Interviews TV

Kaylayla Raine’s Resident Alien Reflects on Jay’s Complicated Relationship with Asta

Season 3 of SYFY’s Resident Alien has been an unpredictable adventure, balancing insanely funny events with emotional grounding stories. No other series in television deals with a possible alien invasion tackling toxic masculinity and the relationships. As the season grows closer to the end with the finale around the corner, one of the standout storylines this season involves Jay (Kaylayla Raine) discovering she the biological child of Asta (Sara Tomko), one of the nurses she worked with at the clinic.

Born out of her marriage to her abusive husband, Jimmy, Asta was a teenager herself when she birthed Jay and therefore gave her up for adoption. After learning the truth, Jay quit the clinic, formed a bond with Asta’s best friend, D’Arcy, while still coming to grips with being Atsa’s daughter. As Jay and Asta builds her relationship, Asta let it be known she loves her and it’s okay if she needs her. Even though person wants to make the other uncomfortable, they are waiting for the other to make the first move in their newfound relationship.

In celebration of Resident Alien’s successful third season, The Koalition spoke to Raine to learn more about Asta and Jay’s relationship, Jay’s desire to be seen and heard, Jay’s friendship with D’Arcy, bringing together her adoptive and biological mothers, and more.

RESIDENT ALIEN — “Avian Flu” Episode 304 — Pictured: (l-r) Gary Farmer as Dan Twelvetrees, Sara Tomko as Asta Twelvetrees, Kaylayla Rain as Jay — (Photo by: James Dittiger/SYFY)

What does Jay truly want from Asta? Is she looking for a mother figure or a friend in Asta?

“Part of the problem with Jay and Asta’s relationship right now is Jay doesn’t know what to expect from this woman. She was a friend, she was a boss, she was an acquaintance, a nurse in town, and all of a sudden, boom. A big part of it is Jay doesn’t know what she wants out of this relationship and because Asta hasn’t communicated to her, they haven’t had that dialogue. Jay is just grasping at straws with that. Jay just wants to make sure Asta stays in her life. She doesn’t know what that means or looks like, but she’s desperate to maintain some kind of relationship with this woman she just found out is her mother.

Is Jay is waiting for Asta to make the first move?

“In some why, Jay is waiting for the impossible. Jay is waiting Asta to be her mom and that’s not who Asta is and that’s okay. But as an 18-year-old just becoming her own person, being able to make her own choices outside of the mom who raised her is a really tumultuous time emotionally for Jay.”

There’s a scene where Jay drinks all of the milk. She doesn’t do the dishes she doesn’t have any responsibilities. Is Jay looking for someone to give her structure or is she is just being a teen?

“I don’t think she’s thinking about that at all. Maybe it’s a call for attention a little bit, the leaving dishes, having my girlfriend around without asking, just sleeping in the living room. I think it’s kind of a cry for help in a way. I’m not sure if Jay realizes that but watching the show, I see a kid who is desperate for guidance.”

RESIDENT ALIEN — “Avian Flu” Episode 304 — Pictured: (l-r) Gary Farmer as Dan Twelvetrees, Kaylayla Rain as Jay — (Photo by: James Dittiger/SYFY)

Is Jay taking advantage Asta’s no knowing how to approach her?

“That relationship dynamic, in my opinion, I think it’s Asta’s responsibility to take that first step as the adults in that situation. I wouldn’t say Jay’s taking advantage of Asta so much as Jay is existing as a teenager. It’s not Jay’s fault that Asta doesn’t know how to set boundaries with her. It’ll be exciting to see where that can go, if Asta can figure out how to set those boundaries, and what that means for their relationship if Asta starts behaving more like a parent.”

What are your overall hopes and goals for Jay as the character?

“Jay is nosy and opinionated. Jay has something to say about everything and I would love to see Jay explore that on her own, outside of her relationship with Asta, outside of her friendship with D’arcy. Jay building relationships, building community, organizing community, I would like to see Jay take action in the world around her. So many of her choices have been made for her. I think she’s ready to start making her own choices and making some noise. I’d love to get to play with Jay just making noise for the sake of making noise because she’s 18 and she’s got a lot to say. I think it’s really exciting to have such a wide age range on the show. We’ve got kids, we’ve got teenagers, we’ve got folks in their 30s, we’ve got elders. We’ve got such a generational show that it’s really exciting to explore what that looks like to me as the young person, as a teenager contingent of Resident Alien.

What do you hope for regarding the relationship between Jay and D’arcy?

“In a way Jay is developing a relationship with D’arcy she wishes she had with Asta, but Jay has this unrealistic expectation of what a relationship with Asta as her mother is going to look like. She’s replicating that unrealistic expectation with D’arcy. Jay really wants a friend her own age, a best friend. Like what Asta and D’arcy have, Jay wants that for herself. Not necessarily with D’arcy but D’arcy is there, and D’arcy is eager to connect. Jay is lonely and so that’s where that relationship came out of. Jay really wants what everyone around Jay seems to have, which is a partnership, a best friend, someone to lean on. Jay’s really alone in the world right now and that’s what she’s looking for even with the girlfriend.

RESIDENT ALIEN — “Avian Flu” Episode 304 — Pictured: (l-r) Sara Tomko as Asta Twelvetrees, Gary Farmer as Dan Twelvetrees, Kaylayla Rain as Jay — (Photo by: James Dittiger/SYFY)

Do you view Jay and D’arcy’s relationship as serious, where they’re able to talk to each other?

“Of course, they [view their relationship as being serious]. I don’t know if you remember being 18 in your first relationship. Communication is a learned skill especially with someone you’re intimate. I think it’s a serious relationship to Jay and 100% but she’s still 18, she’s still learning how to talk to the people around her. She doesn’t know how to be open and how to be vulnerable with the people she loves yet.”

If she did learn that skill, what would you think would be the first thing she would say and proclaim?

“I think she would say her choices are hers and she’s her own person. She just needs to be involved in the conversation. That’s all she wants. She doesn’t want a lot; she just wants to be involved in the decisions that are being made about her.”

Can there be an open line between Jay and her adoptive parents?

“I’d love to explore that, it’s something obviously as performers we’ve discussed with each other, and we’ve talked about making sure we’re in tune with each other. I love the scenes between my mom and Asta. Both scenes are really special to me. They feel really real. Adoption is huge adoption between cultures. I would love for there to be more communication with Jay and her mom. It would be really curious to see what it would look like to have Jay and her mom get to interact with Asta’s whole family because Asta’s family is huge. It would be really interesting dynamic to see me and my family interacting with this new family.”

Is there anything that can be teased for the upcoming episodes?

“Emotional turmoil.”

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