What I found interesting was how long they’ve known each other. Love stories don’t always start with romance. You can know each other long before that spark ignites, or before you realize the spark is already there.
Ruby and I talked that to death while filming. Obviously [our characters] We’ve spent our entire lives together, so we wanted to make sure it felt real. And there were so many different scenarios and paths that we could have taken. I think for Jade it was probably always there and she just didn’t want to cross that line. And Kit, her attention is being drawn in 500 different ways all the time.
I think that’s why it’s so confusing for them, because they grew up together since they were about two years old. So it’s kind of like, oh, when did they start seeing each other in a different way?
Is there anything else about this relationship that you feel is notable or significant in terms of representation to have a queer love story on a mainstream Disney fantasy show?
yes massive When I got the character description, it said she was queer in it too. And I immediately thought, ‘A queer person in Disney? Absolutely I will! Where can I sign in?’ That is exciting. I think it’s important that children can see that. I think if I had a show like this when I was 13 I would have felt a lot less alienated and a lot less alone. And so I think it’s really important.
Did you bring any part of your own life or experience into playing Jade?
I feel a lot like Jade and I think the only thing that separates us is our environment. I think if I grew up in that environment I would be the same or very similar to Jade. I think a lot of people can relate to having a crush on someone or liking someone and being like, ‘Oh, I can’t go too far, or I don’t want to take my shot and turn it down.’ But yeah, there’s that extra thing that Kit is a king that Jade takes very seriously. But Kit would be like, ‘What the hell are you talking about? You are my best friend.’
Jade was conditioned to think that way. And it was so great to talk to Ruby about all of that. We had a lot of time to create backstories and memories that we would have had together and really think about it and solidify it. And I think even if you’re queer and you’re playing a queer character, you can always bring more to it because you feel comfortable. I felt very comfortable with my sexuality in this role. And we could add things that weren’t in the script just because it felt natural.
Does the representation aspect put additional pressure on you?
I don’t think I really thought too much about the pressure. I just enjoyed this opportunity to bring a queer character to life and have more representation in the industry. Yes, I just enjoyed it I think.
https://www.vanityfair.com/hollywood/2022/12/erin-kellyman-willow-interview Erin Kellyman is having her Shining Armor moment