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Marguerite Hanna — a cast member of SYFY's upcoming Reginald the Vampire series — is opening up about the importance of queer representation in media and the entertainment industry at large.
"As someone who is queer, as someone who was assigned female at birth, I watch all these stories on TV of empowered women, of empowered queer people, and it is life-changing," the actor states in a recent video celebrating Pride Month. "The fact that I get to do that for other non-binary people is a really, really big deal for me."
Based on the series of Fat Vampire books written by Johnny B. Truant, the show stars Jacob Batalon (known for playing the part of Ned Leeds in Tom Holland's Spider-Man trilogy) as Reginald, an ostracized blood-sucker in a society populated by "beautiful" vampires. According to Deadline, Hanna steps into the role of Ashley Weeks, Ned's conspiracy and urban legend-loving co-worker at their place of employment — a convenience store aptly-named the Slushy Shack.
"Representation on the SYFY network is extremely impactful," the actor continues. "It's powerful. The entertainment industry is so far-reaching, it's an incredible tool for mass education and collective communal healing. When I see stories of queer people, that's not part of what the status quo accepts. So when you see that reflected in a monster industry like the entertainment industry, that is powerful."
The supporting players also include: Mandela Van Peebles (Mayor of Kingstown) as Maurice Miller, Reginald's hesitant life coach; Em Haine (Fargo) as Sarah Kinney, a human co-worker at the Slushy Shack; Aren Buchholz (Supernatural) as Todd, Ned's manager of the Slushy Shack; Savannah Basley (SurrealEstate) as Angela, an old vampire of immense talent; and Georgia Waters (Siren) as Penelope, a beautiful vampire with a dangerous side.
Harley Peyton (Chucky), Jeremiah Chechik (Helix), Todd Berger, Lindsay Macadam, Brett Burlock (Wynnona Earp), and Peter Emerson (Tehran) serve as executive producers. The show represents a co-production between Great Pacific Media, Modern Story Company, December Films and Cineflix Studios.
"Obviously, Harley being a really great writer, and all this team of writers, I feel like they’ve absolutely turned the story into something so much more relatable to today’s societal views," Batalon teased to Variety back in the spring. "And I think that’s a very important aspect. So it was interesting to read the source of what Reginald was. A lot of the books [are] about the societal stigma of not being a prototypical leading man type and we put that on its head. We sort of normalize the fact that I’m not a typical white guy who’s buff and tall and blonde, and all that stuff. I think that’s a great thing."
SYFY has yet to announce a premiere date for Reginald the Vampire, though the series is slated to debut later this year.