It’s hard falling in love. The drama of our high school years and family expectations can make finding someone a real challenge. Now add that one is a vampire and the other a monster hunter, and the stakes (get it) are even higher. In Netflix’s upcoming adaptation of V.E. Schwab‘s short story First Kill, this star-crossed lovers’ tale plays out on a whole new level. We recently had the opportunity to sit down with stars Sarah Catherine Hook and Imani Lewis, who play Juliette and Calliope, about family dynamics and falling in love with their characters.

Are you prepared for First Kill? The series is set to drop on Netflix starting June 10, 2022.

For those unfamiliar with roundtable interviews, they’re comprised of multiple journalists from different outlets. They usually run for about 15 minutes. Each journalist is granted at least one question.

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Sarah Catherine Hook and Imani Lewis Interview

Calliope and Juliette standing outside after a fight in First Kill.

Image courtesy of Netflix 2022.

Julia Roth: Throughout the series, you (Imani Lewis) struggle to find your place within your family. As the youngest, it’s hard because everyone else either does it better or first. What was it like to dive into that dynamic?

Imani Lewis: It was incredibly interesting. I grew up an only child and grew up with a certain sense of independence, confidence and sureness of self because I was always with myself. I found myself applying that to Calliope’s character. That sense of independence and self-awareness. But, it was awesome that even though she is the youngest and the only daughter of the family, I see so many of her brothers and her parents as attributes that reside within her. We can watch her channel them even in moments when she isn’t around them. It’s so cool that she is made up of all these different characters, making her this strong dynamic character. 

Julia Roth: First Kill started as a novella, which gave the start of the story, and the show is giving everyone the chance to expand past these bounds. What drew you into these characters? Did you have the opportunity to read the novella, or did you start with the show’s pilot script?

IL: I read the pilot first before I read the short story. When you get the audition, you are given a small synopsis of your character, which was enough to win me over and learn more about her (Calliope) and explore more of her family dynamic and then the dynamic between her and Juliette. It is so well layered; the relationship dynamics, the family dynamics, the action and the combat all drew me right in. The representation within First Kill is what made me feel responsible for Calliope and delivering her correctly. Why wouldn’t I want to be a part of this?

Sarah Catherine Hook: Likewise, I didn’t receive the short story until getting the part. When I first got the audition, I didn’t think I would be considered for the role of Juliette at all. Even the physical description was very different from who I am. I felt like there was no chance that they would be able to see me as a vampire. But after I did my first audition, I absolutely fell in love with Juliette, and every additional audition just piled on the excitement. It was totally meant to be, and I feel fortunate and honored to bring Juliette to life.

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