A young lady walks into the room as I stand up to greet her, very politely she says; “Hello, I’m Hayley Castillo, it’s nice to meet you.”
We sit down across the table from one another and I jokingly say to her that I was expecting to meet one of the “Little Legends” from the film.
Hayley chuckles as she replies; “That was a long time ago, I’m not so little anymore!”
It’s odd that I had pictured her the way she was in the film, not as who she is today. A beautiful young lady with long brown hair and brown eyes.
The sequence of films from CVI Productions was a little backwards in it’s distribution schedule.
We’ll get into that a little later…
Having just seen a private screening of the film, The Legend Of Kate Kensington, two days earlier, I was armed with some questions and needed some clarification.
Hayley’s father, Brad Castillo, wrote and directed both films from CVI Productions. The first being, Kate Kensington, as he cast his then, nine-year- old daughter, Hayley, to play the lead role in the film.
Hayley follows along with a nod as I ask her if that was overwhelming for her at the time to tackle such a large role.
Hayley goes on to say, “At first, yes, it was a little overwhelming. I kept going over the script to memorize my lines. Everything was a little robotic at first.”
learning to transform
Developing The Character
Hayley Castillo (Hayley Jennings) along with co-stars, Ashley Sperrazza (Ashley Parsik) and Jackson Tessmer (Carl Parsik)
Inner circle advantages along the way
Hayley’s father, Brad Castillo, would sit with her and explain to her, that for her to fully understand her character in the film, you have to understand her emotional pain.
Hayley says; “My father would sit with me and go over various sections of the script and explain this little girl’s pain and frustration with her mother not wanting to acknowledge and recognize her abilities.”
Hayley explains that she began to fully understand her character after her father began breaking it all down for her.
Hayley says; “It all started coming together and started to make sense. Hayley Jennings was lost and needed guidance that she couldn’t find at home.”
This would eventually lead the character in the film, Hayley Jennings, to embark on her journey of truly understanding her abilities with the guidance of the Holy Spirit.
Once Hayley understood her character, she studied the other characters in the script to learn how they interacted with each other.
Which included, Kate Kensington, played by Hayley’s real life mother, Melony Daemer.
Hayley explains; “Kate Kensington was struggling on a whole different level than Hayley Jennings. Her soul was lost due to the emotional pain of her loss.”
Hayley goes on to say that she really enjoyed working with her mother and watching her shoot her scenes for the film.
An Inseparable force
Hayley recalls her first few days on set; “It was so exciting and new. It was fun meeting the other cast members.”
The temperature on set would eventually change when the camera began to roll. Hayley says; “It was all serious then. We needed to hit our marks and lines.”
Hayley goes on to say that things on set changed drastically when she finally had the opportunity to work with her movie mom Lisa Arcaro. (Mrs. Diane Jennings)
Hayley recalls; “The moment Lisa walked on set at the Jennings home. I walked up to her and asked if she would like to go rehearse our lines together.” Hayley laughs; “I was so serious at first. I think she was taken back, not expecting that.”
Hayley goes on to say that she spent the most time with Lisa during the entire production of Kate Kensington.
They would go over their lines every morning while eating breakfast, making sure everything was on point before being called on set.
Hayley says; “Working with Lisa was a great learning experience for me.”
Lisa was the perfect mentor for Hayley having over twenty years of experience in the industry with feature films, commercials and even as a casting director for various projects.
The two of them became an inseparable force on set, which shows in the amazing chemistry they have together on screen.
One of the highlights for Hayley during the shooting process of the film was shooting her scenes at Lisa’s family’s vacation home in, Sautee Nacoochee, Georgia. Where Hayley was able to meet Lisa’s mother, father and nephew, Zach.
Hayley even had the opportunity to work with Lisa’s father, Philip Ayers, who actually appears in the film as, Henry Moreland, Hayley’s concerned grandfather.
Hayley goes on to say that it was very beautiful there.
Hayley recalls; “There was a mountain right in front of the house. It was awesome to look at in the morning as the fog rolled down the street. We all had such a great time there.”
Unexpected Difficulties on set
The Herlong Mansion located in Micanopy, Florida was used as the backdrop for all the 1940’s set scenes as, The Kensington Estate.
When talking about the difficulties on set, Hayley reflects on the weather changes, the unbearable heat and the insects.
Hayley says; “Everything that had to do with outside set locations was extremely challenging.”
Hayley goes on to reflect on her experience on set at the Herlong Mansion (Kensington Estate) in Micanopy, Florida. It was the dead of summer in the sweltering heat, the sky pitch black and the mosquitoes that laughed at our repellent protection.
Hayley reflects; “We were shooting the nightmare scenes and the mosquitoes were so bad that you could literally swipe your hand from one side to another and hit dozens of them at a time.”
The mosquitoes were so bad that they had to have a crew member dedicated to fogging the cast and crew between takes.
Hayley explains; “It was the only thing that would keep them somewhat away.”
Hayley goes on to say that, that it was the worst experience for her during the entire process of shooting the film.
Fun fact for you...
Just across the street from the Herlong Mansion, off to the right, sits a house that was used as the, “Grady Memorial Hospital” for the feature film, “Doc Hollywood”, starring, Michael J. Fox.
For three months in 1990, the small historic town of Micanopy, Florida, and it’s population of 600 residents played host to the cast and crew of the film.
A foundation for the future
Hayley was born on September 20, 2005 in Citrus County, Florida.
Hayley has appeared in several films such as, The Legend Of Kate Kensington, Demonia Undertaker and most recently, No Place In This World, where she plays a bullied teenager who struggles to adjust to a new home, new school and her dysfunctional mother’s new boyfriend.
Hayley as also appeared in the T.V. series, “Relation Shipwreck”, an infomercial for, Go Plate, and a Publix Supermarket employee training video.
Currently, Hayley has been focusing her attention on homeschooling and is preparing to graduate high school by the end of 2020.
Hayley goes on to say how much she enjoys the freedom of home education. “It allows me to get my work done at a much faster pace so I can do other things that I love to do.”
Which is, following her father’s footsteps in filmmaking.
Hayley has a passion to learn all aspects of filmmaking from a post production level, which includes, color correcting, lighting, visual effects and sound mastering.
Hayley’s face lights up as she continues to talk about how she has been taking several online courses in extending her education in this field.
Hayley says; “It’s something I really enjoy doing.”
When asked about her future in acting, Hayley glances up from her glass of water, looks at me with a big smile on her face and responds;
“I’m always ready to do something worth acting in. It just has to be something that I can be proud to be a part of.”
Hayley continues to say that she knows were she is at in the acting world and it’s not her desire to chase something that may never materialize into a full time job.
Hayley says; “I need something that I know that I can build, grow and develop into a career. That is my passion right now and that comes from the confidence you get when you are learning.”
Hayley points out one of the most valuable lessons she has learned from her father, and that is with everything in life, you have to build a strong foundation in order to succeed.
As I sit across from this young lady I am drawn in by her strength and determination. She understands where she is in life and she has a direction on where she is going.
As our time winds down I tell her that I am impressed by the strong woman she is becoming.
Hayley Castillo has come a long way since shooting the film, The Legend of Kate Kensington, as a nine year-old girl on the adventure of a lifetime.
“I need something that I know that I can build, grow and develop into a career. That is my passion right now and that comes from the confidence you get when you are learning.”
The Legend Faded Away
The Legend Of Kate Kensington is the first film from CVI Productions and began principal photography in 2014. According to the writer/director, Brad Castillo, there were some in house difficulties getting the film completed to his own personal satisfaction due to an enormous amount of special effects and creative differences with certain post production staff.
CVI Productions placed The Legend Of Kate Kensington on the shelf and decided to move forward with their second feature film, No Place In This World, which started principal photography in 2016. The film was released world-wide through Bridgestone Multimedia Group and is available through Amazon and other various media outlets.
In 2018, CVI Productions decided to pull The Legend Of Kate Kensington off the shelf and begin the lengthy post production phase from the ground up.
Brad Castillo says; “A fresh new approach was taken with successful results. I can finally let Kate Kensington go and begin to move forward with other exciting ideas.”
The goal from the very beginning of post production was to receive the Dove seal of approval as they did with, No Place In This World.”
Now in 2020, after receiving the Dove seal of approval, The Legend Of Kate Kensington is ready for it’s world-wide release.
Ensley lives in northern Florida with her fiancé, a large-sized dog, and an attack cat. Ensley enjoys writing and is currently writing her first novel –
a romantic mystery called,
“The Mysterious Guest On Berkshire Lane”.