Everyone is talking about the new Netflix show Locke and Key… and for good reason. It’s freaking awesome. We had the opportunity to interview one of the stars of this hit series, the incredibly talented Genevieve Kang. Learn more about her career, her thoughts on representation, her favorite horror films, her character on Locke and Key, and more!
PopHorror – It’s so great to talk with you. What inspired you to get involved in this business?
Genevieve Kang – Growing up and being bi-racial, I didn’t see a lot of characters on television and in movies who look like me. So truthfully, it didn’t really occur to me that I could ever be an actor. It felt like a false dream, even though I loved performing so much. It wasn’t until later in my teens, when I began noticing more ethnic actors on-screen, that I felt a tiny sliver of hope I might be able to one day work in this industry.
I think as humans, we all have this desire to be seen and heard in some capacity. It’s the desire to be accepted and to belong. Film and television are both such incredible mediums by which we can tell stories that help to bridge gaps between people and foster a greater sense of community and belonging. But I didn’t have a lot of this growing up, and it’s this lack of representation that has fuelled my passion for storytelling. I think it’s really important that everyone have their stories told and that they see themselves represented on-screen. And while there has certainly been a lot of progress in terms of diverse representation within the industry, we have a very long way to go and I’m so excited to be a greater part of that journey.
PopHorror – Completely agree with all of that. Every day I learn more about how important representation is. What do you love about being an actress?
Genevieve Kang – To echo my previous response, I love being a part of a greater cause. Storytelling can sometimes alienate audiences, but it can also bring people together. More selfishly, acting has provided me with an outlet to explore my own psyche as well as the psychology of others. I find people and their intentions so fascinating.
PopHorror – What was the first film or show you ever did?
Genevieve Kang – My first role was a guest star opposite Lil’ Romeo (better known today as Romeo Miller) on the Nickelodeon television series, Romeo!. In the episode, we met in drama class where we perform a scene from Romeo and Juliet, naturally. We also talk about French fries and I kiss him on the cheek. It’s adorable.
PopHorror – That’s awesome! You’ve done a mix of TV series and films. Do you prefer one over the other?
Genevieve Kang – I enjoy both. For many years, I was just grateful to be getting work as an actor. Now, I’m far more selective about what I want to be a part of. So for me, it has more to do with the specific project and the people involved, regardless of whether or not it is television or film. I have a lot of fun with television, being that it tends to move more quickly in terms of production. That in itself can be really exciting. However, what’s appealing to me about the film is the prospect of being married to a specific story for a set amount of time, seeing it through to the end, and then moving on to the next project.
PopHorror – That makes sense! A lot of the work you’ve done involves the horror/thriller genre. Do you like horror and if so what’s your favorite film?
Genevieve Kang – Yes! I do like the horror genre. I wouldn’t say I consume a lot of it, simply because I’m an easy scare — I had nightmares for weeks after seeing Us. My classic horror film favourite is The Shining. Horror favourites from more recently are Us and Hereditary. I still have yet to see Midsommar!
PopHorror – Love all of those! One of your recent projects is a recurring role in Netflix’s Locke & Key. How did this role come about for you?
Genevieve Kang – I was actually at the Whistler Film Festival promoting a film when casting asked me to audition for Jackie. I sent in an audition tape and within a few days, I was scheduled for a chemistry read with Connor Jessup, who plays Tyler Locke. I had never done a chemistry test before, so I didn’t know what to expect. Our producing team was there, including our incredible showrunners Carlton Cuse and Meredith Averill. My experience was very positive, everyone in the room was so lovely! As I was leaving, one of the staff in the production office asked how it went. I just smiled and said, “Great, I’ll see everyone on set!”
PopHorror – That’s great to hear. I’m loving the show so far! Are you excited to be working on a Netflix series?
Genevieve Kang – Yes! Netflix has been so supportive of the show and we’re really excited that audiences can finally watch it. The global release of Locke & Key has allowed all of Netflix subscribers around the world to have simultaneous access to the series. Netflix is also really great as a platform for the show, because it puts their subscribers in control and gives them the choice on how to watch the series. There’s a lot more potential to have more people discover the show over time.
PopHorror – This is true! Can you tell us about your character – what is she like?
Genevieve Kang – Jackie Veda is the girl next door. She’s an overachiever with high standards, who really wants to do great things in the world, and she’s friends with everyone. What I love most about her is that while Jackie always strives to see the best in people, she’s also not afraid of confrontation and pointing out others’ shortcomings. She has a good sense of purpose and of who she is, which serves as a beautiful compliment to Tyler and his exploration of self in the wake of his father’s murder.
PopHorror – Those are great qualities to have. Do you think the series is going to be a big hit? What can we expect?
Genevieve Kang – Right now, I’m just hoping that audiences enjoy the show and have as much fun watching it as I did filming. Locke & Key is a show that has something for everyone: drama, comedy, fantasy, horror, mystery, and it’s dealing with real issues of family, grief, and loss. Fans of the original graphic novels written by Joe Hill can expect to find easter eggs hidden throughout the season. For any new fans, you don’t have to be familiar with the graphic novels and you can still get sucked into the world of Keyhouse.
PopHorror – I still have a few episodes to dig through, but I’m excited to see how this season wraps up! I read in your bio, that you like a good potty joke – now you got to tell me one, lol.
Genevieve Kang – Ha! So, it’s more that I very openly talk about poop or I’ll simply sneak in a comment about pooping one’s pants. I guess I find it absurd that more people don’t openly talk about this thing that we all do. And if you don’t do it, you definitely should. But just the other day, I was explaining something to a friend and I said, “What I do do…” (which if you don’t know is classic Chandler from Friends). It took a moment and me giggling like a five-year-old for her to realize what I had just said.
PopHorror – Haha yes! I’m the same way! If you could work with anyone in this business who would it be?
Genevieve Kang – Greta Gerwig and Noah Baumbach. I’ll take them as a pair! I know they just had a baby, but if they’re looking to adopt an adult woman for creative collaboration and to be housemates (they seem like they would be fun to live with), then they can call me.
PopHorror – Haha, that’s great. Who are some of the people that inspire you?
Genevieve Kang – My friends. I made a really conscious decision about six years ago to be more mindful about whom I surround myself. I feel like I did a pretty good job because my friends are some of the most incredible, passionate humans, who are going after their dreams and living life on their own terms. They inspire me every day to be my best self.
PopHorror – That’s so very important. Any other upcoming projects?
Genevieve Kang – You can see me in the upcoming feature film Run This Town with Ben Platt and Damien Lewis, in theatres March 6th. I’m also in the film Nose To Tail, which is having its Canadian theatrical release on February 14th.