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First Kill Stars Sarah Catherine Hook and Imani Lewis Unpack the Netflix Vampire Series



First Kill

During an interview with Teen Vogue, Sarah Catherine Hook and Imani Lewis sat down to discuss their new show First Kill. It’s a Netflix original based on the short story of the same name by Victoria “V.E.” Schwab, who also created the show. Hook plays vampire Juliette Fairmont while Lewis plays vampire hunter Calliope “Cal” Burns, who fall in love with each other.

Both Juliette and Cal come from two households, both alike in dignity. Hunters like Cal’s family are trained via a guild to take out the supernatural and are punished for questioning what a monster might be. Juliette’s family belongs to a rigid hierarchy where arranged marriages and ritual hunts are common. Something that’s key to the two leas figuring out themselves is understanding what monstrosity is across the series.

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“What [Juliette] doesn’t want to be is a monster, she never wants to be perceived as a monster, and she doesn’t wanna behave like one. She doesn’t believe that just because you’re a vampire doesn’t mean you have to behave like a monster. I just really like that given everything that she goes through, that she’s remained true to that,” said Hook.

For Lewis, a monster is all about intentional harm, such as hurting people and causing chaos simply because you can. Not to protect yourself, your family, or merely to find a meal. Hook agreed with that definition of monstrosity but added on Friedrich Nietzsche’s quote about how those who fight monsters should take care not to become one themselves.

“I feel like that rings so true too. Hello, our society and what is going on in the world, and I think we as humans see monstrous acts all the time. I think this show is so eye-opening in so many ways, in so many clever ways, and I feel like not only is it about acceptance, but it’s just about opening your eyes and saying like, ‘Oh, this is not really far off from our own world.’”

First Kill is also notable for its depiction of minorities, especially within the urban fantasy genre. There are multiple queer characters. Besides Juliette and Cal, there are also their respective best friends, Ben (Jonas Dylan Allen) and Tess (M.K. xyz). Not only is half the cast black, but they’re also more than the sassy best friend whose parents are never shown onscreen.

“The representation in this show is phenomenal. I think I speak for both of us: We’re just so honored to be able to be in a position to represent such incredible communities of people. It’s really awesome to see that kind of representation, and it feels so good on a personal level,” said Lewis.