Possibly one of the most binge-watched shows of 2017, Netflix’s A Series Of The Unfortunate Events covers the first four volumes of the 13-book series written by Lemony Snicket.
Meticulously faithful to the novels, this new on-screen adaptation manages to delight the early aficionados while catching the attention of viewers unfamiliar with the saga as well.
In 2004, a movie starring Jim Carrey narrating the Orphans Baudelaires' journey found success but it was too limited by its format, which couldn’t fully satisfy the ravenous appetite of the fans.
This time around, we follow an intricate chess game between Count Olaf (Neil Patrick Harris) and the Baudelaires (Malina Weissman as Violet and Louis Hynes as Klaus) in a longer-term adventure packed with incredible attention to detail, which results in a more immersive and valuable experience for the viewer.
Currently in 8th grade, this 13-years-old actress shows ambition but keeps both feet on the ground. Despite a growing notoriety, she strives to preserve, as much as possible, an ordinary teenage life.
Konbini: What is your artistic background? Is it correct that you joined a talent agency at 8 years old?
Malina Weissman: Yes, I did. I think I was a little younger when I started modeling and as I got older, I started doing commercials and got really into the acting idea and I just kept going… I always loved the idea of acting, since I was 2, I would just sit in my room and do art.
What was the audition process and how did you get involved in A Series Of Unfortunate Events?
I got the audition and I think I did 3 or 4 in New York and then they flew me out to Los Angeles and we did the two last auditions there. It was sort of nerve-wracking because, in the last audition, you’re like, "Well, If I don’t get it, it’s OK…" but I ended up getting it and I was jumping up and down in my hotel room.
Did you read the original books to prepare for the role?
Well, I had already read the books before I got the part so I sort of knew who Violet was and I was really excited to portray her. I always thought about the books because Daniel Handler, who wrote all the books by the pen name of Lemony Snicket, has a vision and I think his vision is so amazing.
I based Violet's character on the books but also took some situations from my own life to make it myself, to make it more normal.
Violet constantly demonstrates great intelligence. What did you learn from playing such a brilliant character?
When I was reading the script, there were some words that I didn't even know what they meant, so I would always look it up on my phone. I learned a lot of differents words from filming.
Violet, Sunny and Klaus are smarter than all the adults. All the adults are so oblivious to what's happening, like Mr. Poe sees Stefano and doesn’t know that he’s Count Olaf and kids have to go to this whole journey to convince him that it is Count Olaf.
I think a lot of kids can relate to Klaus and Violette. When you’re a kid, you tell your mom or your dad, "Hey, I wanna go out with my friends" but then they don’t understand. Klaus and Violet keep trying to tell Mr. Poe obvious things that he doesn’t understand and I think kids can relate to that.
How much do you have in common with your character?
Violet is very inventive and I am very artistic, I like to create things. Everything she creates is art. When I was little, I would make little dollhouses out of cereal boxes and make clothes for my dolls and that’s an art too. So creativity is the main thing I have in common with Violet.
In which TV series would you like to act if you had the chance?
Oh, that’s a hard question! Maybe The Hunger Games but I’m not sure because I feel like if I was in the Hunger Games, I would just hide until everybody kills each other and then I would come in and be the winner or… I don’t know that’s a hard question, I would have to think about that!
Would you like to play a villain?
Most of my characters that I played – in "Supergirl" I was like a savior and in "Nine Lives" a cute girl too – so it would definitely be fun to play a villain.
What series do you watch at the moment?
I just binge-watched Gilmore Girls! I’m on the season 7 and I’m trying not to watch too much of it because I don’t want it to end.
Netflix didn’t make any official statements about renewing the series so far. What do you know about filming season 2?
I don’t know anything but we’re all crossing our fingers, so hopefully!