This is a huge year for African Americans in TV and film. What are your thoughts on this barrier being broken down?
“I think it’s fantastic. I feel lucky to be around this time where people are opening up to having more diversity in their homes and being interested in these stories. The one thing I really love about our show is that it’s one of the most diverse shows in television, not even just ethnically but gender-wise. We don’t even really talk about it or make it an issue; there are little things here and there, like in the pilot they brought up slavery, but it doesn’t become an issue and we just hope that the audience gets to see, instead of colors, the history and people and their experiences. That’s all I’ve ever wanted to do as an artist and an actor and to be able to have that is the most humbling and fulfilling gift, to truly not be seen as a color and a demographic.”
If you can bring three items to the apocalypse, if it happened, what would you bring?
“I don’t know! Three items? My goodness. A coconut? They have electrolytes and stuff and are really healthy. You could put it in your hair and make oil, haha. Anyway, coconuts. A supernatural kit like salt and holy water and all that good stuff. Instead of having a cop belt, I’d have a supernatural kit. And I imagine that the monsters showing up are going to be pretty kick-ass, and I’m a tiny girl, so I think a weapon isn’t necessary. It’s just going to be wit, and a prayer, I guess. I need electrolytes and wits!
“That’s what I love about the characters. They have to be resourceful and think of things in the moment. They always bring guns and they don’t do anything on this show! I’m always like, ‘What are we doing with these guns, the guns don’t do anything.’ It’s all about being really open and curious and looking at the history but also taking that history and moving forward. I think that’s the conquering the apocalypse key, but I might be wrong, and if I’m wrong, I’ll just burn up and die.”
Is there anything on the show that creeps you out a bit?
You know, the last episode with the possession, like having something take over your person kinda freaks me out. You can go on YouTube and see videos of some small Argentinean town, I don’t know if they’re real or fake, but you can go there and see videos of possession and it freaks me out. I don’t know if it’s mental illness or, you know, whatever it could be. I don’t want to be around it in real life.
My family is West Indian on my mother’s side, and they have a lot of stories about that kind of thing and over Christmas we’d tell ghost stories about indigenous ghosts that have been in the family for years and years and possession would always scare me when it came up.”