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The Equalizer Star Laya DeLeon Hayes Discusses Delilah's Journey

Laya DeLeon Hayes (The Angry Black Girl and Her Monster) spoke with Bleeding Cool about her growth as Delilah on CBS's The Equalizer.

The Equalizer has a unique history as a franchise originally as a spy thriller series created by Michael Sloan and Richard Lindheim starring Edward Woodward as Robert McCall, a former covert operations officer of an unnamed US government intelligence organization referred to as "The Agency" or "The Company," chased by his dark past and trying to atone. It has since been adapted as a rebooted film franchise and trilogy starring Denzel Washington as McCall and directed by Antoine Fuqua. Things have circled back to television at the series' original network CBS with the 2021 reboot with Sloan and Lindheim back as executive producers with Queen Latifah, who also stars in the series as Robyn McCall, now a former CIA operative with a mysterious past and divorced single mother raising a teenager Delilah (Laya DeLeon Hayes). While promoting her latest horror film in RLJE Films' The Angry Black Girl and Her Monster, Hayes spoke with Bleeding Cool about Delilah's growth in the series' three seasons and what she hopes to see in the future.

The Angry Black Girl and Her Monster Director on Film Debut & Casting
Laya DeLeon Hayes in "The Angry Black Girl and Her Monster" (2023). Image courtesy of RLJE Films

The Equalizer Star Laya DeLeon Hayes on Delilah's Growth

"It's been quite a journey with both Vicaria [her character in 'The Angry Black Girl and Her Monster'] and Delilah. It's lovely to see two young, black, smart and caring, compassionate people," Hayes said. "You don't get to see characters like that often. With Delilah, we started off as an angsty teenager who had a lot of disdain toward her mother. She didn't understand what her mom did for a living and held that against her as was the case in her past, too."

The Equalizer Star Laya DeLeon Hayes Breaks Down Delilah's Journey
THE EQUALIZER – Pictured (L-R): Laya DeLeon Hayes as Delilah and Queen Latifah as Robyn McCall. Photo: Michael Greenberg/CBS ©2022 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

With season three wrapped in May, Hayes broke down how Delilah's emerged to becoming her own woman since the series began. "After the first season, you've gotten to see her grow into her own and come of age. She's much more mature now and more confident in who she is," she said. "We've even been able to see her train, which has been a lovely aspect that we got to build on in season three. She's going to college, coming into her own. In the first season, we saw this naïve, youthful, and irresponsible girl. Throughout time and building a relationship with her mom, we've gotten to see her grow up, and I can only hope in more seasons we're able to see her grow even more."

The Angry Black Girl and Her Monster, which also stars Denzel Whitaker, Chad L. Coleman, Reilly Brooke Stith, and Keith Holliday, is in theaters on June 9th, digital and on-demand on June 23rd.

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Tom ChangAbout Tom Chang

I'm a follower of pop culture from gaming, comics, sci-fi, fantasy, film, and TV for over 30 years. I grew up reading magazines like Starlog, Mad, and Fangoria. As a writer for over 10 years, Star Wars was the first sci-fi franchise I fell in love with. I'm a nerd-of-all-trades.
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