Olli Haaskivi, a New York City-based actor, has starred on many television shows like “The Duece” on HBO, “The Sinner”, “Manifest”, “Social Distance”, as well as several off-Broadway shows such as “Bella: An America Tall Tale”, “Who’s Your Baghdaddy?
The second half of Tyler Perry’s ‘Ruthless’ returned not too long ago as it is coming off with a strong first season overall. There has been a number of twists and turns that kept the viewers engaged to see more of ‘Ruthless’ every week. Being that it is a direct spinoff of ‘The Oval’, ‘Ruthless’ has made an idenity of itself to differentiate from the main series. Yvonne Senat Jones starred in ‘The Oval’ as Tally and has also been featured on ‘Ruthless’ since the show began airing earlier this year.
Yvonne Senat Jones is also going to co-star on the upcoming Disney+ original film ‘Sneakeralla’ as Denise King. ‘Sneakeralla will premiere in 2021, but Yvonne Senat Jones is here to give a quick preview of the film and to talk about some of the back half of ‘Ruthless’ in this exclusive interview!
The Knockturnal: You will be featured on the upcoming Disney+ film Sneakerella which will be set in NYC. I would like to know more about the project.
YSJ: “Sneakerella” is a modern-day, sneaker culture take on the classic fairytale Cinderella. It’s a pop/hip hop musical with incredible singing and dancing. And I can tell you, from what I saw on the screens backstage, it’s going to be magical!
The Knockturnal: Since Sneakerella’s story is about the sneaker culture, do you have any favorite pair of sneakers that you previously owned, or would like to own?
YSJ: Man, my favorite pair of sneakers I own are a mint green pair of Chuck Taylor’s. They’ve definitely seen better days but I just can’t let them go! But let me tell you, after seeing some of the shoes they had on set, I definitely want to up my sneaker game.
The Knockturnal: Production of Sneakerella began back in October. What were some challenges that you and the cast had to endure while you were all filming during this ongoing pandemic?
YSJ: We had to quarantine for 2 weeks and that means not even leaving your front door to take out the trash. The apartment complex we stayed in would collect the trash and also bring up any deliveries we ordered. Thankfully, my husband was able to come with me so we caught up on all of our series we’d been trying to finish. I finally know the ending of “Lost”.
The Knockturnal: You were recently on Tyler Perry’s Ruthless and the back half of the first season is currently airing. Without giving too much away, what can the viewers expect from the season finale when it airs in January?
YSJ: Viewers can expect the same feeling they had after the first midseason finale: “What just happened?” and “When is Ruthless coming back?” Honestly, [show creator] Tyler [Perry] has such a gift for suspense and creating these cliff hangers that leave everyone guessing. What I can say is this season finale cliffhanger is going to be shocking.
The Knockturnal: Which of the cast of Ruthless have you bonded with the most?
YSJ: Honestly, the entire cast bonded immediately. We have group chats where we celebrate each other’s accomplishments and talk about the most recent episodes. Everyone is very supportive and encouraging. It’s really a gift when you can say that about a cast. I’m also close with Melissa [Williams] which was a friendship we developed since working on “The Oval” together. She’s a wonderful, highly talented woman who is doing an incredible job!
The Knockturnal: Being that this show’s central plot is around a cult, have you done research about real cults to prepare you for your character Tally before you were part of the filming of the episodes?
YSJ: Yes, since the Rakadushis were first introduced in “The Oval”, Melissa [Williams] and I watched documentaries and interviews about people who had been in cults. The most surprising revelation I had was that cult members came from every kind of background. There were high-paid engineers, CEOs, college students, and runaways. The commonality is they all felt like they were finally a part of something bigger than themselves. Unfortunately, the cult leader abused their power and it often ended in tragedy.
The Knockturnal: What are some things that you are looking forward to for the year of 2021?
YSJ: My husband and I are really excited for 2021. We’re moving into a house from an apartment and we’re finally getting a dog! I’m also looking forward to the release of “Ruthless” Season 2 as well as “Sneakerella” because I’m excited for people to see it.
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