'Lockwood & Co.' Co-Star, Creator on How Book Author Was Involved in Show

Lockwood & Co., Netflix's latest series, follows a trio of gifted teens as they fight ghosts that have all but taken over London.

Lucy Carlyle, Anthony Lockwood and George Karim are as quirky as they come, but what the characters are especially good at is detecting and dealing with the ghosts, which can kill with just a touch or, worse, turn people into shadows of their former selves by placing them in a mysterious coma.

The world in which these characters inhabit was created by Jonathan Stroud, who has been closely involved with the series. He proved an invaluable asset to actors Ruby Stokes (Lucy), Cameron Chapman (Anthony) and Ali Hadji-Heshmati (George), as well as to show creator Joe Cornish.

How the Author Was Involved in the Show

Lockwood & Co. is based on the first two books in Stroud's five-volume young adult series, The Screaming Staircase and The Whispering Skull. Lucy, Anthony and George take center stage in the episodes, and Stokes said she and Chapman got the chance to meet with Stroud during the filming.

"I remember at one point when we were filming some of Lucy's flashback stuff and we met Jonathan. Me and [Chapman] met him on set," she told Newsweek. "We just chatted to him about the characters and the books and how the world ended up being created, and we also chatted about his family as well."

Lockwood and Co
From left, Ali Hadji-Heshmati, Cameron Chapman, and Ruby Stokes star in the new Netflix series "Lockwood & Co." Netflix

She continued: "We got to know him because I think that's really important. We were so enveloped into the production, and we knew everyone so well. We knew Jonathan because he was such a big part of production as well, and doing justice to his characters was super exciting."

Cornish praised the world building in Stroud's work, saying that it made his job easier because the books are so rich with content that it was easy to transfer it from page to screen.

"I usually write and direct my stuff, so it was really luxurious to have this amazing, fully developed series of books to work from," he told Newsweek. "He's done 90 percent of the work for me. It's such a clever concept, the idea that ghosts can kill by touching you, the notion that young people can see them and sense them for adults, the idea that these elements can repel them, metal and salt, and then [there were] these agencies. [It was] clever idea upon clever idea."

He continued: "Then the characters that he puts in this world are so compulsive and brilliant and well drawn, so it was a complete pleasure. How brilliant to be handed material that gets you most of the way there immediately. So it was an honor to get to adapt the books."

The Demanding Shoot for 'Lockwood & Co.'

Lockwood & Co. proved to be a difficult shoot for the cast at times. Cornish said scenes had to be filmed out of order because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

"The schedule went crazy because of COVID, so we ended up shooting the last episode first," he said. "Well, one of those super-high-drama moments were the first weeks on set for these three, which is even more incredible when you look at the whole series and how beautifully their characters evolve and develop.

"That stuff at the absolute peak of emotion and drama was their first week and my first week on set. Hopefully, if we get to do more we'll do them in a slightly more sensible order," he said.

Lockwood and Co
Ruby Stokes plays Lucy Carlyle in "Lockwood & Co." She says she had to focus on pacing herself during the long shoot so she wouldn't burn out. Netflix

Stokes, whom Netflix viewers may recognize from her time on Bridgerton, said the labor-intensive shoot meant that she had to focus on pacing herself so she wouldn't burn out.

"I've never done anything before that had such a long shoot," she said. "I really learned to pace myself and understand what stamina I needed to get myself all the way through.

"But also I think by the end it was an incredibly demanding shoot, and it was really tiring at points, but we're fortunate that we had such a supportive cast and crew, and [Cameron, Ali and I] were really good friends. We got on really well.

"So losing character was actually trickier than I had actually anticipated, in terms of not losing the nuances of Lucy and what I originally set out to do with her," she said.

Hadji-Heshmati concurred with his co-star, saying, "I'm really grateful that I had these two because we all became, like, each other's support system, and we're always there for each other. Or I definitely felt like you two were there for me.

"And just having that throughout the nine months that we shot I think really helped, especially when you're having a tough day," he told Newsweek.

The cast members found humor in the experience where they could. This particularly became apparent when they were filming their fight scenes with ghosts.

The supernatural beings were created using an "LED mannequin" that the trio nicknamed Schmoo," Chapman told Newsweek, and it was a "character" they enjoyed playing off of.

"We fought [it] almost every week, but we fell in love with the Schmoo, and then we had to act like we really didn't like the Schmoo," he joked. "But no, it was great, we had a wonderful stunt team and there was a wonderful pace to the fight sequences.

"I think we're all very happy that it looks as cool as we hoped it would, and we all worked hard to try and make the stakes as high as possible, to make the LED mannequin as scary as it was in our imagination," he said.

Lockwood & Co. is available on Netflix.