PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — One of the most exciting DC Titans characters to step into the limelight is Blackfire, played by Damaris Lewis.
First appearing in season 2, Blackfire’s arc was somewhat short, but it left Titans fans wondering about the future of Lewis’ character. Now she has her own episode named after her.
Blackfire, also known as Komand’r or Komal Anders, was born on the planet of Tamaran. She’s the older sister of Starfire, also known as Kory Anders, played by Anna Diop.
Damaris Lewis spoke exclusively with WMBD’s Matt Sheehan about season 3 and what fans can expect out of her character.
Sheehan: Episode 4 drops today (Thursday, Aug. 19). How exciting is this for you, and what can fans expect to see?
“I must say, from the beginning of this process and going through a pandemic and seeing how many people it take to get to this point, it’s all about gratitude. It’s about gratitude to the COVID team, to the producers who worked every single day to make sure we were safe and we got it done,” Lewis said. “I’m even more excited now because everyone is home. Being able to bring entertainment and life to people’s screens while it might be cloudy outside, it’s an honor.”
Sheehan: You end up on earth, captured. How’d you get there?
“I question my space on earth every day as an alien. Yes, that is what you will find out as the season progresses. Why am I here? Why Earth? I call it a backwater planet in Season 3 Episode 4. Do I know the secret? Is there a secret? What does Blackfire want? I think that’s going to unfold in a very big way this season.”
Sheehan: You and Koriand’rs relationship is a bit shaky. There’s definitely a deep bond between the two characters, but also this tension that you could kill each other at any second. Talk about your dynamic with Kory and if things are going to improve or get worse in season 3.
“I think the word that keeps getting thrown around, a la Vin Diesel in Fast and Furious, is “Family.” We’ve been taught as Tamaraneans to respect your family no matter what. What you’re going to see between these two is this… Blackfire comes to Earth and goes “huh, I know this girl better than her family. I’m your family actually.’ Whereas Koriand’r has a different family now. Blackfire has to deal with that, see if it’s something she’s always wanted or maybe something she doesn’t need. We’re gonna see what happens when you have a sister in town who boils your blood. When everyone else in this house thinks you’re the greatest superhero in this world, but she can say one thing and it can annoy you. We’re going to see the power of words more than anything with this dynamic.”
Sheehan: Talk about you and Anna’s relationship in real life and how it translates onto the screen.
“Sisters. Absolutely, they have cast sisters. I had the opportunity to hang out with Anna before we filmed. Which is really nice, and really a treat in this industry when you get to bond with the person who is playing your sibling before you get on-screen. But what I’ve really noticed is we’re sweet women in the trailer, then we gotta go on screen and be angry. I think Anna and I did really well, explored the sister dynamic, explore what happens when you’re out of your comfort zone but only you two know that. I was really lucky to be paired with Anna. Her casting on the show didn’t get the nicest comments, so I was able to come in and say ‘I got you.’ That’s what we did,” Lewis said.
Sheehan: How’d you prepare for the role? Any comics you can point to?
“I actually opted to not study the comics as much as I did nature. I studied animals. I absolutely wanted her to be as animalistic as possible. Whether it’s her hands, whether it’s the motion of her head, her fighting style. I studied cheetahs, I studied jaguars, I studied ducks. I know that’s not the answer you’re looking for, but here we are,” Lewis laughed. “I spent most of my time studying how nature moves. Blackfire, to me, is a woman of her planet. I wanted to create a sense that she was regal because she wore a crown, but because she was connected to the ground.”
Sheehan: What does the role of Blackfire mean to you personally?
“Playing Blackfire has been one of my greatest joys. First and foremost, I’m an athlete. I’m a dancer. It’s seldom your hobbies get to line up when it comes to the acting world. I’m tall, I’m 5″11. When you see the comic book of Blackfire, it’s very similar to my stature. It felt really nice, stepping into a role that I felt I could do. In terms of the villain character, a character who doesn’t fit in. I have a phrase that says “No legend ever fit in.” She’s taught me a lot about not caring what people say and knowing that because I don’t fit in, it is my superpower.”
Sheehan: What’s your favorite part of playing Blackfire?
“My favorite part of playing Blackfire is suiting up. Suiting up! I get to have someone call me or text me and say ‘it’s time to put on your super suit.’ Then I get a team of people who come and put the cuffs on me, putting on the boots and strapping up. I’m walking around the street in the flyest suit ever. I got to be a superhero out loud for a year. Putting on that suit, I’d do it any day,” Lewis said.
Sheehan: Season 3’s been pretty crazy so far. We saw Hank blown up in episode 3, Jason has become Red Hood. Are there any bombshells coming later in the season you can tease for the fans?
“Every episode this season, the fans are gonna go ‘what?’ The Titans writers have done a miraculous job at tying a lot of different storylines. There’s going to be some stuff you don’t see coming with Blackfire, absolutely. But it’s going to make the story better.”
Sheehan: Am I missing anything?
“I want people to know Blackfire’s entire costume. Her hair, to her super suit, to the clothing she wears, to her day-to-day, to her shoes, to her fighting style, Capoeira, everything is intentional. Every stitching, every hairstyle was picked months in advance. We did it for the fans. We want to give the fans an opportunity to go on this ride with us and have fun with us, and I really believe that they will,” Lewis said.
Titans Season 3 is now airing on HBO Max. New episodes drop every Thursday.
In next week’s episode, releasing August 26, fans will see a closer look into Jason Todd’s backstory and his evolution into Red Hood.