Eike Schroter/Syfy

‘The Magicians’ Summer Bishil Has A Message For Her Female Viewers & It’s Empowering AF

Ad failed to load

Something magical is happening on the set of The Magicians — but for once I'm not talking about the conjuring of spells. I'm referring to the phenomenal character development that's been happening to Fillory's High Queen Margo for the better part of three seasons. Played flawlessly by Summer Bishil, Margo has become a fully-formed, three-dimensional character who is redefining what it means to be a ruler — and a magical one at that. During a recent interview with Romper, Bishil discussed what the role of Margo means to her and the message she hopes the character sends to all of her female viewers.

The release of Wonder Woman — which starred Israel-born actress Gal Gadot — sent women of all ages flocking to the theater, eager to see Amazonian warrior Princess Diana shatter the stereotype of what it means to be a superhero who, yes, also happens to be a woman. Bishil strives to break just as many stereotypical barriers on the small-screen and is using Margo as a means to shed light on a stigma she herself has faced in the past.

"I have fought against ethnic stereotypes for a long time in the industry and it has not always been easy," says Bishil, whose mother is part-Mexican and father is of Indian decent. "So to play somebody that is so charismatic and gregarious and funny and brave and courageous and all of the things that she is, was incredibly important to me."

Ad failed to load
Eike Schroter/Syfy

When fans first locked eyes on Margo, Bishil knows it may have been easy for some to instantly write her character off as superficial. But that would've been a mistake because Margo has proven to be anything but predictable. "Something that’s helped me shape [Margo] in a way that is not appearance-obsessed is that she’s a performer and she uses her body as her performance piece," Bishil explains. "She’s emancipated from these ideas of what sexuality should look like and how you should demonstrate it."

Anyone familiar at all with Margo knows she's a force to be reckoned with. She exudes a sense of power, strength, and courage you can't help but admire. This character truly owns who she is, regardless of her physical appearance. Don't believe me? Just look at the way she's handled losing one of her eyes. "Take her eye away, put her in a burlap sack and she will find a way to make it her own," Bishil adds. "And it has nothing to do with wanting others to see typical or conventional esthetic value. I think it’s her way of expressing her identity and her right to express her identity."

Ad failed to load

In Episode 5 of Season 3, titled "A Life in the Day," the Fairy Queen forces Margo to marry someone for the use of their army, which as you can imagine she's none too happy about. But instead of letting the situation tear her down, Bishil sees Margo using that anger as an incentive to restore magic so she can take her power back. "She is overwhelmingly angry that she does not have any real power or say in how she governs Fillory," Bishil says. "Magic is a tool that will provide her leverage. So essentially magic, in layman's terms, is currency to her." And, basically, she's ready to make a huge withdrawal.

Margo isn't your typical protagonist. She makes mistakes. She's flawed. But that's a big part of what makes her so relatable. It allows women to see themselves in this character, not an idyllic representation of how the world deems they should look or act. Bishil knows this, which is why she continues to use her character to knock down stereotypes and prove that Margo is a badass ruler with or without magic.

Ad failed to load

Check out Romper's new video series, Romper's Doula Diaries:

Watch full episodes of Romper's Doula Diaries on Facebook Watch.

Ad failed to load
Must Reads

These Millennial Parents Are Taking Gender-Neutral Parenting To An Entirely New Level

A woman on the subway looks at my bulbous shape and asks, “What are you having?” I take a deep breath and throw a glance to my 5-year-old. “I’m having a baby,” I say to the woman. “No, no” the woman says laughing as she pushes further. “Are you havin…
By Madison Young

I’m Registered At Babies “R” Us, & I'm Freaking The Hell Out

Hi. My name is Abi, and I’m registered at Babies “R” Us — and I’m freaking out. This may sound silly, but after being a die-hard Toys “R” Us kid, I was so excited to register at their baby store once my husband and I finally got our big fat positive …
By Abi Berwager Schreier

My Daughter Is Obsessed With Being "Pretty" & I'm Way Past Terrified

Last week, when I picked up my daughter after school, she immediately wanted to know if I liked her hair. "Is it pretty?" she asked. Her hair was pulled up into two ponytails that were intertwined into thick, long braids. A shimmering pink and purple…
By Dina Leygerman

7 Things No One Tells You About Having A Baby In Your 20s, But I Will

I was 24 when I found out I was pregnant with my daughter. The pregnancy was a surprise, since I was on birth control (side note: antibiotics and birth control don't mix), but my partner and I decided to continue with the pregnancy and committed to m…
By Candace Ganger

Women Who Miscarry Early Deserve To Grieve — Here's How Hospitals Should Be Helping

When I lost my baby back in 2013, it was because of a very early miscarriage. Because of the little amount of time I spent being pregnant, it was though my child had never really existed, which made the next few years hard — I felt like they had been…
By Risa Kerslake

7 Things I Wish My Partner Had Said To Me In The First Hour After Giving Birth

I don't know if it was the buzz of the surrounding machines, the non-existent cry of our son as the doctors tried to resuscitate him, or the fact that I'd already been through labor and delivery once before, but I knew something was missing after I h…
By Candace Ganger

Moms’ Groups Weren’t For Me, Sorry

I go to my moms’ club everyday of the week, but not usually on weekends. My moms' group is a place I can always count on finding fellow mothers who understand the daily struggles and triumphs of parenthood and of juggling life’s responsibilities. Dep…
By Samantha Taylor

Millennial Women Are Getting Married Later Than Gen X, & The Reasons Why Are Pretty Badass

The battle of the generations seems to come up when it comes to every lifestyle or career choice people make. Women, especially, are an important demographic when it comes to analysts looking at the lifestyle choices we make or the expected milestone…
By Josie Rhodes Cook

I've Had 3 Miscarriages But *Please* Keep Telling Me About Your Pregnancy

I can feel the tension the moment my friend announces her pregnancy. I can hear the forced nonchalant attitude she's willing herself to exude as she fishes for the ultrasound. I know why I was the last to learn that she was expecting; why she keeps l…
By Danielle Campoamor

7 Early Signs You're Going To Need An Epidural, According To Experts

Even if you've constructed an elaborate birth plan, it's impossible to control every aspect of labor and delivery. Complications can occur, proactive measures might be necessary, and your mind is subject to change when those damn contractions really …
By Candace Ganger

I'm Pregnant & I Refuse To Read Any Parenting Books

I didn't read any parenting books when I was expecting my daughter, and I refuse to read any parenting books as I await my second child now. I'm the first to admit that I don't really know what I'm doing when it comes to raising my daughter. A good d…
By Marie Southard Ospina

7 Reasons Why March Babies Are Total Badasses

From the moment you become pregnant, you begin to wonder what your little one will be like. Will they look like you, your partner, or your Great Aunt Edna? Will they be the quiet, thoughtful type or arrive on this planet raring to go? It's fun to ima…
By Caroline Shannon-Karasik

12 Overnight Face Masks To Use To Wake Up Feeling Pampered AF

Spring is right around the corner, and as far as I'm concerned, the sunshine and warm breezes can't come soon enough. But now that we're about to say goodbye to winter, it's a good time to take stock of your facial skincare routine. You know, in the …
By Katie Malczyk

11 Essential Products To Pack In Your Hospital Bag, According To OB-GYNs

The minute you go into labor (or think you're going into labor), chaos ensues. You and your partner are likely to get a little frantic, just like in the movies, so you most definitely want to have a hospital bag packed before the day comes. This prec…
By Abi Berwager Schreier

7 Photos You *Must* Take In The First 6 Months Of Motherhood

In my experience, becoming a mom is like becoming an amateur photographer. There's just something about the need to capture every single coo and sorta-smile that leaves you obsessed with all things photography. I know I couldn't stop taking selfies w…
By Candace Ganger

Here's How Early An Ultrasound Can Actually Determine Your Baby's Sex

From the moment you see those two lines on a pregnancy test, there are a few markers along the way that stand out as especially exciting. Amongst them are hearing your baby's heartbeat and feeling that first, sweet little kick. And if you are finding…
By Caroline Shannon-Karasik

9 Easy Kid Foods To Turn Green, Just In Time For St. Patrick's Day

The best part about having kids is that you get your own personal crew to celebrate the holidays with, in all your color coordinating and matching glory. And with St. Patrick’s Day right around the corner, you are obviously working on turning everyth…
By Mishal Ali Zafar

Here Are Some Conditions That Might Require You To Be On Bed Rest During Pregnancy

When I worked in an office, I worked with quite a few pregnant ladies all at the same time. Something must have been in the water, because while I was there for three years, two of my coworkers got pregnant twice, and another girl was pregnant with h…
By Abi Berwager Schreier

I Didn't Follow The Pregnancy Diet Rules & My Daughter Turned Out Just Fine

My diet is an ever-changing and wholly personal thing, which is precisely why I refused to follow any pregnancy diet rules when I was expecting my daughter. For years, I've essentially practiced intuitive eating, in that I listen to my body and eat w…
By Marie Southard Ospina

5 Foods You & Your Partner Should Eat If You're Trying To Get Pregnant

When you're trying to conceive (TTC) and it's just not happening, it's easy to feel like you're doing something wrong. It can be soul-crushing to keep seeing negatives when all you really want to do is wave a positive pregnancy test in the air. So wh…
By Kate Miller