I was lucky to be afforded the opportunity to talk with the star of The CW’s upcoming show, Naomi, during a fun roundtable event with other media outlets. Kaci Wallfall is such a sweet and talented young actress. We talked about moments from the pilot, her favorite superhero characters, and so much more!
The pilot introduces us to a Black teenaged girl named Naomi McDuffie, as well her parents, her friends, and her world in Port Oswego. There are many cool and interesting moments in the pilot, so naturally, I was curious to know what were Kaci’s favorite moments to film.
“Well, I [have] favorites for different reasons,” said the actress during the round table. “I love things that challenge me, so the scene with Cranston in the woods challenged me because I really went there. And then after I was crazy, exhausted, I like, went home and took a nap. But it was also super rewarding.”
As to her other favorite moments? “I think that another fun scene from the pilot was the party,” she said. “We were just having so much fun. Because there, you know, it wasn’t that way of Naomi finding out things, which is effortless, and it was fun. And then that was in an audition scene too. So I knew it like super well.”
A favorite character from the Bendis and Walker book is Dee who also carries over into The CW show! Naomi and Dee have a very cool mentor/mentee relationship dynamic. Wallfall is also a fan of the duo. “I love the relationship with Naomi and Dee, especially in the pilot,” she said. “It’s sort of like that scene in the comics when she goes to his shop and she’s just asking all these questions. I think that Dee is sort of her Mr. Miyagi. He’s her teacher. He doesn’t have all the answers, but he teaches her a little bit about how to control herself more.”
The characters’ relationship also brings out important aspects of the series. “Naomi really sees the best within other people, so she sees the best of Dee,” said Wallfall. “They’re so different, but also their interactions are very comical and funny.”
One of the interesting things that has stuck out to me about Naomi — both in the show and the comic — is that she’s a Black girl who skateboards! Which is frankly something that we don’t see enough in film and TV. I asked Kaci what it’s like to play the Black quirky girl who skateboards. “That is super cool,” she responded. “I know, a lot, a lot of Black girls that skateboard, but they’re not always in TV. I totally agree. So it’s really cool.”
She also agreed that this is a kind of representation that defies stereotypes and opens up possibilities for what Black people can be on TV. “I think that a lot of people can relate to that,” she continued, “but I also think that it’ll inspire a lot of people, especially younger black girls to try something that maybe they haven’t seen on TV or necessarily been exposed to, and to play on the quirky side of it — the sort of comic book nerd side of it. I think that’s a super cool aspect to see someone that’s sort of in the world. But is it is also a fan of someone in the world. I think that that is a super cool take. And I love that that aspect is in the comics.”
Naomi is a comic character created by Brian Michael Bendis, David Walker, and Jamal Campbell. Naomi #1 dropped in March 2019, making it a very new and recent addition to the DC Comics family. However, there is still pressure playing a character that is very new compared to a decades-old character like Superman. “I mean, there’s always pressure,” Wallfall revealed. “I think that I often put pressure on myself for a lot of things, and I always carry her main six issues in my bag whenever I’m at work, because it’s always so good to look at the source material and go back. So I think that her not having a super big, long, extensive years of comics allows for some creative freedom and then also while still respecting the material.”
Naomi will be joining the ever growing DC on TV family, and as we know The CW has had a knack for crossing over their DC shows. Hopefully, Naomi will get to crossover with some of the shows on the network. Kaci also thinks it would be pretty rad for her to crossover with the shows as well.
“When I was in middle school, I would watch the crossover episodes,” the actress admitted. “And those were super cool. So of course, I would love to do a crossover.”
Which other heroes would Naomi like to team up with though? “I think if I were to crossover with any show, it would probably be The Flash,” Kaci shared. “Oh Stargirl would be really cool. The Flash, Stargirl, or Batwoman. I know. That’s a lot of answers. But they’re all super cool.”
Naomi will premiere on The CW — following the return of Superman & Lois — at 9pm ET on Tuesday, January 11.