‘The Equalizer’s Laya DeLeon Hayes Wants To ‘Find A Way’ To Get Leslie Jones On The Show

'The Equalizer's Laya DeLeon Hayes spoke EXCLUSIVELY with HL about Delilah and Robyn's relationship, super-fan Leslie Jones, and more.

Laya DeLeon Hayes
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Image Credit: CBS

The Equalizer is one of TV’s big hits of 2021. The CBS show, a reimagining of the classic series, has already been renewed for season 2. Queen Latifah stars as Robyn McCall, who uses her incredible skills to help those in need. Laya DeLeon Hayes stars as Robyn’s teenage daughter, Delilah, and HollywoodLife got EXCLUSIVE scoop from Laya about Robyn and Delilah’s complicated dynamic.

Laya DeLeon Hayes
Laya DeLeon Hayes stars as Delilah on ‘The Equalizer.’ (Photographer: Francis Hills)

“They definitely have a very interesting relationship in the beginning,” Laya told HollywoodLife. “A lot of it is because they haven’t spent a lot of time together. Throughout the series, they’re going to try and kind of find some sort of understanding of one another. I think Delilah just really wants to feel like a priority in her mom’s life, and she hasn’t felt that for a long time. She also wasn’t very used to having her mom around. But with each episode, you see a layer of their relationship peeled back, and they start to kind of form a mother-daughter trust that I think we’re going to explore even more in the coming season.”

The show returns with brand-new episodes starting March 28. Over the course of the first episodes, SNL alum Leslie Jones has gone viral for her live-tweeting of The Equalizer. Laya admitted that the cast sees her tweets about the show. “She’s hilarious. And the fact that she watches it, it’s like a dream for me. I’m pinching myself,” Laya said.

Now, it’s just about getting Leslie on the show. “Honestly, I would love that if she was to play Queen Latifah’s sister or friend or neighbor,” Laya continued. “I want to find a way to get her on the show, too. I wish I had control over that.”

Delilah has yet to find out what her mom is up to as the Equalizer. Laya revealed that she thinks Delilah “would probably be a bit more understanding of her mom’s situation. I would hope that she would. Again, that is something that people will definitely have to stay tuned for. I’m excited to explore that as well.”

Laya DeLeon Hayes
Laya DeLeon Hayes with Queen Latifah on ‘The Equalizer.’ (CBS)

So, could Delilah end up following in her mom’s footsteps one day? Laya doesn’t rule it out. “I can definitely see some foreshadowing of that in some of the episodes that we’ve already filmed,” Laya told HollywoodLife. “McCall has that type of charm and personality. She’s standing up for what she believes in, and you can see a lot of that in Delilah, even in episode 4 when she was tackling that pothole, and even how she reacts to some of her mom’s situation with her charity work as she thinks it is. She’s very passionate. I feel like moving forward in the episodes, she could definitely find a way to stand up for herself even more or want to kind of go in the McCall footsteps as well.”

Laya gets to work side-by-side with Queen Latifah, and the experience has been a dream so far for the young actress. “She knows how to bring that intensity to her performance as Robyn McCall and also her light and her presence every single day on set,” Laya said about Queen Latifah. “Even from the beginning, when we were even starting the pilot, she was so collaborative and wanted to know me and my mom’s experiences. Me and my dad have a handshake, and she saw the handshake. She was like, hey, let’s try and figure that out into the script as well. I’ve been very fortunate to be able to work with her, but also be able to work with someone who’s so talented and so open to certain ideas that we both have for the character. It’s also helped Robyn McCall and Delilah on screen.” The Equalizer airs Sundays at 8 p.m. ET on CBS.

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