Usually when I “yay” a show it’s because they are truthfully depicting “biracial.” This time, though, it’s because CW’s The Vampire Diaries is engaging in some non-traditional casting. Before Karen of ReelArtsy.com‘s interview with Katerina Graham I had never heard of the actress or this upcoming series. When I looked into it I was happy to learn that the character Ms. Graham will play is written as white in the The Vampire Diaries books. Way to be open minded CW!
Katerina Graham plays Bonnie on The Vampire Diaries.
As any fan of the L.J. Smith novels on which this show is based is aware of, there are some differences between Elena’s BFF in the books and the character portrayed by Graham.
For starters, the former is blonde.
But, in a new interview, Graham says she’s taking a fresh approach to the role.
“In an interesting way, Bonnie kind of sets the tone of the show. She has a very foreboding texture. It’s a great show. The writing is great and the cast is really great,” Graham said, adding:
“If you’ve read the books you’ll notice there are some differences between Bonnie and me, physically. The best thing I could have done for myself and for the fans, and to do justice to L.J.’s novels, was to forget the physical characteristics of Bonnie and capture her essence. I think L.J. is great. I thank her for giving the world these books.
The Vampire Diaries premieres on September 10 on The CW.
ReelArtsy.com has a great interview with biracial actress Katerina Graham. You can read it in it’s entirety here.
On being black/biracial in Hollywood:
“Luckily I’ve worked my butt off. I’ve been able to do roles that weren’t necessarily meant for me because of what I look like. I’ve been fortunate enough to surpass certain expectations that anyone might have had of me. Sometimes it’s been hard, sometimes they’re like ‘oh you’re not black enough’ or ‘you’re not white enough’ or ‘we don’t know what to do with you’ or ‘you don’t match up with this person’. And sometimes it’s been a blessing, sometimes I’ve been able to blaze my own way trails and say: you know what I’m biracial, I don’t come from necessarily the background that some other people have but if you give me a chance I’ll promise I’ll do a good job and I know what I’m doing. And I think that color aside, and all of that aside, it’s work that matters. You being a good actor, being a good person, you know, it’s who you are inside that is going to make it either…you succeed or you fail.
And I have great parents. I have great people around me. I have a great cast who doesn’t judge each other on anything physical. It’s a very loving environment and I think that I’m just fortunate enough to break certain stereotypes and hopefully lead the way maybe for other African-American women who would love the same opportunities or who would love to do something different.”