photos / Shanna Fisher
styling / Jenni Lee
makeup / Rachel Pagan using Kevyn Aucoin and Lemonhead LA
hair / Gui Schoedler for Exclusive Artists using R+Co
Jade Tailor is many things, actor, musician, jazz lover, daughter of showbiz veterans, (with hair of a 90s supermodel to boot), Hollywood native, beautiful, intelligent… and now she can add breakout star to her roster.
As one of the leads in Syfy’s The Magicians, she has proved to be a major showrunner for the network. In its 3rd season, The Lev Grossman adapted series centers around the life of the pupils attending Brakebills University, a secret institution specializing in magic. Between spellcasting, friendships, love, and war, a group of friends discover a mystical world that will be a grave danger to humanity. DUN DUN DUUUUN… What comes next is what has kept all the fans on the edge of their couches for this magical thriller.
We catch up with Jade at her Los Angeles abode to talk all things magic, her foray into the arts, and the delightful ways she receives and gives enchantment to her life. We totally get why this amazing soul has cast a spell on Hollywood.
What was the first time you felt ” I can do this” about acting?
I was lucky to have a mom that was incredibly supportive in the arts. I remember seeing the musical “CATS” at the age of 5 and was in awe of the performers. I believe that I knew then that I wanted to do the same. Though it wasn’t until ten years old that I started my first acting class with Dee Wallace (famously known for playing the mom in ET). I immediately fell in love with the craft and have been living and breathing it since.
Did growing up in Hollywood skew your perception of the world or what you wanted to do?
I was born in Hollywood, though I did grow up all over LA. I think growing up around it only fed my desire to pursure it. I love the craft itself. It wasn’t “Hollywood” or the “industry” that I was after. Had that been the case, maybe I would have a different perspective. However, growing up around it made me understand it more deeply and showed me the ways in which I wanted to be the change and make a difference in it. For example, being part of the Me Too Movement and Women’s movement. We still have a ways to go but we are making great strides and things are changing for the better.
Can you tell us where you where and what you did when you were told you would be cast in The Magicians?
I was at home when I got the call and all I remember is literally dancing for joy and immediately calling my mom.
Were you surprised by the quick fandom that the show created?
Not at all! I knew it would be a hit. I loved the books and thought “if the show is half as good as the books, we’ll definitely have a hit on our hands.” If anything we thought it would be even bigger than it is.
What the most bizarre fan moment you encountered?
I wouldn’t say that I’ve had any bizarre ones per say… But the one that was most memorable was the first time I went Comic-Con and saw a fan dressed like Kady. It was a surreal moment for me.
There is a lot of action in The Magicians, how do you prepare your body for physical scenes?
Well, I have always been an athlete (Gymnastics, Dance, Soccer, Krav Maga, etc) so it’s fun getting to use some of my training and background while playing Kady. I do a lot of the same training I’ve always done between dance, yoga, gymnastics, running, hiking, fitness training, krav maga, etc… You name it, I do it. It’s important for me to keep up my physical strength and health regardless of the role. But I will say I do some extra boxing and weights for Kady’s tough demeanor.
Lace Tube Dress & Patchwork Feather Coat: Faith Connexion / Earrings: TopShop
How has the The Magicians changed your life the most?
It has in many ways. If I had to always the biggest change… I would say that it’s been the platform to speak out about the things I believe matter. Of course with social media, it gives everyone space and ability to do so, but the expansion of fans is a big one. I just get to do what I love with people that I love. That’s not necessarily a change, but it’s the biggest gift.
How are you similar and how are you most different from your character Kady?
I think I’m actually VERY different from Kady. I’m often the type that doesn’t stop smiling and laughing for a start, which is vastly different from her. I’m not one to ever condone or support violence of any kind for another, which Kady is clearly an advocate for. In fact, I volunteer as a Domestic Violence Counselor. So again, very different. She has a “me against the world” attitude whereas I love everyone (sometimes too much). Again, many MANY differences. Though I will say that like her I fight hard for what I believe in, and like her, I am loyal to a fault. I will also say that as a teenager, she and I had a lot more similarities in how we operated and rebelled “against” the world.
Has Kady taught you anything that you find yourself utilizing in real life?
She has actually! I learned the importance of being direct and speaking my mind. She has no filter and I believe it’s an incredible power to be that authentic. In a loving way of course. I also learned of my own strength through her, both literally and figuratively speaking. And one that I think is a major key to happiness… not caring what others think of you. Or rather knowing that anyone’s opinion is just an opinion. It isn’t a fact about you or who you are. So why take it personally!
Are there any topics or scenes you would love to see in the show?
I love and am incredibly proud of our show for being as progressive as it is. For example, having strong women as leads, making a woman a king, having characters of every background/ sex/ sexual orientation, etc… That said I’d like to continue with that trajectory and see a lesbian couple on the show and finally have Eliot and King Edris get married.
What are the most magical things in your life now?
As corny as it sounds, the first thing that I will say is love. Being in love with someone that loves you is the most magical thing one can experience. Secondly, being able to do what I love on a show that I love that’s called The Magicians!!! Doesn’t get much more magical than that. And third and simply LIFE. Hand in hand with love, there is no greater magic than being alive.
Can you tell us your favorite projects to work on?
I love storytelling in general. I believe it is one of the greatest healing tools that cause empathy and understanding of the human experience. Whether it’s film or TV I simply love portraying strong women. Whether that is someone with an innate strength or women that have overcome some form of hardship… I always want the story to move people, broaden their mind and make them feel something.
You are a writer and singer as well. What sort of genres do find yourself attracted to in that realm?
Similarly, I write and tell stories about powerful or empowering women in hopes that it will move people and broaden their minds. That said I have a thing for period pieces. Similarly, with my music and singing, I want it to move and affect people. To reach their soul. That said, I’m drawn to soul and blues music. It’s what moves and touches my heart.
Do you have any musicians or actors you want to work with strictly because you are big fans?
Yes! There are too many to name! But I’ll try. Many of them have passed. BB King, Billie Holliday, Etta James, Nina Simone. As far as more contemporary musicians go… India Arie, Andra Day, Mark Brousard, Stevie Wonder, Matisyahu, Alicia Keys. As far as actors go… Michael Fassbender, Lupita Nyong’O, Helena Bohnam Carter, Viola Davis, Marion Cotillard, Idris Elba, Meryl Streep, David Oyelowo, anyone from Game of Thrones… It is literally impossible to name them all.
Am I assuming your eye color had something to do with your name? Did you have Jade eyes when you first entered the world?
Actually, they were blue and the got greener over the years. Then again all babies are born with blue eyes I’ve heard.
You studied acting under Hollywood Mom royalty Dee Wallace, your stepdad is The Blues Brother legend Tom Malone, your mom was an actress and your dad a model? Can you tell us something you will always remember from being surrounded with showbiz?
My dad happened to be asked to be the Israeli Army Poster boy cause he was good looking and in the military but was never a model per say. It’s funny, I did grow up around it in ways but it never felt like I was immersed in it nor did it give me any opportunities that others didn’t. I started working to support myself at 12 and they didn’t have any advice other than the allowance to pursue my dreams. In fact, they told me that if I wanted to do it I would have to wait till I was 18 to pursue it on my own. I just remember going to school with actors kids or child actors, but it simply seemed normal. I went to school with Taj Mourey and the Kardashians went to the same school but I didn’t come from money or status by any means so I think it all just taught me to work hard and greater work ethic.
Can you tell us some of the best advice you ever received?
That’s a hard one. I don’t know that this is necessarily advice or wisdom but someone told me that we are made up of over 50 trillion unique cells. That simply inspires me to know how beautifully unique each one of us is and that we should celebrate ourselves for and because of that.
What is something that most people don’t know about you?
I think I’m a pretty open book at this point. Maybe that I’m a musical theater obsessive. Or collect gemstones. Or that I am a self-development coach.
What is the climate like for you in Hollywood right now?
Always perfect and sunny.
When the #METOO, #TIMESUP movement first started do you think there was a fear in Hollywood to speak up? Have you ever been scared to stand up for yourself?
1000 percent! I spoke up recently about the bullying I experienced as a child both by girls my age as well as by boys that had sexually assaulted me. I will be honest that I was too afraid to speak up about it as a child/ young adult. But that is exactly why I speak up now about it and why I stand up. I stand for those afraid. I speak out for those who can’t.
What is on your playlist right now?
I have an inspirational playlist that has Andra Days- “Stand Up for Something” and Rise Up, Beyonce’s- “I Was Here”, Matisyahu – “One Day”, Alicia Keys- “We Are Here”, Common and John Legend- “Glory and many others that fuel me. And… anything Blues, Jazz, Motown, 60’s/70’s… Not much contemporary music actually.
Faith Connexion / Triangle Bra: Base Range @ The Voyager Shop LA / Vintage Jeans: Levi’s / Shoes: Celine / Earrings: Modern Weaving @ The Voyager Shop LA / Vintage Belts: Stylist’s Own
Flamingo Leather Jacket: Faith Connexion / Tank Top: L’Agence / Briefs: TopShop / Platform Shoes: Iijin / Necklace: Wouters & Hendrix @ HUE LA / Socks: Stylist’s Own
Sloan Slip Dress: AFRM / Shoes: Christian Dior
Dress: Dolce & Gabbana