Wonderland.

ONE OF US IS LYING

The stars of the Peacock mystery teen-thriller talk returning for season two.

For an actor, returning to a hit TV show for season two could feel like going back to school after the summer holidays. And, for the stars of One Of Us Is Lying, this sensation was elevated as they returned to the fictional Bayview High School for the latest instalment of the mystery, teen-thriller, based on the novel of the same name by Karen M. McManus.

“It was a big reunion with crew, cast, and the whole team. But it also feels like an athlete’s season has started up again,” Marianly Tejada who plays Bronwyn, tells us below. However, “Fortunately for me, school never included a looming murder investigation,” Chib Uche recognisable to viewers as the show’s Cooper Clay, highlights. “So I think I had more ease about returning to school than my character did.” Said murder occurred in season one, when five of the high schoolers were sent to detention, only for one student not to make it out to meet their demise in unexplained circumstances. Season two sees them continue to emerge from the peculiar and perilous events the school plays host to, whilst also navigating the equally terrifying reality of teenage life.

We get the low down from Marianly, Chib, Cooper van Grootel (Nate), Jess Mcleod (Janae) and Annalisa Cochrane (Addy) about returning for another season, how they compare to their teenage characters, and who would be most likely to survive the dangers of life at Bayview High…

Chib Uche (Cooper)

Hey! How are you doing today?
I’m well, thanks for asking.

Congratulations on One of Us Is Lying Season 2, did it feel like going back to school?
Thank you! Fortunately for me, school never included a looming murder investigation, so I think I had more ease about returning to school than my character did.

What was it like to be back on set again? Do you find it easy to re-enter the headspace of your character after a hiatus?
It’s a great feeling to return to set. Mostly because I love the people I get to work with. There’s a nice familiarity, not only with the cast but with the crew as well. As far as re-entering Cooper Clay’s headspace, I do find it easier now after being with the character for three years. That said, characters evolve as much as people evolve, so it’s always exciting to discover how Cooper’s developed since I was last with him.

How do you identify with your character in the show, were you very different as a teenager?
I was both similar and different to Cooper as a teenager. On one hand, I was obsessed with sports and would’ve loved to reach the next competitive level. On the other hand, I never shouldered as much expectation, pressure and stress as he has to.

What do you think are the best and worst things about being a teenager, do you ever miss it?
I don’t necessarily miss it, though I did enjoy those years. I think the best part about being a teen was also the worst part, and that is the fact that everything felt so important at that time. Whether it was who you were dating, which colleges you were applying to, or how you were performing in sports, everything felt so monumental. Nowadays, I’m more even-keel and allow things to flow, understanding that I have a greater perspective on life.

Is there any advice you’d give to your teenage self?
Don’t be afraid to fail. You learn far more from failure than from playing it safe.

Obviously, the stakes are a little different in the show but do you have any tips for surviving high school outside of a murder mystery?
Stay true to yourself, give yourself and others grace, and enjoy the ride! It will be over before you know it.

Are there any other book adaptations you’d be interested in doing?
As a Nigerian, the opportunity to be a part of Tomi Adeyemi’s Children of Blood and Bone would be a really exciting adaptation to attach to. It also exists in the fantasy genre, which is quite different from One of Us Is Lying.

Were there any particular performances that inspired you for this role?
I really enjoyed Kelvin Harrison Jr.’s performance in Waves. I thought there were some similarities between our two characters, as highly-regarded high school athletes dealing with immense pressure from our fathers.

Lastly, which of the cast members do you think would be most likely to make it out alive?
That’s really a toss-up, nobody immediately comes to mind.

Annalisa Cochrane (Addy)

How are you doing today?
Can’t complain. It’s a beautiful day, and I’ve just made my morning coffee.

Congratulations on One of Us Lying Season 2, did it feel like going back to school?
Thank you! And it really did. We were back after summer break, a little more grown, a little wiser, but so excited to dive in, hang out, and do good work. Plus it helped that our sets and most wonderful crew were mostly the same so we didn’t skip a beat.

What was it like to be back on set again? Do you find it easy to re-enter the headspace of your character after a hiatus?
It was so special. Creating familiar art in a collaborative environment again was so fulfilling, and I found it easier than expected to step back into Addy. In an exciting way, coming back to her headspace was also a challenge as she dealt with the trauma and inner turmoil of her actions.

How do you identify with your character in the show, were you very different as a teenager?
As Addy takes off her mask in Season two, I’ve found more and more similarities between us. I was quite adventurous in high school and a bit of a hype man for my group. Plus Addy’s evident eagerness to try and understand others (Janae’s gender journey) felt familiar. I’m still doing it! Working hard to navigate my ignorance and come to a place of listening and compassionate understanding.

What do you think are the best and worst things about being a teenager, do you ever miss it?
Oh, the best thing is the freedom. You’re invincible with all the potential in the world. I miss that feeling. I miss the freedom from obligation, the spontaneity, and the crazy adventures. However, the teenage years are also tough! There’s so much change physically and mentally, but also in the worlds you operate in. I don’t miss the core needs of trying to belong or the lack of autonomy over life. It’s a catch-22! When you want control you don’t have it, and then you get it, and it’s just alll the stress.

Is there any advice you’d give to your teenage self?
It’ll always get better! In the meantime, hug your friends and live life. Work hard, play harder, and make those memories!

Obviously, the stakes are a little different in the show but do you have any tips for surviving high school outside of a murder mystery?
Oh man, it can be rough, but remember the truthful cliche, it’ll always get better! In the meantime, be unapologetically you, overly kind, adventurous, and try everything! Also, stop caring what others think. That is just not serving you!

Are there any other book adaptations you’d be interested in doing?
Another YA book I’d love to do would be Unwind by Neil Schusterman. Otherwise, I’d be interested in acting or helming an adaption of Ministry of the Future by Kim Stanley Robinson, one of Ted Chang’s stories, or The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue – that name connection alone!

Were there any particular performances that inspired you for this role?
Kathleen Turner in Peggy Sue Got Married for Season one, Kate Winslet in everything and Brittany Murphy in Girl Interrupted are the first ones that come to mind.

Lastly, which of the cast members do you think would be most likely to make it out alive?
I’ve got to back my girl, Addy. She’s a fighter, and we haven’t seen her full potential yet.

Cooper Van Grootel (Nate)

Hey! How are you doing today?
Hey! I’m good! I’m currently soaking up my last days in Bali. I’ve been surfing for the past few weeks.

Congratulations on One of Us Is Lying season two, did it feel like going back to school?
Thank you so much! The response to season two has been overwhelmingly positive. It very much did feel like going back to school in a weird other-worldly way as Australian schools are so different! It was so fun.

What was it like to be back on set again? Do you find it easy to re-enter the headspace of your character after a hiatus?
We were all so grateful to be back for a second season. Opportunities like that don’t come along often. We were so hyped. For me, it was definitely easier coming back into that headspace. We have been sitting with these characters for so long and having a whole season under our belts, I felt confident stepping back into Nate’s boots.

How do you identify with your character in the show, were you very different as a teenager?
I think there are a lot of differences and similarities with Nate and I. His home life is completely different to mine, he’s a drug dealer and rides a motorcycle at 17. But, like Nate, I loved the adrenaline and the excitement that comes with it. Nate’s a good guy, he’s got a golden heart and I always try and act from that place whenever I can.

What do you think are the best and worst things about being a teenager, do you ever miss it?
Great question! I think a few of the best things are the fact that you don’t have much responsibility, but you’re also gaining responsibility and maturity at the same time, high school drama and sports, and vacations with family! Worst things? I can’t think of many to be honest! Maybe not being able to drive! When I got my license it was freedom! I do miss it from time to time for sure, but I think as you get older you realize how much there still is to learn, so I kind of always feel like a teenager.

Is there any advice you’d give to your teenage self?
Silence can be a lie so be honest whenever you can, speak your truth. Really enjoy the small wins in life and go slow, growth takes time, and hard work takes time. Enjoy the struggles and breakthroughs, just be in your life. Don’t take shit from anyone, be the best version of yourself and people will naturally gravitate towards you. Don’t take it too seriously but also enjoy the things you are passionate about.

Are there any other book adaptations you’d be interested in doing?
The Magic Faraway Tree by Enid Blyton and the other books in that series are imprinted in my imagination so vividly. I’d always read them with my Dad. I think they’re tremendous books. Whether they would adapt it into a live-action or animation I would love to be a part of it.

Were there any particular performances that inspired you for this role?
For sure, James Dean in Rebel Without a Cause, Heath ledger in 10 Things I Hate About You, and Joel Edgerton in Animal Kingdom are all performances that I think have similar ideologies or themes to Nate and his world.

Lastly, which of the cast members do you think would be most likely to make it out alive?
Chib for sure! He’s a problem solver so I think he’d be the most logical. Not to say the rest of us aren’t but I think Chib is a few clicks ahead of the rest of us…”

Jess Mcleod (Janae)

One of us Is Lying Janae
One of us Is Lying Janae

Hey! How are you doing today?
Thriving, never been better.

Congratulations on One of Us Is Lying Season 2. Did it feel like going back to school?
It was exciting to work with this cast again. We all genuinely love each other, and I missed them.

What was it like to be back on set again? Do you find it easy to re-enter the headspace of your character after a hiatus?
I remember feeling a little off on the first day, but once the five of us did our first scene I feel like things started to click.

How do you identify with your character in the show, were you very different as a teenager?
I wasn’t too different. I think I was less opinionated and less honest about any opinions I did have. I admire that about Janae. They’re totally unaware and unbothered by what people think about him.

What do you think are the best and worst things about being a teenager, do you ever miss it?
Sometimes I still feel like a teenager. When tax season comes around, I’m like, “surely you can’t trust me with this? I’m just a small boy.”

Is there any advice you’d give to your teenage self?
Practice trusting yourself and doing what feels right for you. You’ll need that instinct when you’re older.

Obviously, the stakes are a little different in the show but do you have any tips for surviving high school outside of a murder mystery?
Well, my strategy was to do the bare minimum you need to graduate so you can leave when you’re sixteen. I don’t know if that’s good advice or not, but it turned out okay for me.

Were there any particular performances that inspired you for this role?

Our showrunner always says I remind her of Ava from Hacks.

Are there any other book adaptations you’d be interested in doing?
I would love to be in The Wicked + The Divine adaptation.

Lastly, which of the cast members do you think would be most likely to make it out alive?
Anna is very savvy and good in a crisis! Definitely not me or Cooper, god love us.

Marianly Tejada (Bronwyn)

Hey! How are you doing today?
I’m doing well, thanks for asking.

Congratulations on One of Us Is Lying Season 2, did it feel like going back to school?
There’s a bit of that, yes – it was a big reunion with crew, cast, and the whole team. But it also feels like an athlete’s season has started up again. That first day on set feels like game day: a bit of nerves, excitement, focus, but we’ve all put in the proper preparation for it so we were able to go out and play.

What was it like to be back on set again? Do you find it easy to re-enter the headspace of your character after a hiatus?
I think so, and what makes it easy on One of Us Is Lying is being around all the other actors and going back to the familiar spaces and sets. Being back in costume and Bronwyn’s hair and makeup really brings me into this universe again.

How do you identify with your character in the show, were you very different as a teenager?
I took my academics seriously too, but I had more of a social life. So, there are strong similarities but also massive differences which sometimes is fun to let show through Bronwyn, especially in season two.

What do you think are the best and worst things about being a teenager, do you ever miss it?
The best thing about being a teenager is having to pay no or very few bills. I remember at 16 I only had to pay for my cellphone bill and the rest of my paycheck went to silly things that I can’t even remember now. That sort of carefree nature is something I truly miss. No one can really articulate what it’s like to be an adult and so you get here and then you miss being in that space where you had different kinds of worries.

Is there any advice you’d give to your teenage self?
Create the habit of saving to whatever capacity you can. Invest in yourself. Read books, learn how to play an instrument. Use your time productively.

Obviously, the stakes are a little different in the show but do you have any tips for surviving high school outside of a murder mystery?
Be kind, have empathy for others, and don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it.

Are there any other book adaptations you’d be interested in doing?
Any Sally Rooney novel adaptation.
Were there any particular performances that inspired you for this role? Not any role in particular, but I took a deep dive into 90s high school movies: 10 Things I Hate About You, She’s All That, Clueless, The Next Karate Kid, etc.

Lastly, which of the cast members do you think would be most likely to make it out alive?
It’s got to be Chib or me.

ONE OF US IS LYING

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