Get ready sci-fi fans to meet your new favorite queen. The new sci-fi series Vagrant Queen follows Elida (Adriyan Rae), a child queen who is now an orphaned outcast, as she scavenges the corners of the galaxy. Based on the Vault comic of the same name, the series arrives on Friday, March 27 at 10 p.m. on SYFY and Sunday, March 29 at 10 p.m. ET on Citytv. As Elida tries to stay one step ahead of the Republic government who want to extinguish her bloodline, she’s joined by an old friend, Isaac (Wynonna Earp’s Tim Rozon), and a new ally, Amae (Alex McGregor). Together, the trio work to stage a rescue for her previously thought dead mother, Xevelyn, while staying one step ahead of a deadly foe, Commander Lazaro (Paul du Toit).
While Elida is on a quite serious quest, the new series is full of quips and snark. Rae recently spoke to The TV Junkies about what to expect from the new series. She also told us what it was like stepping into such a badass lead role for the first time in her career, and how a close working relationship with her costars and showrunner Jem Garrard helped her feel right at home.
The TV Junkies: When you first heard about this project, what was it about Vagrant Queen that really drew you in?
Adriyan Rae: It was a mix of things. It was the comic, and that the role combined action, comedy, and drama. It was how fleshed out Elida was and how her thoughts and emotions resonated with me so easily. The writing of the pilot made me laugh and so it was a whole bunch of things. I thought, ‘I would love to be a part of this!’ I didn’t even know we’d have things like all female directors. That was just icing on the cake.
I was really interested in being a part of something that had a black female lead who was badass and is not defined by her sexuality. She’s just this badass character who pushes the envelope and is looking for her mom. It really resonated with me.
TTVJ: You’re not only playing such a badass character, but also this is your first time leading a show. What was that experience like?
AR: Girl, it was scary! [laughs] I was terrified at first. I had all these talks with my manager about setting tone and checking my energy. But I had great people like Tim, who has been acting for so long and is so giving and helpful. They all help me navigate through it. Everyone was so helpful and once I got there, I didn’t feel like I had this mountain on my back anymore. At first though, before meeting everyone, you just know you’re number one on the call sheet and you get all these expectations. It’s like when you’re going to college and everyone tells you what you’ll have to do, but then you get there and realize you can actually manage it. It was exactly like that.
TTVJ: I assume throughout the season you worked closely with showrunner Jem Garrard. What was that relationship like?
AR: Jem can literally read my mind. It’s so weird and I think she’s my twin in a parallel universe. Sometimes I’ll be in a scene and she’ll just know already where I’ve placed the character. That’s not an easy thing and there’s layers to it, but she’ll just know. We worked together really, really well and she’s a really great director. I really love her directing style and all the creative freedom she allows.
TTVJ: Elida is a pretty skilled fighter. Is that something you have experience with? What was it like tackling such a stunt heavy role?
AR: I had no experience with stunts at all, but then did all my own stunts on the show. So I stepped up to the challenge! [laughs] I had a personal trainer and stunt training, but I also grew up in a rough neighborhood where my dad taught me to fight. I had the ability to punch people and instincts to fight, and when I started stunt training I surprised them a bit. At the time though, I was on Light as a Feather before that required no stunts, and didn’t know I’d be cast as Elida, who is kicking ass across the galaxy. So there was no pre-training in martial arts, but now I am training in that.
TTVJ: Elida is joined on her missions by Isaac and Amae. What can you share about the trio’s relationship and what was it like working with Tim and Alex?
AR: Alex and Tim are hilarious. Alex makes me laugh til I have to pee myself and Tim is a rock star. As characters, Elida is the badass who halfway plans things. Isaac isn’t planning anything and he’s the comedic relief who is chill and funny. He says the things you might be thinking but aren’t supposed to say. Amae is our compass and the glue that holds the whole thing together. She keeps us grounded. That’s how we keep things fun, but still get stuff done.
TTVJ: Vagrant Queen reminds me of Star Wars in that the universe isn’t filled with only humans, but there are many different kinds of species and aliens. What was that like for you?
AR: We go to like 5 or 6 different planets and each has its own vibe and feel to it. The galaxy is one that’s been through its fair share of history with war and all different types of characters. It was really funny looking outside of your trailer and there’d be people who were legit aliens just sipping on a Coke talking to a regular human with a headset. I thought, ‘This is my life now.’ It was really cool though because with the amazing prosthetics and hair and makeup, these actors completely transformed into these amazing characters. There were even some people, I’d see them without their prosthetics, and I wouldn’t know who they were. It was so cool though.
TTVJ: Are you planning to be active on social media trying to interact with fans and live tweeting?
AR: Oh yea! I’m working on being more active on Twitter, and I have been. I’m proud of myself! I’m an Instagram junkie. I’ll definitely be live tweeting and engaging with people. I want to know what they’re thinking and seeing. It’ll be really cool to entertain and engage with people.
Excited to check out Vagrant Queen? Sound off below!
Vagrant Queen premieres Friday, March 27 at 10 p.m. ET on SYFY in the U.S. and Sunday, March 29 at 10 p.m. ET on Citytv in Canada.
Editor in Chief Bridget Liszewski comes from a long line of TV Junkies who fostered her love of television from a very young age. She's channeled that passion into covering both US and Canadian television shows, and is thankful everyday for the invention of the DVR. A graduate of the University of Notre Dame, she loves college football and is a fan of sports in general. Bridget is always up for talking TV and you can follow her on twitter at @BridgetOnTV.