Brian Michael Bendis, Jamall Campbel and David S. Walker's Naomi miniseries debuted in 2019 to critical acclaim and a nomination for Best Limited Series at the 2020 Eisner Awards. Now, along with a second run on the way, the Wonder Comics breakout is poised to enter the spotlight once again with a new live-action CW series. Following the titular Naomi as she uncovers the truth about her origins and who she is, the series picks up after a mysterious supernatural occurrence in her small northwestern town.
Helping Naomi on this journey are her friends, which includes the cool, confident collectibles shop employee Lourdes, portrayed by up-and-coming Latina actress Camila Moreno. Speaking to CBR, Moreno discussed her role in the series, the importance of diversity in television and what it was like working with series writer/executive producer Ava DuVernay.
CBR: Were you familiar with the comics before you were cast as Lourdes?
Camila Moreno: I read the comics! The story was just so interesting and so fun and I was just really invested in all the characters. I'm so thrilled to be a part of it.
How would you describe Lourdes?
I'm so excited to play Lourdes. She's very adventurous; she's not afraid of anything. She's the coolest girl on the block and she has style like no one else. She's just unapologetically herself. I love that about her.
Would you say that's what you find yourself most drawn to about her?
Yeah. I love to say that [Lourdes is] very multi-dimensional, but I think that's one of the things that really drew her -- how unafraid she is of just being herself and just saying, "This is me. You can take it, you can leave it, but I'm not going to change for anyone." But she's also very accepting of other people. She's not just like, "Everyone has to accept me." [She's also] like, "I can accept everyone else with their differences." I think that's very beautiful.
I think that that sentiment meshes well with the group she finds herself in, where it's lots of different personalities and types of people. What was noticeable -- and admirable -- in the pilot was that the show has a very diverse group, not just in Naomi's crew, but throughout the cast. What does it mean to you to be part of, not just a show, but a network show with such a wide range of people?
Oh my God. I'm just so proud to be part of a show that's so, so diverse. I think it makes for a show that a lot of people can identify with, you know? [They can identify with] not only with the story, but with these characters. When I was growing up, I would have loved to see a superhero like Naomi. I think it's very important [to have] diverse casts, diverse crews, diverse producers and diverse shows all altogether -- it really allows for kids to dream bigger. I think you cannot put a price on that. I feel extremely blessed and proud to be a part of such a diverse show.
At the helm of Naomi, you have Ava DuVernay. What was it like working with her?
Oh my gosh. It's everything you would imagine and then more. She's incredible to work with and I was so starstruck when I first met her. She's given me my first opportunity [to have] a series regular role, and that's amazing and to be able to work with her has been a blessing. I honestly have no other words to describe it. It's been incredible and she seems great on TV and on camera, but then she's even greater in person. It's been amazing.
Speaking of this, being your first role as a network series regular, I know you've been in a few Shakespeare productions. How would you say it compares?
I like to say that always like acting is acting no matter the medium, because you have to invest in the given circumstances of each character. Doesn't matter whether you're doing Shakespeare or, in this case, a comic book show. I think being able to play a human being is very complex no matter what. It's mostly about [focusing on] the characters' motivations and really going deep with their concerns and their thoughts and their beliefs.
What do find most exciting about playing Lourdes?
What I love about Lourdes is how different she is from me as a human. I like to say that I'm pretty sure of myself, but I really love playing Lourdes because she allows me to live in a very different space than what I'm used to. I think I have a lot to learn from Lourdes, actually. She's very bold, but also very secure. I think one of the greatest things that a human can do in their lifetime to be themselves and not be afraid of being themselves. Like I said, I've always considered myself someone who's pretty secure of myself and sure of myself, but when I met Lourdes -- and I like to say I met her because I feel like she's a person -- I realized how much further I have to go.
What do you want, you know, fans to take away from Lourdes when they see her throughout the series?
I think I would love for fans to realize and remember that [even though] you may find yourself doubting your journey and comparing your journey to other people's, it's important to trust that your journey doesn't have to look like anyone else's, and that it's okay to live in your truth and be comfortable with who you are and what you have to bring to the table.
Are you able to drop any spoiler-free hints about Lourdes' journey in the series?
I think people will really like her and I think [they'll see that] her journey is very interesting and that there's a lot more to her than meets the eye.
Fans can see Camila Moreno as Lourdes when Naomi premieres on The CW on Tuesday, Jan. 11 at 9 pm ET/PT.