Robbins stars as robot on Netflix
A Bermudian actor booked a spot in a Netflix series a week after she submitted a video audition.
The tape landed Jordan Claire Robbins a major role in the first season of Netflix series The Umbrella Academy, which premiered in February.
Ms Robbins landed the role as Grace after a friend suggested she audition for it.
She explained: “She thought I would be a great fit and, since I loved the role and project, I asked my agent if casting were open to me auditioning for it.”
She submitted a tape because she was in Vancouver on Canada’s west coast at the time and casting was in Toronto on the opposite side of the country.
Ms Robbins, 28, said: “I heard back within a few days that I was on their shortlist and then, about a week later, I found out I’d got it.”
Grace is an Artificial Intelligence robot built to be the perfect mother for seven young children born with superpowers.
Ms Robbins said: “I absolutely loved every moment of playing Grace. It was a challenge in the best way, as I wanted to constantly give the audience that little something that made them wonder what was going on under the surface for her.”
She added: “This was my first experience of being able to develop a character from the very beginning of the show, which meant I was able to build the world of these characters with the other actors and our showrunner, Steve Blackman.”
Grace was created in the image of a “perfect 1950s housewife” by Sir Reginald Hargreeves who “adopted” the children to turn them into a team of superheroes.
Ms Robbins said: “It was important that I moved and spoke in a way that accurately represented women from that time period as well as being non-human.”
She said she took ballet classes, danced around her apartment with books on her head, took voice coaching, watched series and movies which portrayed that era and researched artificial intelligence in preparation for the role.
She added: “It was such an amazing experience getting to learn and grow through playing such a fun and challenging character and I completely fell in love with each of the charming, troubled, quirky characters.”
Ms Robbins added that the show, based on a comic book by Gerard Way and Gabriel Ba, had pleased audiences and won good reviews.
She said: “This is really the best thing you can hope for as an actor, to see the story you helped tell affect and inspire your audience.
“I have absolutely loved hearing from fans all over the world and social media has created a great opportunity to be able to connect with audiences.”
Ms Robbins added that aspiring Bermudian actors should get as much experience as possible.
She said: “Acting classes are an important way to practise and learn, but 2019 is an exciting time because there is also so much available to us without even leaving our home.
“Reading books, taking online masterclasses by professionals in the industry, and watching YouTube interviews such as Inside the Actors Studio are all great ways to expand your knowledge.”
Ms Robbins acted in school plays while at Saltus Grammar School and went on to do a degree in drama in Toronto. She also took film and TV classes for a year before she signed up with an agent.
Ms Robbins added: “I think it’s very important that you have taken the time to practise and learn before you get an agent because it’s a very competitive industry and experience gives you that extra confidence to carry you through the more difficult times.
“There’s no such thing as quick success — it is a very rewarding career, but it requires a lot of hard work, patience, determination and grit.
“There is no clear path, everyone’s journey in this industry is different, so you have to love it so much that you can hear ‘no’ over and over and never lose sight of why you’re doing it.”
Ms Robbins will guest star on Netflix’s iZombie next month.
She also produced and co-starred in a short film she wrote called Driver Is Arriving Now, a dark comedy about a woman forced to relive a past relationship, which will screen at festivals this year.
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