Courageous Nerd‘s inaugural interview guest Jesse Camacho returns to discuss Locke & Key Season 3, as well as his other upcoming projects.
On August 10, Locke and Key dropped its third and final season on Netflix. Canadian actor Jesse Camacho (Less Than Kind, Agent Binky) appears in all 3 seasons as “Doug Brazelle”, a friend of Kinsey Locke (Emilia Jones). Alongside Kinsey, Doug is also a member of the Savini Squad, a group of budding filmmakers.
We caught up with Jesse once again to chat about Locke & Key ending, working with his castmates of all ages and what’s next, as well as so much more.
In addition to this article, you can also watch our conversation with Jesse on the Courageous Nerd YouTube channel, linked below.
Note: This Interview has been condensed for clarity.
Some people may not realise you were the first-ever Courageous Nerd interview guest. How has your life/career changed over the past few years since Locke & Key?
Jesse Camacho: First of all, I really appreciated you having me on then. It was early in the show and my character was a little more on the sidelines. I was just so happy that people wanted to chat, so thank you.
It’s been an interesting couple of years, personally and professionally. The show has definitely brought a really fun thing into my life. I get to interact with fans more; I’m on a show that deals with a fun, rich, fantastical mythology. It was always something I loved growing up and still love to watch.
So, being on the other side of a show like Locke & Key… I was always a big Stranger Things fan, LOST, all those kind of cool shows. Getting to be a part of that, in any capacity, was really fun for me.
Speaking of Locke & Key, the 3rd and final season dropped on August 10. From a creative standpoint, did making Season 3 feel different from the previous seasons?
Jesse Camacho: Yeah, it’s a great question. To put it in other terms, Season 1 was really exciting, but a little unknown, right? We knew we loved what we were doing, and that it was based on incredible source material. The tone and vibe of the show are a little different.
Going back for Season 2, there was a lot of palpable excitement. Especially, because the world was shut down. We were so excited to come back – all of us, it was a huge group. We were working through a crazy time in our world and had each other.
Toward the end of Season 2, there was a bloodbath on the show. They killed off a lot of people, several characters that were dear friends.
Season 3 felt more intimate, a lot smaller. In a way, that was a nice thing. I missed every single cast member that wasn’t there.
Meredith [Averill] and Carlton [Cuse] were geniuses in the way they mapped it out. The third season was a very personal family season. In a lot of ways, it’s the most dangerous and the darkest.
I think the season is excellent. Having a big, almost Avengers: Infinity War second season. Then, to have a smaller Avengers: Endgame-style third season was a really cool direction to go in.
In general, the cast of Locke & Key seems to have a deep connection with the show and your experiences. Why do you think this is the case?
Jesse Camacho: I think it starts with the fact that we’re all fans of this genre. Many of us were big fans of the graphic novel. The vibe that Meredith, Carlton and all the directors we worked with brought to that set. It was a very fun environment.
It felt like going to play; I get to go to recess every day at work. Especially for the Savini Squad scenes, I can say that. Our stuff was usually a little lighter and more fun. When you have an environment where everyone loves each other, it creates this creativity. This spark and passion that’s hard to mimic in an environment where people don’t get along as well.
Everyone got along and had so much fun. I can’t really remember any moments of tension or arguments. We just loved being there. I was so excited to go to that set every day. I’d wrap a day and be like, “Oh, I’m off for a month.” It was such a bummer. I wanted to go back and see those people.
Over the course of Locke & Key, you’ve witnessed some of your younger castmates growing up – particularly Emilia Jones (Kinsey), Jackson Robert Scott (Bode) and Coby Bird (Rufus). How have you found that experience?
Jesse Camacho: It’s funny, I only got as close as I got with Jackson and Coby in Seasons 2 and 3. Even in both those seasons, I don’t have a ton with them. Coby, I really go to know at the events we went to. Or, we’d go to dinner. We just became super tight. Coby’s such a cool guy – he’s super inspiring and such a great actor.
Then you’ve got somebody like Jackson, who was a literal child when we started; I think he was 9 or 10. There’s a picture of me at the Season 1 wrap party where I’m carrying him on my shoulders.
I saw him at the premiere and we – his family, Coby and his mom Rachel all went to Univeral Studios a couple of weeks ago. Now, he’s a man, a fully formed individual. Very smart guy, very talented guy.
Emilia Jones is, sort of…. she’s a freak. She’s in a league of her own. Emilia is honestly one of the most incredible actors and human beings I’ve ever worked with. Everybody making any movie, ever, should hire Emilia Jones. She was like that [on] the first day I met her.
During our first season, I’d be like, “What are you doing this weekend? Do you want to go out? We should all go and do something.” She went, “Oh, I can’t. I’m taking sign language classes, for this movie I’m doing, CODA.” Best Picture and rocket ship to the moon. She hasn’t changed one iota from when she was the lead of the show in Season 1 til now.
In Season 3, we also find Doug as the only remaining male Savini – with Scot (Petrice Jones) studying in the UK. How do you think Doug finds the new dynamic with the girls?
Jesse Camacho: It was a blast! I love those girls, it was super fun. I thought about that as well, going into it. I remember wrapping Season 2 and Petrice was leaving. It was like, “Oh wow, I’m the only male left in the squad. Griffin [Gluck] and Petrice are gone.”
At that point, you know, we were all so tight. It was a really fun dynamic to explore. In a good way, Doug’s a follower. He’s a good vice-President or co-captain; he’s not a great captain.
In the first two seasons, Scot was the leader. In Season 3, it’s both Kinsey and Zadie (Asha Bromfield), they pass the ball back to each other. Leishe [Meyboom, “Abby”] are more listening to what they say. It was a really fun dynamic to explore and I love all three of them. It always felt like our little club, the Savini Squad – we dearly missed Petrice and Griffin.
Back when we last spoke in July 2021, you spoke cryptically about whether Doug would even be in Season 3. Was Doug at risk of being killed off, or was that just you being careful?
Jesse Camacho: I think I was already shooting Season 3 at that point. I knew I was in Season 3. There was such a body count at the end of Season 2, I was trying to be a little cryptic.
You know, I actually asked Meredith on the last day, “Now the show’s over, you can tell me. Was there ever a point where Doug, Zadie or Abby were on the chopping block?” I think she was being honest when she said, “Not really.”
They loved the Savini Squad and it would’ve felt very dark to take them off the board. Season 2 is brutal with Jackie, that’s one of the most heartbreaking scenes of the whole show. Genevieve [Kang] and Connor were so great in that scene.
The Squad are used more for humour and lightness. Whereas with Jackie, that was more of a real relationship. She was a tragic character. I think that was the contrast; why the Savini Squad were never in danger. People like Jackie or Kevin Alves‘ character, Javi, those characters were better candidates for that kind of thing.
My guess? The Squad was fun and goofy and they liked keeping that element intact. Apparently, we were never on the chopping block.
Although you’ve worked with many of the cast, you have a particularly tense Season 3 scene opposite Jackson Robert Scott, who plays Bode. With Doug being unaware of the actual context, how was filming that scene for you, as an actor?
Jesse Camacho: I don’t want to give a ton away, but I was so excited when I read that scene. I hadn’t worked with Jackson yet. Without being too spoiler-y about the context, I’m a big fan of Jackson’s work. He’s done movies where he’s had to play similar beats to what he’s playing in that scene. I think he does it so well.
At that point, he and I had become really good buddies. I’d do these silly behind-the-scenes videos on my Instagram called On Set with Jesse Camacho, that Jackson loved. He started jumping in them with me.
Not only was I super tense reading that scene, I was like, “Oh wow. I get to have a cool, meaty scene with Jackson.” We had a blast shooting it. He’s very creepy in the scene. He’s a really, really strong young actor; we were giggling and laughing. I think it played very, very well.
Although you were a working actor before Locke & Key, what lessons will you personally take from the show’s three seasons?
Jesse Camacho: Another great question. It’s funny, I feel like I learned from everybody. When I book a job, my first question is “Who else is cast?” I love to see and add people on Instagram. I messaged Emilia, Petrice and Connor before we even started, saying, “Hey, can’t wait to work with you.”
They were all very kind and responded. I go into everything trying to be a student, trying to be a sponge. Technically, yes, I may have been working longer than some of them. A lot of them have had different experiences than me. More big project experience than I have.
I learned so much from Emilia. Every day I learned something from Emilia. She’s 11 years younger than me. Just being a leader on the set, the way she treats people and the choices she makes as an actress. Even if I’ve been in the industry longer, I haven;t fully developed those skills.
Connor is another one, the guy’s an encyclopaedia. He’s so smart. Not only is he one of the great young actors around, he’s also got the mind to be a director. I learned so much from him.
Then, of course, you look at the vets, like Darby. A great #1 on the call sheet; the way she treats everyone. She’s so talented and works so hard.
Jackson, being a young kid and so reliant on instinct. I remember when I was a kid and did that. You kind of lose that when you get older. Your choices become more calculated or sometimes less honest.
Moving on from Locke & Key, what projects are there on your horizon?
Jesse Camacho: Funnily enough actually, Kevin Alves and my buddy Peter [Roumeliotis] from Popternative, the three of us have gotten together. Peter and I write. Kevin directs, he’s an amazing director. He’s a good writer as well, but Peter and I do most of the writing.
We shot this really fun horror short called Desolate, which will be coming out soon. My sister’s actually the lead in it, that was Peter and Kevin’s idea.
There’s a couple things that are coming up down the pipeline. One is really exciting and a dream come true for me. There’s also another show which I’m not sure I’m allowed to speak about yet.
Thanks again, Jesse – take care and stay safe!
Jesse Camacho: Thank you so much as usual. I can’t wait to come back and do it again, with hopefully more fun stuff to talk about.