All of the heroes of Doom Patrol are complicated characters. Each member of the team has endured some sort of trauma that has led not only to their superpowers, but sometimes strained relationship with those powers as well as others. However, even on a team made up of a brain in a robot body, a man with a spirit of pure energy inside of him, an actual half-man/half-machine cyborg, and a woman whose body is extremely pliable, it's Crazy Jane who may be the most complicated of all.
With 64 distinct personalities, each with their own powers and issues, Crazy Jane is a lot to deal with and we don't just mean for her team. For actress Diane Guerrero, who brings the character to life on DC Universe's Doom Patrol, she's not just playing one character. She's playing all 64 and while we haven't seen the full roster on screen just yet, we've seen many of them including a few new faces in this week's episode, "Jane Patrol". With that many characters, it would be easy for anyone to struggle keeping it all sorted out and in line. However, Guerrero explains in an interview with Entertainment Weekly she has a plan for how to get into the mindset of all the people inside of Jane.
"Right from the beginning, I started working with my acting coach on breaking every personality down through movement, through why she needs them or what their main characteristics are," Guerrero said. "Once my body gets in that space, then everything else can follow. I have a notebook, and I have basically every personality there. Whenever one pops up in the script, I can reference my notes and I reference music. I like to think I have a lot of sides to myself that I can easily access at any given moment, like if I feel threatened or if I want something to go a certain way."
Being able to access those different sides of herself is a very handy way to approach the various personalities of Jane. In comics and on the series, a young girl named Kay Challis suffered severe trauma thanks to childhood sexual abuse. That trauma led to Kay developing other personalities -- including the currently-dominant Jane persona -- in order to deal with different fears, insecurities, pain, and other traumas. Everyone has a role, but even within that, Guerrero admits that she has some favorites, especially Dr. Harrison and Baby Doll.
"I like her power of persuasion and being able to talk to somebody about their own weaknesses and then have her use reverse psychology on them," Guerrero said of the character who was tapped by Niles Caulder and the villain Mr. Nobody in "Paw Patrol" to create a cult that would, ultimately, save the world from The Decreator. "I like that she's calm and uses her words".
As for Baby Doll, that character is very childlike and it's that vulnerability is what makes her a favorite for Guerrero.
"It's interesting when people access their inner little girl or little boy," she said. "I remember doing tons of those exercises when I was in school, where you're trying to dig into your vulnerability. There's no mask for a child, so all those feelings are real. But also for Baby Doll, it's scary because it's a 30-year-old woman acting like a 7-year-old."
Doom Patrol is now streaming on DC Universe. The latest episode, "Jane Patrol", is available now.
Do you have a favorite Jane personality? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.
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