Lisa Ambalavanar is one of several new faces, along with Joseph Morgan, Franka Potente, and Titus Welliver, to join HBO Max Warner Bros DC series Titans season four when it premieres on November 3rd. Morgan will play Brother Blood, Potente as Mother Mayhem, Ambalavanar as Jinx, and Welliver as Lex Luthor. The A-List star spoke to Bleeding Cool about getting cast on the series, following Marvel and DC universes, and how the show compares to her previous work.
How Landing Jinx on Titans Became a Golden Opportunity
Bleeding Cool: What are your thoughts about you getting cast as Jinx in 'Titans?'
Ambalavanar: I was shocked initially, very surprised. I'd only sent one take to, and often you have to jump through a lot more hoops for a job. I wasn't expecting to like get an offer so quickly. I read the email a few times to make sure I did it properly. When I was satisfied enough that I hadn't misunderstood it, I cried. I was relieved that I had a job and could pay my bills and so happy because being part of the DC or Marvel universes is like dream stuff for actors these days. It felt like a dream come true, and when it sunk in, I also felt some pressure because I wanted to do it justice, and it's a big step up for me doing something this big. I was exposing myself to a bigger audience. Comic fans are known to be very passionate, which can be a good thing. "Overwhelming but very excited" is how I sum it up.
Did you know anything about the Titans' lore coming in from comics or existing animated projects or fresh?
Not completely fresh because I am a fan of the show. I've seen most DC and Marvel projects across TV and film since they started coming out as far back as "Blade." I've seen all the "Blade" movies as a teenager. I had seen [Titans], but I hadn't read any comics, not at the point of getting the role. I researched what I could. I didn't grow up with comics or know much about that world. It wasn't something I was ever exposed to.
I was already a teenager when the 'Teen Titans' cartoon came out. Although I didn't know of it, I had seen bits of that and 'Teen Titans Go!'. I have younger cousins, so I saw bits as they watched it. I was aware of it, but now, I have nearly every comic Jinx has been in. When I got the role, I bought as many as I could. I've also watched now some of 'Teen Titans' and 'Teen Titans Go!' I know almost everything about both versions of the character. I'm a fan of the screen stuff, not the comic book stuff initially, but have now exposed myself to both. Now, I'm really into it.
Did you have to do any physical prep for the role, and how do you compare to other roles like 'The A-List' and 'Doctors?'
It was physical. I didn't have a chance to speak to any of the producers and casting directors or ask any questions like that during the casting process. It was a test cast of a type, but once I was offered the role, a Zoom meeting was arranged with our showrunner Greg Walker, and he recommended I get in the gym as I might have some stunts to do because it's just that kind of show. I was probably the fittest that I've ever been in my life doing this job, but I didn't end up having that much to do in terms of stunts because Jinx has powers. She doesn't get physically close to anyone to need to do any like combat fighting. She does some cool stuff, not to give anything away [laughs]. I love our stunt team. They're incredible, and they were kind enough to teach me kind of odd bits, bobs, moves, and stuff when we were just waiting around because I was so interested in what they do in that world.
In terms of what you said about comparing it to the other jobs that I've done in terms of physicality, 'The A-list' was probably actually much harder. Looking back on it and more tiring because I'm in nearly all of it, and it's high-stakes panicking. I was always running everywhere on that show. There were scenes where I was just running through forests. Taking a drink whenever Mia either runs in or out of a scene would probably make a good drinking game. On 'Doctors', there was nothing physical at all because it just wasn't that kind of show or role, but my character was very smart and intelligent, and she wanted to be a doctor. There was some tricky scientific language, some kind of medical lingo that was sometimes hard to say. That's what I remember about the challenges of that job.
There's a lot you've done in your short career. Was there other stuff like genres or franchises or things that you hope to kind of get involved with in the future?
Doing something like this was one of my dreams, so I'm incredibly lucky to be involved in 'Titans,' and I genuinely love it. It's not been without hard work and a lot of rejection, stress, disappointment, and missing out on other things along the way getting to this point. It is bucket list stuff for an actor getting to play a superhero or be in that genre getting to be the live-action version of a character. In terms of other stuff I want to do, I'd love to do a musical. I'd love to do a movie like a big cinema blockbuster movie. I'd love to do theatre, like loads of things. I'm still just at the beginning, and there's a long way to go and a lot of things I see myself doing. I'd do more Jinx if the opportunities present themselves. I love her, and I love playing with her.