Audrey Whitby can now be seen in Season 2 of "In the Vault." Photo courtesy of Crackle
Editor's note: This article contains spoilers for "In the Vault" Season 1.
NEW YORK, Aug. 18 (UPI) -- The Thundermans and Betch alum Audrey Whitby says Season 2 of her Crackle suspense thriller In the Vault will show the dark side of her good-girl college student character, Jane Sidorova, when it premieres on Thursday.
Each episode of Season 1, which co-starred Claudia Lee, Taylor Gray, Rachel Hilson, Caleb Castille, Arienne Mandi, Paul Karmiryan, Dominique Columbus, Jac Bernhard, Timothy Granaderos and Markus Silbiger, was told from a different character's perspective, keeping viewers guessing about the identity of Liv Steele's killer until the last seconds of the finale when it was revealed that Jane had murdered Woodlawn College's most-hated student.
"The first season is very much a whodunnit. Every episode has one of the hallmates as a protagonist one week and a suspect the next, so I was really leaning into the mystery of it all in the first season," Whitby told UPI in a recent phone interview.
"What's so exciting for me about the second season, now that the cat's out of the bag - or the Jane is let loose - is I really got to explore what it's like to be a more duplicitous actor and really get into the evil of it all."
While most of the freshman residents of Woodlawn's Vault dormitory had a reason to kill Liv, Jane appeared the most distressed by her roommate's grisly Season 1 demise.
In reality, Jane harbored a deep grudge against Liv for bullying Jane's best friend from camp into dying by suicide.
"I've learned the trick to playing a really good secret killer is you just really feel like you're not," Whitby explained, pointing to how many people capable of actions as horrible as murder have the ability to compartmentalize their thoughts and feelings.
"Jane feels very vindicated and confident in her actions. I really just tried to play it like she's not guilty," she added. "I was really trying to keep her motive way, way in the back, so the audience wouldn't see it coming."
As of the end of Season 1, only Jane's romantic interest Karlis (Gray) knows what she has done and the audience is left to wonder if he will reveal her secret.
Whitby didn't want to give away too many details about who Jane interacts with in Season 2, but she did tease that the new episodes will feature the returns of Karlis and Taylor (Granaderos), Liv's ex-boyfriend with whom Jane also shared a flirtation.
"There's possibly a new love interest for Jane. She is just all over the place," Whitby said.
"There may be a little 'Bonnie & Clyde' action going on for Jane in Season 2, so she is spending a lot of time with him and the rest of the dorm-mates. There is also a new girl, who we don't know why she is there, that Jane is hanging out with."
While the show is first and foremost intended to be entertaining, Whitby said series creator Ben Epstein writes characters and stories with depth, reflecting what real college kids are going through in terms of relationships, identity, mental health, lack of adult supervision and drug/alcohol use.
"We touch on some really big issues that Gen Z is currently having to deal with and we do it in a thoughtful, explorative manner," she said. "I'm just very proud of the entire show."
In the Vault also gave the former child actress, now 26, a taste of what university dorm life, with all of its drama, might have been like, had she taken another career path.
"I didn't have the typical college experience, so us all being together on set on location, getting to know the entire cast and becoming so close was very much like a college. I truly had a blast with them all," Whitby said.
Joining In the Vault propelled her from her comfort zone in sitcoms and forced her to embrace new adventures, much like going to college does for many teens.
"This was a sharp left turn and very uncomfortable for me," she said.
"I was able to use that and lean into it because Jane - like so many people who are going into college in September - was so insecure, so nervous, so unsure of herself and her place in the world, what she contributes," she added. "Luckily, I was going through something similar and could harness that and put it into Jane's insecure energy."