'Locke & Key' star Connor Jessup on what drives Tyler Locke and the potential storylines for Season 2
In an exclusive interview with MEA WorldWide, the actor spoke about playing Tyler Locke, the differences between the show and the comic, and the possibility of Season 2
'Locke & Key' debuted on Netflix on February 7, opening Keyhouse to audiences worldwide. The show follows the story of the Locke children who move to the small town of Matheson after the murder of their father, Rendell Locke (Bill Heck). At their father's ancestral home, they find a variety of magical keys and a dangerous foe seeking the keys.
MEA WorldWide (MEAWW) caught up with Connor Jessup who plays Tyler Locke, the eldest brother, on the show. He opened up about his character, Keyhouse and what the show might explore in a potential Season 2.
He spoke about how he was introduced to Tyler Locke's character. "I had heard about the comics, I had never read them. So my introduction to the character and also to the whole world, the story, the concept was initially through the first two or three scripts that were already written," he said. "After I read those I went back and read all of the comics, in a weekend."
He went on to talk about the differences between the show and the comic. "Our writers did, I think, a really exciting job of taking the essential plot points, the essential moments from the comics and remixing them in really exciting ways," he said. "I think that even people who feel like they know the comics will be on their toes."
He compared the two Tylers. "The Tyler in the comics is much more reticent and thick and bulky and rough around the edges. Whereas, I think, in our show we explored a little bit more of Tyler's vulnerable and sensitive side."
Jessup talked about Tyler's relationship with his sister, Kinsey (Emilia Jones), whom he called, "one of the central relationships in the show".
"When we meet them they really aren't getting along. They're at each other's throats, they don't agree on anything. He wants to protect her but he doesn't know how," he said. "She resents him for it. He thinks she's being foolish and young, and... one of the most exciting things for me was developing that relationship between Tyler and Kinsey over the course of the season."
Being witness to his father's murder hit Tyler hard. "He's used to being in control and feeling like everything is working, and after his dad is killed, suddenly none of that feels right anymore," Jessup said. "Everything has turned sour — his ability to say the right thing and do the right thing — it's like it's broken."
"I'm always attracted to characters who deal with whatever it is they're going through — whether it's grief or trauma, loss, confusion — who deal with things internally and Tyler really does internalize what he's feeling," he said. Jessup spoke about how Tyler tried not to let his friends and family know how much pain he is in. "Part of that is because he's a teenage boy and he doesn't have the tools, he doesn’t have the language to articulate or deal with what he's feeling. So he bundles it up and puts it inside and I found that interesting."
The family's move to Matheson is a new opportunity for Tyler to move on. "For Tyler I think there is a part of him that sees this as an opportunity to press reset and to go into the new setting and present an image of being okay," Jessup said.
Keyhouse does not make things easy. However, the Locke children soon find a house full of magical keys, an enemy seeking them out and the revelation that it all ties back to their father.
"All of it is overwhelming and impossible and confusing but part of the fun of the show is that everything happens so fast," he said. "Tyler knows that he has to protect his family, he knows that he has to protect himself. He knows that he has to prevent anyone else from being hurt, and he just follows those very raw instincts."
Jessup also spoke about the potential for a Season 2 and what the show could cover, now that it's largely moved past the events of the comics. One interesting aspect of the show is that adults cannot remember seeing or experiencing magic and Tyler is almost an adult himself.
"If we were to continue past Season 1, just by the nature of what TV is, we would have to get older. So, I think that Tyler being 17 in this first season gives a lot of opportunity to see what it means to forget, what it means to be an adult, what it means to him. There are upsides and downsides of forgetting. I think it's a really beautiful and potent idea that I hope the show is able to explore more in the future."
He believes that there's even some more to be seen from the keys that have been uncovered on the show. "For me, the key that most mystery and intrigue is the ghost key. I feel like we haven't fully tapped the potential of the ghost key."
Jessup had nothing but praise for the Keyhouse, around which the show revolves. "It's so amazing. I can't speak highly enough about our production or our design team... the house itself, the whole property, the drive, the landscaping, the well house, the fountains, all of it was built for the show," he said. "It's super impressive and I think that they really found a beautiful spot because you look at the house and nothing about it is impossible... it straddled this line between being impossible and being totally believable"
Meanwhile, Jessup said he has a bunch of projects in the works but he wanted to point out a film he played a small part in — 'White Lie' by Calvin Thomas and Yonah Lewis that premiered at TIFF last fall. "The movie itself is so beautiful. So skillful and effective and tense and smart," he said, hoping that if people get a chance to watch it, they should.
All episodes of Season 1 of 'Lockey & Key' are now streaming on Netflix.