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Interview: Lindy Booth

lindy-booth-2PHOTO BY STEPHEN BUSKEN

Are you looking for a show that combines action, adventure, drama and comedy? Well, TNT thinks it has the show for you. Their new series, The Librarian, based on the television movies, will debut with a two-hour series premiere on December 7 at 8/7c. The series centers on an ancient organization hidden beneath the Metropolitan Public Library dedicated to protecting an unknowing world from the secret, magical reality hidden all around. This group solves impossible mysteries, fights supernatural threats and recovers powerful artifacts, including the Ark of the Covenant, the Spear of Destiny and Excalibur.

One of the stars of the series is actress Lindy Booth. Lindy plays Cassandra Cillian, the super smart member of the team who has been given the gift of synesthesia--the ability to link all five senses to her memory.

Lindy has an impressive resume of work which includes television series such as Copper, Supernatural, October Road and Relic Hunter. On the big screen, she had a memorable performance as Night Bitch in the wildly popular film Kick-Ass 2. She’s also appeared in the films Dawn of the Dead, Wrong Turn and Hollywood North.

Lindy sits down with us to discuss her character Cassandra, portraying a person who has synesthesia and why doing her own stunts was important to her.

Pop Culture Principle - Did you know about The Librarians movie trilogy before becoming part of this project?

Lindy Booth – I definitely did. I remember having a conversation about Noah Wylie and what he was doing after being on ER. I loved him on ER so much and I was so curious to see what these movies were about, so I watched them all and loved them. He is so fantastic in those movies and it was such a joy to become a part of it. It’s one of those things were you never imagine that there is room for you in that world. So, to walk on set the first day and to watch him play that character in person was quite surreal and like a dream come true. It was pretty awesome.

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Pop Culture Principle – Can you tell us about The Librarians and your character Cassandra?

Lindy Booth – Cassandra is one of the new Librarian recruits. She’s a very odd and interesting girl who is so smart and she has a photographic memory. She also has this very weird thing called synesthesia. What that means is that all of her senses are cross wired. When she sees numbers, she sees them as bright colors. When she does math, she smells breakfast foods. When she’s doing science, she hears musical notes. It’s like walking into a funhouse or amusement park where there are too many sounds, too many lights, too many smells and too many people. That is what Cassandra’s brain is like when she thinks. She has always seen it as this curse that no one understands and she doesn’t fully understand.

It has turned her into a bit of a recluse because people just don’t get her and she’s afraid to show them who she really is. In the pilot episode, Flynn takes one look at her and knows exactly who she is and tells her she is going to help him save the world. It’s the first time anyone has ever looked at her that way and spoke to her that way. We have this amazing arc for her through the show as this girl who has lived with a curse her whole life, but has finally has been told she has a gift. Her journey is her learning how to use it and figure out what it is and what that means to her in this new magical world.

Pop Culture Principle – We learn that your character has synesthesia. What type of research and preparation did you do for it?

Lindy Booth – I did do some research and did talk to someone. The day after I booked the part, I was doing an interview with this guy and he was asking me about the character I was playing. I told him the character has synesthesia and was explaining what it was to him and he paused for second and said he had that but didn’t know he did. He just thought that everyone does that and he didn’t know it was a special thing. He always knew it was something weird, but didn’t know that it had a name. It was really interesting to hear his perspective as someone who just found out about it and to hear the way he saw things.

A lot of people talked about it not being a curse, but being something that adds to life. Cassandra is on television, so she gets the slightly crazier version. The synesthesia is compounded by the fact that she has this giant brain tumor that causes everything to go haywire which makes things even crazier for her.

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Pop Culture Principle – Did you feel any pressure or concern playing a person who has synesthesia?

Lindy Booth – You know I didn’t. There are so many different versions of synesthesia and no one’s experience is going to be the same. I think what people will hopefully see in this character is that she is a very extreme version of what that is. It’s an extreme version and we explain why that is. Its television and we’ve sort of taken advantages of it, but it is based in reality. I’ve done my research as well as John Rogers and we know what we are talking about. It’s a great freedom as an actor to play someone who has something unique like that. I wasn’t worried about it and I chose to let it give me the freedom that I love having on set and to be able to do things outside the box and to see things in a different way.

Pop Culture Principle – Would you agree that Casandra now feels her life has meaning and purpose now that she’s with the team?

Lindy Booth – Yes, absolutely. I just thought of that moment where someone tells you that you are good at something. I remember those moments in my life where someone told me that I was ok. For many of us it happens when we are much younger, but I was thinking about Cassandra living this life pretending not to be who she was and to have someone to tell her it’s going to be ok. I thought what a relief and a weight of her shoulder that would be for her. I had so much fun in that moment with Noah when we really locked into that as a turning point for the character.

Pop Culture Principle – The Librarians has an amazing cast. What was it like working with them?

Lindy Booth – Every day I just felt so lucky to be there. We as a cast are very much like our characters on the show. We are a total rag tag group of people that probably have no business being together in one room and yet, like our characters on our show, we find a way to love each other. We are so tight and had so much fun on set. Rebecca is the funniest, loveliest, most down to earth giving actress that you could ask for to be the lead on your show. Noah Wylie is probably the most outstanding actor that I have ever worked with. He is so good at his job and so in love with his character and I think people will be really excited to see him play the character again. John, Christian and I have this amazing sibling relationship going on where we make each other laugh and crack up all the time. We are mostly laughing at John Laroquette who is one of my comedy icons. I grew up watching Night Court and his character Dan Fielding is one of the greatest comedy characters ever. To go to work with him and the rest of the cast every day, I could not have been more excited and it is such a blessing.

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Pop Culture Principle – Your character knows a lot of mathematical and scientific information. Do you find yourself looking up a lot of the stuff you say in your dialogue?

Lindy Booth – Yes, I do. In fact, I turned to Christian in the middle of a scene one day and said it’s really hard to play someone so much smarter than you isn’t it. I would go home every night and sit in front of the computer and Google and Wikipedia most of the dialogue that I had said that day. I would say I have learned a lot and have a basic understanding of most of it. We are really lucky because John Rogers is a certifiable genius so any questions that we had, he was just a phone call away. He could fill us in pretty quickly and was good at putting things in laments terms for us.

Pop Culture Principle – Playing your character seems to involve a lot of physicality to it. Would you agree?

Lindy Booth – Yes, I would. I am a very physical actor and have always started on the outside and worked in on how I wanted to play her. What is really cool about this character is that we talk about her growing and changing in the pilot, but she grows and changes throughout the season. It was exciting for me to think about how I was going to be able to show her physically changing and growing. So, I started her very small and figured she would be someone who didn’t want to be noticed, so I had her head down and hunched shoulders. Over the course of the show, we see the shoulders come back and the voice get a little stronger.

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She gets thrown into these situations where she is the least likely person to get into a fight. Christian is well known for being a great fighter on television and wanted to know why I was getting all the fight scenes and action stuff. For whatever reason, I just did and wanted to do all the stunts myself and turned down a stunt double. I wanted to do all the stunts myself because I didn’t think that Cassandra was a part time superhero, but a girl who fought like me. If I ever got into a fight it would be so bad and awkward and I wanted Cassandra to fight like a girl who didn’t know how to fight. She didn’t’ strike me as someone who knew how to fight really well. There is a lot of comedy in further episodes coming from Cassandra just being the wrong girl at the wrong time.

Pop Culture Principle – What can fans look forward to this season with the series?

Lindy Booth - You know part of the thing that I felt so proud of and love most about the show is the relationships and how they grow and change. The humor of watching these people who have nothing in common try to figure out how to not only be a family and get along in a work environment, but they also have to save the world too. There’s an actual life or death thing with their job. It’s not like they are working at a coffee shop, they actually have to protect people from evil. So, watching them grow together and figure out how they are going to save the world was really so much fun for me.

We would like to thank Lindy for taking the time to talk with us. Remember, the series premiere of The Librarians is December 7 at 8/7c on TNT. You can also keep up to date on all the latest news about Lindy by following her on Twitter @LindyBooth.

**Main photo courtesy of Stephen Busken. All other photos courtesy of TNT**

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