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Marianly Tejada

Peacock’s One of Us Is Lying is a fresh take on a murder mystery meets the breakfast club, and the Bayview Four are back for their second season, out now.

Marianly Tejada, a new face to the Hollywood scene is full of excitement when talking about the current season, and it was evident every time her eyes lit up when talking about the many factors that go into making this show; from her castmates, the showrunners, and the author Karen McManus herself.

In the first season, Bronwyn stays true to her character in the book; the stereotypical “play by the rules” and a book-smart high school student. But her cookie-cutter personality starts to crack under the stress and pressure as the plot takes a dark turn for the worst. The cookie-cutter and book-smart Bronwyn doesn’t just crack under the pressure of the plot, it’s getting to her emotionally. The trauma in the show is an underlying tone for Bronwyn as well. The limits are pushed throughout each episode of the season, and we see that survivor mode mentality come to life in Season 2. 

1883 sits down with Marianly Tejada, (Bronwyn Rojas), of One of Us is Lying to chat about the darker path that the show is heading down and how far Bronwyn is willing to go to save those she loves and cares about the most—and what fans can expect in this darker season of the Peacock series.

 

Thank you so much for chatting with me today,  I’m very excited for this new season. I loved the first and second book, and know that the first season did not end in the same way that the book did, so that being said, what can we expect with this new season? Is it going to be darker for our Bayview friends?

That’s excellent [wording], because I think I like to use this comparison that I heard from actually this acting coach that we had been working with in Seasons one and two, where she was like, “first season you guys were facing the light because you all were innocent and like we’re trying to prove like he was innocent and who’s guilty for this. And then how the second season starts like you’re all facing the dark because you actually did something that you have to hide now”  and I think that that kind of heightens the stakes and therefore the relationships just take a whole different dimension because we are facing you know, this big, big, big heavy truth of what happened. Even though they’re good people, they still have done something to hide so it is a bit of a darker tone to season but also more adventurous and you see them be a little more free I think because they have so much more to lose that time is such an important factor. You’re [thinking] like  “well I don’t know if I could go to jail or be killed any second!” so you kind of appreciate and live everything with more intensity from that perspective. And I think that’s the biggest difference for this season.

 

 

And this is all well being a high school students?? Everyone else has to worry about AP Calculus and College applications and meanwhile these characters have to hide a murder on the table…and well that’s not something you want to put on a college app. 

There’s actually a very interesting dynamic for Bronwyn regarding that [academics and college applications]. Because obviously she’s the one that’s the most invested in her academics and you see her kind of try to manage that part of her life, and also everything that’s happening in this new part of her life, and it’s quite interesting.

 

And being a high school student can’t be put on pause throughout this. So when experiencing this aftermath of horrific events in Season 1, how was it getting in the headspace for the “aftershock” of traumatic events? 

For the first two episodes we were very much led by Michael Weaver, who was the directing producer of the whole season. I give Michael so much credit for the particularly high stakes and emotional scenes. He was so on top of the script and story, which allowed him to remind us of specific details that helped the journey into those headspaces. He was able to carve out the time to get there without feeling rushed and was extremely efficient about technical adjustments so that the emotion or energy that was found on set would prevail. Michael just wouldn’t move on until we had it.

 

I’m assuming with the expectations of being the oldest daughter, which actually brings me to her sister, Maeve. Do you think these secrets are going to start putting strains on friendships and family friendships and family relationships?

Most definitely, especially with family. I think because we see a lot of Bronwyn dynamic with her mom and sister this season and how you know, she has to keep to protect them, she has to keep certain things from them. And we all know, that Maeve is  really smart and wants to be in on everything and help out, so that creates a very like, tense, dynamic, but also you see the love and other parts. Everything is just so much more heightened this season—the fights are bigger, but also the loving and beautiful moments they share are bigger as well. And, in terms of friendships, I think that somehow since going through this big event with Jake’s death, which is very traumatizing for everybody; it brings the group together. Obviously, you know, they don’t always see eye to eye so that’s giving us a little bit of drama there.

 

I mean, I think not seeing eye-to-eye is incredible for storytelling because it’s like when something high stakes happens, and this might sound cliche, but the power of friendship really does kick in and it’s wonderful to watch. Also, how do you think Bronwyn will handle these new sets of challenges she’s going to face? Given her previous relations with Simon before his death—do you think she has Maeve’s back more? Or do you think she’s unsure of her, and if she can trust her? 

All of the above all the things that you mentioned, f play into season two, I feel like definitely more, there’s a bigger thing to protect made from or have. There’s definitely a little bit of leaving her out more because, you know, this is a different kind of secret that they’re carrying. But also Maeve does have Bronwyn’s back, and they have this interesting, complementary dynamic, where, like, they’re both highly smart, but in very different ways. Maeve is street smart and Bronwyn is more “I have to have a structure for things”. So it’s quite funny to see them have all those elements and layers to the relationship.

 

I also wanted to know how far do you think Bronwyn is willing to go to protect those she loves, whether it’s Maeve or her friends who, what is it strangers to friends now? Considering they didn’t hang out before, and now they’re friends through murder trial. So how far do you think she’s willing to go? 

From the first episode, you get to see how far all of them are willing to go to navigate this new reality and protect each other and stay alive because there’s also a danger that, you know, there’s someone dangerous out there that, you know, who knows what their intentions are? 

 

Where do you think Nate and Bronwyn are going from here? Or where do you hope they go from here? From season one, season two and beyond?

Based on where we left off in season one…I am such a Natewyn (Bronwyn and Nate) fan. They, to me, no matter what are endgame. their end game. That’s where I see them? You know, having kids at some point like years and years to come. I think of the beautiful dynamic. The beautiful thing about that relationship and the complexity of it is that they have this really great love for one another, but they’re so different. So you never know, you know, realistically seeing it from the outside. You just never know how that’s gonna play out. And so that gives you that contrast of like emotions, where you really don’t know what’s going to happen from scene to scene. And that plays even more so in season two, like you really just don’t know, it could go either way. They could not end up together or they could and we see you know, that throughout pretty much the whole season.

 

In regards to Nate and Bronwyn’s relationship — How do you think their opposite personalities mesh together now? Because in Season 1 it was “Good Girl meets Bad Boy” and now, Bronwyn is straying from the Good Girl stereotype while trying to cover up a murder with her friends.

Their dynamic very much changes because of that shift this season. I love that audiences get to see Nate’s journey in dealing with that. But I think that beyond their personalities and coping mechanisms there’s a genuine care Bronwyn and Nate have for one another. They enter a more mature territory this season where they’re learning to communicate their differences and understand each other more deeply.

 

 

Do they have any challenges in this upcoming season that makes them stronger in the end?

Without spoiling, yes.

 

Do you feel like the writers took pedal to the metal this season? By that I mean spoiling everything to 100. 

That’s it. The writers did. And the showrunner. Yes.

 

That is so exciting! I’m excited for everyone to be a little bit of a badass in the season. Do you feel like your character is going to be a little more badass this season? 

I feel like all of them are, just because it’s like circumstantially. They are presented with these crazy situations, and they just have to, like, step up. It’s almost like survival mode, you know? Like yes, they definitely don’t want to be in this place, but the reality is that they are in that place, and they have to deal with it. So the stakes being higher and survival mode kicking in gives you a lot of like, adventurous, scary, but exhilarating. Just moments like that.

 

I really got a sense of that “survivor mode” you were talking about when Bronwyn S2 started making choices that Bronwyn S1 would never dream of.  How do you think Bronwyn feels buckling down to do what’s best for the Bayview Four and Janae?

It’s so nerve wracking for her, to say the least, but they all have so little time to save themselves that she can’t stop to think about the dimension and consequences of all of these choices. If she had time to think and analyze, she wouldn’t have these crazy things. None of them would. She’s operating on instinct and they are all being controlled by an external source that is unpredictable. 

Is there anything else you want me or fans to know about this season? Maybe something you’re really proud of?

I can just say that, especially the last two episodes are very action packed and I’m so hyped for people to see that side of the story!! It made me really proud to feel like I was a part of something larger than myself because I think oftentimes, you have scenes that are with the Bayview Four, or with Nate & Bronwyn, or like Maeve & Bronwyn scenes, and it’s kind of living in that small bubble. But when you have action sequences and like, like persecution or something like that? Where are you running and filming from a drone? That is so badass and fun. I get to do a scene where like, so many parts have to come together to tell the story that was like the highlight of my season. I think getting to shoot all of that and it’s gonna be a big season, in terms of that kind of stuff.

 

My last question was going to be if you could describe the upcoming season in a few words, compared to the last one. What would you say?

I want to say it’s more freeing. You just see them [Bayview Four] have more freedom. It’s just like a more freeing, more intense and darker season.

 

One of Us is Lying is streaming now on Peacock.

 

Interview Sara Salamat

Photographer Jenny Anderson

Hair Brittan White

Makeup Kirin Bhatty

Styling Brian Meller

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