Gavin Lewis plays Moody Richardson on Hulu’s adaptation of the Celeste Ng best-seller “Little Fires Everywhere” — an aptly named character, given the fact the teen’s life is plagued by unreciprocated feelings for his new friend Pearl (Lexi Underwood). To make matters worse for Moody, though he doesn’t know it yet, Pearl is falling for his big brother Trip (Jordan Elsass) and recently slept with the ladies man. To make matters even worse, Trip might be falling for Pearl in return.
Ah, young unrequited love, a complicated thing that Lewis says is “really fun to play.”
“It is a lot of fun,” the 16-year-old actor told TheWrap. “And I think Moody really sort of latched onto Pearl the way he did because he’s never seen anyone like this in this town. Everybody’s sort of focused on the social aspects of school and they aren’t really interested in same types of art and music and poetry that these two are, so I think he latches on pretty quick now that he’s found somebody like this and he doesn’t stop to think if she feels the same way for quite a minute. Quite a long time, actually.”
While the Richardson brothers are very different, their interest in Pearl, a Black girl who moves to the mostly white suburb of Shaker Heights, Ohio, with mom Mia (Kerry Washington) in the ’90s, and the way they treat her makes them similar in at least one way — a trait that Lewis says sets them apart from the other members of their upper class, white family: parents Elena (Reese Witherspoon) and Bill (Joshua Jackson) and teen sisters Lexie (Jade Pettyjohn) and Izzy (Megan Stott).
“We had a big conversation with Reese and Josh Jackson,” Lewis said. “We actually had a dinner where we sat around the actual table on set and ate dinner, which was really cool, and talked about a lot of the themes in the show that a lot of us didn’t know anything about, because we were not alive. So we covered that the mentality at the time was that they didn’t see color, which we know now is kind of the wrong way to go about that. But I think out of everybody in the family, I think Moody and maybe a little bit Trip are the ones that have taken that the way it’s supposed to be meant. I think everybody in the family is at least a little bit racist, if not a little more than a little, except for, I think, Moody and Trip for truly falling in love with who Pearl is and not just sort of the idea of what that brings them socially. And I don’t want to speak to Jade’s character [Lexi], but I think that’s part of the reason she’s with [her Black boyfriend] Brian.”
Episode 105 of “Little Fires Everywhere” drops tomorrow on Hulu, putting us over the halfway mark for the limited series’ 8-episode run. But Lewis thinks that there’s always a chance the series doesn’t turn out to be limited at all — even though it’s based on source material that will run out come the end of Season 1. (Hey, that didn’t stop “Big Little Lies,” another Witherspoon-fronted “limited” series.)
“I think the book definitely has a solid, definite ending. And I don’t want to call it a cliffhanger, but it does leave some possibilities open,” Lewis said. “And there is, of course, there is always conversation of a second season on a television set. I mean, everybody talks about that. But you never know, that’s something you find out long down the line. I’ve done projects where they’re like, ‘We’re definitely doing a second season!’ and then there’s nothing or a second season comes out later. But I would be more than interested in coming back for a second season. Reese and Kerry are phenomenal and the cast, everybody got along super well. And I think there is plenty more story to be had if the writers decide to come back and do something more.”
New episode of “Little Fires Everywhere” launch Wednesdays on Hulu.