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How The Irrational's Travina Springer Brings a "Creative" Energy to Her Character Kylie
"She loves to stand out and do things a little bit differently than other people might, which I think drives Alec crazy," Travina Springer said of her dynamic with her on-screen brother, Jesse L. Martin, on The Irrational.
Springer has been in television and movies dating back to 2009, but her latest gig on The Irrational marks one of her first major primetime role. She is taking on the part of Kylie, little sister to crime drama veteran Jesse L. Martin's character, Alec Mercer. In the debut episode of the series, Alec has moved in with Kylie after his divorce from Marisa, played by Maahra Hill.
“She welcomed him with open arms, but see the thing is, they’re very different,” Springer told NBC Insider (in an interview conducted prior to the SAG-AFTRA strike) setting the stage for the dynamics on the show. “So, Alec is probably having a hard time being in her space, because Kylie lives how she lives. It’s a lot different than how he would probably do things.”
Travina Springer on Working with Jesse L. Martin
Springer is the first to admit she and Martin have a great dynamic both on and off screen.
“They have a very, very special relationship,” Springer told NBC Insider of her character and Martin’s character. “They are very close. They deeply love each other, but probably won’t admit how much they need each other, ‘cuz they kind of get on each other’s nerves — I think like brothers and sisters do.”
That bond started the first day the pair started working together, as Springer referred to her time with Martin as “an absolute dream.”
“He’s just easy, generous and gracious,” she said. “He just made it a really fun, welcoming environment. He’s like already giving big brother vibes…so I think it made it really easy to play opposite him.”
Who is Kylie on The Irrational?
Besides her job as Alec’s sister, Kylie is also a software engineer.
“She doesn’t live to work, she works to live, because, you know, girl’s gotta pay rent,” Springer told NBC Insider about Kylie. “Kylie would much rather be traveling, or meeting somebody new, or having fun experiences than doing a job. Kylie is like, ‘I clock in, I clock out, and then I’m going dancing somewhere.’”
Springer admitted she’s bringing an authentic piece of herself to the role of Kylie.
“One thing I loved when I tested for the show is that they loved my pink hair, and so I get to keep my pink hair,” she said. “So, Kylie’s a little bit of an extension of me, which is very fun.”
That pink hair is a big part of Kylie’s personality.
“Kylie is so fun — she’s this free spirit,” Springer said to NBC Insider. “She’s creative, and she’s not afraid of taking risk, which I really love. You can tell by her style choices. She loves color.”
As Alec is living with Kylie while going through a divorce, both the actress and her character have big thoughts on his love life with Marisa, which Martin has teased as an unfinished love story.
“Deep down she’s rooting for Alec and Marisa to get back together, because she’s a Marisa stan,” Springer said. “Kylie really likes Marisa. I think they’re really meant for each other, so fingers crossed.”
Travina Springer's TV and Movie Roles
One of Springer’s very first acting roles was as a sign language interpreter for the movie Valentine’s Day in 2010, according to IMDB. She then got her first big break on the TV series The New Shade Of Black, playing Danielle in five episodes in 2016. She also played the character of Alice in seven episodes of the TV series Strange Angel, from 2018 to 2019.
One of her more recent roles was on the TV mini series Ms. Marvel as Tyesha. Debuting on Disney+ back in June 2022, it was the first Marvel story to feature a Muslim superhero — one who converts to Islam.
Just like The Irrational, Springer told Los Angeles Confidential magazine she pulled some of herself into her character on Ms. Marvel.
“As a Black woman, it was really important and special to play someone who was similar to me as well,” Springer told LA Confidential. “I’m also a convert, and the fact she is just so self-assured and so resourceful — I just enjoyed being able to play such a powerful character who was also very fun and loving.”
Watch Travina Springer as Kylie during all-new episodes of The Irrational, airing Mondays at 10/9c on NBC and the next day on Peacock.