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 merely did it feature a household of black colored 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. Having a 3rd period confirmed, we talked to Nafessa about as an ally to your LGBTQ community and just why playing Thunder is her “dream” part.
Congratulations on Ebony Lightning being renewed for the 3rd season! It should feel well to understand it’s getting this type of response that is great. Yeah, it is a classic blessing to learn that that which we attempted to do is exactly what we’re really doing. I believe as a musician, once you released work you wish to be sure it’s effective, also it’s relatable, and I also feel just like we now have those aspects aided by the show.
Playing the initial black colored lesbian superhero on television is a massive deal. How come you believe it’s so essential that individuals reach see on their own represented in main-stream news? Well, i do believe representation is essential since when we view television or we go right to the cinema, we should see figures whom appear to be us and whom we’re in a position to relate solely to. I believe that’s 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 screen, and not soleley black colored females but all ladies. My love interest from 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 real method we’ve normalised the concept. There isn’t a developing moment, it absolutely was exactly like, ‘Yeah, she’s a lesbian, and her family members supports her’. I usually wish families who’re sextpanther tuning in and viewing are motivated to aid kids the way parents that are anissa’s her.
Had been you nervous dealing with a task you knew will be this kind of huge minute? As a star, you constantly would you like to stretch your self, and accept different functions, and experience various things, thus I think I ended up being more excited than anything. There is some pressure dealing with the role generally speaking, realizing that you’re using on the part to be the initial, but I knew that which our manufacturers 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 could be the first step toward the partnership. It takes a lot of pressure off when you’re authentically telling that truth.
It is also essential for girls and men to see strong feminine figures on their displays… positively.
For most of us, being truly a superhero had been the ultimate fantasy task if they had been young. So how exactly does it feel getting to put that costume on and live away that fantasy on display? We tell people on a regular basis, whether you’re an star or otherwise not, there’s this dream of planning to turn into a superhero, as well as for actors just about everyone has that on our list to test down. It’s such a lovely and experience that is overwhelming. I recall crying the time that is first place my suit on, simply comprehending that I happened to be going to be that representation that we’d never ever seen or had before. I felt really grateful to be chosen, and it was literally a dream come true so it was an honour.
Just just What gets the reaction been like from fans? Oh man, it is been fantastic, particularly through the LGBTQ community, there’s a support that is overwhelming I’ve been getting. I happened to be at a meeting plus one young girl in tears and she said, ‘Thank you’, because after seeing Thunder she felt normal, and prior to seeing the show she didn’t feel normal being a lesbian– she wasn’t even black, so this transcends race – she was about 16, she came up to me. In my opinion, that has been probably the most response that is rewarding I received.
It should be incredible to know you’re having such a direct impact on watchers. Yeah, and I also gotta say, I knew us being the first black superhero TV show would be dynamic, and you give over to the character and do everything to make it a great show, but you can never assume what the response is going to be, or plan or predict it, it’s just one of those things where you’ve gotta wait until the audience see the show before I took on the job. Nonetheless it’s had this type of response that is great and now we wouldn’t have period three minus the fans tuning in.
Perhaps you have had any negative feedback for the show including LGBTQ characters? Yeah, but i need to state about 95percent of this feedback is actually good and uplifting. There’s been about 5% damaging, but we ignore them. I’ve had some individuals say, ‘Why must you get this character a lesbian? ’ But we’re really simply having to pay homage to whom the smoothness was at the comic publications. It’s not like we just woke up and stated, ‘Ooh, let’s make her a lesbian’. But we don’t pay those responses much head, because at the conclusion of your day they nevertheless view the show.
Exactly just What message can you hope viewers just take far from Black Lightning as well as your character? I usually want individuals to just take the idea away to be just who you may be, become motivated become authentically who you are, and also to walk boldly. We come across that with Anissa, she’s unapologetically who she actually is, and I also hope that whenever individuals watch the show they’re motivated by that.
You can watch Black Lightning on Netflix in the united kingdom.