Interview Sci Fi Television

Surviving the ‘Snowpiercer’ with Jaylin Fletcher

On Sunday, May 17, the Snowpiercer will ride again! Snowpiercer, the new TV-adaptation of the amazing 2013 Bong Joon-Ho film, and the graphic novel the movie was based on, will be premiering this weekend. And to celebrate the premiere of the show, The Nerds of Color was able to sit down with one of its stars, Jaylin Fletcher, who plays Miles on the show, to get the skinny on the show, working with Daveed Diggs, Marvel-movie dreams, and his hopes for what audiences take away from this ambitious show:

NOC: Appreciate you taking the time to speak with us. You got to be excited that the show is going to be premiering soon, yeah?

Jaylin: Yes! I definitely am. It’s going to be really good.

Miles is such a great character. I liked seeing your work. You did phenomenal!

Thank you! It was really fun portraying Miles.

Do you see a lot of yourself in the character?

Yes! I feel like I have a lot of Miles’s intelligence, and his charisma, as well as his desire to help his people in the tail section of the train. And he’s really someone I’d try to be like someday.

Because we’re The Nerds of Color, we want to put a lot of emphasis around diversity in Hollywood, so that people of color and underrepresented voices in the industry start getting more exposure. With Snowpiercer, it’s really one of the most diverse casts on TV, which is something I loved seeing. As a person of color, what do you think Hollywood can learn from the example of a show like Snowpiercer in terms of better roles and representation for people of different cultures?

I think everybody on Snowpiercer sees each other as humans, and not different races. It’s really diverse because of the plotline. 3,000 of the world’s richest people on a train from different countries — Asia, Africa — everywhere around the world. There’s a lot of diversity. A lot of really different people. And everyone [on set] clicked together really well. We all enjoyed each other’s company. So you can learn from that by having people of different races [working] as one whole race — the human race.

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That’s a really lovely sentiment. Before joining the show, were you a fan of the movie?

Yes! I was a big fan of the movie. The movie was really well made, and Bong Joon-Ho is a really amazing director. And I also loved the fact that Chris Evans was in it — Captain America! I’m a really big superhero fan.

That’s awesome! What comics do you like/what superheroes do you like? And would you ever want to be in a Marvel movie one day?

Oh yes! Definitely! I’d love to be in an Avengers movie. Like New Avengers. Like a couple of kids becoming the New Avengers. It would be amazing to be in one of those movies.

I think given your talent you’d fit in really well with the Marvel casts, like Chris Evans!

Thank you.

So how did you first get involved in Snowpiercer?

So I got an email with the title of the show, saying it was going to air on TNT. So my manager/acting coach dressed me up in raggedy clothes, because it said something about the setting being really dark. So he made me look dirty and raggedy. Then they liked it, so they called me into the office. and then I did the audition again with the casting director… Then I got a callback. And this time, I auditioned in front of the director, James Hawes… And I had a feeling I was going to get called in, but I wasn’t sure. I didn’t want to get too excited or get my hopes up. Then 2-3 days later, I got the call that I booked Snowpiercer. And I was exhilarated. I felt really good.

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Photography credit: Bonnie Navarro of Bonnie Navarro Photography

I bet! That sounds awesome! What was it like working with Daveed? You have a lot of scenes with his character, Layton. Were you a Hamilton fan before you knew he was going to be in the show?

Daveed is a really amazing person. And we connected on a lot of different levels… And Daveed and I share this love for music. And he’d sing and we’d make beats with each other. And I used to dance to the beats. And I would hum certain songs, like “What You Won’t Do For Love” by Bobby Caldwell from 1974. And he’d go, “How do you know that song?” And I’d go, “I just do.” And everyone said to me that I was an old soul.

At a time like this, coming from a show like Snowpiercer, where you’re living day to day on a crazy set, in a character’s shoes, in which the character has basically been quarantined on a train as it circles around the world yearly, what advice would you have for people in terms of surviving a quarantine like we’re experiencing now?

Spend time with your family, if they’re there with you. Stay connected with your family. And try to throw in as many activities as you can to prevent yourself from being bored or being sad, because you’re stuck in a house.

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Great advice! If I can ask one more question — Since Snowpiercer at its core is about class struggles in society, what do you hope people take away from the show in terms of the themes of class struggles and survival?

I don’t think the rich people in Snowpiercer are really happy with what they’re doing. And I feel like they want to help the people in the tail section. But they don’t have the power to because it’s Wilford’s decision… So the higher ups control everything. But I don’t think the people with access to the higher ups are happy with what they’re doing.

Thank you for that! That’s a really interesting perspective. I really appreciate your time! I can’t wait for people to see the show! You’re a fantastic actor and a cool human being!

Thank you! I really appreciate that!

Snowpiercer premieres on TNT on Sunday, May 17 at 9pm!

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