Vagrant Queen’s Alex McGregor on What Draws Everyone to Amae

Riyaaz Dalvie/Vagrant Productions/SYFY
Riyaaz Dalvie/Vagrant Productions/SYFY

We don’t know about you, but when the Vagrant Queen duo officially became a trio, that’s when the show really seemed to find its footing. While Elida (Adriyan Rae), the former child queen looking for her mother, and her old friend Isaac (Tim Rozon) seemed to be old pros at working together, their team really solidified and seemed ready to fight for Elida’s quest when quirky mechanic Amae (Alex McGregor) got added into the fold. Amae seems to be able to instantly connect and relate to both Elida and Isaac in ways that they can’t with each other, as well as provide some much needed technical help to get the team out of many different predicaments. 

For her part, McGregor, a native of Cape Town, South Africa, where the series was shot, is relatively unknown to audiences watching her on SYFY and Citytv, but is fast on her way to seeing her character becoming a fan favorite. She recently spoke with The TV Junkies about why everyone, including Vagrant Queen characters and fans alike, seems to be drawn to Amae, and provided insight into Amae’s relationships with Elida and Isaac. While Vagrant Queen has only been airing a few weeks, McGregor also spoke of what it’s been like to connect with so many fans during the weekly live tweets.


The TV Junkies: How did the opportunity to be a part of Vagrant Queen come about for you?

Alex McGregor: It was shot in Cape Town so one of our local casting directors held auditions, and I received an audition for Amae. She read very differently and there wasn’t a lot of information on her. She was written quite like Elida in many ways, and so I downplayed her quite a bit. She was very cool and I played her a lot more sexy because that’s how she read. There weren’t any references and I thought the audition went well.

Three weeks later, I got the callback and it was so different! They had finalized all the scripts, polished off Amae, and she was totally different this time. They gave me seven scenes to do and some references — Waverly Earp and Kimmie Schmidt. I had also just finished watching Teen Wolf and was obsessed with the Stiles (Dylan O’Brien) character. I could find a lot of him in Amae, and channeled those three characters and came up with my own little thing.

I had the callback then with Jem [Garrard, showrunner] in Cape Town, which it’s always helpful to have the director in the room and especially since Amae is a character of her creation. So she could enlighten me about what she wanted from Amae based on what I was doing.

TTVJ: Viewers, as well as her team, seemed to instantly connect with and care about Amae. What is it about her that seems to really make people instantly love and trust her?

AM: It’s an energy thing. She’s really good at heart and has a lightness about her that shines through. People often confide in her because she’s so open. She loves people and is open to any alien or being. I feel that she’s like a therapist in many ways because people that generally wouldn’t be speaking about their issues do so with her.

TTVJ: Do you find that you have a lot in common with Amae? Did parts of you really start to come through in her as the season progressed?

AM: 100%! Actually, Jem often says, “Alex is Amae.” There are many things I can relate to with her. I’m super passionate about things and either love or hate something, and then I get very excited about stuff. We’re very similar in that regard, and I’m not technical or anything, but I really relate to her passion. She’s so unapologetically herself, and I feel that I am that way as well.

TTVJ: Do you also walk around saying “crackers”? [laughs]

AM: No! That was hilarious but it did become a thing on set. [laughs}

TTVJ: Was that something Jem always had in the script? Or were there any other options besides “crackers”?

AM: That was an Amae thing that Jem created from the beginning because she doesn’t swear. It was very sweet, but I swear a lot! That’s where we’re very different.

TTVJ: Amae and Elida have a special relationship and we’ve seen a few sparks. Any chance their relationship moves beyond just teammates and friends?

AM: There definitely is something there, but you’ll have to keep watching to see. Basically, Amae is more open and Elida is a lot more reserved. She has been in hiding her whole life and Amae knows this. So it’s up to Elida to make the first big move, if she were to make a move, because Amae is pretty obvious.

TTVJ: Amae and Isaac may be my new favorite duo on TV. Why do they work so well off one another and what’s it like building that relationship with Tim?

AM: Honestly, Isaac and Amae just become the best buddies of the show. Isaac is quite quirky and silly, and Amae is quirky, so their energies just feed off each other. It’s just fun. As you saw in Episode 3, they’ve been opening up to one another, and I don’t think Isaac has done that before. That helps form an instant bond with Amae.

Tim and I had so much fun. I nearly peed myself so many times on set laughing at him. He’s also similar to Isaac in many ways. Isaac is very clumsy, and some of the things that happened to Tim on set would make me fall to the floor laughing. I really had so much fun with him all the time.

Riyaaz Dalvie/Vagrant Productions/SYFY
Riyaaz Dalvie/Vagrant Productions/SYFY

TTVJ: We have gotten a few hints about Amae’s history, especially in this past week’s episode where Amae spoke of her past. Will we explore that history further this season?

AM: Not in detail, no. We know that her planet was destroyed when she was really young. She was orphaned when she was 5 with her brother, Chaz. She’s been through a hell of a lot and since her and her brother have been alone for so long they look out for each other.

TTVJ: You’ve been very active on social media during the live tweets, and you also just participated in a panel for HomeCon. What’s it been like getting to interact with fans the first few weeks that the show is airing?

AM: I’ve never experienced anything like this before. I’ve never live tweeted or done a con before. That HomeCon panel, I was so excited, but I was also really, really nervous. I wake up at 3:40 a.m. for live tweeting at 4 a.m., because of the time difference here in South Africa. It’s awesome and such a rush! I can’t believe how interactive people are and it’s so cool. It’s just fun! I struggle to get back to sleep after because I have so much adrenaline.


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Vagrant Queen airs Fridays at 10 p.m. ET on SYFY and Sundays at 10 p.m. ET on Citytv.