An Introduction To Syfy’s Vagrant Queen From Series Star Adriyan Rae

Vagrant Queen, from Vault Comics, premieres on Syfy this week. Star Adriyan Rae spoke with The Illuminerdi about the tone and quirks of the space opera.
vagrant queen interview

With movie theaters shut down and upcoming series on hold due to the current spread of COVID-19, science fiction lovers are in desperate need of new media to consume from the safety of their socially distant homes. Thankfully, SYFY is ready to deliver with its new series Vagrant Queen, which premieres this Friday.

Based on the Vault Comics series by the same name, Vagrant Queen tells the story of a galaxy far from our own that is full of political unrest. Former child queen Elida (Adriyan Rae) was forced to flee her home after witnessing her mother be murdered during a military coup, and she’s been on the run ever since. But pursued once more by Commander Lazaro (Paul du Toit), she joins forces with old friend and scavenger Isaac (Tim Rozon) as well as new friend and mechanic Amae (Alex McGregor).


Adriyan Rae Shares What To Expect From Vagrant Queen

vagrant queen cast

The Vagrant Queen herself, Adriyan Rae (Light As A Feather), spoke with The Illuminerdi earlier this week and provided her perspective on the brand new series. As it came from the mind of the Eisner-winning author, Magdalene Visaggio (Eternity Girl), there’s no shortage of wild and wonderful adventures to be had in the comic book pages. But how did series showrunner Jem Garrard translate it to the screen?

How did you first hear about Vagrant Queen and the role of Elida?

Adriyan Rae: I first heard about it through my reps. My manager had a call that came into his office – not for me, but for someone else – and they were calling to see if she wanted to audition for Elida if she was available.

And the girl had just booked her first series regular role on a great show, and she wasn’t available. Lucky me! Lucky her and lucky me. He was like, “Well, I think Adriyan would be great for that.” He called and he pitched, and the casting directors had never heard of me. They took a chance and they let me audition. It was so funny, we got the call after doing the callback and the casting director was like, “I bet you didn’t see this coming, but she booked it.”

Did you read the comics to get backstory on Elida, or did you prefer to work from the script and director’s notes?

Adriyan Rae: Initially, when I got the audition, I did go back and look into the comic just to get the most out of understanding Elida. Since you only have one script and you some sides, I definitely went into the comics to just understand how she is a bit more and get that backstory that came from the comics.

But as we progressed in filming, I focused more on the television adaptation. Jem is a comic book lover; she wrote a lot of our episodes, she’s a director on a lot of episodes, and she’s also the showrunner. I know she included what she felt was needed in the television adaptation, so I just relied on her mainly.

When I watched the first 6 episodes, I got a strong Xena: Warrior Princess meets Classic Doctor Who vibe. How would you personally describe the tone of the show?

Adriyan Rae: The tone changes based on episodes, honestly. As we get to where you are, the tone becomes a little more heavy. There’s a lot of heavy things going on. Overall though, it’s fun. It’s a space opera; it’s snarky and gives you Guardians of the Galaxy-type feels in regards to the trio and how we operate. We get a lot of people saying that they get Star Wars feels because of all the different planets that they’re on. I think that would be tone.

Elida is my favorite character that I’ve played so far. She’s got this hard exterior that she had to create, in order to support herself in this world where a lot of people want to take advantage of her. She has this hard exterior, but on the inside, she’s full of loyalty and love and actual care. She really does care about people and things, she just can’t show it like she used to when she was younger, because it’s not safe for her to do so.

But she’s super loyal. She’s funny, too. She’s funny in her own way – funniest when she’s trying not to be funny. And because she’s been through so much, she has a lot of damage that’s happened to her and a lot of trauma that’s happened to her over the years.

So, Elida sees things in the bigger picture. It seems like she just has no patience for anybody, and she’ll just shoot you and keep going. But in all actuality, she sees the whole picture and she’s like, “I don’t have time for this. The world’s much bigger. Stop talking to me about something so stupid.” Because of that, it seems like she doesn’t have a lot of patience, but she really does. She just has a big picture mind.

Tomorrow, we’ll share Adriyan Rae’s thoughts on the relationships and themes present in Vagrant Queen, which you should be sure to check out on SYFY this Friday, March 27. Is your interest piqued by this series? Let us know in the comments below!


Tatiana Hullender

Tatiana Hullender

Tatiana is an editor for The Illuminerdi, as well as a co-host of several podcasts. She is passionate about superheroes and space operas, as well as Jane Austen and kdramas. Visit @myrcellasear on Twitter to follow Tatiana’s articles, interviews and podcasts including: The Flash Podcast, Pop A La Carte and Ladies With Gumption. Subscribe to them on the Podcast app!