EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: Laysla De Oliveira from ‘Locke & Key’ Talks Being a Villain

Being a villain isn’t easy. There’s good guys to thwart, an agenda to fill, and an audience to deal with that thinks being evil is a piece of cake. That’s the case with Locke & Key’s Dodge, a bad guy like no other that has no qualms taking you down, even if you’re a kid. We got a chance to speak with Laysla De Oliveira, who plays Dodge, about playing this demon, villains, and what keys she’d personally want to get her hands on in Locke & Key

Firstly, women aren’t usually relegated to these roles. Cut throat villains are usually given to male actors because some people can’t fathom the thought of a woman being so vicious that she would throw a child in the path of a train without a second thought. And just to be clear, Dodge has done this and worse.

When De Oliveira first started diving into Dodge, she was taken aback at how unapologetic Dodge really was.

“When I read the script I was like, “Wow. Here’s a woman who’s completely unapologetic and a scifi villain.” Which, we don’t have a lot of.” And while doing research and trying to find other villains like Dodge, De Oliveira found that there really weren’t many characters like Dodge. 

She explained, “Actually, when I got the roll I wondered who can I watch? And the only person I could think of was Angelina Jolie in Maleficent. And so, it’s something that’s new and that’s fresh and I was just really excited to dive in and to have as much fun with her as I possibly could.”

As De Oliveira started really diving into the character she realized something about Dodge. An undeniable truth about this demon: she likes to be mean and that’s the only motivation she needs to keep her going. “I think what motivates Dodge is just being mean to people. I think she has fun. The great thing about this character is that she is an echo. So she isn’t misunderstood. There isn’t any of that. She’s bad and she wants to be bad. She likes being bad and I think that’s so much fun.”

But she does hope that when they’re given a second season, which they totally should if the Netflix gods want to keep the Locke & Key fam happy, they can explore a little bit more about Dodge’s origin story. “That’s something I’m interested to see us explore in the second season if we get one because the first season is very much about getting the keys and about the black door. So, I’m interested in why and where that goes and potentially Dodge’s origin story.”

And just to clarify, knowing more about Dodge doesn’t mean that they’ll excuse her behaviors. If anything, De Oliveira just wants to know more about the demon and the lengths she’s willing to go for these keys. 

“With a lot of villains too, they have the story of why they became a villain. And in Dodge’s case, there’s isn’t that because of the scifi element of it and because she is a demon. Because she chose to be in this form. She uses the gender key. She’s just having fun with her flesh, with what she looks like and what she can do. And she’s finally out of that well. I think it was just about fun and getting those keys and getting straight to business.”

Then there’s the keys. Each and every single one of them is more magical than the last and De Oliveria knows what she’d pick after a little back and forth where she discovered she was going about this key business in the wrong way.

“I think I’d pick the anywhere key because I hate airports. And I feel that after watching the show, I’d love to take the ghost key for a spin or use the head key to put information in my head. You know, books and lines and things like that that would save me a lot of time.” This all changed when she came across a most intriguing thought, “I’ve been saying the anywhere key all this time when I could just put the lines in my head and not have to sit here for hours and learn them? Why didn’t I do that?

On a more real front, there are some things that De Oliveira sees in herself when she thinks of Dodge. They’re few and far in between but they’re real nonetheless. “I relate to her love for fashion. And I relate to her sense of humor, which I think she has. I mean it’s dark and I like that about her. I wanted to keep all her clothes but unfortunately that wasn’t the case.”

And on even realer front, De Oliveira wants young woman that look like her, that have gone through the same things as her, to keep pushing forward when it comes to their dream. She’s of Brazilian descent and knows how difficult it can be to see oneself in the media you consume. 

“I would say, keep on keeping on. And don’t let anyone tell you you can’t do something because of how you look or what you see on screen. I think a lot of time one can get discouraged if you don’t see a lot of people that look like you doing something. But I say to hell with that and that everybody can do anything they want to. And everyone deserves a fair shot.”

Locke & Key is available to stream on Netflix.

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