Features Interviews Theresa Joy From The Bridge Finds Acting Inspiration In Music

Theresa Joy From The Bridge Finds Acting Inspiration In Music

Theresa Joy (Photo by: Pete Nema)
Theresa Joy

Article by: Jo Vos, Pete Nema
Photos by: Pete Nema

Theresa Joy is most definitely one the more intriguing actors on the new hit TV series The Bridge. You may know her as the spirited police constable known as “Billy”, but what you might not know is that Joy's portrayal of Billy was partially derived from music.

In addition to filming the pilot and first season of The Bridge in Toronto, this classically trained actress has worked in Los Angeles, New York, as well as locations in Europe. Speaking to Joy about the preparation for her character in The Bridge exposed many different sides of Joy’s methods.

Theresa Joy (Photo by: Pete Nema) “We shot the pilot for The Bridge almost two years ago. So Billy was a reflection of parts of me at that time in my life — new, hopeful and full of driving energy. The actual first season was shot a year later, so what I brought back was naturally a bit different. I think it's important to let your character grow as you grow.”

In addition to drawing on her own experiences and personality, she also spent time with police officers, either on "ride alongs" or where she would spend the day on duty with an officer "in a bullet proof vest, no less," adding "I've now heard about their struggles, losses, stress, and good times. I’ve seen the camaraderie on duty, but I've also felt the fear.”

“Billy started with a vision 'to serve and protect'; simple and heroic. Personally, I can't watch the news without getting sick with sadness. I’ve always felt helpless since I myself can't do anything about these crimes and atrocities. Billy can.”

Theresa Joy (Photo by: Pete Nema) Then the conversation changes, and new flow of passion emerges: "The one strong link between me and my characters is always music. I like to make a playlist for my character, so I go through all of my favourite songs and pick the ones that my character 'feels'. For me it's all about feeling."

"Music is my passion. Classical, rock, a little hip-hop... anything with soul, I love it.”

Going so far as creating a copy of "Billy's Playlist" for the producers and directors of the show, she certainly knows how to channel music into inspiration and translate this "feeling" into impressive results. Joy says Billy Talent, Metric, and Yeah Yeah Yeahs are Billy's musical staples. When the conversation changes to first musical purchases, names such as Jeff Buckley, Hole, Smashing Pumpkins, and Nirvana come up. Current personal favourites include Kings Of Leon, Muse, Silversun Pickups, Seryna Ryder, and, once again, "Billy Talent, they are always number one on my playlist." Traveling outside of pop standards, Joy boldly admits that her favourite classical piece is Vivaldi "Winter" from The Four Seasons… "the violin solo is mad!"

Theresa Joy (Photo by: Pete Nema) Theresa rivals the best of us with her most memorable musical experience. She was in The Republic of Georgia filming a movie at the time: "We were up in the Caucasus Mountains, in this tiny town called Ushguli. This town is so remote that they have no phones. We had to get the approval of the eldest man in town to stay there. One night, we hear a concert up in the mountains. As we're walking upwards, we see smoke and lasers shooting through the trees, the villagers are all running up the hill, cows and pigs charging in the opposite direction… I start to hear "Break On Through" by The Doors but it was a crazy remix! It turns out it was DJ Tiësto who flew in on a helicopter from Germany had landed in this town for no particular reason other then he thought it would be cool. I've never seen anything like it, it was amazing." She certainly knows how to lay a trump card down.

Wondering if there is anything else we should know, Joy responds "My wish is to be in a Billy Talent video directed by my friend John Fawcette (The Bridge, Ginger Snaps)." With Billy Talent being such a big influence on her acting, it sounds like it could be quite the compelling collaboration.

The Bridge airs Friday nights at 10:00 PM on CTV. The season finale aired on May 21st, but re-runs will be starting on May 28th. In addition, full episodes of The Bridge are available for viewing on the CTV website. It was recently announced that The Bridge will air on CBS starting July 10th in the U.S.

Billy’s Playlist:

  • Billy Talent - "This Suffering", "Pins and Needles"
  • The Strokes - "Heart In a Cage"
  • Die Mannequin - "Bad Medicine"
  • Apocalyptica - "I Don't Care"
  • Samual L. Jackson - "Stack-O-Lee"
  • Muse - "Time Is Running Out"
  • Yeah Yeah Yeahs - "Porcelain", "Heads Will Roll"
  • Fall Out Boy - "I Don't Care"
  • The Pixies - "Hay"
  • Sia - "Breathe Me"
  • Silversun Pickups - "Catch and Release"
  • White Stripes - "Icky Thump"
  • My Chemical Romance - "Famous Last Words"
  • Metric - "Combat Baby"
  • Breaking Benjamin - "Give Me a Sign"
  • Queens of The Stone Age - "Little Sister"
  • 30 Seconds From Mars - "From Yesterday"
  • 50 Cent - "You Don't Know"
  • Jay Z - "Big Pimpin'"

Theresa’s Top Canadian Musicians and Songs:

  • Billy Talent
  • Metric - "Between The Bars"
  • Die Mannequin - "Bad Medicine"
  • Serena Ryder - "Brand New Love (acoustic)", "Hiding Place"
  • Dragonette - "True Believer", "You Please Me"
  • Marianas Trench - "Lover Dearest"
  • Tegan & Sara - "My Number", "I Know I Know I Know"
  • Sam Roberts - "With a Bullet"
  • Arcade Fire - "My Body is a Cage"

Theresa Joy (Photo by: Pete Nema)   Theresa Joy (Photo by: Pete Nema)   Theresa Joy (Photo by: Pete Nema)   Theresa Joy (Photo by: Pete Nema)