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Hallea Jones – Master Key

Words + Interview By Lucky Smith

Actress and musician, Hallea Jones is back with us for another great convo! The Toronto native and I discussed canoeing, COVID, music and season 2 of Netflix’s “Locke & Key”.

Netflix’s “Locke & Key” jumped to #2 on Nielsen’s list for the last week of October (2021) with over 1 billion minutes streamed. How does that feel? 
Very surreal! It has been incredible to see the love from all the world pouring in for Locke & Key. It’s wild to think millions of people have watched the work we spent so much time creating. I’m just so grateful that it’s being received well!

For those who aren’t familiar, break down Netflix’s “Locke & Key” and your character Eden Hawkins.
Eden Hawkins is the high school mean girl turned demon sidekick in Season 2 (Oops, spoiler if you haven’t seen S2!). She is intense, funny, determined and has a killer fashion sense (pun intended).

In what ways has Eden changed since season 1, if any? 
SO many ways. First off, I cut my hair pretty short after season one finished and never grew it out again, which ended up actually working in Eden’s favor because I feel like when something radical happens in a woman’s life, a lot of the time we end up changing our hair and what’s more radical than becoming a demon! She also unleashes her inner badass far more in the second season, leading to a lot of fun and mischief.

You mentioned during season 1 that Eden was your most challenging role to date. Has it become easier this go round? 
Oh yes, definitely. In season 2, Eden was by far the most challenging I’ve ever been as an actor and it was an absolute joy to be given the opportunity to play so many angles to the character. In season 1, she is a standard mean girl but in season 2 I got the opportunity to really lean into the physicality of being a menace. It did get easier as we went through filming because I really settled into the work and found new confidence in my abilities as an actor.

Name 3 things that were significantly different while filming season 2.
The number of scenes and episodes I got to do lead to working several times a week, rather than a few days a month. This led to making some really great friends with the crew because we got to see each other often. I miss them every day. The physical and emotional demands of my character were far more intricate and challenging. Also, I got a trailer with a bathroom in it that I could decorate with little colorful fairy lights. It was my safe haven.

Break down the glass breaking scene and your reaction to it.
I was SO excited to film that scene because I had no idea what would happen. It’s not the kind of scene you can really prep for. It was definitely one of the most challenging scenes to film and by the end of the day I had bruised myself up from hitting the glass so much, but I was high on adrenaline and pure joy. It was so much to film.

Emilia Jones: What was it like working with her?
Emilia is such a sweetheart and so kind. She’s British so it’s so cool to see her switch between the American accent and British accent between takes. She’s such a hard worker and inspires me to this day with all she’s doing in her career. That young woman has many more big successes ahead of her!

Tell us about your recent misfortunes with your gadgets and what message you might be being sent.
Hahaha! So you follow me on instagram I see! My iPhone 12 Pro that I bought to film a lot of the BTS content for Locke & Key and my life in general was run over by a car when it fell out of my pocket… As much as it sucks, especially because it was only a year old, TO THE DAY (no joke, I got it exactly a year to the day it got run over), I’m choosing to see it as a sign from the universe that I need to spend less time on my devices!

Explain going on a canoe ride when it is cold and snowing. What was that like?
It was so so so beautiful. I was so excited for the first snowfall and was already so incredibly overjoyed by it, but then my friend Michelle messaged me asking if I wanted to go on a random canoe ride around the Toronto islands. Michelle has been such a great friend in my life because we both have ADHD, so we get each other, but she’s also incredibly adventurous and always has a plan for a fun excursion. I’m so grateful for that experience, even though later that night is when my phone got run over and I wasn’t able to save some of the photos I had taken! It has been some time since our last interview and the last we spoke, we were smack dab in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic.

How has life changed for you since things have seemed to calm down a little bit?
So much has changed… I’m really involved in the music community in Toronto and I’ve been performing a lot, which has led to making a lot of new friends. I’ve also recently moved downtown which has opened the doors to developing a whole new community I’m really excited about.

Considering COVID and its aftermath, what don’t you take for granted these days?
Live music. It’s such a huge part of my life and It brings me endless joy and I definitely have a whole new level of appreciation for live music now that we’ve come out of a long time not being able to indulge in it.

Any updates on your music?
I am releasing a few songs soon! I have a soundcloud album called AS IS which is all self produced songs I’ve made over the last three years. I’m also putting out some music with my brother August this coming month. We’re aiming to release a song, COLDER, on December 17th, and then a song we wrote last summer called GARDEN OF EDEN, which we’re aiming to release on January 7th. My instagram and twitter will be the best places to find updates on these things!

Lastly, what is next after season 2 of “Locke & Key”?
I’ve been auditioning and taking acting classes to keep my chops sharp but a lot of focus is on music. I’m hoping to get working on another acting project soon but it’s a known thing that you gotta deal with a lot of rejection, to which I say “Ok! Not for me! Something else will come!” For now, during my time off of set, music is my main focus and hopefully getting some chairs for my apartment.

Follow Hallea Jones on Instagram @halleajones.

Photo By Nick Merzetti.

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