Emeraude Toubia is the perfect example of someone who lives up to her name. Emeraude, a name that symbolizes both beauty and love, launched her career as a beauty pageant contestant, later being cast in the beauty pageant reality show “Nuestra Belleza Latina.” Since then, she has appeared on television in various campaigns and commercials for brands such as Maybelline and JC Penney. Most recently, she was cast in Freeform’s TV series “Shadowhunters,” which premiered January 12, 2016. Toubia sits down with Composure to discuss her her multicultural life and on-screen successes, both as a telenovela star and Hollywood actress.
Composure Magazine: You were born in Canada, but raised in Texas, and you have a multiethnic background. What was it like growing up with such diverse roots?
Emeraude Toubia: It has always been beautiful. We have a close-knit family, and my parents are the best role models. They are still together after 27 years of marriage. I feel I have the best of all worlds. My upbringing was very American, but also Mexican and Lebanese — so much cultural richness, family warmth, and special traditions, not to mention the amazing food! I have been blessed!
CM: You were professionally trained in various dances at a young age. Is dance a passion you still have?
ET: I still love to dance, and if a role required it, I would welcome that. The dance training I have received also helps so much when it comes to any type of choreography, even with my fight scenes. It all requires a specific coordination, and dance training prepared me for it.
CM: With a beauty pageant background, you must be very familiar with the stage! Did you ever get stage jitters, and if so, what is your go-to method for getting rid of them?
ET: All I do is breathe through it and move forward. I still get nervous before certain scenes and even for live interviews, but it is a healthy nervousness, a special kind of adrenaline that is exhilarating, and I hope I always have it. It is part of the excitement and magic of it all.
CM: In the past, you did a lot of work involving various telenovela shows, and at the moment you are working with an American TV series. As a multicultural actress working in Hollywood, which culture do you most strongly resonate with — the Mexican, Lebanese, or American culture?
ET: All of the cultures are a part of me, and I couldn’t choose just one, but I must say it is all part of what being an American is all about. This country is a melting pot of so many cultures and that is one of the great things about being an American.
CM: Tell us more about “Shadowhunters.” Any personal expectations for the show?
ET: I love it — I feel there is nothing like it on TV, and I hope that people embrace it.
CM: How has your experience been on set so far? How has it been working with this cast?
ET: It has been amazing. Shooting in Toronto, away from our homes, helped us become quick friends, and we are almost like a family. We get along so well that it feels like it was meant to be for all of us to be cast together as part of this show.
CM: Your character, Isabelle Lightwood, is a fashionable woman who showcases both girlish sides as well as more serious aspects to her personality. Do you resonate with your character at all? How are you different from Isabelle?
ET: I identify with the feminine side of her, as well as her strength and self-confidence, but I have to say, Izzy is way more daring than I am and a total rebel. I usually play by the book and I am more of a good girl, but that makes it so much fun for me to be her and crack that whip!
CM: What do you do to get “in character” with Isabelle?
ET: I just think “Izzy” and she appears. It is almost like flipping a switch, but being on those amazing sets, wearing her clothes, and interacting with the rest of the cast definitely sets the mood.
CM: You have also volunteered for organizations such as Make-A-Wish Foundation, Toys for Tots, etc. Is volunteer work something you enjoy and want to continue? What are some other passions that you would like to pursue in your free time?
ET: Of course. I have been so blessed, so sharing that in any way and giving back is so important. That is part of the values my parents have always shown me. I certainly plan to continue and expand on my volunteer work. Another passion I would like to pursue in my free time is world travel — getting to know other places and cultures is something that I love. In fact, I would love to learn more languages as well.
CM: Your social media fanbase loves you! If you had a message to convey to your fans, what would it be?
ET: Above all, THANK YOU! So often just reading their messages brightens my days, and I am so thankful for their love and support. I promise to keep excelling so I can make you proud!!
CM: What is something about you that most people don’t know?
ET: I travel with Minnie Mouse. Every time I travel, I take my stuffed Minnie Mouse to serve as my companion and my pillow. So Minnie has flown many miles with me.
“Shadowhunters” airs Tuesdays at 9/8c on Freeform.
Photography by Josefhaley and John Hong
Creative Direction by Jane Hong
Styling by Jordan Grossman
Make Up by Kimberly Bragalone, Solo Artists using Votre Vu
Hair by Robert Lopez, Solo Artists using Oribe Haircare
Written by Esther Lee