the whole season is going. Right now it feels like a redemption season and trying to help her friends and help herself,” Olivia stated. “It’s a different Alice than the one we saw last year. I feel like I’m playing a little bit more of Alice from season one, who I miss, who’s kind of beaten down and starting over.”

Changing topics a bit, she talks about how the internet and interacting with fans have changed and how it’s affected her with being on the show.

“Well, it’s fascinating. I’ve been on the internet for a long time because I’ve had a web series for many years before that was even a thing. So, I’ve seen the comments and trolling, I’ve watched it all happen. It’s finally nice to have a platform like The Magicians,” said Olivia. “It’s really given me a voice and enough people where I can stop that kind of talk. I’ve had so many nasty things said, not like mean things, but inappropriate things said to me on the internet. It’s nice now, I feel like I have an army of fans who have my back. So, if somebody says something about my body, which is none of their business, I have all these people, tons of fans that are like, ‘Don’t say that!’ I feel like the fans have my back and I think that’s one of my favorite parts about being on a show like this.”

With Olivia’s background in comedy, she was asked if she thought to try to make Alice more comedic on the show, which she admits to not wanting for the character.

“I think Alice has a dry sense of humor, and I have a dry sense of humor,” stated Olivia. “And I personally asked them to not make Alice funny. I like that she’s the straight man of the group, because I rarely get to play that. So, when Alice does deliver a funny line, it’s very few and far between and it’s more satisfying.”

As far as what the showrunners do for the characters, Olivia doesn’t really need to know the details and it seems she trusts them to write her character the way she should be written, but she knows “they know how to write for us. They write our characters very well, we play them very well.” 

She continues, saying, “It’s more like major arcs, I just kind of want to know. I think in the beginning I wanted to know everything, mostly because I wanted it to be just like the books. But once you throw that out the window, I just want to know the grand scheme of it.”

As for parts of the books she’d want to see on the show, she’d apparently be interested in seeing a particular journey for another character. “I’d want Summer [Bishil] to go…Janet—Margo—f*ck! You know what I’m talking about. I want her to go on her quest through the desert. That I’d be curious about.”

And so far Olivia’s favorite scene was, well, “I liked killing the beast. I like when Alice gets to be badass. She’s always a badass, but she has a determination that I really enjoy playing, so I liked when I killed the beast.”

The Magicians will return with season four on the Syfy network in 2019.

By Nat, the Geek Girl

Southern California native who likes movies, books (Shadowhunter Chronicles, NA, YA fantasy, Red Rising series), TV shows (The Sandman), and San Diego Comic-Con. I also like to write, but don't get to do much of that aside from on here. I fell into the BTS rabbit hole, and I refuse to leave.