Annagjid “Kee” Taylor
Whenever TV that is critically-acclaimed Ebony Lightning debuted at the start of 2018, it made headlines for many and varied reasons. Not just achieved it feature a family group of black superheroes, but it addittionally introduced us to TV’s first ever black superhero that is lesbian Anissa Pierce aka Thunder.
About landing the historic role – one which has provided an unapologetic-yet-normalised view of life and love as a gay woman in a way that’s rarely seen in mainstream media“ I remember crying the first time I put my suit on, just knowing that I was about to be that representation that we’d never seen or had before, ” actress Nafessa Williams tells us. By having a season that is third, we talked to Nafessa about being an ally to your LGBTQ community and exactly why playing Thunder is her “dream” role.
Congratulations on Black Lightning being renewed for a 3rd period! It should feel well to understand it’s getting this kind of response that is great. Yeah, it is truly a blessing to learn that everything we attempted to do is exactly what we’re really doing. I believe being a musician, once you released work you wish to make certain like we have those aspects with the show that it’s effective, and it’s relatable, and I feel.
Playing 1st black colored lesbian superhero on television is really a massive deal. How come it is thought by you’s so essential that individuals get to see themselves represented in main-stream news? Well, i do believe representation is essential since when we view television or we go directly to the cinema, you want to see characters who seem like us and whom we’re in a position to relate solely to. That’s are thought by me why we’ve prevailed, specially with this specific character in specific. Prior to this, black colored teenage females haven’t seen on their own as lesbians on display, and not only black colored females but all ladies. My love interest in the show Grace Choi, there’s a complete group of fans like her who’ve never seen themselves celebrated and glorified in a loving way as a lesbian, so it’s something great for the culture, it’s something great for our generation for her, and there are people who look. It is breathtaking to see, plus it’s additionally gorgeous the method we’ve normalised the concept. There was clearlyn’t a developing moment, it absolutely was exactly like, ‘Yeah, she’s a lesbian, and her family supports her’. I usually wish families that are tuning in and viewing are prompted to guide kids just how parents that are anissa’s her.
Were you nervous dealing with a task which you knew would be this type of moment that is huge? Being a star, you constantly wish to extend your self, and undertake different functions, and experience various things, therefore I think we ended up being more excited than anything. There was clearly some pressure dealing with the role generally speaking, understanding that you’re taking from the part to be the initial, but we knew that which our producers and our article writers would perform some figures justice, and for me personally playing a lesbian opposite a female isn’t any different than playing opposite a person – we just be sure that love may be the foundation of the connection. Whenever you’re authentically telling that truth, it can take lots of pressure off.
It is also essential for girls and guys to see strong feminine figures on their screens… positively. We’ve three really leads that are strong plus it’s not only us, all of the ladies who enter into the show have become strong and powerful, they’re really educated, they understand precisely what they want, and they’re really fearless. As a female so when an musician, you need to accept roles which highlight the potency of females, and our show does a job that is great that. We’re really blessed, we actually are.
For many people, being a superhero ended up being the dream that is ultimate if they had been young. How exactly does it feel getting to put in that costume and live away that fantasy on display? We tell individuals on a regular basis, us have that on our list to check off whether you’re an actor or not, there’s this fantasy of wanting to become a superhero, and for actors most of. It’s such a lovely and overwhelming experience. From the crying the very first time We place my suit on, just realizing that I happened to be going to be that representation that we’d never ever seen or had before. Therefore it ended up being an honour, we felt actually grateful to be opted for, and it also ended up being literally a fantasy be realized.
Just What gets the reaction been like from fans? Oh man, it is been excellent, specially through the LGBTQ community, there’s a support that is overwhelming I’ve been getting.
It should be incredible to know you’re having such an effect on audiences. Yeah, and I also gotta state, before we took face to face, we knew us being the initial black colored superhero tv program will be powerful, and also you give up to the smoothness and do every thing to really make it an excellent show, you could never ever assume just what the reaction will likely be, or plan or anticipate it, it’s just one of those activities in which you’ve gotta hold back until the viewers begin to see the show. However it’s had this kind of response that is great so we wouldn’t have period three without having the fans tuning in.
Maybe you have had any feedback that is negative the show including LGBTQ figures? Yeah, but i need to say about 95percent regarding the feedback was actually good and uplifting. There’s been about 5% damaging, but we ignore them. I’ve had some social individuals say, ‘Why must you get this character a lesbian? ’ But we’re really homage that is just paying whom the smoothness was at the comic publications. It is not like we simply woke up and stated, ‘Ooh, let’s make her a lesbian’. But we don’t spend those responses much brain, because at the conclusion of the day they nevertheless view the show.
Just just What message can you hope viewers simply take away from Black Lightning as well as your character? I usually want individuals to just just just take the idea away become just who you’re, to be motivated become authentically who you really are, also to walk boldly. We come across that with Anissa, she’s unapologetically who she actually is, and I also wish that after individuals view the show they’re influenced by that.
You can view Black Lightning on Netflix in the UK.