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Celebmix Interview: Star of Facebook Watch’s ‘Turnt’ Jayna Sweet

Did you know that Facebook airs TV shows? 100% true story. That’s how we came upon Facebook Watch’s show Turnt that has a flair of Degrassi that most people grew up with. Yes, we’re talking about the over-the-top high school drama to house parties to everything else we lowkey wished our high school years were like. We had a chance to chat with one of the stars, Jayna Sweet, who portrays Natalie, the awkward sophomore who we all have felt like at one point in our lives. Just trust us, you’ll want to see what’s going on with her character. Check out our interview with Sweet below!

Hey Jayna, thanks so much for taking the time to chat! I just had the chance to binge-watch all of Turnt and man, your character is my favorite to watch! First and foremost, how did you come across this role?
Wow, thank you so much! That’s the best compliment ever. I think she’s a pretty fun character, too. I first did a self-tape for the role (filmed my audition from home) and two days later was at a chemistry read, only to find out I booked the job the next day. It was really a whirlwind – we started working right away. I didn’t know a ton about my role going into it, but I was super excited about what I did know and felt a pretty instantaneous connection to the character.  

Did you do anything special to get into character or at least the mindset of the character?
I kept a notebook with me at all times and always had it on set – on a shelf behind the diner counter, under a pillow in my character’s room – with all my notes about Natalie’s backstory and journey, and detailed notes pertaining to each scene. It was my totem throughout the process, and a quick read-through before each scene really put me in the right mindset. A blessing and a curse, I also really connected with Natalie’s unhealthy obsession with “perfection” and did my best to draw from my personal feelings surrounding that struggle.

How would YOU describe Natalie’s character to someone who hasn’t watched the show yet?
I’d describe Natalie as a bit misguided and someone who is really, truly hurting. She’s lonely and doesn’t know why, and basically wants to do whatever she can to find a place where she belongs. She’s convinced that she isn’t worthy of true love or happiness and does everything she can think of to fit the image she has in her mind of what perfection and worthiness look like. Natalie’s also incredibly smart, she just doesn’t always use her gifts in the healthiest of ways.   

Nat is clearly very inspired by Kat. Can you tease a bit about what viewers might be seeing in future episodes in regards to Nat’s relationship with Kat? Will it get better? Will Kat finally notice?
Yes, she certainly is. She views Kat as the epitome of perfection and wants to be like her. I don’t want to give away too much – it’s such a fun storyline to discover in time! But I will say that you’ll see a lot more of Nat and Kat in future episodes.

Are we ever going to get more background stories of each individual character? More specifically your character and how Nat ended up in a cast in the first place?
As the show goes on, we certainly dive deeper into the ins-and-outs of the characters. As far as Natalie’s leg goes, she has a congenital knee disorder and has lived a life full of surgeries and the promise of getting better without that happening. The writers really wanted to normalize the experience of someone with a physical disability as much as possible, so we never go too deep into it, but Natalie is asked about it in a future episode.

I like to describe Turnt as the more mature version of Degrassi! Will we get to see more momentous high school moments? We already saw formal so will there be a prom, Homecoming, or anything else?
I love that! I view it the same way. Every few episodes there are some big events that I’d say are “momentous high school moments” and are super fun to watch. But again, I think they’re really fun to watch and don’t want to give too much away! One great thing about Turnt is all the surprises.

Since this show depicts high school, how similar or different is this show compared to when you were in high school? What was it like for you then?
Although I’m sure there are people who’ve had a similar experience to how it’s depicted on the show, it’s honestly pretty different from my personal high school experience. I went to an arts high school in Phoenix for a year and a half before switching to online school. My school was teeny-tiny and a really close-knit community. I’d say it was a little less wild than Turnt – ha! I was the girl who stayed home every Friday night writing songs or watching She’s the Man with my best friend.

For our readers who have yet to tune in, what would you like to say to them to start watching after this interview?
I would say Turnt is a really good binge-watch show – so now is the perfect time to start watching! It’s a really fun show and I truly believe there’s a character for everyone to relate to.

And just for fun, since Nat is part of a podcast… What are some of your favorite podcasts you like to listen to?
I love this question! I really love Snap Judgment a whole lot. I’ve been listening to that for years. I like Stuff Mom Never Told You and Shortcomings a lot, too.

Watch Jayna Sweet onTurnthttps://www.facebook.com/TurntShow/

Written by Ashley Bulayo

I reference anything and everything to Lizzie McGuire. Follow me on Twitter + Instagram: @ashleeeybash. I respond 99.9% of the time.