When we last saw Justine Brouillard (Alexandra Ordolis) on 19-2, she had been beaten—once again—by husband J.M. (Dan Petronijevic). Though he had been trying to keep his anger issues in check, the Montreal cop backslid and assaulted his long-suffering wife, prompting her to finally level charges against him.
Now, with Season 3 returning to Bravo next Monday, we spoke to Alexandra Ordolis about Justine’s journey this time around and what she looks for in a role.
Justine returns for Season 3, correct?
Alexandra Ordolis: Yes, we see her in Season 3 and we get a little bit more into that storyline and what J.M. is dealing with as well, which is very exciting. I can’t say too much because I don’t want to give anything away.
As much as I enjoy J.M. the cop, I do not enjoy the scenes where he abuses Justine. It must be pretty emotionally draining for you and Dan Petronijevic to play those scenes.
Shooting that is a long day, but it’s wonderful working with Dan and the whole crew. Those scenes are tough to film, but also at the same time the way the scenes are written are so truthful. It’s wonderful to work with that kind of writing and that the show doesn’t shy away from these hard facts. It’s hard to get in there and shoot it, and it’s hard for the audience to watch, but it’s important and isn’t shying away from this issue of domestic abuse.
By the end of Season 2, Justine has pressed charges against J.M., and Nick had beaten J.M. up. Is Justine’s journey this season the result of her pressing charges?
We’ll see her keep going in that direction. We see where she’s at a little bit down the line and audience members will see she’s come a long way from where we’ve seen her at the beginning of Season 1.
It’s hard for the audience to watch, but it’s important and isn’t shying away from this issue of domestic abuse.
What about her relationship with Nick? That’s been hinted at since Season 1.
Her relationship with Nick has been hinted at, that they’re close friends. This season we’ll see less of that relationship and more of J.M. and Justine and how they’re dealing with their relationship.
Do you like the fact that 19-2 is written by a bare-bones room headed by Bruce M. Smith?
There is something amazing about the continuity of one or two people’s visions. Bruce’s writing really brings out the tone and the way that the characters interact with each other has built from season to season. That’s one of the strong things about the show.
Going back a bit, how did you end up on the show in the first place?
I came down from Toronto to Montreal and auditioned. I think I was the first person they saw for the role. I’m always nervous when I audition for a role and I let the casting director take the lead with respect to how the audition will go. I don’t know what came over me with 19-2, but we had finished doing a scene between Nick, Ben and J.M. and Justine and I said, ‘No, that’s not it.’ I had this feeling that I wasn’t there yet as to what Justine needed to do to get her feelings across to Nick and Ben. So we did it a couple more times. I walked out and I was pretty charged up about what we had done but I also worried I’d been rude.
You appear on both 19-2 and Reign, so I need to know: who has the better food?
[Laughs.] It changes, actually. I do have to say there was a fantastic caterer on Reign and everyone wanted to be on-set the whole time. But a lot of the caterers on 19-2 will bring cheese out, which I think is a Montreal thing. We always have a cheese plate with dessert, which I’m a big fan of.
What do you look for in a role?
In the beginning, it was paying the bills. [Laughs.] Now, it’s roles that challenge me. As an actor, I really like the journey of finding my way into a character. Sometimes I’ll read something and it jumps off the page and I feel a connection immediately, but other times I want to get in there and I’m not quite sure how to. It’s quite satisfying to do research and look at the person from different angles. Sometimes it’s music, sometimes it’s food. Roles that perplex me a little bit wind up being the ones that I want to play.
19-2 airs Mondays at 10 p.m. ET on Bravo.