In the new Netflix vampire series “First Kill”, two teenage girls fall in love.
The problem? One is a vampire and the other is a killer.
“I immediately fell in love with the story of the show in general,” 23-year-old Imani Lewis, who plays vampire hunter Calliope, told The Post.
“I like strong female characters, I like powerful, confident characters, and for her to come from a family of monster hunters, I was like, ‘I have to be a part of that. Fan support for the show is already bananas. It’s so sweet, funny and warm.
Premiering Friday (June 10), “First Kill” is based on a short story by VE Schwab and follows teenage vampire Juliette (Sarah Catherine Hook, “American Crime Story”), who sets her sights on new girl Calliope (Lewis) when it’s time to make his first kill. It’s a move that will help him grow in his family of vampires, led by his mother Margot (Elizabeth Mitchell, “Lost”) and his father Sebastian (Will Swenson). Juliette, however, doesn’t realize that Calliope is no ordinary human — she’s a hunter from a family of monster slayers with her mother Talia (Aubin Wise) and father Jack (Jason R. Moore,” The Punisher”). For her part, Calliope was also encouraged to make her first kill. Things get even more complicated when these two enemies supposed to kill each other start to fall in love with each other.
That last part is how “First Kill” stands out from other entries in the crowded bloodthirsty genre, Lewis said.
“What makes this story unique is that it’s about two queer teenage girls. I don’t think we see enough of that,” she said. “And, their fight isn’t with their sexuality is that line they were both born into. I think it’s interesting that they were both trying to prove themselves by getting their first kills, but they end up going on this different journey. I think it’s so awesome how it all plays out. It’s really special.
Lewis, who hails from Queens, has previously starred in shows such as ‘Hightown’ and ‘Flatbush Misdemeanors’, but ‘First Kill’ marks his first time as a lead. It gave her a sense of kinship with her character, she said.
“I resonate with Calliope in so many different ways,” she said. “I tried to play it from a place of strength, strategy, diligence. Being a young actress in a game where everything is a hustle and bustle, I was connected to her discipline and her thirst to prove she was worth it. I resonate with that sentiment in the entertainment world. The character goes through these emotional changes. I love her combat, I love her agility, but I enjoyed them both equally when it came to her journey with herself and finding out who she was.
Lewis looked at other movies and shows in the genre, but she didn’t lean on them too much, she said.
“I had kickboxed before the role, so I felt ready for action,” she said. “I’ve done a lot of stunts myself. It was so much fun. And I grew up watching movies like ‘Blade’. It’s definitely at the top of my list [of vampire movies] mainly because it doesn’t start out as a vampire, and I love its aesthetic. Personally, I’m not a big viewer but I watched “Buffy” a bit because I heard the comparison.
“But, I wanted to make Calliope his own.”