Entertainment Interview

India de Beaufort Interview

ABC’s Blood and Oil is led by cutthroat characters willing to risk everything in a battle for wealth, and Jules, a loan shark and bar owner in the town, is no different. That tough persona is what drew India de Beaufort to the character. Hailing from the United Kingdom, de Beaufort moved to the states following a recurring role in the seventh season of One Tree Hill. She starred in Jane by Design and has had guest appearances on a number of shows, including Necessary Roughness, Chicago P.D., and Castle. Aside from Blood and Oil, which premiered September 27, de Beaufort also lends her voice to Netflix’s animated series All Hail King Julien.
Cliché: You were an aspiring musician. Is that something you’d still like to pursue?
India de Beaufort: Yeah, for sure. I really love to sing and write, but mostly to sing. Whenever I get the chance to do that, I jump at it. I have no idea what I’ll be doing next week, let alone next year, but if it involves music, it would make me incredibly happy.
What made you transition to acting?
I had been on a kids TV show since I was 16, primarily as a singer, with one line here and there. I didn’t even have a theatrical agent; I had a commercial agent to pay the bills, and one day, they randomly got an audition for a tiny part in a really funny film called Run Fatboy Run. David Schwimmer directed the movie, and he basically coached me through my audition. He took the time to break down the scenes and explain how to make it funny and make it work. He knew I had no idea what I was doing, but he gave me a chance, and he hired me. He basically changed my entire direction. I loved that job so much; I will remember it so fondly for the rest of my life. After that, it was all I wanted to do.
Can you describe your character of Jules on ABC’s Blood and Oil?
Jules is smart, tough, and savvy. She owns The Tack Room, a saloon in town that’s always teaming with oil miners. She wears a lot of leather, and she doesn’t take any crap. That just about sums her up.
What drew you to the character and the show?
Oddly, I was in a testing situation between Blood and Oil and another show. I had to decide which show to test for, and a test has no guarantees. It’s really just another audition. Neither show wanted me to test for both, which meant I could pick one and lose the other and not book anything at all. I couldn’t sleep the night before. I knew I would have chosen Jules hands down over the other part if it was purely based on character, but the other part was the lead female, which comes with a whole different set of possibilities. I called my mum, and she said, “It seems like you want to choose Blood and Oil,” and in my gut, I just did. I loved the world. I felt like I could bring something unexpected to Jules, and more than anything, I loved the team behind it. I felt excited about working with them, and the show had a crazy spark I wanted to be a part of. The next morning, I was getting ready to call my reps and let them know which show I wanted to test for, and Tony, our executive producer, called and told me Jules was mine if I wanted her. I took the part. I screamed alone in my house, and I called my mum and told her she was right. It was magic.
What can viewers expect from this first season?
We know nothing about the storyline until we get each script, so the cast is as surprised by each episode as the audience will be. As early as the second episode there are some major twists in the storyline. When I read it, my jaw dropped, and it doesn’t stop there.
I read that you shot in Utah. How was that experience?
I love it so much here. We shoot in Park City, and I can’t think of anywhere else I would rather be. It’s so epically beautiful and life is just pure adventure up here. The people are so kind and welcoming, and the mountains and blue skies and breathtaking landscapes never get old. I’m having a love affair with this tiny town.
When you aren’t filming, what do you like to do to relax?
In the evening, we eat together a lot, and we play shuffleboard and pool and darts in town. During the day, we hike, we go stand-up paddleboarding, and zip lining and really just take advantage of the summer while it’s here. Once the snow comes, it’ll be a totally different world.
You recently got married, so congrats! Aside from the upcoming nuptials, are you working on other projects?
Thank you! It’s been a crazy year with the show and the wedding, but my husband and I were really excited to spend some time with our families and get hitched. I’ve also been working on a show called All Hail King Julien for Netflix/Dreamworks. It’s a ridiculously funny animated spinoff of the Madagascar movies. We are deep into season 2 and soon to be starting season 3. I love it.
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Photographed by Ben Miller

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