Photographer: Stephen Spencer Hair: Hachoo Makeup: Anton Khachaturian Stylist: Andrew Gelwicks Stylist assistant: Sydney Babineaux
Jaylen Barron wants you to know we’re all clay just trying to be a vase.
“It's OK if you flop over sometimes,” she tells Los Angeles Confidential. “It's OK if you get smushed back down, but eventually you're gonna be that vase you want to be.”
She adds, “Even when you're that vase you want to be you're gonna get broken and then you're going to become something completely different."
The life lesson came to Barron when she was in search of a sign that she was on the right track, which came in the form of Demi Moore and Patrick Swayze’s infamous pottery scene in Ghost.
Her therapist suggested she consider herself as the clay.
“There’s a process to being a really beautiful vase,” her therapist offered. “You have to get molded. You have to get watered down, you have to get rounded, you have to get sculpted and then smashed down again. So you just have to think about that in your everyday life. Day to day, you're gonna be put down, you're gonna be built back up and then you're gonna have to smash yourself back down again in order to be this beautiful being that you want to be.”
A revelatory moment for Barron herself, you can also see her character Trish on season 2 of Blindspotting learning to build herself up in spite of moments of being smashed down.
Premiering April 14, the sophomore season of Blindspotting continues to see mom Ashley (Jasmine Cephas Jones) navigate life after the incarceration of her husband Miles (Rafael Casal), which includes caring for their seven year-old son Sean (Atticus Woodward) and cohabitating with her mother and sister-in laws Rainey (Helen Hunt) and Trish.
With their love-hate relationship, Trish has a hard enough time dealing with Ashley. On top of that, she’s working her way to become a successful business woman, in addition to figuring out confusing emotions and bonds of her own.
Read more below from Barron about Trish, Blindspotting season 2 and more.
What can fans of Blindspotting look forward to from season 2?
I think they could just look at it like a whole new series elevated a million and one times from season one. The writing is completely different, but still in that same bracket of excellence. And I think that they can really just look forward to finding out what life is truly like for those who are incarcerated, and especially for some of the charges that people face day to day. And I know people have family members who are in prison right now for exactly what Earl did, which is really nothing. And the fact that they could feel seen, I think, is the most important thing that they can really look forward to. I'm trying to think about if there's anything else, but for now at least that's the biggest thing that I'm excited for everybody to see is if they're going through that experience, then what you're going through is known, it is seen and it is important, and it is actually very ridiculous.
One episode shows a family visit where Ashley and Sean get to stay with Miles for 36 hours. I feel like I’ve never seen that on TV.
I thought that was really cool, too. I've never been in that particular situation at all, but I know a whole bunch of people who are. It's really important for children to have their mothers and their fathers in their life. And regardless if their parent is incarcerated, they should have that opportunity to still have that solid foundation for themselves. And I really think it's more so for the children than the actual person who's incarcerated. They still want to be a parent, and they should be able to. Of course, depending on the charges, but you know what I mean. With something like Miles and something that Earl had, quote, “did,” unquote, really, it's like, come on.
There's people who are making millions of dollars off of the very charge that they got caught for and their million dollar house is 10 miles away from a prison where there's over 100 Black and brown men who are incarcerated for something that they did 10 years ago. And they're still in prison for it. So now, I'm glad it's being shown, really.
In your interview with Flaunt, you said Trish challenges you, but also that she allowed you to be more you. Was that the case this season?
Even more so because Trish has matured since season one, and it's just really interesting to see her grow and what triggers her this year rather than last year. I think that with Trish, she's so different and so wild that it allows me to explore different pieces of myself, even to this day. I'm like, “What is Trish gonna do next?” If there is a next season, what is she going to do? And even when I look back at the episodes, I'll look at my choices and I'll be like, “Why did I decide Trish was going to do that?” I must have had something in my day-to-day subconscious that triggered me for her to have that reaction because we're still deciding what this character is going to do at the end of the day. But I love Trish, that's my girl. She's taught me a lot.
What do you hope people take away from Trish’s story this season?
Just because you see somebody on the outside and they look confident and tough and so sure of themselves, that at the end of the day, within every single person, there's something that they're uncomfortable with. I don't think anybody's fully, 100%, all the time, everyday comfortable with themselves.
With Trish, she has such a front in season one of like, “Oh, I'm that girl. I don't care about nobody but me, I'm getting to the money.” This season we see her break down and have a slight mental breakdown and show her be extremely insecure and extremely nervous and a side of her that we've never seen and being a little bit more soft. So I hope what the audience takes away really is just don’t think everybody has it together. If you think that people are out there who you think look better or they have a better job or whatever, at the end of the day, they're going through the same things you are, so the only thing you can really do is worry about yourself. I think that's my biggest thing is that everybody's got something.
How do you think Trish feels about Ashley?
I think Trish loves Ashley. She does. She really does because she's known her since she was like 10 or seven, something like that. I think she really loves Ashley. She just hates that Ashley did not follow the script of how Trish would think she would grow up to be. In real life, we have a certain script for those around us who we love and when they don't follow that script, we lash out in almost a passive aggressive way because we're like, “No, you're supposed to be this person, my hero.” It's like meeting somebody that you looked up to and they don't behave the way you thought they would and it disappoints you. And I think that was just what it is with Trish is that she feels like Ashley switched up, but really Ashley just decided to get her life together and keep it together. But I do think that eventually Trish learns that later on in the season. I'd like to think so.
This interview has been edited for length and clarity.
Photography by: Stephen Spencer