“Scandal” alum Darby Stanchfield drew on the cast’s instinct and natural chemistry to build her character, Nina Locke, in the Netflix original series “Locke & Key.”

“For me, building Nina Locke and finding this character is mainly about my connection to the other actors, specifically the actors who play my children and my husband… Connor Jessup, Emilia Jones, Jackson Robert Scott and Bill Heck. , and how my instinctual relationship informs Nina, ”he told TheWrap. “We all had great natural chemistry and a nice, believable family rhythm, and that helped me figure out who she is.”

Based on the comic book series by American writer Joe Hill, son of novelist Stephen King, the show follows the Locke family as they move to their ancestral home, Key House, in Matheson, Massachusetts, after the shocking murder of their father Rendell. In Season 1, the latest generation of Locke, Tyler (Jessup), Kinsey (Jones), and Bode (Scott) discover some magical keys as they adjust to the move and settle into their new home.

Nina (Stanchfield) deals with her own struggles of mourning her husband’s death and wondering if she made the right decision to move her family across the country from Seattle.

Once cast in the role, Stanchfield put his own spin on Nina because the series made her different from the graphic novel version.

“In the comic series, she’s drunk all the time,” Stanchfield said. “She always has a drink, a glass of wine or something like that. So it never really leaves that state. She constantly has tears running down her face, I guess some of that is a bit similar, but she’s very depressed, she’s an alcoholic. She has a great leg brace … and she also has jet black hair, she’s voluptuous. … She couldn’t be more different from me physically too. “

Locke and Key

“Locke & Key” showrunners Carlton Cuse and Meredith Averill advised the actress to use the source material as “reference.”

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“They really advised me to enjoy the comics and use them as a reference to this world of ‘Locke and Key,’ but not necessarily so that Nina is based on that comic book character,” said Stanchfield. “I had recorded some things. They like me a lot. They said ‘What you were instinctively doing, that’s what we’re looking for, so build on that.’

During Nina’s alcoholic relapse in season 1, the character found that she could remember magic and keys while drinking, but drinking was the main reason she could hold onto those memories, and she didn’t want to go back to that. road. Just when Nina faced some tough times like relapse, her inability to remember or keep track of the magic keys played a big part in her evolution throughout season 2. And there may be more hope for her thanks to a new key. introduced in season 2..

“If Bode activates the ‘Memory Key,’ I think … it would be something that he would probably appreciate very much because his number one priority is feeling connected to his family and the happiness of his children and making sure they really move. beyond the murder of his father, which is a big problem. You don’t get over it that fast, ”he explained. “I think all those problems from season 1 will carry over into season 2 and they would carry over into season 3 as well. So, I think Nina is desperate for a connection with her children. But as we found out with her alcoholism, she is unwilling to go down that path with magic because she knows that ultimately she cannot be a good mother to them when she is drunk. “

Looking back at season 2, which is now streaming on Netflix, Stanchfield told TheWrap that he thinks it leaves viewers with a powerful message.

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“I think some of the questions that are asked in season 2 have to do specifically with this family, specifically with the children. They are the keepers of the keys and it has to do with questions of power and how they use it, ”he said. “They realize that the power of these magic keys can not only be used for good things, but can be used for bad things, and there is a kind of evil origin behind the making of these keys. And so I think these characters have to deal with how that resonates with them and their values ​​as a family and as people. I think it tests the ties of their relationship as a family, where their loyalties lie, what is most important to them in life, examining when power is obtained and how they use it and the consequences of using it. “


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