You’ll probably know Jaylen Barron best for playing Dominique in Shameless and Zoe in Free Rein. As much as we love these characters, we wanted to get to know the lady behind them. Hailing from California and having always wanted to be an actress, Jaylen landed her first role in 2012.
Now, she’s playing the lead role in Netflix’s Free Rein and it’s been an exciting few years for her. But, it wasn’t always easy for Jaylen. She tells us how she didn’t realise how tough the industry would be and how not getting callbacks really took a toll on her confidence. For her though, when she sees her fans’ reactions and the impact a character can have on people, it’s all worth it and it pushes her to keep going.
We got the chance to catch up with Jaylen and found out more about about her journey, how she got into acting and her best self-care tips for a healthy mind when she needs to unwind.
“Practicing self-care has made me not be so hard on myself so I can go even harder for the week ahead and go in at my full potential. I’m relaxed, rested and therefore more confident in myself. You can be the best version of yourself if you take time for you.” – Jaylen Barron
Taylor Magazine: Tell us a bit about you and how you got into acting.
Jaylen Barron: I always knew that I wanted to act, ever since I was a young girl. When I was 13, my mum did some research. Then, I got some headshots done and the photographer liked the pictures so he sent them over to some agents. Next thing I knew, I was meeting with some and I was lucky enough to sign with the one I liked!
Taylor Magazine: A lot of people talk about the struggle of getting into acting – thinking back to the start of your journey, what difficulties did you face?
Jaylen Barron: I didn’t realise how tough the industry is. To maintain it is a struggle and it can take a toll on your confidence. Even though it may not have anything to do with you, if you don’t get a callback it can really hurt. You have to know that it’s just that type of industry before going into it.
Taylor Magazine: Definitely! On the other side of that, what’s the most rewarding thing about being an actress?
Jaylen Barron: Seeing the finished product and the reaction from the fans – I love it! I love seeing how people can be inspired by the characters I’ve played and how these characters have had an impact on people.
Taylor Magazine: You’re currently playing the lead role on Free Rein. How has that experience been for you, and what’s your favourite thing about being on the show?
Jaylen Barron: It’s been incredible. Long hours and dedication, but it’s all worth it for this beautiful finished product that thousands of people are able to see. I love the fact that the characters are like any other person in real life – time goes on, you change and you adapt. I love that you evolve as an individual in real life and the characters are exactly the same. The character could start off with one type of personality at the beginning of the season and then towards the end, they bloom into this beautiful flower.
“You evolve as an individual, and characters are exactly the same. The character could start off with one type of personality at the beginning of the season and then towards the end, they bloom into this beautiful flower.” – Jaylen Barron
Taylor Magazine: Do you take something from every character you play and when you pick a project or role, what’s really important to you?
Jaylen Barron: I definitely learn from each job, whether that’s certain tips and tricks that other actors have taught me or learning from each character I play. I try and learn from the process as a whole. I think one of the main things I’ve learnt is not to lose who you are and not to lose what keeps you sane – that would be the most important thing. What’s really important for me with each role is how the character is portrayed, and what their personality is like. If they’re a really far-fetched character, I love to play it. Also, a really inspiring project is appealing to me – the message and the culture behind the project make me excited to be involved.
Taylor Magazine: How did you find new-found fame? Was it quite challenging?
Jaylen Barron: Honestly, I don’t think I’m famous. People have seen me, and maybe I’m a little known but I definitely don’t think I’m famous! It just comes with the job and you have to embrace it. Famous is like, Morgan Freeman! I’m a little fish in this giant ocean.
Taylor Magazine: Tell us something that no one knows about you – something unique about you?
Jaylen Barron: I studied Psychology in college and I’m really interested in the human brain. I love true crime and learning about different people and how they behave. That’s probably something people don’t expect from me. The only kind of TV I watch are documentaries, and it’s always about serial killers or mental disorders.
“Free Rein is focused on the equestrian industry and there isn’t a lot of Black, Hispanic or Asian representation when it comes to equestrian based roles. So when I see a woman of colour riding a horse, it opens up a whole new door. It will make girls think ‘I can do that too!’ I’m glad that a whole bunch of girls can see what I do, and feel represented as a whole.” – Jaylen Barron
Taylor Magazine: What TV shows or movies have you watched recently?
Jaylen Barron: I watched Always Be My Maybe recently, which was so cute! I’m really not a big rom-com fan, but I absolutely loved it. The show I’m currently watching on Netflix is Inside The Mind of a Serial Killer – it’s really interesting.
Taylor Magazine: Who inspires you?
Jaylen Barron: Halle Berry! She is my complete idol – she’s beautiful, talented and looks really fun to work with so I’d love to work with her. My parents have inspired me so much too. My mum and dad helped me make the decisions I’ve made so far too.
Taylor Magazine: We’re really big on self-care and taking time for yourself. What do you do to relax and wind-down?
Jaylen Barron: I always dedicate one day a week to self-care, it’s so important to me. I also work out every day, which I definitely think is a part of self-care. Every Sunday, I do a hair mask, a facial, go out or make dinner and write in my journal. I write down 10 things I’m grateful for each week, which keeps good vibes and positive energy going. You can only work hard at your greatest potential when you’re fully rested, so I really think everyone should practice self-care at least once a week.
Taylor Magazine: How do you think it’s changed your energy by making self-care a big part of your routine?
Jaylen Barron: It’s made me not be so hard on myself, which means I can go even harder for the week ahead and go in at my full potential. I’m relaxed, rested and therefore more confident in myself. You can be the best version of yourself if you take time for you.