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Kaci Walfall is only 17, and she's now the center of her own TV universe

Dawn Burkes, Los Angeles Times on

Published in Entertainment News

"She is firmly in her story. And we are singularly focused on that journey."

A "grateful" Walfall ("The Equalizer") is all in: She "feels like this world existed before." She talked with the Los Angeles Times about that journey, what she has in common with her superhero alter ego and universal responsibilities.

Q: Who is Naomi?

A: Naomi feels like a friend. Someone that I just want to be protective over and tell her how great she is. She's a 16-year-old girl. She's still in high school. She's still trying to figure things out. But what I really love about her, and this is genuine, is her heart. She is genuinely a great person. She really sees the best in everyone. No matter if it's in her teenage world or her superhero world.

Q: Did you find similarities with the character?

A: I have this green book that I carry — I have since the pilot — and the first thing I did once I got the script of the pilot and finished reading it, I wrote down a diagram of my character in the comic versus Kaci versus Naomi. And that was really helpful because I could pull things that I love from the comic and then pull the differences that I loved and then also pull things from myself that I wanted to bring within the character. Because I think once you pull things from yourself and your experience, sometimes they feel more authentic.

 

Q: The way that you interact with other cast members feels authentic too. I know the writing is where it's at, but was it almost natural when you guys got together?

A: Yeah, I think I have chemistry with everyone. The great thing about the cast is we all truly get along. And we love working with each other. The younger generation of the "Naomi" cast did a Zoom before we started because we couldn't see each other in person really, because of COVID. … I also did a Zoom with Mary-Charles [Jones], who plays Annabelle, because it's a little hard when you don't know someone to fake being best friends with them for three years. .

Q: Ava called you an 'incredible leader of the cast,' and said, 'You've done it with such grace,' Your co-star Barry Watson called you a gem. What do you feel when you hear how enthusiastic the producers and the cast are about this character and in turn also you?

A: It makes me feel good just to know that Miss Ava chose me and says that I'm a good leader because she's the best leader. She's like the alpha and Naomi's the alpha, so I take that within my character and pull that out of myself. And I'm the youngest. Sometimes when you're young you can feel like older people are trying to be more "powerful" than you, but they don't treat me like I'm younger, which I really love. Just being in this leadership position, it's been fun. And just having the support of the cast, the crew and the producers and everyone — WB, CW, Array, DC — is really helpful because I'm often very hard on myself.

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