'Roswell, New Mexico': Liz & Max Clash With Jamie Clayton's New FBI Agent Grace

Jamie Clayton Roswell New Mexico Season 2 Episode 8 Grace Preview
Q&A
John Golden Britt/The CW

The FBI is coming to Roswell to investigate  recent disappearances in Season 2, which is probably going to mean trouble for its residents.

Jamie Clayton joins the cast as FBI agent Grace Powell in Monday's episode of Roswell, New Mexico, and her missing persons search coincides with Max's (Nathan Dean Parsons) search for the missing Cameron. They will cross paths and get in the way of each other's investigations.

Clayton, who is recurring, promises "huge surprises" during her character's investigation. Here, she introduces us to Grace.

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You're playing an FBI agent on a show about aliens, so of course the first question has to be: Is Agent Grace Powell a skeptic or a believer? And what about yourself? 

Jamie Clayton: I'm going to say that Grace has to be a bit of both to properly do her job. If she skewed either way, it would maybe not lead her in the right direction for the cases that she has to work. And I'm a total believer. I think that we are a very small part of something very big that we will probably never really fully understand.

How would you describe Grace? What kind of agent is she? 

She's definitely no-nonsense. A big part of any character that I play for me is the development of a character with costume and hair and makeup. The team on this show was absolutely incredible. As soon as I went to my first fitting, she's in this incredible suit and this trench coat.

Nathan Dean Parsons Roswell New Mexico Season 2 Episode 8 Max

(John Golden Britt/The CW)

There are these disappearances happening in the town, and she's been sent to come and research those disappearances. Her first interaction is with Max and Liz, and it's a very no-nonsense approach to her job. She's not there to make friends. It's very much that kind of an attitude.

What is she hoping to find and what is she expecting to find? How do they differ?

When her bosses sent her there, it's funny because it's one of those situations you see on these shows where it's like, the authorities have to get involved but sometimes because there are other things happening behind the scenes that they're not allowed to know about, they're not given all the information they need. With Grace, she wasn't necessarily given all the information she needs, so she doesn't quite know what she's looking for, but she definitely finds a lot more than she bargains for.

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The star also teases flashbacks to after Michael, Max, and Isobel lied to the town.

Max is looking for Cameron, and I can imagine having Grace around is going to complicate things for him, right?

Yes. That's definitely a wrench in the whole thing which is why Grace comes looking.

You mentioned she also interacts with Liz. What can you preview about the dynamics as she gets a feel for what the town is like, the pod squad, and their friends?

The people, like Liz and Max, are definitely not keen on outsiders coming in and poking around, so Grace doesn't get much help from them in the beginning. As with most of the characters on the show, you find out more about Grace and where she is coming from, personally, because that's a tactic someone will use to get people onto their side. She definitely opens up a bit about who she is and where she comes from to get the help she needs to find these people.

Max Liz Roswell New Mexico Season 2

(John Golden Britt/The CW)

Will she gain their trust?

I want to say yes.

You mentioned getting to know some personal stuff about Grace, but will we get a sense of her personal life or is she all about the job?

She's like me in the sense that she's definitely all about the job, but when she finds someone that she believes she can trust, like me, she definitely opens up. She is going to open up a little bit, and you're going to see some major vulnerability from her in a couple of spots, which was really fun to play.

Can you tease who she opens up to?

No. [Laughs]

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What did you get to do with this character that you haven't in the past? Is there anything about her that will remind fans of past characters at all?

When we've talked in the past, that's such a big thing for me, moving in different directions with the characters I play. When this came, it was really special because, similar to Designated Survivor, this came as an offer. I had auditioned for the show for Season 1 when it was originally picked up, and I went in and auditioned for a different character and I didn't get it. But there's this really great saying in the business that I love that I always think of, and it's "win the room, not the audition." And I won the room. Carina [Adly MacKenzie] really liked me.

A year later, this offer came through, and I was like, "wait, what, they remember me? They like me. Oh, wow." When it came, I was like, "wow, she's so different from any other character that I've ever played, and I like that she is sort of an outsider — like on The L Word, Tess was working with everybody and on Designated, she was related to the president and on Sense8, she was all clustered up.

Jamie Clayton Roswell New Mexico Season 2 Episode 8 Grace Max

(John Golden Britt/The CW)

Grace is kind of a loner and she comes in and she has to work really hard to win over these people to get her job done. That was a fun part of the character that I got to explore, which was walking that fine line of vulnerability but also really staying on task. She's a powerful woman.

I had a lot of fun working with Rachel [Raimist], who directed Episode 8. And Jeanine [Mason] is beyond amazing. I felt really welcomed, which is a rare feeling in this business. It's a special show, and I'm so thrilled.

Roswell, New Mexico, Mondays, 9/8c, The CW