Exclusive Interview: Rising Star, Jacqueline Toboni of 'Grimm'

Being in the right place at the right time is only half of it. Being talented and interesting is the other. Jacqueline Toboni is the next big thing to hit the TV world after being discovered by Grimm's executive producer, Jim Kouf. Snagging the coveted role of Theresa "Truble" Rubel right before college graduation, she has been through quite a whirlwind since.

As a senior at the University of Michigan, Jacqueline encountered Kouf when he came to speak to her screenwriting class. After a table read and only 12 hours later, she was on a flight to LA to read for more high-ups, including Sean Hayes. As expected, she got the role for the 4 episode arc. Since then, Truble is slated to appear through Season 3, including the finale and even in Season 4. This is her first professional acting job. Watch her talk about her non-traditional casting process below.

Get to know Jacqueline and hear more of her story firsthand with ShareTV's exclusive interview below.


You’ve basically been plucked for primping, interviewing and everything that normally takes a long time to come around. What’s the whirlwind been like? 

"It’s pretty crazy. I think leaving and doing the work, felt normal. The first time that it hit [me] was the CW article online, and I remember looking at it and saying ‘oh my gosh, that’s my face on the Internet.’ That’s when it started to get crazy a little bit. When I went to Portland it felt more normal, but now it’s getting pretty crazy, like the increase in Twitter followers!

What’s the most different thing about being on set for a show, rather then performing in theater at school? 

"In school you’re doing the plays with all your friends and everyone knows each other really well. In Portland, it’s a little bit different with the relationships. Everyone is a lot older than me so they’re kind of showing me the ropes. I’m definitely learning a lot. The difference in the actual work, the best way I can describe it, is that you have to let the camera tell the story. When you’re on stage the actor is the storyteller. Allowing the camera to capture these tiny little moments is more defined."


If you could choose your next role, what TV show would it be on?

"That is a great question! You mean other than Grimm obviously? I’d definitely say Game of Thrones."

When you originally had your post-graduation plans, were you considering TV or any kind of role like Trubel? 

"I think I was planning to move to New York, to stage and create theater with my friends,  hoping I could transition into the TV/film industry. But just jumping right in there is even better. I couldn’t be more happy. And it’s good because since I’m right out of college there’s a little bit of a learning curve. It’s the best possible introduction, with the best people. I’m very lucky for that.

Graduation was this weekend right? Do you feel any different; is the new gig relieving now that school is over and you’ve got something set up? 

"I was so nervous to graduate, even after. All my friends have amazing business jobs lined up and you’re kind of nervous because you don’t know what’s going to happen. You have to just jump in and not look back. It’s nice because I have support now and I can breathe a little bit easier because it’s validation that I can do this as a career.


Who is your role model and inspiration in the acting world?

"I read this thing that Meryl Streep said today and it was something about the essence of her acting, and it’s just because she’s curious about people and would want to know what it would be like for you. That story spoke to me. She’s a person that I obviously look up to and would like to become. If I had to choose anybody’s career I would choose Mary Louise Parker. She does it all: went to North Carolina School of the Arts, she’s been on Broadway, but then she’s the lead on Weeds and in Fried Green Tomatoes. She’s got film, theater, TV and she’s brilliant at it all. She’s plays a great variety of characters and a lot of strong females."

How are you staying grounded through all of this?

"I think in the midst of all this craziness it’s definitely my family. Also, the community I’ve built here. All my friends, they're all artists too, they’re all jumping into this wall too. They bring me right back down."


What’s the first thing you’re going to buy with your paycheck?

"I already bought it. A pair of red high tops, they are kind of like Converse, they’re called Campers. They’re just so cute. I saw them and was like ‘I gotta have those’ and so I treated myself."

How is it living in Portland, where do you actually shoot?

"Portland is the most amazing town. It’s very small. One of the actors lent me his bike, Sasha Roiz who plays the Captain, so I’ve gotten to explore the city a lot. There’s great coffee, great donuts, great beer. Everything you need.

And where are you originally from?

"I’m from San Francisco, California."

When you’re not acting, what are your hobbies and what fun things do you like doing with your friends?

"I really just like to go to coffee shops, that’s literally what I do every single day off. I’ll go to a coffee shop, read and hangout, that’s it. I think one of the saddest things about leaving college is I know all the baristas at my coffee shop, they’re like my friends. That’s honestly what I like to do. Or, I love going to see a movie. The first day the article that came out, everything started happening. Calls started coming in, we started to hire new people for my team (which was a crazy thought!) and right after my phone ran out of battery. I just went and saw a movie and got to disappear into that world for a little bit and have that relief. So I love doing that.

What was the last movie you saw?

"The Grand Budapest Hotel."

What’s your favorite quality of Truble?

"Her curiosity. She has this drive to figure things out and wants to be good at things."

What was the first time you noticed you really loved theater and acting?

"I created a character; it was my first time ever on stage. Her name was Jan and she was a highway patrol man (it was an SNL type thing). I performed it and the response from the audience… making people laugh is really really special, and I felt that for the first time. And actually at graduation, I brought Jan back, performed and did a speech. So it came full circle."

How old were you when you created Jan?

"A junior in high school. I kind of discovered acting pretty late in this business, especially when you got to college for it. I had nothing on my resume and when I found that (my first time on stage), I knew that’s what I wanted to do. I just went for it, applied to colleges and I was like ‘I have to do this'."

Thanks for sharing Jacqueline and congrats on your new job!

See more interviews with Jacqueline here, here and here. And follow her on Twitter and Instagram.


Watch Jacqueline's first episode below and head to the show page to see more of Truble and Season 3 of Grimm!

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