Kat Graham is not simply an unbelievable actress; she’s additionally making a optimistic change with the roles she takes on. The 31-year-old first started appearing at a younger age – with visitor spots on Lizzie McGuire, Greek, and Hannah Montana – however gained an enormous following for her starring function because the fierce and highly effective witch Bonnie Bennett on The Vampire Diaries. Whereas the function helped jump-start her profession in a whole lot of methods, it additionally taught her an essential lesson about illustration.
“The function of Bonnie was so, so particular as a result of it actually formed my profession in a whole lot of methods,” she advised infonewsclub. “I owe a lot of my fan base internationally to the attention of that present. It was additionally a present the place I used to be the one African-American common, and it delivered to my consideration sure issues that I wished to verify I used to be considerate of once I transfer ahead in my profession. I realized a lot shifting ahead. I imply, not each character needs to be a badass and has to start out off robust in any means. I feel we as girls, we’ve issues that occur to us that make us robust. We now have issues that occur to us that change the best way we see ourselves, and that is OK, too. The journey would not need to be, ‘I’ve the solutions on a regular basis.’ The journey is, ‘I belief myself sufficient to undergo what I have to undergo to search out it.'”
“I watch initiatives that problem and insurgent in opposition to the mould, particularly for girls.”
When Graham considers new initiatives, she’s at all times asking, “Does it make the world higher?” “For those who have a look at the movies that I launched this yr alone, from Emperor, which was a pre-Civil Battle movie educating folks about Shields Inexperienced – who helped spark the Civil Battle – to Reduce Throat Metropolis, which we shot within the Ninth Ward – which has been superneglected post-Hurricane Katrina – I search for issues that assist increase the attention of what folks won’t find out about or communities that could be neglected or marginalized societies that aren’t getting the correct consideration or assist that they want,” she stated. “For me, there needs to be some component of what’s new right here that I will help carry to folks’s consciousness? I am all in favour of chipping away at how tales are advised, and I watch initiatives that problem and insurgent in opposition to the mould, particularly for girls.”
That was largely what drew her to her newest challenge, Netflix’s Operation Christmas Drop, which is predicated on the Air Pressure’s real-life humanitarian airlift operation. “The truth that I might do a challenge that facilities round compassion and generosity and a special form of Christmas, a special form of relationship, a special form of girl, that was actually, actually enticing for me,” she stated. “I am all about attempting to interrupt molds, and the way folks view girls, or Black girls, or girls which have careers, or simply the completely different dimensions that we’re as girls.”
The movie was additionally the primary Hollywood manufacturing to movie in Guam, so Graham made positive to find out about its historical past when she arrived. “They’ve a museum there that I went to, so I realized the historical past of Guam,” she stated. “I realized the optimistic, the detrimental, all the pieces that the folks of Guam have gone by means of, the character of the folks of Guam, and simply actually obtained a whole lot of training on what that appears like. I met with Indigenous communities, and so they’re such a fantastic folks and loving folks with such an intense historical past, and so they need to be celebrated and highlighted and profiled and seen everywhere in the world.”
“They’re crucial not as a result of they helped my profession; they’re essential as a result of they’re essential.”
As Graham continues ahead together with her profession, she hopes to encourage her followers as a lot as they’ve impressed her. “I feel general, folks have this [distinction of] superstar and your followers, and I am lighting that up in flames,” she stated. “My relationship with my viewers is rather more intimate than that. Each Saturday, I take 10 followers internationally, and it is a superprivate factor that we do, and we simply discuss and I examine in on them and so they inform me how a lot time they spend watching me and supporting me. I actually really feel that I am a fair greater fan of them than they’re of me. They’ve helped me perceive myself higher in a whole lot of methods and the way I wish to transfer ahead. They helped me perceive my duty to them. They’re crucial not as a result of they helped my profession; they’re essential as a result of they’re essential. Their opinion issues. Their perspective issues. Their decisions matter. Their well being issues. They’re essential as a result of they matter. I continuously need them to really feel that they matter and that their voices are heard.”
Operation Christmas Drop is obtainable to stream on Netflix now.