I’ve just seen episode 6, “The Trials,” so let’s talk about that for a bit. Clearly this is something that Eliot has previously had to go through. Were you told what Eliot had to do for his own trials, so you could relate to the other characters?
Definitely. I think most importantly, what Summer and I decided (Summer Bishil who plays Margo, who’s an amazing actor and I can’t wait for you guys to see over the course of the season how she grows) was that there was a moment during their own trials that fused Eliot and Margo’s connection and bond. Summer and I really discussed, in depth, Eliot and Margo’s separate backstories. What they have in common is they both come from families that have rejected them in different ways. They haven’t really had very close-knit friendships in their lives, it hasn’t been possible — or up to this point they haven’t had the tools to navigate those friendships. So, really, for each other they represent one of the first true deep loves and friendships that they’ve ever been able to have.
The Trials was an experience for both of them that solidified that bond. The last trial is revealing your deepest truth, so for Eliot and Margo these characters, who perhaps have a hard time discussing the harder truths of their own personal story, it was a moment of revelation and intense bonding for them — to find someone they can see in them selves.
They all flew off randomly at the end of the episode, so where they’re going… is Eliot going to be there? Can we expect Eliot to continue with the trials?
I can say that Eliot and Margo have bigger fish to fry. Especially because they’re upperclassmen, they’ve been where the others are going. It’s up to someone else to take the baton and run the show for Quentin and Quentin’s class. You’ll see us do our own thing for the next couple of episodes.
Jumping ahead, is there anything you’re particularly excited about season 2 since the show has already gotten renewed?
The funny thing is that fans of the books already know the rough trajectory of the story, and we are following that to some extent for sure. I don’t know specifically how the second season will break down in terms of the plot and what’s going to happen, [but] I know that they left a really crazy cliffhanger for Eliot at the end of the [first] season.
I don’t know how soon that would pick up or how much you’ll see of me at Brakebills…I think probably some. I don’t know but I am excited in the long term for Eliot to explore Fillory and in terms of the books, you know what I mean by that. He holds quite a position there… and that’s very exciting.
For our last question, I just want to know one thing: If you could pick a fictional world that you discovered was actually real, which one would you want it to be? You can’t pick Harry Potter or the Chronicles of Narnia.
Wow. Um, I don’t know why I’m thinking of this but did you ever see…this is so random, The Dark Crystal by Jim Henson. It’s really great! …actually, those worlds are really terrifying. When you look at that movie it’s so epic and so meta, there’s a crazy darkness and foresight to the destruction of our own world, haha. But I love it! …but maybe I wouldn’t want to play in that world because it’s very scary. But I love those muppets.
That was one of my favorite movies growing up… but what would I truly want to explore myself, right? That’s the question. Let me think about that…why is it so hard?! Probably because you took out the really obvious ones. I mean, honestly? I kind of love the idea of Fillory, and Eliot’s Fillory. I don’t want to spoil things for you, but I think Fillory would be the one for me. I wanted to think of something a little more unexpected…what’s one that I grew up reading about?
Yeah, it’s really hard when you take Harry Potter out of the equation.
Yeah! I mean I was sort of enchanted by The Hobbit growing up, but I don’t know if that’s the be-all end-all for me. I don’t know! You may have to get back to me on that one, haha. Ninja Turtles? Yeah okay Ninja Turtles. That’s what the little boy in me would want — Ninja Turtles.
Oh yeah I get it! I mean I would’ve picked Peter Pan…
Peter Pan?! Ugh! That’s it, that’s the one. Yeah, I would want to be hanging out in Neverland, Lost Boy style flying around. You got it, that’s it that’s the one.