WATCH: “One of Us Is Lying” Star Jess McLeod on the Queer Parallels Between Themself and Character Janae; Hopes for Another Season

One Of Us is Lying fans are thrilled that their favorite murder mystery series is back for a second season! One of Us Is Lying tells the story of 5 high school students who go to detention after school, but only 4 make it out alive. Jess McLeod, who plays Janae, joined Anthony Allen Ramos for a discussion about the show and their character’s impact.

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McLeod is excited to be reconnecting with their fans who remain very active on Twitter. “People seem to really love this season, which is what we hope for!”

McLeod talks about how it was their idea for Janae to be gender non-conforming. “I don’t know that I’ve seen representation of somebody that is fully gender fluid and using three pronouns (they/she/he) on screen so far, so I thought that would be exciting and made a ton of sense for Janae,” they explain. They are grateful to have been met with such a welcoming response by the show’s creators. “I think it’s really exciting to work with a writers room that’s so committed to honesty and authenticity.” 

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Unlike their character, McLeod is non-binary and uses only they/them pronouns. They talk about what it’s been like going on this “gender journey” so publicly. McLeod thanks GLAAD and their “2-hour long phone call” with actor and consultant Scott Turner Schofield about what to expect as a non-binary person in the public eye. “He just had a lot to say about what I could expect and what I should prepare myself for and how best to keep myself feeling supported.” 

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They talk about the challenges they faced when it came to separating themselves from their character. “It’s not my story, it’s Janae’s. Scott really imparted on me the importance of ultimately realizing, it’s not my story and to let go of any outcome I felt really strongly about.”

When reflecting on what it would have meant to them to have a character like Janae to look up to as a kid, McLeod says, “If there had been representation in the TV I watched as a teenager, which was a lot, it would have been life changing. It would have been huge for me.” 

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McLeod is excited to see what’s in store for their character and is hopeful for a third season.

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All episodes of One of Us Is Lying are available now on Peacock. 

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