If you’ve not watched Marvel’s Cloak & Dagger on Amazon Prime Video, but you’re a fan of all things superhero, it’s definitely worth checking out to see if it’s your bag. While there are a lot to choose from out there, Cloak & Dagger manages to find a smart balance between the light and dark, which fits their stylistics perfectly.
Here’s a little synopsis for the series that’s created by Joe Pokaski, and based on the comic by Bill Mantlo and Ed Hannigan, and check out the interview below:
Cloak & Dagger focuses around two teenagers, Tandy Bowen (Dagger) and Tyrone Johnson (Cloak), played by Olivia Holt and Aubrey Joseph respectively, who are from very different backgrounds and find themselves burdened and awakened to newly acquired superpowers while falling in love. Tandy can emit light daggers and Tyrone has the ability to engulf others in darkness. They quickly learn they are better together than apart, but their feelings for each other make their already complicated world even more challenging.
How much did you know about Tandy and Tyrone before starting the show?
Olivia: We were not familiar with the comics whatsoever. We did a little bit of research going into it and I ended up bringing the first comic book to the audition just to understand the characters and the tone and their journey. Then when we got the parts we dove into the comics a little bit more and the ladies in the hair and make-up trailer plastered Cloak & Dagger comics all over the walls. While we were getting ready for shoot days we could pick a comic off the wall, sit down and read through it.
How do you feel the show fits into the larger world of the Marvel universe?
Olivia: We’re a very progressive show and we’re taking a current-day twist on what’s happening in society right now. I think that’s unique and rare and something we don’t see a lot of in television or certainly not in shows that are based on superheroes. As far as the larger scale of the Marvel universe goes, it’s important for us to finally tell a story about an inter-racial duo team and how they’re better together than how they are apart. For Marvel fans it’s about bringing a new generation of superheroes on board and telling their stories in an authentic way.
Aubrey: Also a lot of superhero duos are the hero and his sidekick, but Tyrone and Tandy are on a level playing field and they need each other. I love how the show stresses who they are as people away from their superpowers.
Did you know from the start that you had such great chemistry?
Olivia: [Laughs] I hated him! I was like ‘Him? Really?‘
Aubrey: It was undeniable that we had chemistry. I walked out of the audition room and went ‘Dang, whatever happens next we just shared a really great moment’.
Olivia: We did chemistry tests with a lot of different actors but the minute we were in the room together it just felt right. It was a pretty special moment and it’s rare that you have chemistry with somebody you know nothing about. We actually did an improvisation scene where we sat down and basically talked about both of our backgrounds and stories. By the end of it we were in tears and I think everybody in that room just felt like ‘Whoa!’ It felt good and we left the room, like Aubrey says, feeling confident that whether we booked the parts or not nobody could ever take that moment away from us.
In the first two episodes you only have one scene together, so was it hard to get the chemistry going again?
Olivia: No because that’s the scene we did at the audition and so we’d done it a lot. It’s interesting actually because when we came to shoot it we were like ‘We’ve done the scene so many times it’s not going to feel spontaneous because it’s been so rehearsed‘. But our director Gina Prince-Bythewood, who directed that first episode and who we just worship and love, really helped us get to an authentic place. And while it’s true we have very few scenes together in the first few episodes, when it comes to episode four we really start to develop a dynamic and a friendship. [Laughs] Before that I never saw his face and I was thinking ‘Where’s Aubrey? It’s meant to be about Cloak and Dagger!‘
Aubrey: Right, but I feel that just helps a lot with the show. You get to know Tyrone and Tandy for who they are respectively, as individuals, and you’re rooting for them so when they finally get together it’s like ‘This is heaven’. And I do feel the fans are in love with the chemistry that Tyrone and Tandy have. I think it’s worth the wait.
What are you most enjoying about playing these characters?
Aubrey: For me one of the best things about Tyrone is how much he shares with Tandy. He’s an introvert, which I’m definitely not – and actually that was a challenge for me at first but I love a challenge. Being able to portray that introverted side of him and to see how much Tandy changes him is great. I was interested in the development of Ty and Tandy. Throughout the season you really watch them grow, not into two completely different people but you really see them grow up.
Olivia: I couldn’t have said it better myself!
Who would you say is the good cop and who is the bad cop in the duo?
Olivia: It really just depends on the situation. They have a lot on their plates and a lot is riding on what’s happening in their individual lives. I don’t know if it’s simply good guy/bad guy or good girl/bad girl. It sort of fluctuates.
Aubrey: I think they’re just human and none of us are perfect. A lot of us have good qualities but a lot of us also have our bad qualities. I wouldn’t even necessarily call them bad qualities, it’s more that we’re not perfect.
Olivia: Without giving spoilers, when something traumatic happens in the show everything just shifts. There’s a paradigm shift and we see how it effects them, how different they are because of it and how they have to cope with it. It’s interesting that we get to see them eight years later and where they’re at, not just going through situations as teenagers but also learning to cope with the fact that they now can teleport and have light daggers coming out of their hands.
Do you think teenagers today are switched on to what’s happening in society?
Aubrey: I think this generation is so aware and so, I guess they say, ‘woke’. They’re already talking about these things and I think this is going to push it to another level where we see that if we connect and if we talk we’ll progress more than if we separate ourselves. Moving with hate isn’t going to take us anywhere so I feel connecting with young people is going to achieve a lot because television and film are two of the biggest outlets in the world.
Olivia: You don’t want to glamorise the harder issues in the show. We’re done watching TV that sugarcoats everything. What’s the point of having a progressive show that kind of shoves everything under the rug? Our goal is to start an open dialogue and to make society aware of what’s happening in this day and age – what it’s like to be a female in America and a young black male in America. It has a lot of heavy material and a lot of layers and a lot of really hard topics to talk about like police brutality, addiction and sexual assault. The aim is to show it in a very raw, authentic way. Of course we want to make a fun show that’s entertaining and has a bit of wit. We don’t want it to be dark and heavy all the time but I think it’s important to address bigger issues.
What’s the coolest thing you’ve done on the show so far?
Olivia: We got to do most of our own stunts, which is pretty cool. We definitely got our steps in and there were a lot of bruises and a lot of sore muscles towards the end of the season, but all for good reasons. To be able to actually go and do what your character is doing is really fun, to feel that adrenaline and that rush, then go into the scene afterwards with that feeling is pretty epic. It’s pretty special. There’s nothing quite like it.
Aubrey: The days where we did stunts made it feel a lot more real, like ‘Wow, I guess we are superheroes!’
Olivia: When you have a harness under your jeans, it’s not as glamorous as you might think…
Aubrey: But the end result is always worth it!
Does it get any better than being part of the Marvel universe?
Aubrey: Marvel’s one of the biggest things in the world so it’s awesome.
Olivia: We grew up going to the movies and now with all the shows that are coming out we’re big fans of those as well.
Who are your favourite Marvel characters?
Olivia: I love Iron Man. I might actually be in love with Iron Man. He’s cheeky and sassy but intelligent and cool. But I’m also really excited about Captain Marvel.
Aubrey: For me it’s Logan/Wolverine and Black Panther. He’s one of my new favourites.