Canadian import, Transplant, airs on NBC, and it's been a wild ride.
Ahead of the two-hour finale of Transplant Season 1, we caught up with Laurence Leboeuf, the award-winning Canadian actress, who is lighting up our screens Tuesday nights as series regular Magalie (Mags) Leblanc, a talented doctor, and friend of Bash, the series lead.
Leboeuf was born to actor parents and started acting professionally when she was only ten-years-old. She's won multiple awards for her roles in film and television.
However, it's Mags and Transplant that we really want to talk to her about. That's the role that made us love her as an actress. We wanted to hear all about the show and the character she plays. She was more than happy to oblige.
Disclaimer: This interview has been edited for clarity.
So, as a long-time actress, with many awards under your belt, you probably have your pick of roles. What drew you to the character of Mags and to Transplant in general?
Well, I really fell in love with the story in general. The point of view that it took from the main character, Bashir Hamed. I thought that was very original, very unique, and something that we haven’t seen on TV.
So, I fell in love with that part, and then I discovered Mags, and I really fell in love with her geekish, by-the-books, know-it-all, first-of-the-class, wants-to-be-the-best-at-everything personality.
I love her devotion and dedication to medicine too. It’s so far from what I do in life that I admire her dedication. I love her quirkiness, a bit of her clumsiness, and a bit of her awkwardness. I fell in love with that.
Yeah, she’s a very likable character. Do you see any of yourself in her?
It takes passion to do what we do; we kind of have that in common, me and her. Although, I do like to have a life, which is very different from her, but I guess her passion and dedication would be something I can relate to.
Do you understand any of the medical terminologies?
I mean, after a while, you end up knowing a little bit, you know, because we practice so much, we have boot camps and stuff, we rehearse a lot, we do research, so we kind of get what we’re saying.
However, on a daily basis, I guess I don’t think I could understand all of the medical jargon.
Were you surprised by how well received the show is?
I was hopeful. Always, when you have a feeling that you’re doing something that’s great, and everyone’s giving it their all, and everyone’s got such a great vision for it, and you see the quality of what you’re doing, you hope for the best.
So, I’m happy to see to what extent it took, now that it’s in the states, and a lot of other places as well. That’s really rewarding.
I was hopeful for it. I’m glad it happened. People are falling for the show and falling in love with it. That’s really rewarding.
What kind of relationship do you think Mags and Bash have, especially after that moment that they had in the Finale?
Since the beginning, I think Mags was always very intrigued and curious about Bash. I think she’s had this mysterious admiration for him, very intrigued, and probably has felt strongly about him.
But with her world being the hospital, it’s hard to tell throughout the season.
I think they had a moment where it’s a heartbreaking thing that they’re going through. It’s a moment of truth. It’s a moment where time stands still, and all of a sudden, you kind of see what could be.
I don’t know where it’s going, but I think it was a nice standstill moment for them.
How would you describe Mags’ relationship with Dr. Bishop?
He’s definitely her mentor. From the beginning, we see that she obviously admires him, and they all do, but he’s very demanding, he asks a lot of his students, although he knows they can pull through.
I think she’s very much in admiration of him and his work. Also, on a personal level, I think he knows stuff about her that other people don’t.
They have the same dedication for the work that has made their lives lack; they’re lacking the ability to have a social life because they’re always at the hospital and it’s pretty much their life. They share that, on a personal level. They're more alike than they think, probably.
What makes Mags a good doctor, in your opinion?
I do think that she really, extremely wants the best for her patients. They say it in the show, and she says it too, she likes to see her patients through.
She’s not just going to give a prescription or do something and then let it go or never follow up.
That’s the thing with Mags, she always wants to follow up, she always wants to do as much as she can for her patients. I think the fact that she’s brilliant makes her a great doctor as well.
For a bit, it seemed like they were saying that was a bad thing, but then she spent that one episode in internal, and that seemed to prove it was a good thing.
I think the thing is that she has to find that balance. I think that’s what Bishop tells her also when she has that crisis.
It is a great quality to want to follow up, but she’s going to have to find a balance if she doesn’t want this whole world to swallow her whole and disappear in it.
I think that’s what Bishop is trying to teach her, and I think that’s what she’s also trying to find for herself, to be even better at what she does. For now, she struggles to find that balance.
Are we going to learn more about Mags’ medical condition?
I hope so! I haven’t read anything of what’s coming up. So far, I know what you know.
What was your favorite episode so far?
Oh my god! That’s tough. That’s really tough because there are so many great moments.
In general, I can say that I like it when a lot of action is happening. Like, I love the explosion. The elevator scene for me was really fun to do.
I love it when things go quick.
I love it when there’s a lot of stuff on their shoulders that they have to overcome.
So, I like it when a lot of action happens. Like, Transplant Season 1 Episode 1, there was a lot going on there.
Do you feel like any of the episodes have been Mags-centric?
Like centered on Mags?
Well, I think the one where we see that I’m overloaded with work, and I take on everything, with Bash, and Bishop, and then I collapse in the hallway, that was a very Mags episode.
If they were going to do a Mags-centric episode, what aspect of her life would you like it to focus on?
I’ve been wanting to maybe, hopefully, explore more of her outside life.
Because we see her so much at the hospital, I’m intrigued to see what her apartment is like, or that kind of stuff, more on a personal level.
I'd like to see what her family’s like, and who are the people who have been around her all her life, that kind of stuff.
Do you have any say on Mags’ character development, or like that stuff that goes on in the writer’s room? Do you have a say on her arcs?
I think we always do. In the beginning, the writers and showrunners call us, and we talk about it.
I do trust the writers with it too. I like being surprised. I like to discover the episodes as they go. I like what they’ve been coming up with. I trust them.
If ever they ask us and there’s something, obviously we can call and have discussions about it, but so far I’ve been very pleased with what I’ve been reading.
How did you feel this role differs from others you’ve played?
Well, the medical world is very different from a lot of things I’ve played. It’s a very particular world.
I’ve said this before in interviews, but she’s kind of the Hermione Granger of the ER. I really like that energy, and that’s very different, a bit more comic on the side, which is something I rarely do.
Everybody loves Hermione.
You’ve been acting for a long time. What’s your favorite of the roles you’ve played?
Oh my god, a favorite. That’s really hard. That’s really hard to answer because so many have been impactful in my life.
I’m a big fan of all those worlds, Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, all that stuff. So I think the closest I’ve come to something like that was a role I played called Apple in a show called Turbo Kid, and I was very outside the box.
I play a robot. It’s very eccentric. It’s a movie that’s kind of an homage to b-series movies. Like, a lot of blood, a lot of gore, and was really out there. That was a ton of fun.
Do you have anything coming up that we should look out for?
No. So far, I’ve been working on Transplant last year, and now we’re waiting to start our second season, so it’s going to be just that.
Are you excited about the stories that you’re going to play in the second season?
Oh my god, yes! I can’t wait to read it. I can’t wait to start working again. I think we’re all very excited for this to start again.
Can you give us any hints about what’s going to happen next season?
I don’t know much. We haven’t read the script. I really don’t know much. I know that we start no long after the first season ended, so it’s not like we’re going flash-forward five years, it’s like a couple of hours after. That’s pretty much all I know, I have to say.
The two-hour season finale of Transplant's airs on Tuesday, December 8th at 9/8c on NBC.
Leora W is a staff writer for TV Fanatic..