Exclusive Interview: Emilia Jones from ‘Locke & Key’ Talks Family, Keys, and Playing Kinsey Locke

Growing up is never easy. Throw in a set of keys that can change life as you know it and it makes growing up even worse. That’s what Kinsey Locke, played by Emilia Jones, had to deal with in the Netflix adaptation Locke & Key. Fortunately we got a chance to speak with Jones about “growing up” with magical keys, playing such a fun yet complicated character and her bonds with her on screen siblings.

At the heart of Jones character Kinsey is the bond that she has with her brothers. It’s what drives Kinsey forward and what sets her on many a dangerous paths and what attracted Jones to the character in the first place.

“That’s actually what drew me to the script. As much as I loved the comics and reading the script, but I fell in love with the Locke family. I think they bring such a touching human element to the story. There is murder, guilt, family secrets, love and friendship. And people who are angry because they can’t deal with their pain. So many things draw you in and then the magic keys are the cherry on top. So, reading the script I loved the Locke family and how close they are.”

Jones also loves Kinsey for just being Kinsey. She was a challenge wrapped up in a young woman who had experienced loss, pain, and a dramatic shift in who was as a sister and daughter.

“Kinsey is honestly a really fun character to play because it was a challenge. It was kind of like playing two characters molded into one. Before the loss of Kinsey’s father she was individualistic, free spirited, creative, confident. She’s out there and even dyes her hair. But then after her fathers murder she’s racked by anxiety, fear, and borderline PTSD.”

The pain that Kinsey was going through, altered her and made for an even more interesting character for Jones to play because we don’t get to see the after when it comes to trauma like this. And when we do, there’s no healing and no struggle besides being stuck in the pain of loss.

As a result of what happened to Kinsey’s father, she changed. Some would say for the better because her fear is gone but Jones sees how this dramatic change isn’t for the best.

“So she’s altered her appearance quite dramatically to in order to blend in in her new school. Although hiding with Bode was the right decision Kinsey doesn’t see it this way. She feels like a coward. So in this season she decided that she’s had enough and wants to be like the old Kinsey.”

And before diving into this character, Jones did research of her own to understand what loss and pain does to a young mind, especially one in their teenage years.

“I researched a little bit and I found out that there’s a scientific reason to why teenagers can behave a little bit barmy sometimes. It’s a crucial part of the brain called the frontal lobe and they’re not fully connected. It’s a part of the brain basically here’s this idea and here are the consequences of this action. So although Kinsey is going through this difficult phase anyways plus the existing trauma, she pulls out this emotion out of her head. And it’s a very important emotion. So it’s kind of a recipe for disaster.”

Knowing what she does now about her character, Jones isn’t hesitant to say that she wouldn’t do what Kinsey did, plucking out her fear as a means of getting through her day because she honestly fears the consequences.

“I don’t think I would. As much as I sometimes want to have no fear. I’m too scared of the consequences.”

And that brings us to our most important interview question and the one I keep wondering about myself: which key would you use if you had the chance? For Jones, that answer is simple. She’d use the head key and the anywhere key.

“Obviously the head key, that’d be fantastic. To be able to enter someone’s mind is awesome. In terms of taking things out and putting things back in, well I could’ve done with it when I was still at school. I could lop a whole psychics textbook into my head. It would help and make exams really easy. And then taking things out, I have a fear of vomit, so I’d definitely take that out.”

Who wouldn’t follow in Jones steps if it meant making school or possibly lines to a script easier to take on. And then there’s choice number two aka the one key that I would definitely pick because having this ability sounds epic: the anywhere key.

“The anywhere key, I think is super helpful and awesome. I was away from home for 9 months last year filming so it would’ve been nice to use the anywhere key to pop home for cuddles with my dog.”

And who wouldn’t do just that for more time with a dog? We know we would!

Locke & Key is now available to stream on Netflix.

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