By HAIDER RIFAAT

Meet Jordan Claire Robbins – the star of NETFLIX’s hit superhero action-comedy series The Umbrella Academy. Get to know more about Jordan, the new season of the show and her character in an exclusive interview with Haider Rifaat for Flanelle Magazine.

Jordan, what led to an interest in performing arts?

I have loved telling stories for as long as I can remember. I was really into writing plays and acting them out with friends when I was younger. I did a bunch of musicals all through school when I fell in love with performing and building a character. I am classically trained in flute, piano and singing so I was onstage a lot growing up, but when I discovered acting, I knew that is what I wanted to spend my life doing. 

Apart from being an actor, you are also a producer. What pulled you to production in the first place?

I am still pretty new to the producing side of things. I had written a short film called Driver Is Arriving Now a few years ago. It is based on an experience I had when I ordered an Uber and my ex was the driver; yes, it was every bit as awkward as it sounds! A director friend of mine, Jonathan Popalis loved the concept so we pulled together a great team and shot the film in Toronto. It was my first time producing as well as acting in something I had written, so I definitely learned a lot and enjoyed the challenge. I definitely want to sink my teeth into direction one day but at this point, I am still very much in the actor mode and enjoy absorbing the expertise from the great directors I get to work with. 

Talk to us about season two of NETFLIX’s The Umbrella Academy. What new insights will the show offer this year?

Season two deepens our understanding of the characters and their relationships because we get to see them navigate a whole new world and time period from the first season. I think they learn a lot about themselves and each other under new circumstances. The writers did such an amazing job building on what we learned about the family in season one. We get a detailed backstory on the Hargreeves, Grace, the Handler and Ben. Some incredible new characters are introduced and they add so much to the story.

What interesting details about The Umbrella Academy season two can you disclose to us?

Season two is set in Dallas but Ontario has some great locations like Hamilton that look a lot like Dallas in the 60s. The season was mostly filmed in Canada. One pivotal scene was shot in Dallas though. You would have to guess which one it is when you have watched the whole season! Another thing I loved about The Umbrella Academy season two is that the actor Ken Hall, who played Pogo in season one for all the motion capture stuff, is featured with a new role which he knocked out of the park!

How will the follow-up season influence your character?

This season was fun for me because it delves into the origins of Grace and explains her relationship with the Hargreeves. I got to play some new sides of the character. I think the audience will experience a deeper understanding of how it all fits together after they watch the new season. 

Which cast member has been a joy to work with on the show?

Oh man! All of them! I love our cast. We are like a big family and everyone is so talented! Most of my scenes have been with Colm Feore, who is just as wonderful and generous as a scene partner, and David Castaneda, who always keeps me on my toes. I have loved getting to play out the nuances of the mother-son relationship with him. His work as Diego is beautiful in both seasons. 

What is your routine like these days?

You know, I have been really trying, like everyone else, to create some sense of structure and normalcy for myself amidst these strange times but every day is different. I think it is important to not be too hard on ourselves when things are so uprooted for all of us. I have found that being really intentional with how I spend my first hour of the day makes a huge difference to my mental state; so I wake up, make lemon water, write in my journal, meditate, read and write out affirmations and a gratitude list. I try to go out every day at some point for a walk, even a little one to get fresh air. I do at least 30 minutes of a barre workout every day because it helps me stay sane and feel most like myself.

Which memorable moment from last year would you want to relive before COVID-19 consumed the world?

I went to Wales for a comic convention last April and we stayed in a gorgeous little town nearby called Chester. I loved getting to meet fans of the show and exploring that part of the world. I think it might be a while before events like these happen again, unfortunately. I miss traveling!

How do you unwind?

I have been into cooking lately. It is my time with myself and I find it very therapeutic. I love to have a glass of wine and throw on an episode of whatever comedy I am watching while I make dinner. I also enjoy going for hikes. It is grounding for me and a fun way to stay active. I love to read; there is nothing like sitting in front of a fire with a good book!

You can watch Jordan Claire Robbins now in Netflix’s Umbrella Academy!

Photographer: Ruo Bing Li
Make up/Hair: Tami El Sombati
Stylist: Mirian Njoh