The scene opens up on a very professional looking set with two leather chairs facing one another with a small table in between them with two bottles of water resting on top of them. In one seat sits a middle aged woman with short blonde hair wearing thick black rimmed glasses and in the other is tattoo artist, model and actress, Riley Fajardo who is wearing a pair of black leather rocker boots, a plain black tight fitting dress and a red and black checkered flannel shirt. The camera then focuses solely on the blonde who looks into the camera with a smile on her face as a name bar slowly fades in at the bottom of the screen that reads “Sarah Stanley”.
Sarah Stanley: Hello ladies and gentlemen, I’m Sarah Stanley and I’m here to talk to one of the stars of Madison Tower, the Splat! Original that has taken the world by storm. So please allow me to introduce to you all, Riley Fajardo.
The camera then cuts to Fajardo who smiles as a name bar of her own appears at the bottom of the screen.
Riley Fajardo: Hi, Sarah. Thank you for having me.
We now cut to a shot with both women in frame.
Sarah Stanley: Thank YOU for taking the time out of your busy schedule to sit down with me. I guess my first question for you is… how do you possibly manage owning your own tattoo shop, being a model and now acting in the hottest show on television right now all at the same time?
The young woman lets out a chuckle.
Riley Fajardo: It’s certainly not easy. I mean, the modeling side of things are few and far between and since I work for my stepfather’s agency, he understands my other commitments. And as it pertains to my tattoo shop? Well luckily I have two wonderful artists who work at the shop with me who I trust to run the place when I’m too busy to be there in Jessie Barnes and Kajsa Lindström.
Stanley nods as she looks down at the small notepad on her lap.
Sarah Stanley: I see. So what made you audition for the role of the character you play in Madison Tower, Riley Oh? Like… what drew you towards the character exactly?
Riley Fajardo: Honestly? I didn’t know what character I was going to be playing until I showed up for my audition. I mean, the woman who you’re sitting in front of right now is a very different woman who showed up to that audition.
Sarah Stanley: How so?
Riley Fajardo: So, I was already familiar with the stuff from Splat! Studios. My older half-sister, Stacy Lawson-Jones appeared in one of their short movies, The Murder Game… and I have always looked up to her and admired her confidence… which was something I had a lack of. See, I was given the nickname Mouse because I have always been a super shy and timid person… and I would suffer from severe anxiety when around large groups of people, especially ones I didn’t know. And so, when Splat! Studios put out a casting call for Madison Tower… I had no idea what the show was going to be about nor did I know what kind of role I’d be given, I just decided that I wanted to help work on getting over my fear of people and to become more confident and more outgoing in life, so I put my name forward and now here I am.
Sarah Stanley: That’s quite the achievement. I’d imagine at first the experience was quite terrifying.
Riley Fajardo: Oh, it was. Luckily two of the other stars of the show, Zoey Madigan-Star and Jessica Matthews, who I already knew were there to help ease me into things at the beginning, and of course, there’s my wife Darlyn who has always been a huge supporter of mine and I honestly couldn’t have done any of this without her help and support.
Sarah Stanley: Speaking of your wife… how did she feel about some of the scenes you were involved in? Most notably in the later episodes of the show where you had some kissing scenes with the Sebastian Gaston character?
Riley Fajardo: She was totally fine with it. I remember when we sat down to watch the first episode that involved me kissing Sebastian and I told her straight up what was gonna happen and her response was, “It’s acting, Mouse. It’s not like you and the rest of the cast were having orgies in between takes or anything”. It was hilarious.
Stanley chuckles herself.
Sarah Stanley: She sounds like quite the joker. So tell me… what is it like acting? Especially given how I’d imagine how you felt about it changed over the course of the series as you transitioned from being this shy, timid young woman to a more confident one?
Riley Fajardo: Yeah, so… at first I was really nervous… I was always worried that I’d forget my lines or I wouldn’t be able to get across the right emotions during certain scenes. Because I’m also a very quiet person but the Riley Oh character at times can be very loud and in your face. Which, given her past, you can’t really blame her. She’s bitter because she had everything taken away from her because of Zoey and as a result, she was left a poor single mother while Zoey is living on top of the mountain and has everything she’s ever wanted. But the crew and the other stars of the show were very understanding and patient with me and sure enough, once I became more confident… I went from shooting several takes of scenes to only shooting a couple.
Stanley nods and smiles.
Sarah Stanley: You briefly mentioned how the Riley Oh character can be quite loud and in your face where you’re usually quiet and more reserved. How else is the character different from who you are as a person?
Riley Fajardo: Well I’m not a murderer like her for starters.
The two women laugh.
Sarah Stanley: Good to know!
They laugh a little harder.
Riley Fajardo: Yeah, so like I said Riley Oh is quite loud and in your face and despite her not having the best life, she’s definitely more confident than I am. Even now, even though I am more confident in myself… if I had a confrontation with someone who was like Zoey, I wouldn’t be able to stand up for myself like Riley Oh could.
The interviewer looks down at her notes again.
Sarah Stanley: So tell me, did you know from the beginning that Riley Oh was Layla’s killer or did you find out later? And how did you feel when you found out?
Fajardo lets out an elongated sigh and rubs her thighs a little as she casts her mind back.
Riley Fajardo: Well, we would receive the scripts for each episode a few weeks ahead of shooting, so I didn’t know from the very start that Riley was Layla’s killer and I basically found out when I received the script for episode twelve, when that mystery was revealed. How did I feel about it? Oh boy. I mean, this whole experience has been one crazy ride because when I first signed up to take a role in the show, I didn’t have any kind of acting background at all… and I was just expecting to have a very small role. And then when we started shooting, I realized how important this character I was playing in this show really was, and so by the time I found out that she was Layla’s killer? I was honestly super stoked about it. I think if I had honestly known how big the character was gonna be from the beginning? I think it would have overwhelmed me too much and I may have pulled out.
Sarah Stanley: Well I think I speak for all Madison Tower fans when I say that we’re glad you didn’t pull out because a lot of fans of the show really like you and believe you were a perfect casting choice for the Riley Oh character.
Fajardo blushes slightly as she strokes some of her hair behind her ear.
Riley Fajardo: Well, I appreciate all the love and support from the fans and I’m glad to hear that they enjoy what I’ve done with the character. I mean, I absolutely adore the character myself… I love playing her and honestly, I have to give a shout out to all of the other stars of the show because they are all absolutely phenomenal in their roles and they’re all just such wonderful people as well.
Sarah Stanley: One thing I have to ask you when it comes to your character and after hearing you talking to me here is, what made you decide on the Harley Quinn style voice for the character?
Fajardo laughs again.
Riley Fajardo: Well, as you can tell, I’m from New York originally… and so the Harley Quinn style voice mainly came about because I know my sister Stacy is a huge Batman fan and I knew she’d be watching the show so I thought she’d get a kick out of it. Also the crew and everyone really seemed to like the accent too so it just stuck.
Sarah Stanley: Okay well, before we end… can you give us any info on season two of Madison Tower?
Riley Fajardo: Well, of course… I can’t give away any spoilers but we’ve already started shooting for it. All I can say is to expect more shocking twists and turns and more deaths of course.
Stanley smiles and nods.
Sarah Stanley: Well Riley, thank you for your time. Congratulations on a terrific first season of Madison Tower and I wish you and everyone else on the show a successful season two.
Riley Fajardo: Thank you so much for having me and I just want to quickly thank all of the Madison Tower fans for being so supportive of this show and I hope you all enjoy season two!
Fajardo then waves goodbye into the camera and the two women continue chatting as the scene fades.