Melissa Collazo on ‘One of Us Is Lying,’ Her Approach for Maeve in Season 2, and More

Melissa Collazo stars as Maeve in One of Us Is Lying. All eight episodes of Season 2 are now streaming on Peacock.

Following the heart-pounding conclusion of Season One, the Bayview Four have a very deadly secret. In Season Two we’ll see just how far they’ll go to protect their secret, themselves, and each other.

I was lucky enough to speak with the actress on premiere day and we had a great conversation about attending NYCC as a guest, the show’s incredible fan support, her dream storyline for season 3, Maeve’s relationship with Janae, and much more. Keep reading for all of the details!

ONE OF US IS LYING — “Simon Says Let’s Get Personal” Episode 203 — Pictured: (l-r) Chibuikem Uche as Cooper, Melissa Collazo as Maeve, Marianly Tejada as Bronwyn, Cooper van Grootel as Nate, Annalisa Cochrane as Addy — (Matt Groesch/Peacock)

I want to start off with New York Comic-Con. I went as a fan for so many years and it’s very exciting to see all the love that the fans are giving you and the rest of the cast. What did it mean for you to be there?
Melissa Collazo: I mean, I also went as a fan to New York Comic-Con when I was 14 and then again when I was 15, so I went two years in a row as a fan. I already wanted to pursue acting at that age, I just have no had how to get into it or where to start, but when I was 15, I had the best time and I made a deal with myself, and I told my mom at the time, I was like, “I’m not going to go to a Comic-Con again until I go as an invited guest.” I made it like a rule for myself and so cut to now, a few years later, I’m 22 and I got invited with the show that I’m on, which was a huge shocker. My mom was the first person I told and she was the first person that was like, “Do you remember when you were 15 and you said that you weren’t going to come back here again until you were invited? Now, look at you.” So it was like a full circle moment and it was really cool. It was also wild seeing the other side of it. It’s really interesting, but yeah, it was a full-circle moment for me.

I’m blown away right now because I started going when I was 16 and I’m 22 now, I started doing press last year. It was kind of like you said, I always wanted to do something like this and never knew how to get into it.
Yeah, I was like, “This is so fun, but I will not come back until I have the career that I want and I come back as a guest,” and it happened. I was truly so shocked. We were all still in Auckland when we got the email asking to do Comic-Con and all of us really were like, “We’re going to see each other in New York!” It was really fun because it was the last week in Auckland and we were already so sad that we were gonna leave each other. So it was something like set in stone that we knew we had to look forward to like, all reconnect again. So yeah, it was really cool.

NEW YORK COMIC CON — “Peacock’s ‘One of Us is Lying’” — Pictured: (l-r) Melissa Collazo, Jess McLeod at the Javits Center on October 6, 2022 — (Photo by: Virginia Sherwood/Peacock)

What was it like being on that stage and seeing all the fans there for you and the show? I mean, obviously, you’re on social media, but seeing it firsthand must be such a different feeling.
Honestly, I think maybe just being on set sort of gets you used to being able to like focus on and hone in on what you’re supposed to be doing and who you’re supposed to be focused on, which is like my co-stars. So I was very nervous beforehand, but then the second we got to the Javits Center and we started doing the press, we started doing interviews, and we started doing everything, it was like super chill. Then they were screening I think the first 20 minutes of the episode before the panel and we all snuck into the panel room to watch the episode and I think that that was a big help for me because it’s sort of like let me take in the room before I had to be in front of everyone in the room. I just got so caught up watching the show that then they started calling our names and I was like, “Oh, okay, let me go up,” and it didn’t really give me time to freak out, so it was kind of a perfect case scenario. Then it was just super easy. I wasn’t as scared as I thought I would be.

Yeah, that’s really awesome to get to watch it with an audience.
Oh yeah, it was so cool to like hear because we get the screeners obviously, but it’s one thing for us to watch it as a cast and it’s another thing to watch it with the people that have had no part of making it like, they truly do not know what’s gonna happen. Hearing everyone’s reactions and stuff was really satisfying.

So I’m talking to you on premiere day, which is so special. Have you gotten to process that this project that you have worked on for so long is out in the world now? I don’t know if you’ve looked on socials but people are loving it.
I checked Peacock at midnight, but I was like, “Okay, it’s not out, I’m gonna go to bed.” I had a really sweet day with some of my friends, loved ones, family, and whatnot and I’ve just had an easy morning. I went to get breakfast, like a little celebratory breakfast with my family, my parents, my little brother, and whatnot. I’ve kind of stayed off of social media. I think right when we hop off of this Zoom, I’m gonna on Instagram for the first time today because I woke up, I got ready, and I’ve just kind of been with my family since. Then I got home and I hopped on with you. So no, I haven’t seen but it’s really nice to hear that people love it. I mean, I love the show, obviously, but season 2 felt like such a change from season 1 in such a beautiful way that I truly had my fingers crossed that people were gonna receive this season even better than they received season 1 because the praise for season 1 was pretty unanimous and it got us a season 2, so people clearly really loved it. But for me, personally, reading the scripts for season 2, it just felt like such a step forward, and shit really hits the fan this time in the way. Yeah, it’s just been crazy so it’s really nice to know that people are loving it.

I’m so honored to be part of your day like this. Thank you so much for speaking with me today. The next thing I have to get into is your character. Did you have a favorite aspect to explore when it came to this season? I mean, it’s one thing when you do season 1 because you’re introducing a character, but when you get to come back I feel like that’s such a whole different and fun vibe.
Well, when I went into season 1, we all read the book beforehand, but the thing about the first book is that Maeve is a very important part of the first book because she does, in the book, directly help solve the mystery with — I believe it’s her and Kris at that diner and they’re the ones that like put it together. But apart from her being a crucial aspect, the book doesn’t really dive into her as a person. So going into season 1, it gave me the freedom to sort of like create her, and I went into it with a certain idea and it was really nice because our producers and Jennifer Morrison, who directed the pilot, had a very specific idea for what they wanted to do with Maeve. It kind of felt like a collaboration but coming into season 2 was different in like, it almost felt like I was breathing for the first time because I feel like Maeve is so on edge, very dark, and just not being let in in season 1 and it ends in season 2 she’s still not on the ins, but a lot of what happened in season 1, obviously informs who she is in season 2.

ONE OF US IS LYING — “Simon Says Ho Ho Ho!” Episode 205 — Pictured: Melissa Collazo as Maeve — (Photo by: Matt Grace/Peacock)

So I think in season 2, she’s a lot more calm and she’s in love, and the person she’s in love with is not dead. I felt like Maeve was breathing for the first time and sort of just taking deeper breaths, being a little bit less impulsive, and she realized that the way that she approached everything in season 1 obviously didn’t work and she’s still trying to be let in, so she has to switch it up and come up with another approach. I think it gave Maeve and I the chance to sort of take a breath, settle, and just approach it with a little bit less angst, I guess. She’s so angsty in the first season, she’s just ready to kill, she’s out for blood, she’s out for everyone. She’s a lot to take in. I think in the second season, I sort of made the decision to calm her down a little bit because that felt like the natural progression, and you know, it’s been a few months, and when you’re a teenager a few months feels like a year in terms of like, how you’re maturing, aging, and whatnot and she’s been through a lot more. Yeah, just taking all of season 1 in and seeing how I could use that for the character to cause a sort of shift in a new direction. Her hair is different, her wardrobe’s a little bit sweeter, and she’s becoming a little bit more calm in a way that she’s not losing any of her power, but she’s sort of changed how she’s approaching people with it, which I really liked. So that was how I approached season 2 Maeve.

I’m manifesting very hard that you get a season three. I’m ready to cover it. Is there anything you want to see for Maeve or do you have any sort of dream storylines?
Okay, well season 2 ends in a way where Maeve is once again on the outside but it’s not like in season 1 where she was just like, trying the whole time and after all the attempts she was still left out. In season 2, she tries to get in a different way and she’s successful with it. It is like the baby six for a little bit because of Janae and Maeve’s addition to the group, so Maeve is in Murder Club for kind of a big chunk of the season, but it ends with her on the outs again because of things that happen. And so honestly, I would love to see season 3 Maeve kind of just be a villain because I feel like when I’m playing Maeve, it feels like I’m always teetering on that edge but I never like dive fully in because I don’t think that there’s anything that Maeve could do that would be completely unforgivable ever, because like what I do in season 2, obviously, it’s intense, a lot happens, and people are going to be mad at Maeve, but she did save all of them at the end of it all.

She kind of saved all of them from going to jail and in some really weird and twisted way did land Fiona in jail, which was what the goal for the season was. So I do feel like even what she did in season 2 is forgivable, it’s just gonna take a lot of talking and pleading I think, but I would love to see Maeve maybe just go a little insane for a while. I don’t know, I think there’s so much pent-up anger and tension in that girl that she deserves to just like, let it out and be crazy for a little, who knows. I don’t know what they’re gonna do in season 3. I’m like, “Maybe they’ll throw her in Wild Awakenings,” because she did do something pretty insane and something that would land a teenager in like behavior rehab. Maybe, I don’t know, it would be fun to go to Wild Awakenings for a little and just have her go a little crazy for a while. Yeah, I’d love to see Maeve just go full bad guy for a little, I think that’d be really fun. She’s got nothing left to lose, truly.

ONE OF US IS LYING — “Simon Says Tick Tock” Episode 202 — Pictured: (l-r) Melissa Collazo as Maeve, Marianly Tejada as Bronwyn — (Matt Groesch/Peacock)

So, I don’t know if you watched Pretty Little Liars
Of course!

I remember when I watched that I was hoping that Aria would be A and I knew I shouldn’t have wanted any of the girls to be A but it made sense.
Oh, yes. It does make sense. I thought it always made the most sense for it to be Aria but also when Spencer goes to Radley, and Spencer’s a very redeemable character, but she still lands there for a little bit. I feel like doing that with Maeve would be just so fun as an actor. I would just love to be in smocks and like be crazy for a little bit, and just the natural trajectory of where Maeve is headed, it does make sense. I hope they let me be a little bit crazy in season 3.

With the teen genre, relationships are such a huge thing, so I have to ask you, who are you shipping and what do you love about them?
Maeve and Janae to be honest. They’re just so perfect. Maybe it’s just because I love Jess so much and any time I get to have a scene with Jess, I’m just like, headed to set really giddy because truly one of my favorite scene partners I’ve ever had in the history of ever, they’re just best. But I just think it’s such a fascinating dynamic. They both have a lot of the same trauma but through different situations. They have a lot of the same, they’re very broken people in different ways, but like, the brokenness feels the same and I think they have a lot of that in common. One thing about the Rojas Sisters is that they love a blonde so there’s that part.

Janae and Maeve feel like different sides of the same coin, very yin and yang situations. It just feels very naturally… it just makes a lot of sense. I don’t know, I love their dynamic because Maeve is the tinier one who wears skirts, a little more girlish and whatnot but she’s got the balls sometimes. Janae barks, but Maeve bites. It’s really perfect and the scenes that they gave us in season 2 are just so sweet, and the way that the relationship truly, finally gets to sort of play out for the audience because, in season 1, Jess and I filled in a lot of the blanks so that we could make the like, ‘oh, Janae’s been in love with Maeve the whole time and she’s been looking at Maeve while Simon was with her,’ and whatnot. We kind of created that whole story in our heads, but it’s nice because, in season 2, the audience gets to see the trajectory of the relationship instead of it all just being in our heads and having little sprinkles of these two interacting. Now that Janae and Maeve get together in season 2, it’s like, no stopping, you guys see everything.

Lastly, is there anyone you want to work with more in the future either on the show or for an outside project?
Well, outside projects I feel like I could do something different with everyone because everyone is so good at what they do that truly if I could work with these people forever, I would.

But in terms of the show, I feel like I have to say, Vanessa. Sara and I talked about this a lot but Vanessa and Maeve are so much more similar than they care to admit. Vanessa presents a certain way and Maeve presents in a very different way but they’re very headstrong, resilient, will get to the truth, and will get to the bottom of anything. Vanessa’s always been popular and the like, it girl of Bayview and whatnot, and Maeve has been through trauma, cancer, and her fucking boyfriend died and like, all of that stuff that has made her present in a darker way where I think Vanessa’s better at sort of internalizing it and turning it into sparkles. But I don’t know, I think they’re very similar characters and I think they’re very misunderstood by everyone else at Bayview. I think people at Bayview are very quick to judge Vanessa for being sort of the popular girl, Barbie doll, perfect like whatever but she’s been through it and Maeve has been through it too. I think they’re both kind of maybe just discounted a little bit too easily and they’re both very, very, very intelligent girls. So I would love to work with Sara more because I think Vanessa and Maeve would be quite the duo, they’d be like, very scary and unstoppable together.