Q&A With The Librarians’ Lindy Booth
Forget prim, bespectacled, nose-in-Dickens librarians. The librarians in The Librarians are danger-flirting mischief-makers with one goal: to protect the world from evil—and enchanted—influences. This new magical adventure show, which premieres December 7 at 8e 5p, stars Noah Wylie as Flynn Carsen—aka The Librarian, aka The Person in Charge of Making Sure Magic Doesn’t Fall into The Wrong Hands. Flynn is used to acting alone (the show is based on a series of made-for-TV films, which also starred Wylie as Flynn), but he’s about to get some backup. For this reboot of the franchise, the now-not-so-solo agent teams up with a group of ragtag—yet highly skilled—fellow librarians.
One of which is Canada-born actor Lindy Booth. She plays Cassandra Cillian, a synesthete who can solve complex math problems in her head—and smell her breakfast at the same time. In advance of the series’ premiere, we talked to Booth about her multi-sensory role, her multi-talented castmates, and why libraries are anything but dull.
Space: Can you tell us a bit about your character and why she’s been fun to play?
Lindy Booth: Cassandra is a synesthete—which is part of the reason that I wanted to play this character, because there are so many layers to her and so many interesting ways she can look at the world. She sees numbers as colours, she hears science as musical notes, when she does math she smells things. All her senses are all over the place, and she also has a photographic memory and a brain tumour. As a result of all of these things, she’s basically grown up feeling like a freak. So I look forward to peeling all of the layers of this and watching her grow, because you’re watching someone who thought their life was over being given a second chance. She jumps right in with full enthusiasm, even though she has no idea what she’s doing.
Flynn has been working solo for a while, by the end of episode two, a team is definitely in place. What’s the vibe like on set with your fellow librarians?
One of my favourite things about this show—and it’s true of the characters and of the actors who play them—is that we are a ragtag bunch of people. You would not lump these characters or these actors together on just any old show. We are from all over the place, we are all different ages, we all have different skill sets. And amazingly, we all started working really well off of each other. Just like on the show, everyone’s skill set brings something new to the table. And it was amazing to watch how quickly the librarians formed their team, and how quickly we formed our team of actors, too.
What’s it like working with Noah Wylie as your head librarian?
Working with Noah is a dream come true for me. He’s probably the most talented actor I’ve ever worked with. And he’s so brilliant in this character. We walked on day one and it was just “go,” because Noah set the bar so high. His character is so strong in his mind and in his body that we all just had to catch up. You had to raise your game just to be on the same set as him, because was a full-fledged, fully fleshed-out character immediately. There was no slacking off for the rest of us.
How did you prepare to play a synesthete? Did you do a lot of research?
I spoke to a couple people who actually have varying forms of synesthesia. It was interesting just to hear them talk about how normal it is in their life—it’s almost like they see things on another level. The more I read about people’s different extreme versions of it, and realized that Cassandra had all of these, I tried to picture what it would be like. And so I started thinking about places that are overwhelming to your senses. The one that really stuck out to me was a funhouse at an amusement park. The crowd, the music, the sounds, the flashing lights, the smells of all the different foods and people—it’s designed to manipulate your senses and make you feel uneasy.
What makes a library a fun setting for an adventure show?
I’m a nerd, I admit it. I love a good library. I love the possibility of opening a book. I love the sense of adventure that turning the first page of any book can be. And I think it’s a great metaphor for what the show actually is. Every episode is, “Okay, here we go. What’s it going to be? Where are we going and what are we going to do this time?” I think a lot of people see a library as stuffy and boring. But the possibility in a library, to me, is endless. And there’s something deeply romantic about a beautiful library. Our set designers made this incredible set for us to work on that was all real books. So you could literally walk around the library and pick a book off the shelf.
If you could have one magic power, what would it be?
I’m afraid of heights—deathly afraid of heights—but I feel like I would love to be able to fly. I think being able to fly, a) would conquer my fear of heights, but b) wouldn’t it just be beautiful? I mean, first of all, it would make travel so much easier with no airport. And you’d get an amazing view all the time of everything. I would totally pick flying. Also I’m a terrible driver.