Exclusive Interview with Stitchers’ Jasmin Savoy Brown
If you’ve spent any time in the Stitchers’ community in the past several weeks, the name Nina has come across your radar and you’ve either had two reactions: happiness or worry. I had a chance to sit down for an interview with the woman herself, Jasmin Savoy Brown, to calm some of the fandom’s nerves; and found out that she loves Broadway and that she’s extremely dedicated to portraying her new character in a confident way. I encourage you to take a look at the next coming weeks of Stitchers’, as you’re going to want to know this young woman, she’s going to go far.
If she is as incredibly kind, down to Earth, and warm-hearted on-screen as she is off-screen, I can’t imagine the fandom will have much to worry about. Which is good. Because this is just the beginning of what will be an incredibly successful career for her.
How long is Nina around for?
“I don’t know if I can say. (Laughs). I really don’t know, but for a little while. She’s around long enough for you to decide whether you love her or you hate her.”
It seems like you have such a diverse background, having appeared on shows like Brooklyn 99, Grimm, and The Leftovers. Had you heard of Stitchers’ before you were cast in the role?
“Yeah! I had heard about it because there were a bunch of posters all over the place and a couple of my friends, my friend Catherine Kim (Mia Nichols, 1×09) did something last season and she had talked a lot about it. She said how much fun it was and I watched her episode, so I had heard about it and I was super excited to get an audition because it seemed like it would be so fun and so different from the role that I most recently did previously, which was on The Leftovers. So I was super excited when I booked it to get the chance to play someone so different and so fun.”
I’ve felt that Nina was put on Stitchers’ to kind of represent most of the watchers or the fandom. We are a community that values nerdiness and geeky stuff as well. And she is described as a ‘Fangirl.’ Is that something you felt you could relate to?
“Yes! In a funny way. I actually learned a lot from playing Nina about the whole world of comic books, Doctor Who, and Torchwood and all that stuff. I am a fangirl, I’m a geek when it comes to Broadway. So, that was my understanding through a different context. I was so bummed because I had tickets to go to Broadway-Con this year and I missed it because I was shooting Stitchers’, it was kind of ironic. (Laughs). Right now, everyone is currently obsessed with Hamilton and I love Hamilton, I’ve been a big fan of Lin-Manuel Miranda forever. (Laughs) Yeah, I’m a geek about Broadway.”
And you have a history in musical theatre! Did that or any of your previous roles help you to prepare to play Nina?
“Yeah, I guess so. Whenever I’ve had a chance to sing, like, I sang on “The Leftovers” so it was good that I had that vocal training and background. I think having theatrical training, in general, has prepared me for all the work I’ll do, because, I have such a rigorous work ethic. So even if it doesn’t directly translate to “oh I’ve done musicals and now I’m on Grimm,” the work ethic that I bring from being trained in the theatre has helped me and it’s helped me with dialogue. That was something that was really different shooting Stitchers’ versus shooting other things I’ve worked on, the dialogue is changing so much, so quickly, from a spot and you might get a line change and we moved so fast. So having that theatrical training really helps me be able to take that direction and take new lines so fast. “
What was your favorite thing about playing Nina?
“Really, it was the education. Getting to learn so much more about the comic book, video game, you could really say ‘nerd culture’. I really love to research, whenever I play a role. It’s my own personal rule that I don’t say a line unless I know what it means. So if there’s a word I don’t know or a reference I don’t know, and the one’s that stick out in my mind are like Torchwood or Doctor Who, I would watch those shows. I would watch the episode or look up a clip on YouTube and it was really fun. I want to go to Comic-Con now. (Laughs) Just to see what it’s like and to have that experience.”
What was one thing you felt you had to bring to the table when it came to portraying Nina?
“I felt that I had to bring confidence. And by that I mean, here’s this girl, she knows who she is. She loves all this nerd stuff and nerd culture and I feel so often, like when I see that on TV, that these characters are like silly and not totally confident. They’re not really portrayed as attractive. And I thought if I’m going to play Nina, I want her to be confident and not have a problem with it. I want her to be proud of it and that’s what makes her more attractive and so knowledgeable. She stands by what she knows.”
How does Nina’s interact with the team and how does that change as the season progresses?
“I think it’s cool because, especially now that you’ve pointed out that she kind of represents the viewer, it would be as if a viewer or a stranger were introduced to this world and knew nothing about it. She just gets to meet people just like anyone else would. Knowing nothing and meeting someone for the first time just like any other relationship. You meet someone and you kind of get to know them, but I don’t want to give too much away! (Laughs).”
Speaking of relationships, is there any comfort you can give to the worrying fandom on how Nina will come into play for Camsten?
“Yeah!! At the end of the day, everyone in that world loves Nina. Everyone on the Stitchers’ team, that gets to know her, really loves her.”
If you could stitch into anyone, who would it be?
“Ohhhhhhhh what?! Oh my gosh…I’ll probably have a different answer every day, but today my answer is that I’d stitch into my grandfather on my dad’s side because he died when I was really young. I didn’t get to know him but I know that we have a lot of shared interests. I believe he was a really good tap dancer back in his day. So it’s a really interesting history because there’s this black man in Philadelphia in the late 1800’s and I didn’t get to know him at all and I think it would be really cool to see what his life was like and see that part of my bloodline.”
Can’t wait to see what Nina brings to the table? Tune in Tuesday Nights at 10/9c on Freeform and watch Stitchers anytime on the Freeform app or at Freeform.com. Also, don’t forget to follow #Stitchers on Twitter, Tumblr, or Facebook for all of the latest information!
Honestly… Who doesn’t love Hamilton!