Nikki Rodriguez admitted that portraying Jackie in My Life with the Walter Boys was "quite the challenge."
In the hit Netflix series, Jackie ends up in the Walter household after the death of her parents and her older sister. While staying with the Walters, she gets caught up in an intense love triangle between two brothers, Alex and Cole.
Nikki Rodriguez Opens Up About Playing Jackie
In an interview with Popternative, My Life with the Walter Boys star Nikki Rodriguez reflected on Jackie's journey in the Netflix series.
The actress first said that playing the character is "an actor's dream come true:"
"First of all, I feel like that’s an actor’s dream come true, right? To be able to work with such a character arc like that. It was definitely something I was aware of and something I really tried to make sure was truthful on-screen."
She then revealed that the hardest part of playing Jackie was during the beginning, noting the fact that Jackie is initially "uncomfortable in her environment:"
"It was quite the challenge, especially at the beginning, because she’s so uncomfortable in her environment, but I felt so comfortable immediately with everybody so that was probably [the] most difficult part but it was so fun and a challenge for sure. I hope it turned out well."
From the trauma of losing her family to adjusting to a completely new environment filled with masculinity, Jackie had a rough start in the series.
However, the same people that she was not comfortable with at first managed to help her overcome the challenges that she was facing.
Meanwhile, in a separate interview with Sony Pictures TV, Rodriguez shared her experience upon meeting My Life with the Walter Boys author Ali Novak on set, pointing out that she "definitely" saw 15-year-old Jackie in the writer:
Sony Pictures: "This whole thing started years ago when Ali Novak, the author, wrote this story. And I know that she visited the set. So, Nikki, were you able to spend time with her, and, when you did, could you see the 15-year-old Jackie in meetings with Ali?"
Rodriguez: "Yeah, definitely. She came to set one day with Noah [LaLonde] and Ashby [Gentry] and I and we got to have lunch with her and it was so cool. She’s so sweet. I could definitely see 15-year-old Jackie in her. She came a little bit later into filming. By then, I tried to trust what I was bringing to Jackie and she was very complimentary."
The Netflix star then shared that she asked Ali questions about her book while she was on set:
"We mainly had questions for her, like, how cool is it to write something and to see it come to life years later and she was super excited. I mean, how great is it to be able to ask her questions about the book. It was awesome."
What's Next for Nikki Rodriguez's Jackie?
My Life with the Walter Boys ended without a clear answer on who Jackie ends up with, leaving fans confused if it was Alex or Cole.
The finale unveiled the first kiss between Jackie and Cole even though the former is still dating Alex. The next day, though, Jackie left for New York after leaving a note for Alex that said, "I'm sorry."
While the show has yet to be renewed for a second season on Netflix, the cliffhanger ending clearly sets up more storytelling possibilities for the future, including finally answering who is the right man for Jackie.
Given that Jackie didn't tell anyone that she's leaving for New York, there's a strong chance that a good chunk of Season 2 will focus on Alex, Cole, and other members of the Walter family trying to find her in the Big Apple.
Using New York as a setting allows My Life with the Walter Boys to give more focus to Jackie, showcasing more of her journey such as going to Princeton and readjusting to a brand new life again.
All episodes of My Life with the Walter Boys are now streaming on Netflix.