Netflix's First Kill cast talk spin-offs, season 2 and building chemistry on screen

·7-min read
Photo credit: COURTESY OF NETFLIX - Netflix
Photo credit: COURTESY OF NETFLIX - Netflix

If you're in need of a new Netflix series to sink your teeth into, look no further than First Kill, the platform's new vampire romance (and viewers' favourite new show).

Starring Sarah Catherine Hook and Imani Lewis as vampire Juliette and vampire hunter Calliope, the series is based on the short story by V.E. Schwab, with both teenagers ready to make their first kill. And while vampire-meets-vampire-hunter might sound like a pretty straightforward recipe for a conflict, things take a turn when the pair being falling for each other.

We caught up with lead actors Sarah Catherine Hook and Imani Lewis to talk all things First Kill and beyond - from spin-offs, to on-screen chemistry and dream roles.

Photo credit: COURTESY OF NETFLIX - Netflix
Photo credit: COURTESY OF NETFLIX - Netflix

What first attracted you to take part in First Kill?

Imani: "Oh so much. I think how much representation is in the project. I think it's incredibly important. ... I think those distinctive groups of people, whether that be the LGBTQ community, the Black community, interracial couples, the adolescent community. It represents so many groups of people, the representation in itself I think is something very different and necessary.

"But outside of that, the story itself! ... Everything about it was just so different to me, but so cool and modern. I just love playing independent strong female characters that are diligent and know who they want to be in the world."

Sarah Catherine: "I fell in love with Juliette immediately. I really adored her quirkiness and awkwardness and felt very at home in the role. Call back after call back kept happening and it really started to feel like it was my role, it was such a dream come true."

Did you do any vampire research to prepare for the role?

Sarah Catherine: "I was a huge Vampire Diaries fan, and What We Do In The Shadows is one of my favourite movies. ... I would say I really tried to devour as much vampire content as possible. Whether it was new or old, I just wanted to really dive deep into the world."

Photo credit: COURTESY OF NETFLIX - Netflix
Photo credit: COURTESY OF NETFLIX - Netflix

How did you build chemistry together on set?

Imani: "It's so funny, I feel like the chemistry was pre-built. As soon as Sarah and I conversed with each other, our first talk on the phone, we were on FaceTime for four hours. ... Even from the chemistry read, we were super giddy and it felt right. ... We were both in different states and a couple weeks before starting to film, she DMed me like, 'Hi, I'm so happy [you've been] cast. Here's my phone number, call me.' And I called her and we hit it off.

"Sarah is a gem, such a kindred spirit and it is impossible not to adore her. The chemistry which you see on screen is just how well we get along. She's awesome."

Sarah Catherine: "Truthfully, we had chemistry right at the beginning. It just felt really easy with her, we clicked immediately. ... What I really love most about working with her is how much she was there for me in certain areas where maybe I couldn't stand up for myself or I was too timid to say anything, she really had my back.

"Literally the first week of filming, I had to wear these new shoes and they were destroying my heels. I wasn't saying anything, but Imani stormed out and said 'her feet are bleeding!' and it was so cute."

Photo credit: COURTESY OF NETFLIX - Netflix
Photo credit: COURTESY OF NETFLIX - Netflix

What was it like filming intimate scenes?

Sarah Catherine: "We had female crew members so it felt very safe all around, and Felicia Henderson was our female showrunner. It was a group of women just huddling like, 'Okay, how are we gonna do this?' and then we'd put all of our thoughts together. Being in that kind of environment, it makes such a difference just being open with everyone right from the beginning and making sure everyone feels comfortable. Everyone got to voice their concerns. I'm so proud of the way it turned out."

Do you have any ideas for a First Kill spin-off?

Imani: "Oh yeah, I'd love to see the mums. I'd love to see maybe an episode hypothetically of course, where we're forced to change each other's positions -- the monster hunters become the monsters. The monsters become human and we really have to see the world through each other's eyes for a day. Maybe that will change the perspective of how we view each other."

Sarah Catherine: "I'm gonna say Elinor deserves a spin off, she's such a powerhouse and it'd be really interesting to have an Elinor movie. Who knows what kind of mayhem that girl would get into if she had her own movie?"

Photo credit: BRIAN DOUGLAS/NETFLIX - Netflix
Photo credit: BRIAN DOUGLAS/NETFLIX - Netflix

How have you found the fans' reactions and fan theories?

Imani: "It's all been so love-filled and supportive. They are ready to defend Jules and Cal to the death and I love everything about it. ... I think my favourite [fan theory] is one that makes me laugh the hardest: They are obsessed with the mothers of First Kill. They love Margot and Talia ... They are obsessed with them as a unit, they want them together."

Sarah Catherine: "I'm so thankful that people love it so much. I'm just so happy that people are drawn to it and it seems like they're really seeing themselves in these characters. Whether it's Juliette and Cal, I think other people see themselves in the parents and the siblings and it's just so cool."

What's a dream project you'd love to work on, or a dream actor to work with?

Imani: "I'd love to be in anything Marvel, that's really the goal here. ... I'd love to see something like if James Bond had, or was, a female counterpart, that subtle power. I love strong characters. In terms of actors, my number one actor on my list has to be Denzel [Washington]. He's such an incredible actor."

Sarah Catherine: "Emma Stone. She's always been my number one, and a dream project would be something like an Easy A, the comedy, the originality of it. It's so perfect and I'm desperate for another one of those."

Photo credit: COURTESY OF NETFLIX - Netflix
Photo credit: COURTESY OF NETFLIX - Netflix

Who would you love to play in a biopic?

Imani: "I've never thought of that! In a way, this has been done already, I think maybe Serena [Williams] only because I grew up playing tennis and I was obsessed with [the Williams sisters]. But just any female athlete I have a different kind of respect for, I think they're all so incredible and have paved the way for women that look like me being able to do such incredible things. If not her then Lauryn Hill.

Sarah Catherine: "I have a lot of people. I would say the first person that came to mind - I love her voice and I can do a good impression of her - is Patsy Cline. Or even Doris Day, I would love to do something like that."

What's the best piece of advice you've ever received?

Imani: "I'd say 'go out there and do your thing.' As simple as it is, it ignites something you need: the permission to be yourself, to go and do what I know I can do."

Sarah Catherine: "This has to do with relationships but I was told when I had my first breakup ever ... 'Just because you love them doesn't mean you're supposed to be with them'. It kind of changed my perspective, it was so perfectly said and it really has stuck with me throughout my time with relationships. So, to anyone that needs to hear that..."

Photo credit: BRIAN DOUGLAS/NETFLIX - Netflix
Photo credit: BRIAN DOUGLAS/NETFLIX - Netflix

Who inspires you?

Imani: "Lauryn Hill really inspires me. She's managed to conquer so many different fronts, whether it's musically or acting. It's like superhuman and to master all of them and do them with such poise. When I was a lot younger that was what I needed to see, that kind of representation.

What do we know about a potential First Kill season 2?

Imani: "I know just as much as you do! We're all fingers crossed. So I'm encouraging people to stream First Kill, all of the season as soon as possible so we can get a season two."

Sarah Catherine: "I don't know anything, but I have been saying to everyone based off of the ending of First Kill, as far as Juliette is concerned I'm really hoping for a dark moment for her. I'd like to see a different side to her where she loses her humanity and takes over the Elinor role for a minute, and [for her to] just be the monster that everyone wants her to be."

First Kill is streaming on Netflix now.

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