Paper Girls is set to be your next obsession, trust us on this. It’s been called the next Stranger Things but the big bonus is that the four main characters are all girls. We think that’s an improvement, honestly.
The show follows four young girls in the eighties who are transported into the future of 2019, (simpler times!) where they figure out a way to get back home to the past. Along the way come face-to-face with the grown-up versions of themselves. Yikes!
KISS got to sit down with three of the main cast Fina Strazza who plays KJ, Riley Lai Nelet who plays Erin and Camryn Jones as Tiffany ahead of the series dropping on Prime Video.
You seemed like you had a ball making the show! What do you think viewers will enjoy about Paper Girls?
Fina: This is a story that isn’t told very often. Even in today’s world. progressive as some things are, young girls don’t quite have this story of all female leads who are still growing up but still have agency in their own lives. They can have conversations with each other that aren’t just about men, they don’t need men to save them. They are not a sidekick or a romantic interest, they are their own characters with fully developed personalities. I hope young girls can find someone to look up to. Each of us has a character that has a story that anyone can identify with them. I hope that our generation, or the next generation or any generation for that matter will find something to relate to.
Riley: I think it’s also really important that young girls can see a real representation of how they really are in real life. It’s not girls fighting over something, I think the four characters have flaws and they’re not picture perfect. That’s how it really is. It’s okay to not know things. We touch on topics like menstruation which is completely okay. You can have your period it’s not weird! It’s okay to not know how tampons and pads work. We’re all trying to help each other out. Watching it and being a part of it is so empowering. I’m really excited for not just little girls, but people all over the world to see it.
Camryn: I just really want girls to know that they can decide their own fate. And it’s okay to watch this show and see yourself in it. That’s what we want you to do. We want you to know that you don’t have to be the damsel in distress. You don’t have to only talk about boys. You can pass the Bechdel test. You can be who you are.
We love the female friendships in the show! How fun was that to play?
Fina: The bonds of the character grew and so did our bond as actors.
Riley: While we were filming it, I felt represented as a woman. I was glad that we got to be part of that show that represented that female friendship that wasn’t that cattiness. I loved being able to be part of that and bring that out.
Paper Girls was a comic book first, did you feel pressure to deliver to die-hard fans?
Fina: Each of us has a storyline that needs to be handled with care. A lot of people have found themselves in the books so when filming the show we had that in mind. We studied the source material while also adding in new twists so it’s still exciting to watch. I hope audiences like what we’ve done.
Riley: The four girls in the comics are so likeable and in the series we’ve brought an essence to the characters that humanises the characters. I hope people find themselves in the characters, whether that be one or a few.
Camryn: The writers made it easy with their incredible scripts. And the comic creators always had a thumbs up on the script, so that made it easier. I think the fans are going to love it.
Your characters are 12, but you’re a bit older. Do you still relate to them?
Fina: Even though we’re playing 12-year-olds on the show and we’re not 12 now, we’ve all been there. That is what is beautiful about the show. Even though they are four young girls, any age range can relate to them. They are going through human experiences and they are going through things that people feel. They are fully developed girls that are going through. I relate to KJ a lot.
Camryn: I relate to all of the characters actually. I can find myself in all of them. I relate to Tiffany the most, I really relate to her struggles and the things she has to face. I really hope that people can relate to her. The show is really about representation and I want people to find themselves in it so they can on adventures with them.
Riley: I relate to all of the characters! I think it’s such a beautiful thing that the audience can relate to them. Everyone at the age of 12, no matter if you’re a girl or however you identify, there is an uncertainty on whether you fit in or not. It’s just an awkward stage of life. You’re not exactly a kid and you’re not exactly an adult. I feel between the ages of 10 and 14 is really awkward because people treat you like a child but expect you to act like an adult.
Paper Girls drops on Prime Video on July 29th.
Written by Bronwyn O’Neil