Walker Independence BIPOC Cast Ready To Tackle The Wild West! Series Premiere Tonight On The CWBy Delaina Dixon | October 6, 2022 | Entertainment
Walker Independence comes to The CW tonight!
Taking us all the way back to the 1800s, this pre-pre-prequel shares the story of Abby Walker, a widow who arrives in the town of Independence, Tex., where she encounters its eclectic residents.
What we DivaGals are loving about this new series is that many of Independence’s residents have diverse backgrounds. Here’s what the actors shared about playing people of color in the wild, wild west.
Philemon Chambers plays Augustus, Independence’s noble deputy sheriff: “It is a heavy responsibility because our characters haven’t always been showcased properly in westerns. And nine times out of 10, we do get the shorter end of the stick. It’s unfortunate, but with [our producers] and writers, everybody’s doing a great job at showcasing us fully. I’ll tell a little story: there was a young black kid on set, he was one of the extras for the day, and his name was Elijah. He was just so excited to be there. He said, ‘I watch Walker and Walker, Texas Ranger — I’m big on westerns.’ I just saw the excitement in his eyes. And that’s the reason why I do it. Because I want a little boy to see themselves and say, ‘I can be that.'”
Justin Johnson Cortez plays Calian, an Apache tracker: “Native people have always been around the Western genre, and I think people have come to expect them in that genre. I believe we deserve to have a place there. I just wanna make sure we’re doing it in a way that is respectful and authentic, that makes this character feel like a complex human. And a big part of my responsibility is to treat the Apache language [respectfully]. The responsibility to do that right is heavy. I hope people see how important it is that we’re hearing this language — people are gonna hear it all across the country, and maybe across the world, which would be incredible.”
Lawrence Kao plays Kai, a Chinese immigrant and entrepreneur: “The fact that we can even just flesh out these kinds of characters — back in the 1870s in a western — we never had the opportunity to do that. Just showing that we exist is already something in itself. I just feel like people normally would see a character that looks like me in a Western and it’s just natural to look down upon a character like that. We were never perceived in a cool light. For Kai, to embrace His accent and make it cool, and to make
this character soulful, it’s just a cool opportunity. It’s a huge responsibility, but so much fun.”
Gabriela Quezada plays Lucia Reyes: I just want to add that at the end of the day, the United States is made up of different cultures. That’s what we are. And the fact that there are so many stories that have never really been told is interesting. I think that’s what’s so exciting about the show; we’re able to show so many different cultures that existed during that time and everyone’s stories.”
Walker Independence premieres Oct. 6 on The CW.
photo credit: The CW