Alright guys and gals I have a great interview for you all today and it is definitely a good one! I have had the privilege of interviewing an amazing actress by the name of Jennifer Riker, you might know the name by her working on the series Black Lightning as the character Dr. Jace. Or maybe you recognize her from her role in the movie based off the Nancy Drew books known as Nancy Drew and the Hidden Staircase.
Now I will be honest I haven’t had the greatest luck when it comes to interviewing actors and actresses on their roles in the Black Lightning series, and I think that’s why I’m so grateful in Jennifer Riker for taking the time in doing this interview with me, check it out:
Q 1) Way back when you were first cast as Dr. Jace in Black Lightning, how excited were you?
Simply put, I was over the moon. When I learned I got the role, it was pitched to me as a Hannibal Lecter type. I should preface this by stating that my absolute favorite film ever is ‘Silence of the Lambs.’ I had studied Sir Anthony in that role for so many years that I instinctively understood what was being asked of me. You can imagine my enthusiasm on the other end of the phone as my agent told me the good news. Someone like Dr. Jace truly believes she is advancing science for the benefit of the world. She even says that she is one of only three in the world who can do what she does. So, self-confidence, fastidiousness, a non-emotional/’just-the-facts’ attitude and a love of the work, are what I aimed to focus on rather than how others perceive her. Her passion is palpable to me. An actor must identify on some level and empathize with the character they portray so there is no judgment on the part of the actor. The fans see Dr. Jace as having been responsible for death, with no remorse, and I see it through her lens as ‘I saved lives, and because of my acumen and intelligence we have even more data!’
Q 2) In the Black Lightning series, what do you think Dr. Jace’s plan is now that she’s in full dealings with Tobias?
I honestly don’t know where the writers are going to take her, but we do know she is always in it for herself and if given an opportunity to flee would disappear for all of them to be able to continue her science without any disruptions. Of course, that’s not exciting and presents no conflict so I think we can assume that she is some real hot water upon her return to the Markovians.
Q 3)I noticed in the last episode of Season 2, Dr. Jace seemed like she was trying to make it so that she could have Tobias all to herself, do you feel like she is starting to have feelings for the villainous Tobias?
Not at all. He is a means to an end. I believe she really was grossed out when she watched Tobias and Cutter kissing.
Q 4)What was your reaction that Black Lightning was being renewed for Season 3?
Sheer delight and joy. We all celebrated. It’s because we have such a loyal fan base. They voiced their enthusiasm as well, all over the fan sites.
Q 5) Do you know if Dr. Jace will play a major part in Season 3 of Black Lightning?
No, I don’t. I hope so because I am in heaven developing her and growing in this role, but I could become much more involved or get killed off.
Q 6) Is there anything that you can tell us about Season 3 for Black Lightning?
Not if I want to keep my employment. Lol. Seriously though, we know that Dr. Jace has been teleported back to Markovia much to her dismay. She was there before being sent for by the ASA and was helping them with their meta program. I am certain that they are good and pissed that she defected and will put her in a difficult situation but it’s anyone’s guess. I never know until I get the script what is going to happen with Dr. Jace.
Q 7) Have you ever read the comics that Dr. Jace was a part of?
I was unfamiliar with the entire genre and DC Universe. I barely watched cartoons as a child nor did I read comic books, so this was all very new to me. Luckily, there are some super fans on the crew and one, in particular, educated me quickly and even brought in the magazine where Dr. Jace was featured on the cover in the ’80s and he explained to me about The Outsiders and Masters of Disaster and taught me words like meta-human, pods, Markovia, etc. Ha! I’m not saying I would pass the exam today, or anything, but it is an ongoing education. The writers have been very helpful whenever I needed a little more background. I try not to overwhelm myself with it all and just play within my immediate storyline. The writers, producers, and directors have taken obvious liberties with Dr. Jace’s image and did change some of the storylines to fit with the story they wanted to tell, so some of my research went out the window
Q 8) I know that a lot people have either interesting or funny or humorous stories that happen on set, do you remember a time while filming Black Lightning Season 2 that would be a good story to tell?
Awe man…I wish I had a bloopers reel for you to watch. It’s always hysterical when we are super into the scene and then just flat out go up on our lines. It either gets a giant laugh or dead silent…I mean crickets while the crew waits for you to get it together…which can be really embarrassing.
Q 9) I know that some actors and actresses they kind of put traits of themselves into the characters they play in roles they are casted in. Are there any traits of yourself that you have put into Dr. Jace while acting as the character?
As far as approaching it, I think I have to approach it much like Dr. Jace thinks. When an actor’s playing a less than savory character you just have to focus on the ways in which you can be like this person at times. I have to really access the parts of myself where I know what I’m doing even if somebody doesn’t believe in what I’m doing. I’m very meticulous in my work and how I go about ascertaining my data. A criminal doesn’t really think they’re a criminal. They think what they’re doing is justified. I just focus on that and my objective, like any other character on the show, trying to find tactics to deal with your objective ultimately in the end.
Q 10) Last Question because I know you’re a busy lady, but I also saw you played in the movie Nancy Drew and the Hidden Staircase, what was it like being able to be a part of an amazing movie based off an interesting book?
I don’t know if you were into them as a child, but that was really exciting for me. I don’t usually get to play trashy characters like blue collar, so that was a fun departure for me. Being directed by a real actor’s director, Katt Shea, was a real treat as well as working with such a talented cast.