Interview with Laurence Leboeuf (Mags) of “Transplant” Tuesdays on NBC by Suzanne 10/30/20
I had a lot of fun interviewing Laurence! She is very nice and easy-going. I love her character on “Transplant.” What an amazing person, too, to have accomplished so much at a young age. She’s had quite a career already, since she started at such a young age.
Suzanne: So, do you pronounce your name like “Laurence?”
Laurence: Yeah, exactly. [pronounces it] “Laurence.”
Suzanne: Okay, great. I just wanted to make sure I got it right.
Laurence: Yeah, thank you.
Suzanne: So, we’re seeing your season one here in the US. Can you go back to tell us how the audition process for the role went?
Laurence: Oh, actually, I have to say that I had worked with a couple people from a show prior to Transplant that was called 19-2 here in Canada. I think they just knew my work, and they saw me in this role, and they offered me the part. It was really amazing.
Suzanne: So, you didn’t have to audition or anything?
Laurence: No, exactly. I read the script, and I just fell in love with the scripts and with Mags, and I just decided to jump in and be on board.
Suzanne: Great. Did you know any of the cast already?
Laurence: I didn’t; I really didn’t. Hamza [Haq] and I have a friend in common, but we never met. I’d heard of him, but I never met him. I just heard great things about him. I didn’t know Jim [Watson] either. And I knew Ayisha [Issa], because she had done a French Canadian show as well, and so I knew her work, but I had never met her either. John Hannah, either. So, it was all new; all discoveries.
Suzanne: Your character is very intense, very driven. How do you prepare to get in character?
Laurence: Well, what was lovely about Transplant, was that we had the opportunity to have boot camps prior to shooting. So, even during shooting on the weekends, we’d have boot camps with doctors and stuff. We’d run through the big scenes and stuff. We had boot camps before we even started shooting and [would] just to go over what the most common maneuvers of doctors are and what it feels like in the ER and stuff like that. So, that was really enriching.
Then, the biggest challenge, for me, was the dialogue, the medical dialogue, that I really wanted to deliver super fast. So, my days were a lot about practicing my lines and making sure I got all those lines down. That’s mostly how I would prepare for this role.
Suzanne: How are you like her? Is there anything in her that is like you?
Laurence: I mean, she’s a very passionate person, and I think I have that too in my work. I am not as much a workaholic as she is, but I definitely I have that passion for the business that I’m in and what I do. I think we we kind of share that but, she’s effective. I tend to like to live outside my job.
Suzanne: You’re from Montreal, right?
Laurence: I am, yes.
Suzanne: That’s a great city.
Laurence: You’ve been?
Suzanne: Oh, yeah. My husband and I both love it. We’ve been there a few times, with great restaurants and everything. Yeah, my husband’s family’s actually originally from Quebec City. He doesn’t speak any French.
Laurence: It’s hard to learn, I have to admit.
Suzanne: We’re older, so his father is even older. So, his grandparents came over and his father spoke French and went to a French only school in the US until he was 14.
Laurence: Oh my God, wow.
Suzanne: Yeah. So that’s bizarre, isn’t it?
Laurence: That’s nice.
Suzanne: But he didn’t pass it on to his son; I don’t know why.
So, this might be an odd question, but did anyone ever give you a hard time having a name that’s spelled like, “Laurence,” or did you avoid that, because you’re from Montreal?
Laurence: Well, you know, here, in French, it’s a common name, so there’s no problem. I guess, maybe in Canada, they’re a bit more used to the French sounding names. In the States, I did have like a bit of – because there’s no W, and because sometimes it’s mostly like a guy’s name, sometimes it’s created a little awkward moment in audition rooms. You know what? People ask, “How do you pronounce it?” Then, that’s it.
Suzanne: That’s good. It’s probably good that you weren’t in the US or somewhere where kids are cruel.
Laurence: Exactly. No, I was never teased.
Suzanne: Oh, that’s good. Now your parents were actors, did they approve of you becoming an actor as well?
Laurence: They are. They’re both actors in Quebec, so they don’t really speak English. So, they do a lot of theater here in Montreal and around Quebec, and my dad owned a theater for 18 years, and they’re both into TV as well. So, when I started saying when I was really young that I wanted to be an actress, they were just like, “Are you sure?” Like, “Okay, let’s try.” Then, I started auditioning and never stopped since then. So, you know, I think they had no choice. So, they embraced my choice.
Suzanne: Did they give you some good advice about it?
Laurence: They did, but I’ve been very independent in that way of, you know, finding my own way of working, and because I started so young, I don’t know, there’s something instinctive about it, and I’ve been very independent. So [they’re] always very impressed and very proud that I speak English and that I’m, making a career out of it.
Suzanne: The cast of your show seems to work very well together. How long did it take for you to feel like sort of a cohesive unit?
Laurence: I mean, I have to admit that right away, it felt like we were on the same boat. We all met at our first boot camp. You’re all kind of virgins of this, you know, medical realm and you’re kind of learning at the same stage, and everyone’s a bit scared, and everyone’s a bit excited and nervous. So, I think we all met in the same mood, and right away, we kind of clicked and felt like, “Okay, we’re gonna do this all together. We’re gonna be together for like, eight months, maybe a couple years, and why not?” And I think right away, we just kind of bonded, and it was then great after that. Ever since, it just went more and more, and it’s great.
Suzanne: Oh, cool. Is there anyone particular from the show that you tend to hang out with?
Laurence: I mean, I work a lot with Hamza, so we spent a lot of time together on and off. We kind of have the same childish, goofy kind of style backstage, so running around a little bit and doing funny stuff. You know, he was kind of my partner for that, but it’s not like it’s – with everybody really, I mean, we’re pretty close. It’s a big studio. So, there’s one corridor that has all the actors’ chairs, and then we just hang out,
Suzanne: Have they told you yet when you’ll be back filming season two?
Laurence: I mean, you know, it’s been this whole pandemic thing. It’s been pushed a couple of times. I think, now what we’re hearing, is the end of January when we start the second season. So, fingers crossed that nothing’s going to get worse and that we’re gonna have to push again, but hopefully not, because I know productions have started, and it’s doable.
Suzanne: So, I watched the next episode, and your character goes through a lot trying to figure out how to do her job without getting so involved, and she has to give up her car. That was funny. It’s supposed to be kind of sad at the end, but I was kind of like, “Oh, she had to give up her car; that’s terrible.”
Suzanne: So, will we see any romance for her and maybe another doctor? Or do you know?
Laurence: I mean, I do know.
Suzanne: But you can’t say.
Laurence: I think, what I can say, is just there’s some tension a little bit with someone, but I think it’s something that’s going to have to be discovered, maybe on another season. For now, she’s very job focused and very obsessed.
Suzanne: Well, she and Bashir are the obvious couple. I don’t know if they’re gonna go that way or not.
Laurence: I mean, they have something; obviously they have great chemistry, and they get along. They’re intrigued by each other, and I think, you know, maybe something will grow, or not.
Suzanne: Well, it was funny in that episode when he was looking for a place to stay, and he was talking to her, and then she got the other doctor to give him a place to stay. I thought that was interesting, because since she’s hardly ever home, I would have thought that she would have just said, “Oh, well come stay at my place. I’m never there anyway.”
Laurence: Maybe the fact that she had a one bedroom, that would have been maybe a bit more awkward to be with the sister, and, you know, when you don’t know somebody living on your couch. At least Theo has two bedrooms and more space; I think that’s how she thought of it.
Suzanne: Well, it was nice that they pulled that little switch on us. That was unexpected.
Laurence: Yeah, Mags shares, that’s for sure.
Suzanne: Yeah, definitely. It’s nice that they’re taking that kind of stuff slowly though, because they’re not making it like Grey’s Anatomy, or ER, some of these shows where it seems like the romances between the characters are more important than the medical stuff.
Laurence: Yeah, I think they found a great balance there, and also, it’s intriguing. It really is, even for us reading it. We’re kind of waiting for or expecting certain things, and then we get thrown another ball, and we’re like, “Okay then, not yet.” Then, also, we’re discovering, and it’s intriguing to do that slowly, and I like that. I like that a lot.
Suzanne: Anything else you can tell us about your character and her journey?
Laurence: I think, for this first season of Magalie’s journey, she’s really trying to find that balance with her career and her personal life. I think we’re gonna see her get to the end of the rope with how much she takes on, so I think it’s a bit of that crash that we’re gonna witness with Mags.
Suzanne: Okay, and what have you been doing to keep busy during the pandemic?
Laurence: What have I been doing?
Suzanne: Yeah, like how do you spend your time?
Laurence: Oh, my God, I’ve done so much, I feel, and nothing at the same time! I’ve read so many books. This summer was amazing, because I have a country house, so I was able to be on the lake and sail and paddle board and do all that stuff. So, that was amazing.
And thank God I had that space; I felt very lucky. I’ve been doing stuff like learning my African countries and improving my capitals, you know, stuff like that. I don’t know, a lot of reading, a lot of watching movies that I haven’t seen, a lot of cooking, that kind of stuff; we’re trying to trying to be positive.
Suzanne: Do you have any other projects coming out that you can tell us about? Anything besides Transplant?
Laurence: For now, I’m pretty much on hold for that. So, I am just gonna focus on the second season coming up.
Here is the audio version of it.
Interview Transcribed by Jamie of http://www.scifivision.com
Dr. Magalie “Mags” Leblanc
Laurence Leboeuf stars as Dr. Magalie “Mags” Leblanc, a ferociously analytical second-year resident who puts enormous pressure on herself to go the extra mile, in NBC’s drama “Transplant.”
Whether in French or English, Leboeuf welcomes opportunities to work in both languages. She has been working since 11 and is a well-respected Canadian actor, following in her parents’ footsteps.
With the release of “Turbo Kid,” Leboeuf was launched onto the international stage. The film was very well received at several festivals, including Sundance, SXSW and Fantasia Film Festival.
In addition to the successful drama “19-2,” other credits include the psychological thriller “Mont Foster” and “Apapacho – Une Caresse Pour L’Ame,” written and directed by acclaimed director Marquise Lepage.
Leboeuf is passionate about her charity work and over the years has collaborated with numerous causes, including Centraide, Oxfam and Habitat for Humanity.
TRANSPLANT THIS WEEK
11/10/2020 (10:01PM – 11:00PM) (Tuesday) : Bashir attends to a worried couple at the hospital expecting their first child. Dr. Bishop puts Mags to the test by evaluating her performance in the emergency department. Theo is unpleasantly surprised by an unhappy patient. Dr. Atwater gives June an interesting case to evaluate. TV-14 Promo
Video Clip featuring Laurence! (EXCLUSIVE!)
Proofread and Edited by Brenda