‘Locke and Key’: Laysla De Oliveira on That Big Dodge Twist – and That BIGGER Dodge Twist

Netflix star tells TheWrap about adding a “sexiness and ominous feeling” to comic-book adaptation’s Big Bad

Locke and Key

(Warning: This post contains major spoilers through the Season 1 finale of Netflix’s “Locke & Key.”)

For the better part of the first season of “Locke & Key,” the Locke children — Bode (Jackson Robert Scott), Tyler (Connor Jessup) and Kinsey (Emilia Jones) — know they have one very serious enemy: the demon Dodge, played by Laysla De Oliveira.

More than halfway through the season, the siblings make the shocking discovery that enemy is actually two in one: an echo of the deceased Lucas (Felix Mallard), who uses the Identity Key to shift into the form of the alluring young woman they know as Dodge (or Well Lady, as Bode dubs her at first).

But come the finale, titled “Crown of Shadows,” the viewers are hit with an even bigger twist about Dodge’s identity that the Locke kids don’t know: not only is she Lucas, but she is also Kinsey’s boyfriend, Gabe (Griffin Gluck) — and has been this entire time.

And while it took you 10 episodes to get to that revelation, De Oliveira tells TheWrap she’s known about Dodge’s multiple personalities from Day 1.

“It was so funny because I think they were going to surprise all of us with that, but [co-showrunner Meredith Averill] was so excited, and on the first night — after the table read and we had this little cocktail party so we could meet everybody — she totally spilled the beans,” De Oliveira told us. “So we all knew. So I definitely knew where it was going. But the exciting thing about Dodge is because there are so many forms of her or him, it’s so cool getting to explore what that form means in terms of what body she’s embodying, because Lucas and Gabe are so different.”

But the identity twists don’t stop there! Also revealed at the end of the finale was the fact that Dodge had tricked the Locke kids and their friends into thinking they had thrown her through the Black Door. Dodge used the Identity Key to make Rufus’ (Coby Bird) mother, Ellie (Sherri Saum), look just like her and then left Ellie’s knocked out body for the Locke siblings to find.

And just before she’s sent through the mysterious portal down in the sea caves, Ellie (who looks like Dodge!) wakes up. De Oliveira had to play a terrified Ellie in a way that didn’t reveal her identity, as she shouts at Tyler in an attempt to get him to realize who she really is before it’s too late. (As you fans know, the real Dodge was there with the group, looking like Gabe, as Ellie screamed for help.)

“I think when I was doing that I had to think as much as I could as a mother who is essentially being thrown away and she’s never going to see her son again,” the Netflix star said. “And she knows these kids who are doing that and she doesn’t realize what’s going on. She’s waking up from this thing and just trying to get out of there. So I was just focusing on loss and terror because we have no idea what’s on that other side, and there’s that flashback episode before the finale where you get to see a little bit what Ellie’s been through with that door.”

So given that the Locke kids think they’ve defeated Dodge and that Dodge is currently in the form of Gabe — who probably needs to keep up the ruse that she was defeated — will De Oliveira be returning to “Locke & Key,” if the show gets renewed for a second season?

“Ahh, that’s the big question. I don’t know! I don’t know! We’ll have to see,” she said. “It’s the big one I think a lot of people will be asking me. All I can say is, I don’t know.”

Showrunners Averill and Carlton Cuse tell TheWrap they have begun writing Season 2 — though it hasn’t gotten the official pickup from Netflix just yet — so hopefully we’ll find out the answer to that question soon.

As for playing Dodge — and we do mean Dodge, not Lucas or Gabe or Ellie — De Oliveira says she tried to lend a “sexiness and ominous feeling” to the Big Bad.

“I was, like, let’s just put everybody in a trance and really use women power, which was so nice,” she said. “I think it’s changing, but it’s hard to find roles where women are unapologetic for what they are doing, and Dodge is that. Like, she just does not care, she just does what she wants to do. So it was very liberating playing that.”

You can read our post-mortem interview with Averill and Cuse, in which they tease Season 2, here. And if you’re having trouble remembering what all 12 keys from Season 1 do, you can find our explainer here.

Readers can see TheWrap’s exclusive portrait of De Oliveira below.

Laysla De Oliveira

Photographer: Rie Rasmussen
Hair: Matt Fugate
Make-up: Harriet Hadfield
Stylist: David Gangel