Storm Reid has had a banner year. Not only has she been in Ava DuVernay’s record-breaking Netflix miniseries When They See Us, but she’s also starred in HBO’s breakout hit Euphoria and is set to star opposite David Oyelowo in the thriller Don’t Let Go. Shadow And Act was able to catch up with Reid to ask her about everything that’s been going on.
Reid delves into the importance of Black horror, working with DuVernay, and what she’d like to see happen in Euphoria’s second season with her character Gia.
S&A: So what can you tell us about your latest film, Don’t Let Go?
SR: Don’t Let Go is a psychological thriller with David Oyelowo who plays my uncle Jack Radcliff. He basically gets a call that his entire family, including me, Ashley, has been murdered. He’s in a state of grieving when he gets a call from his niece [Ashley from] two weeks in the past. We have to figure out how to save each other and save ourselves to try to make this traumatic moment not happen. It’s very confusing at times but I feel like this movie is all about unconditional love and sacrificial love and the love you have for your loved ones. We all have someone we’d go to the ends of the earth to save, and that’s what drew me to this project.
S&A: Don’t Let Go is the latest in a string of horror films with Black leads. On a personal level, how important is it for you to see this type of representation in a genre that isn’t always diverse?
SW: I don’t really feel as though our movie is a horror film, but I do think it’s important for people of color and people who look like us to be represented in all movies and all television shows and horror films where we’re usually the first ones to die [and instead, save] ourselves and [tell] our own narratives and our own experiences through the lens of a horror film. I’d love to do an actual real horror film in the future, but I’m glad to have this in the realm of that and Blumhouse [Tilt], which is a great production company, let us have our own creative power and tell our own story through this psychological thriller. I’m grateful.
S&A: You were able to have a pivotal role in Ava DuVernay’s When They See Us. When you first started on the project, did you expect it would have such a huge impact on viewers and society as a whole?
SW: It was incredible. Again, it was a blessing. I was only in the series for a couple of minutes in the first episode and the fourth episode, I feel like the project has made history. Not in a way where we gave those five men their time back or the connections they lost back, but I feel like we gave them a piece of justice back which was very important because they were dehumanized and neglected. I feel like Ms. Ava picked them up and really made them humans again. Even though they were humans before, some people looked at them as though they were not. So to be a part of that in any capacity is amazing. It’s a blessing and I love seeing how those five men have been embraced…and how people will remember them and their lives forever.
S&A: Did you see When They See Us becoming as big as it has become, including breaking Netflix records?
SW: Reading the [When They See Us] script, I knew it was going to be something powerful. Anything Ms. Ava puts her hands on is pretty much gold. We need to be paying attention to everything that she does, so whether I was going to be in it or not, I knew it was going to become a cultural phenomenon, and rightfully so.
S&A: This is your second project with DuVernay, with the first one being A Wrinkle in Time. What has it been like to work with DuVernay?
SW: She is so incredible. She’s so hands-on and really cares about, of course, her film or whatever she’s working on, but she also cares about the cast and crew. She doesn’t care what you look like, how tall you are, your sexuality, as long as you can do the job and you can do the job right and you have a willingness to collaborate, she wants you on the team. I feel that’s so amazing and so important and she’s willing to give people opportunities and not just make all the opportunities for herself, which is why I feel she’s been so successful. She advocates for the ones that she loves and she advocated for me, which has afforded me to have more opportunities. So, I’m glad I had the opportunity to work with her on those two projects and I hope to have the opportunity to work with her again.
S&A: Fans have wanted you and Zendaya to play sisters for a while now, and you do in Euphoria. What’s the experience like working with her?
SW: Amazing. I’ve admired her for quite a while now, so to have the universe come full circle and have her as a big sis on screen and offscreen is a blessing. I’m so proud of her and to see the trajectory of her career, from Shake It Up to Euphoria now, is unbelievable. I’m glad I’m able to share the screen with her so people can be able to see Gia and Rue’s relationship really grow and really become a real storyline in Season 2.
S&A: Fans have taken to Euphoria to the point of developing theories about the show. What do you think about Euphoria‘s fandom?
SW: It’s amazing to see how much people appreciate our show and how much people have gravitated to it. I feel like they have gravitated to it not only because it’s entertainment but we’re having real conversations about what people are going through as teenagers and we’re trying to bridge the disconnect between people who don’t understand us, because we are very complex even though we are very young and we do go through a lot. Just to see the memes that come up on Twitter every Sunday or the theories has been amazing. This project, Euphoria, has been a cultural phenomenon for the younger generation as well, so I’m proud to be a part of it.
S&A: What’s something that you would like to see happen in Euphoria Season 2?
SW: I would love to see Gia’s character develop a lot more and for her to actually become a human and for her to actually have her own storyline which I feel like is going to happen with the conversations we’ve been having. To really just explore what teenagers go through and also the trauma Rue has put her through and see where she develops and goes as a character. Will she continue to try to be the good little sister and do everything right or will she go down a path and start to make the bad decisions Rue has made in the past? I can’t wait to see what the creators and producers do with my character.
Don’t Let Go will be in theaters August 30.
Photo: CHRIS DELMAS/AFP/Getty Images