Raised in Brownsville, Texas, Emeraude Toubia is ready to take the world by storm this year as Isabelle Lightwood in the highly-anticipated show, Shadowhunters.
Based on the best-selling book series, The Mortal Instruments, Shadowhunters follows a young girl named Clary who learns that she is a Shadowhunter — part-human, part-angel warrior whose mission is to hunt down demons. Clary joins a group of teenagers, which includes none other than Isabelle, a super bad-ass chica who is possibly the toughest of them all.
We caught up with the Mexican-Lebanese actress to get an inside look at Isabelle and the series, discuss which Latina she admires, and find out the scoop on those Prince Royce dating rumors.
Read it all in our exclusive interview below:
Tell us about your character Isabelle Lightwood. We heard a few changes were made so you could play her.
They were doing a worldwide casting of these beautiful women — African American, white and Latinas — so it wasn’t really written for a Latina. It was written for an American girl so I feel blessed that they chose me to portray this powerful character, especially now that there is a lot of talking about Mexicans and Latinos. It’s a huge responsibility to portray her so people can admire and respect her. I think that’s a lot of pressure for me but I love her.
Isabelle is strong, powerful — she’s beauty, brains and can punch you in the face. I think she’s going to be a great role model for a lot of young girls that want to look up to someone on TV. She’s not scared of being intelligent, there is nothing she can’t do. She gives her heart to everything and she is willing to do anything for her family. She’s willing to die for her family so it shows how selfless she is.
That family aspect is probably something you can relate to in many ways.
Yes, I definitely relate to her because of that. Being Latina I’m super close with my family. I love them and I love spending time with them. I love being at my grandma’s house and eating her food. I was just with them over Christmas and it was beautiful. That is something that makes me very strong because Latina women are so close with their families.
We read somewhere that you do your own stunts, is that true?
Yes, I do my own stunts in heels [Laughs]. I did a lot of dancing when I was young. Who knew that dancing would come in handy now? Fighting is kind of like choreography. It’s not just get in there and punching someone, you have to have choreography. Someone is going to hit high; someone is going to hit at the bottom. It was kind of a beautiful choreography.
Isabel’s weapon of choice is a whip so I was doing my own stunts with my whip, too. It was really funny because every time I would go to set all these guys would run away from me because you can really hurt someone [since] it’s made out of leather. I don’t know how I did it. It just happened but thank god I didn’t get someone killed on set because that is really dangerous.
What has been one of the most intense moments on set?
There’s a part where Isabelle gets into a big problem and she has to speak in front of hundreds of people. I had memorized my monologue for about a week. They usually give us our scripts a week in advance and the day that I was going to shoot that scene, the writer comes in and says ‘we changed your entire monologue.’ So I had to memorize this monologue while I was doing my makeup because I had to shoot in an hour. That was the most challenging moment.
Is the show staying true to the book or was a lot changed? Will fans be happy?
We are staying true to the books. There is not going to be anything crazy. We are going to go to places that the books never went and I think that’s going to keep the fans on their feet. I, being a fan of the books, I love what we do with the show and I think the fans are going to love it, too. Most of all, the entire cast put so much love into the show. I hope that the audience and the fans love what we did with this because I think it was a dream come true for a lot of us. I hope that the people see it with the same feeling we had while we were filming.
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