Chelsea ClarkeEngaged in gay vampire comedy EZRA His friendship with the series creator and star has progressed as well Luke chuckled. “I heard first EZRA When Luke and I became friends last summer. We knew each other through mutual relationships but weren’t really connected so when I randomly ran into him a few weeks ago we decided to go for drinks! It was there that he told me his plan EZRA And I knew that this was a project that I wanted to be a part of no matter the location,” says Chelsea. “At the time, I offered some consulting help with Gwen’s character because I felt it was really important to make sure the Filipina character was portrayed accurately, without any negative stereotypes. Little did I know that I would be given the opportunity to be the lead writer for Gwen’s character and the lead writer for the show as well! Then being able to try my hand at producing and directing was truly the most eye-opening experience for me. Thinking back on those margarita days, I really pinch myself that if I hadn’t bumped into Luke and realized we were destined to be friends (Taurus do), none of this would have happened.”
She was determined that her character Kilo’s Filipina heritage would shine proudly. “I remember when we were in the writer’s room we knew that for every character we wrote, it was important for us to create strong characters that people could not only relate to but respect. Kylo and Gwen are both Filipinas and it was really important that both be represented! So Daniela and I both dressed exclusively won, a Toronto-based Filipino woman-owned atelier. Each character exemplifies the Filipino diaspora alive and well through their behavior and actions.” And in general, who wouldn’t love playing a sexy immortal? “Kylo in particular was an amazing character to play. She’s funny, hot and confident and it was so much fun to play a character that’s just bad. It was completely different from anything I had ever worked on and it was even more special to know that I was part of the team that created this world.”
Kilo’s confidence doesn’t prevent her from toxic relationships. His bond with the bisexual vampire Anya is often disputed. “The key word I would use to describe Kylo and Anya’s relationship would be ‘manipulative.’ These women trust each other but they don’t either. But when you live hundreds of years, the pool of lifelong friendships gets smaller and smaller,” Chelsea muses. Kylo has difficulty maintaining a sense of autonomy in Anya’s shadow. “I think through the writing process, we tried to show a little bit of Kylo’s struggle to be strong and reconcile his own self with Anya’s position of being closer to her ‘true powers.’ Is his personality strong or is he constantly trying to separate himself from Anya, just trying to be his own hot vampiric?”
Chelsea couldn’t be more grateful for the role and how far her career has come. “Being able to create this world with Luke and the other creators was the most amazing experience. I remember having a limited list of role models growing up – Lea Solonga, Tia Carerre, my Mom (duh). But I think the hardest part was Not having a limited number of examples, but being a child actor and coming to the realization that a lot of people weren’t willing to hire me because of my looks. Seeing show breakdowns and knowing I’d never get the lead made me keep trying for the day that I was. Being able to show that talent is determined by talent and hard work and not by what box can be ticked to get the most views. Being able to be in a position where we can do our best to advocate for people through our stories and make people feel seen. Can is something I want and hope to continue EZRA We did justice.” It’s her mission to show that no matter what we identify with, at the end of the day we’re all just human (or vampire). “The biggest thing I want fans to take away from this show is that your diversity is not your whole story. Each of us is much more complex than what this world leads us to believe. Stories that represent communities need to represent people, not just surface-level versions of individuals Our show is not about what it’s like to be gay, or Filipino, or anything in between. It’s about people trying to make it through life (or the afterlife) and all the complications that come with being dead (or alive). I hope through that EZRAviewers can see themselves through our characters and feel inspired to become more confident versions of themselves.” Seeing a version of yourself on screen can be the first step to loving who you truly are.