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Emma Lahana & Jaime Zevallos Interview: Cloak & Dagger

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Emma Lahana is a New Zealand actress. She is best known for her roles as Jennifer Mason in Haven and for playing the Yellow Dino Ranger in Power Rangers Dino Thunder. She will be portraying Brigid O’Reilly in Freeform’s Cloak & Dagger. Jaime Zevallos is a Peruvian-American actor and writer, most known for his work on House, Homeland, and Sons of Anarchy. He will be portraying Father Delgado in Cloak & Dagger. Cloak & Dagger premiered on Freeform on June 7, 2018.

Screen Rant and other members of the press had chance to sit down and chat with Emma and Jaime on press day, where we discussed the important issues that Cloak & Dagger addresses, how Father Delgado becomes an ally to the titular characters, and how hard it was to keep what was happening on set a secret.

Q: This must have been fun.

Emma: Very much so.

Jaime: Beyond fun.  If there’s another word more than fun, and that’s it.

Q: What kind of creative itch did this scratch for you.. The pleasure you took in this.

Emma: I think the fact that we address really important issues in the show. I think it's, on so many levels.  As an artist, that's really cool once you have the entertainment factor, but then also at something more. I think it's really important to do. And then as a female to get a really complex layered character, you know, it's pretty new for me, to be honest, when I've been doing this for a really long time.  But you know, to get something that you read the breakdown, you're like, oh, I actually have a sense of who this woman is as a human being. That really drew me in. As soon as I read the character breakdown of my audition, I was like, “I want to get this part.” Yeah. So that was pretty cool.

Jaime: I think besides the obvious of being part of the Marvel family it’s like a dream come true. On a personal level, I got to say, wearing the priest outfit, as soon as i put it on it was like I started morphing into this thing and then like the day that I got there and Joe was there, he was like, “Which Bible do you want?” I was like, “I want this Bible, this rosary.” And I put on the outfit and hair and makeup was there, and some of the wardrobe people were there, and I just did this thing and I went like, and she goes, “You just gave me a priest smile.” And I go, “I don't even do that in real life.” And I was like, “What is this?”

Emma: (LAUGHS) It’s true.  When you just did that, I was like, “What, what, who?”

Jaime: Yeah, and I just did that to her. But I think just getting a chance to play in this world and you know, and that's, that addresses real things.  But it's also shot in such a cool mystique way. So it's like being part of a cool indie film and also a studio level thing. So it's like the best of both worlds. Portraying this character where I can, I can make light up. And you know, there's, everyone has a priest joke or whatever, but really going into the human side of this, this person is. And you know, addressing issues and dealing with this, a youngster and how you deal with that. I don't know why, but I'm like with all my friends, I'm the guy that everyone calls for advice and I'm like,”Man, really, I'm not qualified.” And so I could relate to that. When someone comes to you for advice.  And the thing is just listening and listening to Tyrone I think was really cool. Being a mentor was really cool.

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Q: I definitely want to ask you, the show in the first few episodes deals with sexual assault in a real heartbreaking way. What does that mean getting to bring that story to life, especially in the current climate.

Emma: Yeah. Well in the climate especially, you know, everything that's going on right now. I mean I do a lot of volunteer with planned parenthood and we work with organizations that deal with sexual assault and rape victims. And it's so sad because the fact that women just don't- One they don't get heard. They're not believed even when the evidence, overwhelming evidence is there. And so I see that all the time. And maybe even in New Orleans, I think in the last two years they have thousands and thousands of cases that are like overwhelming. Like they're irrefutable. It's true, it happened and none of them have even gone court, none of them have gone to trial. So I was kind of amongst that with the planned parenthood people just talking about that stuff at the time when that came up. So it was really heartbreaking because I know those conversations happened to young women all the time. When they're not going to be believed, they're not going to be heard, that justice is not going to be served. And you just have to like pick it up and move on and figure out how to deal with it on your own. And the systems in place, it should be there to trust and support you, just, they're not doing their jobs unfortunately. So that scene was actually so hard to shoot. Because it didn't make sense for Bridget to be crying.  But that's all I felt like doing. Especially like, you know, Olivia is so present, she's such a great actress and in that moment in the car I was like, yeah. So I think it's great that we addressed that too, because of the young girls that go through that. They'll be like, “Yeah, that's what I went through.” And they can recognize and see themselves being seen. When the systems in place and seeing them all at least like, here's a show that says we see, you know, what you go through and we're recognizing that.

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Q:  Were you surprised at how frank a show being made with superheroes for Freeform ending up being?

Emma: Every script. I was like, “What? What really? We can do that. Okay.” Yeah. I was completely shocked. I think I thought it was going to be a bit more like fluffy teenagey and like, you know, when there as dark, as it goes.

Jaime: Yeah, Freeform being relatively new.  The name right. Cause I always thought ABC Family, I'd be like watching something rated-G. So when I started reading the script I was like, “There’s a curse word, there’s a curse word.” Oh I thought this would be show for like kids.  That’s what my idea was. I had no idea it would be this grounded and real. Even for me, I was like, “Oh, that's a little risque.” But I was like, “Okay, cool, let’s go there.”

Q: With the superhero shows having popularity right now. What message do you want for the broader audience to take away from Cloak and Dagger?

Jaime: I think the beauty in the imperfection of people, I think that's what I would like to make. Because these are flawed characters.  I think that everyone's a flawed character on the show. At least that's how I see it, all been series regulars. I think especially young kids, you know, being ashamed of who they are and stuff like that, and I think they can take away with like, “It's okay not to be perfect.” And I think these are what these two young superheroes are going through.  And they're just kind of like pushing through this hard life, you know, and kind of making it on their own. And I really respect these characters for it.

Emma: I think the idea of fighting for what's right even though it's not the easy choice. And having to like really go for something, when you know it’s the right thing to do.  Even though it's not the easy road to take. Despite your age, despite your background, all that stuff that like fighting for justice and for the right thing is important.

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Q:  Can you talk about Tyrone and Tandy? Obviously you have issues with the bonds that they have with people in their lives.  Can you talk about the relationship with your character and the Tyrone character?

Jaime: Well I’m happy that Tyrone opens up to Father Delgado. It's more of a friendship and I think that's a real mentor when you can kind of sit down with someone and just kind of- I did a lot of volunteer work for a company called Arts for a Better tomorrow in Mexico where you go visit these orphanages, some through churches and some through not. Basically you deal with, you deal with them as, as adults, you know, they're like these mini adults already because they've been living on their own street for so many years. And so when I was able to connect with Tyrone in that level, I was like, “ Okay, I can't be like up here, I have to be down there with him.” One of the things that I learned during this mentorship program was the first thing that the adults always stood and the kids were sitting on the floor. So what I did was I just sat on the floor with them. And that can immediately change the dynamic. And I feel like that's the dynamic that I have, that I can relate with him in some capacity of what he’s going through.  And that I'm not perfect. And I have my own demons to battle. They say the, uh, I'm an ex-smoker. Right? They say the best way to quit smoking is to get advice from an ex-smoker. Someone who's- So that's kind of like think the relationship we have.

Emma: I’m trying to think of how I can say this without spoilers. Like, “Ahh, don’t ruin everything.” I think the journey that Brigid goes on with Tyrone and what he’s going through is pretty spectacular. And watching his journey, what he's dealing with and the fact that she is an authority figure that maybe the only authority figure that they can trust in the police department. So I think that journey of between Brigid and Tyrone is a pretty extraordinary.  But I can’t really say anything (LAUGHS) So I'm just going to zip it before I ruin the whole season.

Q:  This is a Marvel project.  How hard was it keeping the secret? Knowing that it’s such a secretive project.

Jaime: I can work for the CIA now.

Emma: I'm pretty sure my phone is tapped. Pretty sure.  I mean we had to keep the fact that we were even involved in the show secret from July to February. So when we weren't supposed to even say that we were in New Orleans.  Like we weren't really allowed to tell even like close family members and stuff, where we were going. It was like being in the witness protection program. I was like, “I'm here and don't call me and I'll speak to you six months.”

Jaime: I was like big on social media like right before we were filming I was really big on it.  And then when I was on set, I would leave the phone in my trailer. Because I know me, it’s like a drug.  But there's a beauty to kind of like holding in that secret to yourself and just to close ones and just knowing that this is just around the corner.  Never experienced it before. Maybe on a small level for the shows that I've done. But yeah, waiting so many months, you couldn’t say anything. And when it came out, I still have my facebook page, and I get like, I got when it came out, especially the Entertainment Weekly, my Facebook messenger, which I don't use that much anymore. It was like, “blup, blup, blup, blup.”. And it was a lot of friends going, “Why don't you tell me? What's going on? This is crazy. You should have told me.”  So I’m glad I didn’t say anything.

Emma: I think the worst was the Freeform summit because we were allowed to say we were in it initially, but we weren't allowed to say who we were playing.  And then we were getting all these questions and I was like, “Uh?” It was the most nervous I've ever been during an interview. Because I was like, “Don't break it. Don't ruin it.”

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Q: Did you get a lot of interesting guesses?

Emma: No, I didn’t actually get any guesses. because also, like I said, nothing other than “I'm in the show.” (LAUGHS)   Yeah, I could, I didn't, we didn't even say that we went in the comments like nothing.

Jaime: And I don’t know if one of these were online because I saw someone put like on one of these sites. I think it was like, “Who's playing Father Delgado? And blah blah, blah, blah, blah. There is a mystery behind this and the other characters that aren't mentioned yet.” So I was like, “Man, this is online. Now I really can't say anything.”  But the comic book geek world was trying to find out.

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MORE: Screen Rant's Interview With Cloak & Dagger's Director & Writer

Cloak & Dagger premiered on Freeform on June 7, 2018.

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