On Friday, Jan. 13, Netflix will unveil A Series of Unfortunate Events, its fresh adaption of the beloved children’s novels by Lemony Snicket (aka Daniel Handler). Neil Patrick Harris leads as Count Olaf, the malevolent distant relevant of Baudelaire orphans Violet, Klaus, and Sunny. When the children’s parents die in a mysterious fire, they’re placed in Olaf’s ill-omened custody, and he attempts to swindle them out of their inheritance through a number of abhorrent ruses. Malina Weissman stars as Violet and though she's had some notable roles before (like as young Supergirl on the CW series) Louis Hynes, who plays Klaus in A Series of Unfortunate Events, is essentially a newcomer, which only makes his performance more impressive.
Hynes previously nabbed a brief turn in docudrama Barbarians Rising, but A Series of Unfortunate Events marks his first big on-screen credit. Hynes tells Bustle he was a bit apprehensive about the part at first, but warmed up after he spent some time on set. “I was nervous. This is the first kind of big thing I’ve done,” he says. “It’s a very new world, all of this, so it was nerve-racking to begin with, but I think I got used to it eventually.”
Still, landing a buzzy Netflix original isn’t bad for a kid just starting out in the industry, and he got to work alongside a number of A-list names. In addition to Harris, Joan Cusack, Catherine O’Hara, and Alfre Woodard are among the stars that pop up throughout the show.
That could be intimidating for a Hollywood newcomer, but Hynes says he learned a lot — especially from Harris. “I learned so much from him. He’s such an incredible actor and [there was] so much diversity within what he did in the series,” he explains. “There’s so much depth to what he’s doing.”
That kinship, however, may not come across on-screen. Count Olaf is a portrayed as a vile, villainous menace, and the series hinges upon him terrorizing the Baudelaires as they hop from house to house of disastrous guardians. “It was quite surreal, because the people that are being really scary towards us are all really nice people in real life,” he says. “To suddenly [see] them be nasty is always a bit of a shock to the system.”
For his own character, Hynes wanted to stay true to what Daniel Handler dreamt up under his pseudonym Lemony Snicket back in 1999, when he published the first Unfortunate installment. In the novels, Klaus is described as a voracious reader. In fact, he becomes so engrossed in books that he can often quote them verbatim. “I really wanted to make Klaus very similar to the book, because his whole character revolves around books and his love of them," he says. "I think it would be a shame to lose that throughout the series."
You can see Hynes faithfully bring Klaus to life when A Series of Unfortunate Events premieres on Netflix on Friday, Jan. 13.