Hulu’s Stars Of Light As A Feather Talk Season Two, Casting Secrets, & Wine Nights Behind-the-Scenes
Chilling Adventures of Sabrina on Netflix has some competition in Hulu‘s supernatural teen drama Light As A Feather. The series, which premiered just around the same time as CAOS part one in October 2018, is gearing up for season two’s debut on July 26, 2019, and hoping to see a bit more prominence during season two than it did on its first. Despite having a crew of heartthrobby young actors, the show didn’t get all that much publicity via word of mouth at the time — perhaps because as TV reboots and revivals continue to be all the rage, something brand-spanking-new like Light As A Feather, based on a Wattpad piece of teen horror fiction, is left competing with old favorites like CAOS (Netflix), Charmed (The CW), and Roswell, New Mexico (The CW), all of which were rebooted during last year’s fall season.
the whisp got to sit down with the stars of Hulu and Awesomeness TV’s joint project Light As A Feather, Liana Liberato, Brianne Tju, and Haley Ramm at Vidcon 2019 and they spilled on what’s to come during season two, diversity, and some captivating behind-the-scenes secrets that will leave you binge-watching season one and season two back-to-back.
For those who either a) haven’t found a friend whose parents have a Hulu subscription yet or b) literally had never heard of Light As A Feather until this very moment, Brianne, who plays Alex Portnoy on the show, described, “Season one starts out with four best friends, and when a new girl comes into town, she wants to play [the game] light as a feather. There’s a twist on the game where the person being lifted gets their death predicted. We think it’s just a game, but when slowly people start to die the way that [it was] predicted, we realize this is not just a game; this is much bigger and much scarier than we thought. We realize it’s a curse.”
Light as a feather, stiff as a board is a game you probably remember from tween sleepovers, where a group tries to levitate one of their friends using only two fingers each. Brianne continued, “Season one is really about discovering what this curse is and kind of getting everybody on board. A lot of lives are lost, unfortunately, but the second season is really cool because it’s kind of dealing with the effects of that loss and the fact that the curse is still here. New characters come in and get involved and it’s complicated and it’s interesting and it’s really exciting.” She later teases, “No one is too precious or important to die.”
There’s a brief moment when Brianne pauses the conversation to fangirl over YouTuber Bretman Rock, who was walking around Viacom Villa at Vidcon where the four of us were having our chat. (“I’m not starstruck but I love him,” “He does makeup but he’s literally so funny,” and “[I can’t introduce myself] because he literally won’t care,” were just a few of her statements about the makeup guru while Liana patiently asked “who is it? who is it?” until Haley described him as “the YouTube makeup guy.” We clarified: “one of the YouTube makeup guys. The one who is never part of any drama.”)
The three young women literally just finished filming season two at the time of our chat at Vidcon, and there would only be a 24-day break between wrapping on set and the season two premiere. “The turnaround time is… very rare for a TV show,” Liana explained. “I mean, even first season, we had to wait a few months before the show aired. But we wrapped July 2nd and the show comes out July 26th… It’s kind of nice though because we have spent the last four months together and we were all really sad to see it end obviously — or for the season to end — so it’s nice that we still get to hang out [while doing promo].”
Haley described this time as “like we’re slowly weaning ourselves off of the show.” Brianne said, “It’s like our high,” before Liana finally describes that cast dynamic as, “We’re all extremely co-dependent and can’t not hang out with each other.”
When asked to compare their relationship to that of the Riverdale cast, whose behind-the-scenes camaraderie is one of the draws to The CW hit, Brianne described, “We talk every day. I Facetime one of them basically every day. We go out like at least once a week. We’re completely caught up in each other’s lives. I’m so grateful to work with them, that’s why I feel like it’d be awesome to have a season three because I would get to work with them again, and it’s so rare that you find that kind of chemistry with someone on and off-screen.”
Liana echoed her co-star’s sentiments saying it totally changed her perspective on what it means to costar on a TV show. “I feel like growing up, I primarily did film and a lot of that was because I’ve always grown up hearing horror stories of relationships on-set of TV shows. You’re like quote-unquote stuck together or something,” she said. “I remember signing on to this show and I was lucky enough to know Haley before, but you don’t really know who you’re going to work with before you step onto a set. And we all got so lucky. There’s no faking it. We all truly love each other.”
“The first day shooting in the graveyard for season one where it was Brianne, Liana, and myself, [Ajiona Alexus], and [Peyton List], I hadn’t put much thought into it like how we were all going to get along or anything but then all of a sudden, I just looked around and everybody was smiling and hugging and like dancing or something and it was the first day, and I was like ‘Okay this is gonna be fun,'” said Haley. “Honestly, though, my favorite times when we hang out is when we’re literally just having, like, a therapy session… there’s not a lot of people you can do that with where it feels so comfortable.”
“Being on set with each other, we’re working together for 14 hours every day, like we see each other more than we see our partners, our family. So like naturally your lives are very much more integrated and like, if there’s ever like, anything that makes you sad or something that’s really amazing happens in your life, we’re kind of the first people that we tell because we’re together all the time,” Liana said. “You kind of instantaneously become like a big family.”
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monday we picture wrapped season one of #lightasafeather – it’s been a whirl wind of a summer and finally I’ve had a moment to reflect on it. ever since I started acting I heard stories from my actor peers about the families they have made during their time on tv shows. I always wondered what that would feel like – or if I would ever get the chance to feel it. I’m so grateful for my time with all of these people. thank you @hulu and @awesomenesstv for giving me the opportunity to bring McKenna to life and get the chance to work with these talented, beautiful souls. I can’t begin to sum up how gratifying this experience was for me. We sweat in the Los Angeles summer heat, ruined one too many takes over giggle fits, and had each other’s back no matter what. Thank you to the cast and crew for working so hard on this show. I love you all dearly. And now I can confidently say that I’ve made my very first tv family. 💚
The show, which they describe as a mix between Pretty Little Liars, Final Destination, and The Craft, differs from the three in that there’s quite a bit of diversity. In the original group of five friends, two are women of color, and Brianne earned an Emmy nomination for her portrayal of Alex on the show. “It really like hit me when Liana and I were nominated and our show, in general, was nominated for an Emmy, and I was really proud of not just the recognition for my work, but to be able to say that I was like a lead ethnic playing a queer character on a television show for young adults. I think that Awesomeness made such an effort — or not even an effort — but everybody wanted to accept and perpetuate diversity and inclusivity. That makes me really proud to be part of the show and it makes me feel really proud to be part of that progress. The fact that like I’m around people, like my co-stars, who are so supportive and I don’t ever feel out of place; I don’t ever feel judgment. I feel like I belong just as much as they do and I feel like a peer.”
“When I first met Bri, she had she said that she originally auditioned for my character,” Liana revealed. “And I think that Awesomeness and Hulu opened the door an extended the audition process to everyone and they picked the people that they thought were best for those roles. We have so many female directors and ethnic directors. I think that Awesomeness and Hulu pick the people who are the best fit and who are extremely talented and like, of course, paying attention to diversity, that is very important, but also Brianne’s an incredible actress and no one else could play that part but her. And then the same goes for Haley and myself.”
Brianne took the comment further, lamenting, “It was never like my character needs to be Asian for a specific reason, in fact, it’s never it’s never talked about and she just is. … But like even my character, her sexuality is not who she is, it just happens to be a part of who she is … [On some TV shows], you’re making these people and these stories a token when they’re happening everywhere all around the world constantly. We’re not tokens.”
Besides the Bri-trying-out-for-Liana’s-role casting secret, the trio had some other behind-the-scenes fun facts up their sleeves — including destiny intervening with Haley’s casting as Violet. In fact, Haley was this close to taking a break from acting before she found out about this upcoming show called Light As A Feather that had a character perfect for her — moments after her friend of ten-plus years, Liana Liberato, told her that she’d been cast on an exciting project.
“I always auditioned for Violet, but like we were saying earlier, Liana and I have known each other for a while and we share some friends and we were all together having just a fun girls’ wine night and Liana was talking about the show that she was about to start and I didn’t think anything of it really except for like, ‘I’m so excited for Liana,'” Haley recalled. After the hangout, “I get home and I check my email, and the part for Violet had come in. I thought, like, ‘This timing is so weird,’ too, because I was on my way to that hangout thinking, I just need talk to my friends about this career stuff and how hard it is and how maybe need a break from it or something. But then Liana starts talking about this project and I check my email and it’s in the inbox.”
She continued, “We had to chemistry read, which I was kind of nervous about because our characters weren’t really supposed to like each other. I was like, ‘I don’t know how close I should act to her … I’m just going to act like myself and then play the character at the same time when I’m in the room.’ So it worked out, I’m very happy about it.”
Since we interviewed Liana, Haley, and Brianne at Vidcon 2019, and so much of Vidcon is about fan interaction, we wanted to ask the girls at least one fan question submitted via Twitter, which was provided by @langfordpride and voted “the best one” by @tetisht.
do you feel like going into the world of marvel or dc? If so, would you like to be a villain or a hero?
— ؘmonty (@langfordpride) July 10, 2019
Liana: I would be a Marvel hero, I think.
Brianne: I would be a DC villain.
Haley: I’d be a DC hero. DC is kind of dark, which I like.
Liana [to Brianne]: You’d be a great villain.
Light As A Feather season two premieres on Hulu on July 26th and season one is streaming now. You can watch the trailer below!