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'Naomi' star Kaci Walfall on finding her 'hidden destiny' in The CW's newest Arrowverse series
The 17-year-old star talks about her inspiration for playing Naomi and her favorite Arrowverse shows.
The latest show in The CW’s Arrowverse is Naomi, a show about an eponymous 16-year-old girl who finds out that superpowers are real and she has them after Superman (who's apparently real, by the way) gets into a fight in her town.
The 17-year-old Kaci Walfall plays Naomi in the series, and SYFY WIRE along with a few other select outlets had the chance to speak with Walfall about the new show. Read on to find out how she prepared for the super-gig and what viewers can expect to see in the upcoming season.
Naomi is a relatively new character in the DC universe, and the show is based on the limited comic book series by Brian Michael Bendis, David F. Walker, and Jamal Campbell. Those issues were central for Walfall in preparing for her role. “I always carry [Naomi’s] main six issues in my bag whenever I'm at work because it's always so good to look at the source material,” she said during the roundtable.
While the comics are integral to Walfall's character as well as the show overall, Naomi doesn’t have the long history that other DC superheroes do, which also allowed for Walfall to have some creative freedom.
“One of the first things I did when I got the role was I made a Venn diagram of me versus my character, and the character in the pilot versus the character in the comics,” she explained. “We’re both intelligent; we're both smart; we both have a pretty good sense of style. But I think going even deeper than that, I think that what's different is that Naomi is an extrovert and I, Kaci, am an introvert depending on the situation … it's been really fun to explore that and explore that authenticity within her. I also think that what's similar about us is that we both have a good sense of drive and passion. That's what keeps us going — when people tell us no, that doesn't mean that we're going to stop.”
Walfall has been an Arrowverse fan well before she was cast in Naomi. In middle school, she watched Supergirl religiously and also tuned in to watch The Flash. She didn’t know there was a character she could play, however, until Naomi came along.
“I think that the show is grounded in real circumstance,” she said. “Although the circumstances aren't real, it’s what a 16-year-old Black girl would do if she found out that she had this hidden destiny. So I hope fans appreciate and take away that new narrative, but I also hope people are reminded to don’t believe everything you think and don't believe everything you hear, and really make decisions for your own self.”
And while Walfall was coy about the specifics of the journey Naomi goes through — she didn’t confirm, for example, whether Naomi would wear a suit like the one in the comics although she did say she “can’t wait till she gets one” — she was clear on what she hopes viewers get out of it.
“I hope to remind people and especially young Black girls that we are much more worthy than sometimes people tell us that we are,” she said. “We are crucial and we are truly, truly important. I think that is something that Naomi goes through in the story when she figures out her hidden destiny.”
Naomi was created by Ava DuVernay (A Wrinkle in Time) and Arrow alum Jill Blankenship. In addition to Walfall, it stars Alexander Wraith, Cranston Johnson, and Camila Moreno. The show premieres on The CW on Tuesday, Jan. 11 at 9 p.m. ET/PT.