Thank goodness Roku saved The Spiderwick Chronicles — because this is a show you don’t want to miss. The new series based on the books by Holly Black and Tony DiTerlizzi, tells the story of the Grace family — twin brothers Jared (Lyon Daniel) and Simon (Noah Cottrell), sister Mallory (Mychala Faith Lee) and their mother Helen — as they move into their great-great uncle’s home and discover a world of fairies that exists parallel to their own.

Originally going to be a series by Disney+, the streaming platform canceled the show in August 2023, and Roku bought the rights to it months later. Finally, it’s here, as The Spiderwick Chronicles premiered on April 19, 2024. J-14 sat down with Spiderwick stars Lyon, Noah and Mychala, where they spoke about mental health, what makes this show different than past renditions and still believing in fairies! Keep reading for J-14‘s exclusive interview.

One thing Lyon, Mychala and Noah can all agree on — they’re all huge fans of the fantasy genre.

“I grew up on the books and the movie,” Lyon said of the The Spiderwick Chronicles. “I mean, I’m a big fantasy geek — Lord of The Rings, Harry Potter, Dungeons and Dragons, you name it. So it was a dream come true.”

“These books and the fantasy genre as a whole, I’ve always loved, always had a vivid imagination when it comes to those things,” Mychala said, adding: “And I still believe fairies are real.”

Lyon revealed it was also a very “weird, full circle moment” to star in the franchise, as he also read the books when he was younger.

The Roku Channel

“It’s really fun to have read the books and watched the movie when I was younger and then now be here today,” he told J-14. “And then of course, after being casted as Simon going back and reading the books, watching the movie, taking bits and pieces of the characters and really diving deep into the whole world of Spiderwick.”

The first live adaption of The Spiderwick Chronicles came in 2008, and starred Freddie Highmore, Sarah Bolger and Seth Rogen. One thing that’s different about Roku’s rendition of the series, Lyon says, is the aspect of Jared’s mental health.

“I’m so excited for people to see the mental health journey that my character Jared goes through,” he began, “and just exploring that because it’s such a prevalent topic in today’s generation with people my age. I wanted to respect that and I’m so happy and so lucky and so grateful to be a beacon for that.

Lyon also said he’s especially excited for Spiderwick fans to see Christian Slater’s rendition of the villain, Mulgarath.

“He’s more cunning and conniving,” he said of the ogre. “I mean, Christian does an impeccable, impeccable job, so I’m excited for people to see all that stuff.”

With such a magical and hauntingly dark universe such as Spiderwick, the cast admitted that some moments on set got a little too scary.

“There were definitely scary moments. I think the first time that I ever saw the Mulgarath costume,” Mychala revealed. “This man, his name is Keith, and he’s in stilts and he’s 10 feet tall and very, very scary makeup. So when you first see that it, it’s daunting for sure.”

Lyon even recalled the first time Joy Bryant, who plays their mom Helen Grace, saw Mulgarath she had a physical reaction!

“When Joy first saw Mulgarath, she was in the forest under the bridge, the troll bridge, and she wasn’t turned around and it was like a jump scare. It was like she screamed so loud,” Lyon laughed.

And how on earth did Noah and Lyon learn all their characters’ secret twin language?

“We had a linguistics coach who actually helped us with the language,” Noah explained. “She helped us with pronouncing it and how to say it correctly and stuff. But I know [Lyon] and I, the very first scene we ever did filming, we were there for two or three hours just going back and forth, just trying to get it down because it has to sound not rehearsed and fluent.”

He added, “They’ve been speaking it for their entire lives and I think we did a pretty good job at it. And it’s going to look great on screen.”

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