Two teenage girls fall in love in the new Netflix vampire series First Kill.
The catch? One is a vampire and the other a hunter.
“I immediately fell in love with the show’s story in general,” Imani Lewis, 23, who stars as vampire slayer Calliope, told The Post.
“I love strong female characters, I love powerful, calculated, confident characters, and for her to come from a family of monster hunters, I thought, ‘I have to be a part of that.’ Fan support for the show is already bananas. It’s so cute and fun and warm.”
Based on a short story by VE Schwab, “First Kill,” which premieres Friday (June 10), follows teenage vampire Juliette (Sarah Catherine Hook, “American Crime Story”) as she kills her new girl Calliope (Lewis). Visor takes time to get her first kill when the time comes. It’s a step that will help her grow up in her vampire family, led by her mother, Margot (Elizabeth Mitchell, “Lost”) and father, Sebastian (Will Swenson). Juliette doesn’t realize, however, that Calliope isn’t a normal person – she’s a hunter from a family of monster hunters, along 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 who were meant to kill each other fall in love.
That last part is how “First Kill” sets itself apart from other entries in the crowded gory genre, Lewis said.
“What makes this story unique is that it’s about two teenage queer girls. I don’t think we’re seeing enough of that,” she said. “And their struggle isn’t their sexuality, it’s that lineage that they were both born into. I find it interesting that they both tried to prove themselves by getting their first kills, but they ended up going on this different journey. I think it’s great how this is all developing. It really is something special.”
Lewis, who is originally from Queens, has appeared in shows like Hightown and Flatbush Misdemeanors, but First Kill is her first starring role. 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 them from a place of strength, strategy and care. As a young actress in a game where everything is rushed, I referred to her discipline and hunger to prove she was worth it. I resonate with this sentiment in the entertainment world. The character goes through these emotional changes. I love her struggle, I love her agility, but I enjoyed both equally when it came to her journey within herself and finding out who she was.”
Lewis has consulted other films and shows in the genre, but she hasn’t relied on them too much, she said.
“I had done kickboxing before the role, so I felt ready for the action,” she said. “I did a lot of my stunts myself. It was so much fun. And I grew up watching movies like Blade. This is definitely at the top of my list [of vampire movies] mainly because he doesn’t start out as a vampire, and I love the aesthetic of that. Personally, I’m not a huge television viewer, but I watched “Buffy” a bit because I heard the comparison.
“But I wanted to make Calliope her own.”