Symonne Harrison Dishes On Crown Lake, Her Music, And What's Next For This Social Media Star - Exclusive Interview

Brat TV's "Crown Lake" is a mystery drama taking place at an elite boarding school. Although the first two seasons of the hit teen show were set in the '90s, Season 3 is changing things up. The new episodes bring the school into the present day with a whole new cast of characters at Crown Lake Boarding School. Those new characters are played by some of TikTok's favorite creators. Ellie Zeiler has joined the cast as Ari, and Symonne Harrison is starring as Molly.

At only 15, Harrison has 3 million TikTok followers, over a million Instagram followers and YouTube subscribers. She's also acted in other shows like "The Affair" and "Hot Mess," and recently forayed into the music industry with the release of her first single performed along with her boyfriend and "Crown Lake" costar, Nick Bencivengo.

During an exclusive interview with Nicki Swift, Harrison gave behind-the-scenes details from "Crown Lake" and discussed why she related so much to her character. She also talked about her songwriting process and what she envisions for her future outside of internet fame.

Why Symonne felt 'almost identical' to her character

So what made you want to be a part of "Crown Lake?"

I wanted to be a part of Crown Lake because I've always seen it, and it's been one of my favorite Brat [TV] shows. And I just love the mysterious vibe because I always love those kinds of TV shows. I always get so invested. So when they asked me to be on the show, I was so excited, and I just couldn't wait to build my character.

Yeah. What have been some of your favorite mystery shows before this one?

I really liked "Clickbait" on Netflix. It's kind of like a murder mystery, which is kind of similar to "Crown Lake" in a way. So I would say that was my most recent favorite murder mystery show.

And then how did being on "Crown Lake" compare to some of the other acting you've done in the past?

"Crown Lake" was a lot different, because we filmed it for two weeks straight. A lot of things like kind of film out of order with random days here and there. But, when you're with new people for two weeks straight, you really build a family. And just everyone's in the same industry as me, so it really helped just getting to know each other and relating and all that kind of stuff. So I would say it was just like building a family while being somebody else at the same time. So I just think it's the coolest experience ever.

Yeah. And did you feel like you had any similarities with your character, Molly?

Yes, for sure. Because I feel like our personality is identical almost. She's very witty; she doesn't take no for an answer, which I'm a Gemini. And she's very curious, and she always wants to find out the answer like when she sees something, she's like, "Okay, well, how did that happen?" And I'm always trying to figure things out, and I always just have a random line that people laugh at every few sentences, so I feel that's definitely Molly. She just says what's on her mind, and people find it really funny.

And then, do you feel like there were any big differences between you and your character?

I wouldn't say it's a huge difference because I really embraced Molly for two weeks straight, but I would just say the biggest difference is that I never had a dorm or anything like that, so I never lived with another roommate. So I would say that was kind of cool being in school and because I haven't been in school since fourth grade, because that's when I started homeschooling. So it's kind of cool just to go back to a classroom and be in a normal class and have my dorm room and all that kind of stuff. So I would just say if there's going to be one difference, that would be the biggest one.

The most challenging parts of acting in Crown Lake

Yeah. Did it feel almost like a school experience because [the cast] are all similar ages and stuff?

Yes, for sure. And the storyline is so amazing. I can't wait till the end of the season, so I can just talk about all the behind the scenes. But when you start filming, you're really in that storyline. You know everything, and we did film it out of order, so it's also cool to see it all put together, and you're like, "Wow, this actually makes sense." Because some of the times, you don't even know where this clip is going to go, but to watch it all put together makes sense though.

Was there anything challenging? [As] you said, you were working for two weeks straight? Was that exhausting or anything like that?

Really long days. I think the earliest I got there was six in the morning, but I just loved it. It was also hard with my normal job, though. Me and my boyfriend [Nick Bencivengo] used to post five times a week on YouTube, which that was pretty difficult when we started filming the show. So we took a little break to just focus on the show because that was our main priority at the time. So we kind of had to stop what we normally do to film the show, but we were still doing it, but it was just a lot less of that. So I would say that was kind of challenging.

It was also challenging because we'd get the lines the night before or the morning of. Well, we had all the lines, but we didn't know what episodes they were filming that day or what scene. So we'd kind of get the whole script and the beat sheet the night before. So just learning the lines and kind of having to channel yourself in the different stages throughout the episode was kind of challenging. But by the third day, I got used to it, and everything else was smooth sailing.

How the actor got along with her cast mates

Did you feel like you were able to bond pretty quickly with the rest of the cast?

Yeah, I would definitely say I got to bond with everybody because the first couple of days, [there weren't] many people there. It was kind of just me filming a few things. And then, I would say about day three and four, everyone was there, and we're doing group scenes, and we actually ... Fun fact: we filmed the last episodes first. And we filmed the first episode on the last day of shooting. 

So it was kind of hard to channel at the very end of the season, pretending like we didn't know each other when we had been around each other for two weeks. And it wasn't hard, but it was just a little, I would say, awkward at first where I'm supposed to be so excited to see everybody at the end of the season. But it's my first day, and I never met these people until 10 seconds ago. So you had to channel like you knew these people forever for the show, but I would just say that was kind of challenging, but everything else was good.

How Symonne Harrison started her music career

And then, along with being in the show, you also released your first song?

Yes. So we released our first song in November of 2021. And it's called "With You." It was No. 8 or 10 trending on YouTube, which was really crazy. I never even expected that. And I just wanted to try something new every year, so we're actually going on tour this summer. So we're coming out with another song right before tour comes out, so that'll be super fun as well.

Oh, that's so cool. What was that process of writing the song like and recording it and everything?

So it's obviously something I've never done before, so super new, and it's always something I dreamed of. But I didn't actually know how it was going to go, because you always see the movies. But a lot of the time the things in the movies aren't real, you know?


We had the writing session at my house. My amazing music producer, Andrew Balogh, he came up with this beat, and we kind of told him the concept. So once we had the beat, we had a songwriter over. And we just wrote for hours and hours and hours and came up with the song all in one session, which is very difficult to do, but we did it. And we just started doing vocal training and started recording it a few weeks later. And then it took, I would say, three weeks for it to get mastered and all ready. And then we filmed our music video and then two weeks later everything was out. So I would say it was a pretty quick process, but I'm excited to do it all over again.

Yeah. And do you have plans for music in your future? Do you ever want to make an album, or what do you kind of see for that?

I feel like that would be super cool. I just have a different style, I guess when I listen to music than most people. I love rap music. I love like slow songs, but then I can pop to a super-fast song. I feel like I kind of know everything. So maybe, I don't even know when, but when I'm ready to come out with a bunch of songs, maybe I'll do an EP or an album or something, but that would be super cool to do in the future.

What Symonne pictures for her future

And do you feel like you have a style that you know you would want to do?

I mean, I like everything. I feel like as I get older, I'll probably want to do more ... I don't know how to explain it, but more mature songs, I guess. Because right now, I'm 15. I'm doing more pop, but I feel like as I get older, I can do more slower songs and that kind of stuff as also my voice develops a little bit more.

Yeah. Absolutely. And have you kind of sung in your free time before this? Or was it just all new?

Well, I always love having car sessions where I'll play an album, and I will listen to a song twice and know like every single word to it. And all my friends and family have the same music style as me. So I love just singing in the car or around the house. So I always loved it, but I never actually picked it up as a real passion until last year.

In the future, do you think you want to keep doing acting and also singing and everything else at the same time?

Yeah. So everything's kind of crazy. I'm doing a lot at once. But I probably won't be doing YouTube when I'm 30. I mean, who knows, I could always be doing it, but I've always wanted to be a real estate agent, which I just love talking to people, and I love the business side of things. So I feel like it's the perfect match because it's a mix of both because I get to talk to the customers and the people that keep our house. But I also get like the business side, like how much commission am I making? What could this house go for? And all this kind of stuff. So I feel like it's kind of the perfect job that has a mix of both of my passions.

Does she ever get overwhelmed by her social media following?

So obviously, you have a big following on YouTube and TikTok. Does it ever get overwhelming to you when you come out with these new things and there [are] a lot of eyes on it already?

I would just say I feel like the thing I was most nervous for was our song, just because it was our first time doing it. But a lot of people have opinions on influencers making songs and all that kind of stuff, so I didn't know what people were going to think. But everyone actually liked it, and our music video is trending and everything. So I think it went over well, and also we have tour coming up, so that's going to be so fun. And I can't wait for everyone to be there live, because I've never been on tour before. So I always wanted to do that, but I just feel like that was probably something I was most nervous for. But I feel like [with] everything, I'm super supported by my followers. There are always going to be outside opinions, but I would say everyone's pretty supportive.

Are you excited to perform music live for the on tour? Are you a little nervous or more excited?

I'm so excited because I don't really know what to expect yet. But I think I'm really excited now because I have no idea what our next song that's going to be put out before tour is going to sound like. So I think we're actually starting the process this weekend. So I'm so excited just to hear the new beats and be creative. I love like thinking of things and coming up with new ideas, so I love the songwriting process. I would say [that] is my favorite because I just get inspired, and I just have so many like things clicking in my head. And then it gets put together, and it makes a song which I find really cool.

Season 3 of Crown Lake is available to stream now on Brat TV. New episodes premiere every Tuesday.