Back again, with part two of Biff Bam Pop!’s Jaime Murray interview. Jaime plays Stahma Tarr, a Castithan, one of the Votan races now living on Earth in Syfy’s new show, Defiance. In part one of the interview, we spoke about Jaime’s character and her place in the show. Join me now, after the jump, as we continue learning more about Jaime and Stahma.
Marie Gilbert asked, “What is it like to work with Tony Curran who plays Datak Tarr?
Jaime Murray: “Tony’s become one of my really close good friends, I feel immense affection for him. And it’s just so great working with somebody that you genuinely have such good feelings for, because often as an actor you know there’s – I guess what’s good about Julie and I sitting there talking about these made up people for hours on end, there’s a certain child-like quality that you have to have to share these fantasies with people, share these stories that you’ve made up in your head with people and these ideas.
“We all did that as children freely and as you grow up you stop doing it because you feel a bit silly, and you have to be silly to an actor really. You have to be able to be prepared to come up with an idea that other people won’t particularly like or try something which is dreadful and then you present something else which is equally dreadful and then finally you come up with something which is brilliant and…”
“…kind of weird that works for them and strange. But you can only really do that if you’re with somebody that you really trust. I’m lucky that on the cast of Defiance there’s a whole bunch of actors that I trust, but I’m particularly lucky that one of the ones I have a really special relationship is Tony Curran because obviously he plays my husband.”
Marie Gilbert said, “Right.”
Jaime Murray: “So yes, it’s good fun. And when the three of us all get on set you know and I’m with Alak and Datak, we just have a ball.”
Marie Gilbert said, “It looks like you’re real close.”
Jaime Murray: “In fact it’s funny because I don’t know whether it’s because we’re both from the UK but back home we have our own TV shows and sitcoms and funny little sayings and adverts that you grew up watching and you know the jingles from and when you go to another country you kind of lose a lot of those points of reference.”
Marie Gilbert said, “Right.”
Jaime Murray: “Whether it’s the biscuits that you had and you dipped in tea or whatever and I’d say that to an American and they’d look at me like I was potted. In fact it took me, I’ve been in the USA for six years now and now I’ve got really close friends, American friends here and often I’ll talk to them and I’ll use a turn of phrase like ‘Bob’s your uncle’ or I don’t know, ‘I’ll be out here’ and – silly little phrases that I say – and they’ll look at me like I’m mad and now they’ll tell me ‘I don’t know what the hell you’re talking about.’
“Where as you know I’ll say those things to Tony and he instantly knows what I’m talking about and he’ll come back with another silly phrase or another silly jingle or a funny accent from the north of England or whatever, we can – we’ll sometimes banter backwards and forwards and Julie Benz will walk into the makeup truck and she’ll be like ‘I have no idea what you people are talking about. I don’t know what you’re talking about. In fact I can’t even understand you’. So we have a way of a tone.”
Marie Gilbert asked, “That’s great. That’s good when you have a close relationships on this show right, I believe that, but I wondered if the question I was always puzzled what does Stahma do during the day? They don’t really show us what your duties are because you’re someone important so what do you do?”
Jaime Murray: “Well like I said I feel very much like I’m in a period piece. So I think that good housekeeping and keeping things running and running the books and kind of I think that the Castithan people have their own little rituals. I think that Stahma is like queen of the Castithans so I think that she kind of really – it’s like she has this kind of archaic role she’s playing.”
Marie Gilbert said, “Right.”
Jaime Murray: “She’s doing her weaving and she’s doing the ceremonies; she’s at home kind of holding court I think.”
Marie Gilbert asked, “Okay. That was because I was confused on what she did so that answered my question. I have one more question. Do you play the game Defiance?”
Jaime Murray: “I have played the game Defiance, in fact I’m getting a XBox so when I come back up to Toronto, because I think I’m going to play it in my trailer. And obviously you know that us actors get a lot of down time and especially on this show I’m fully dressed up, completely painted in white from head to toe with the wig on and everything so it’s not like I can exactly lay down or pop to the shops when they’re not using me for hours, so I’ll be playing the game when I come back to work.
“But I did play it when it launched and I was absolutely awful at it, I think the qualities that made me – drew me to acting: sensitivity or over emphasizing or whatever make me an awful gamer because I get far too excited, far too into it and before you know it I’m squealing and ducking as if something really is coming at me and I think that to play the game you have to have a certain amount of skill and be cool, calm and collected and they’re not really qualities that I possess. Maybe Stahma would be really good at playing the game.”
Marie Gilbert asked, “Well I don’t feel so bad then because I’m really bad at the game but I guess I’m trying to think of I know you’re in a movie coming up. I know this has nothing to do with Defiance. But you’re in a movie — one of my favorite movies – Fright Night.”
Jaime Murray: “Yes. Really fun and…”
Marie Gilbert said, “Fright Night Two.”
Jaime Murray: “Yes I went and shot Fright Night Two straight after I finished on Defiance and it was interesting actually. I started reading a lot about the vampire myth, and I was playing the vampire in Fright Night, and there’s a lot of kind of… and Freudian analysis of the vampire myth because it’s a, it’s been a very popular myth for the last couple of hundred years.
“And the more I read about it the more it reminded me of the Castithans you know they’re very narcissistic and they’re very self-serving and they really kind of use other people for their own ends. And even the way she is with her own child, Alak, there’s something very vampiric about her. So hopefully when I come back this year I’ll use that to flesh her out even more.”
Jaime Murray is such a pleasure to interview and I hope to speak with her again. I wanted to thank Meg Campbell and Natasha Dunkley of Shaw Media in Toronto for offering this interview opportunity to Biff Bam Pop!
Make sure to watch Defiance and Jaime Murray on the Syfy Channel, Mondays at 9 PM, followed by Warehouse 13 at 10 p.m. where Jaime Murray plays H.G. Wells.