The TV series, produced by Ava Duvernay, stars Kaci Walfall as Naomi, a cool, confident, comic book-loving teen as she pursues her hidden destiny.
When a supernatural event shakes her hometown of Port Oswego to the core, she sets out to uncover its origins, with a little help from her fiercely loyal best friend.
Walfall, who had played roles in recent shows like “The Equalizer” and “Power,” talked with YR Media on what viewers can expect.
YR Media: For those who aren’t familiar with comic books, tell us a little bit about Naomi and tell us about her character as well.
Kaci Walfall: Naomi follows the journey of a cool, confident sixteen-year-old. She’s a skateboarder. She loves Superman, you know, she looks up to him. She’s adopted. She’s in a multi-racial family and she moves around a lot, but she’s universally loved by her friends and her family because she really cares for them. An event happens in her town that shakes her and she finds out her hidden destiny.
YR: How does it feel to be a teen superhero, especially as a person of color?
KW: It’s a dream. I think it came in the right time of my life. I’ve always looked up to DC universe superheroes and I’ve always loved those CW shows too, genuinely. So to be in this space, it’s cool and as a young woman of color, it’s dope.
YR: Even though Naomi is a fan of Superman and a fan of comic books, do you think her having superpowers is something that she even wanted?
KW: In the show, we uncover that. You can look up to people, but maybe you’re not necessarily looking up to them to have powers. Maybe she’s looking up to Superman because he’s a great person and he’s adopted and she is and there’s a deeper desire to why she is looking up to Superman, but you know having powers is something that can be joyful, but it can also be something that also makes you different and you have to comfortable with that.
YR: So you think she will learn to accept them (superpowers) as the show goes on?
KW: I think Naomi goes through a journey. It’s becoming a major story and it’s becoming a major superhero story too, so I think that through the series she grapples with that of course.
YR: Naomi is adopted and later on, in the show, she finds out that Superman is adopted as well, so do you think she and Superman may be related or is it a coincidence that she gets the spark and urge to find out who she is?
KW: I think the Superman event that happened, you know it definitely physically manifests in her and you know mentally. I think that if Naomi and Superman were related to the point that she loves him so much, she would probably like faint. She wouldn’t be able to believe it, she would be like ‘Guys this is my cousin!’ and she wouldn’t stop talking about it.
YR: How do you hope to inspire your audience?
KW: I think the audience for the show, you know the younger audience, it just teaches us that especially when you’re young you don’t have to be put in a box. You know people especially women of color for example they put us in a box and I think that Naomi shows that especially through what she wears. She shows you that she going to live in this town in Oregon, but she’s not going to dress the same as everyone else because that’s how she feels and she’s authentically herself. So I think that the young people will really love the authentic teenage experience I think. You know I love watching shows that feel like they can be in my high school since I’m still seventeen and feel like the characters in the storyline can be in my high school and the show is really grounded in reality, but still escapism and there are still aspects that could never be true within the superhero realm of the show.
Through social media, I hope to inspire people that your dreams can come true. They do come true. I saw myself on a billboard on Times Square the other day. I sometimes refrain from posting things, but I wanted to post that. Not as a ‘look at me’ but like ‘you can do it.
YR: Would you like to see any superheroes crossover in the show or do you think your superpowers alone are enough?
KW: I think that I would love to see that. I think that Naomi is enough existing in her own universe. She has her own Naomiverse, so I think that of course is enough, but I also believe that I would love to see some dope heroes give her wisdom and come over to the Naomiverse. They can come over to us for a lil.
YR: How would you describe Naomi in three words?
KW: Confident, Passionate, and Unique.
“Naomi” airs Tuesdays at 9 p.m. ET on The CW. It can also be streamed on HBO Max and Hulu Live TV.