EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: Disney’s The Lodge stars talk season 2, new guest stars and Skye’s big decision
Britain’s boisterous answer to High School Musical is back on our screens on Friday (June 16).
We last met up with Skye (Sophie Simnett) and the team at the North Star Lodge in November, as they celebrated a successful music concert to raise funds for the business. Josh (Josh Sinclair-Evans) arrived to visit, Kaylee (Jade Alleyne) packed her bags for music school, and Skye made a very important decision about her love life.
We sat down with series stars Sophie, Josh and Luke (Newton, who portrays Ben) about what to expect in season two, big name guest stars and Skye’s game-changing decision.
What’s different about this season compared to the last?
Sophie: I think it’s a much bigger and better version of season one. We have five more episodes so there’s a lot more time for the characters stories. There’s loads of dancing – the music’s really different – it’s much more poppy. Josh comes to the lodge, a decision is made and we’ve got loads of new characters come in.
Luke: It’s really nice to see Skye’s decision does affect the whole group. It continues the story on quite rapidly.
Were you surprised by Skye’s decision?
Sophie: Weirdly, no.
Luke: At first I was, yes, because when we were thinking about what she should do.
Sophie: But she’s Skye.
Luke: It makes sense as the story goes along.
Sophie: Exactly. Once you’ve seen the whole series, you’ll understand how I feel. I think the fans will get why a decision was made. I feel like it’s really important for Skye to go through that process, to learn a lot about herself.
Luke: At first it was a shock, but now – as you said – it really does make sense and I think if it did go the other way it wouldn’t have been such an interesting season two. Season two is definitely shaped on that decision.
Do you think the door is closed on that love triangle?
Sophie: The door’s never closed! [Laughs] I don’t know. I feel like it’s always going to be difficult for them to retain the amazing friendship they have between the three of them when you know when there have been prior feelings. I think it’s going to be interesting to see what happens in season two and maybe even season three.
Josh, you’re at the lodge this season! What was that like for you?
Josh: It feels like it’s completely different. Last year, I was just in a room by myself with a couple of camera crew and sound staff and then I’d go home. I wasn’t in Ireland that much either because I was only needed for those one days where I’d do literally everything, then I’d go home and come back. So yeah, it’s amazing actually being on set with everyone, especially when we do like the big group numbers and literally everyone is there.
Are you around the whole season?
Josh: Well, yeah – he kind of dots around everyone’s storylines, fixing problems and just making himself known. He’s around.
Does Josh strike up any new friendships this year?
Josh: Yeah. He’s really close with Kaylee this year, and with Noah as well actually, which is nice. I mean, while they’ve [Skye, Sean and Ben] got their love triangle trio, we’ve got our one which is just friends. Then he dots around and hangs out with Danielle and Mia’s character, Alex, as well. Last year he was Skye’s best friend, this year he seems to be everyone’s best friend, which is nice to do.
Kaylee’s moved to music school and is now a phone call away. Is she still very involved with the season?
Sophie: Oh, definitely. Kaylee’s at music school and she’s made that shift but I think she’s just as involved as she was last year. Although she’s communicating via phone, she does come in and out of the lodge. She’s involved with the mystery a bit.
Could you tell me a little bit about the new characters? You’ve got some big names joining the series.
Sophie: Mia Jenkins, who plays Alex, is great and her character’s a really good mix. She’s very feisty and she’s heavily involved in the mystery storyline. And then we’ve got Kimberley [Walsh] of course, who plays a music producer, and that was very apt. We didn’t do any scenes with her.
Does she get to do any singing in the series?
Sophie: No, she doesn’t, but she had a great time. We spoke to Jade Alleyne, and she did scenes with her. And Lina is a new character as well, Lina Strahl, she plays Frankie, the girl Kaylee meets at music school. She’s amazing.
I love her.
Sophie: She’s so… bright. That’s a really interesting friendship for Kaylee.
What’s your favourite song from the new series?
Luke: Mine’s Jade and Jayden’s duet.
Sophie: Two hundred percent. Noah and Kaylee do a duet and it’s beautiful.
Luke: Honestly, it’s so good.
Sophie: It’s beautiful. We love it. We all ship Naylee really hard. Whenever they sing it in rehearsals, we all sit down and [looks attentive] ‘YESSSS!’
Are there any songs you would like to perform in the future or musical styles you would like to experiment with?
Sophie: Yeah. I would love to do more jazz and old school songs. Dancewise, I’d love to try some tap. I think because music and dance are integral to what makes [The Lodge] what it is, I feel like it would be very cool to explore different ages of dance and song. We’re very contemporary and modern right now, which works great with the show, but [the audience] really responded to the acoustic tracks so it would be quite cool to bring in different genres.
Last season, you got to do a lot of outdoor activities. Did you get to try anything new this year?
Luke: Yeah, we got to do slacklining… We didn’t have a clue what that was.
What is slacklining?
Luke: So the best way to describe it is like a seatbelt that you walk on. It’s like a tight rope but instead of a rope, it’s a seatbelt and it’s all to do with balance. There’s kind of different levels you can get. You just start at first with just trying to stand and balance with it on one foot, and then you can sort of progress to walking. Then there’s little tricks we got taught and there’s a really cool scene where we slackline over a lake.
Sophie: And sing.