Jordan Kristine Seamón: ‘We Are Who We Are aided me figure out that I’m gender fluid’ | Tv & radio


On a mid-afternoon in Atlanta, Ga, Jordan Kristine Seamón is sitting down at her desk, explaining her decision of bedroom decor. “That’s Buttercup from The Powerpuff Ladies,” she suggests, gesturing driving her head. “That a single is Jeanette from the Chipettes, I haven’t finished it. Which is Marceline from Journey Time.” She cranes her neck. “Right there, you can barely see him, which is Dexter from Dexter’s Laboratory. And that person in excess of there,” she factors to the huge illustration hovering in excess of her mattress. “That’s a character from The Boondocks. My dad outlined it and I painted it.” She grins. “Something I like to do when I get pretty pressured and cannot cope with the earth is paint on my wall.”

Drawing tremendous cartoon people all in excess of your bedroom is not amongst most people’s pandemic coping mechanisms, but Seamón’s lockdown has not been like most people’s. The eighteen-yr-outdated started 2020 with negligible community profile by its stop she had shot to fame as a direct character in a single of the year’s most stunning Television set demonstrates – Luca Guadagnino’s HBO sequence We Are Who We Are. A lush and spellbinding temper masterpiece from the director of Phone Me By Your Name, it followed a group of American adolescents, together with Seamón’s Caitlin, living on a US military base in northern Italy.

It was Seamón’s mom who noticed the advert for a role in a new impartial Television set sequence and inspired her daughter, an aspiring musician who was attending boarding university on an academic scholarship, to implement. The teenager had minimal practical experience or self esteem when it arrived to performing – “It was just in no way a little something I truly imagined I could do” – but was less than the impression the exhibit was an obscure, smaller-time production. Right after 4 effective self-taped auditions, having said that, she was all of a sudden whisked off to California on a personal aircraft and put up in a extravagant hotel. “That’s when I was like: ‘OK, this could possibly be far more than I bargained for!’”

What followed was a golden age of Television set-style baptism of hearth. Seamón had in no way remaining the US or acted professionally right before now she was embarking on a 6-thirty day period stint on location in Italy less than the gaze of an Oscar-nominated director, and in the organization of stellar expertise together with Chloë Sevigny, Scott Mescudi (AKA the rapper Child Cudi), Gen Z teenager idol Jack Dylan Grazer and soon-to-be close pal Francesca Scorsese (daughter of Martin).

To begin with, she was understandably terrified. Guadagnino’s route was at moments totally arms-off – “In the first couple months I was super-perplexed and felt like an fool any time I tried to do a little something on my own” – and at others “very intense”, but eventually her self esteem all around him grew. “I felt snug going up to him and being like: ‘Hey, a standard teenager would in no way say that – can we improve it?’ And he would be like: ‘Yeah, sure, improve it to how you would discuss.’ Which I imagine helps make the exhibit experience so lifelike and authentic. Simply because it is not prepared by us … but we aided.”

There are not numerous upsides to the pandemic, but the fact Seamón’s star-generating change was unveiled late final yr, at a time of enforced worldwide stasis, proved a welcome reduction. With prepared advertising events and observe-up performing work cancelled or suspended, Seamón suggests she is aware her existence “could have been a large amount far more hectic appropriate now. Which is good because even at this slower rate it still feels pretty annoying and scary”.

Nevertheless Seamón has not used the intervening months twiddling her thumbs. Rather, she took the time to file her debut album, a delicate and accomplished collection of R&B, hip-hop, soul and electropop, accompanied by an hour-prolonged documentary charting its development. Titled Identity Disaster, it was prepared on set in Italy and “was pretty seriously motivated by the exhibit. My character was going via an identity crisis and though playing my character I began to go via a pretty equivalent identity crisis, so I felt the will need to create about it.”

The crisis in dilemma was a single of gender identity: in excess of the class of We Are Who We Are, Caitlin (in some cases known as Harper) comes to phrases with a desire to be found as male, with assist from new mate/soulmate Fraser (Grazer). While playing Caitlin, Seamón, who had used the final couple a long time reckoning with her sexuality (“I’m still every single working day questioning that and what labels do and really do not experience good”), started to see herself in a new mild.

They are who they are ... Francesca Scorsese and Jordan Kristine Seamón in We Are Who We Are.
They are who they are … Francesca Scorsese and Jordan Kristine Seamón in We Are Who We Are. Photograph: HBO

“I had in no way questioned gender identity at all. Generally because in which I’m from it was not talked about, just because it was international to us,” she suggests. “The exhibit really aided me in a pretty wholesome way figure out that I’m gender fluid and that I like going by all pronouns.” (On her social media profiles, Seamón describes her pronoun tastes as “she/they”.) This was fuelled in component by Seamón’s planning for the role. “It’s not specially stated in the script what Caitlin identifies as and who they experience like they are, so I had to do my have analysis. I was scrolling via social media and I observed some point out of gender fluidity and I was curious.” Her world wide web investigations were being then introduced into sharp concentration by her on-set practical experience. “People were being referring to me with several pronouns in the scene so it was effortless for me, Jordan, to experience regardless of whether that felt good or not for me. And it did.”

Element of Caitlin’s gender expression requires her shaving her head. Which intended Seamón had to shave her have, in entrance of the camera – a little something she didn’t realise right up until she’d truly arrived in Italy. “I was super-thrilled at first, you can clearly see in the scene, because which is my legitimate response.” Later on, though, she had a panic attack. “My mom had to hug me and hold me and do respiratory physical exercises, like the total nine.” Now, having said that, she is “thankful for it, because I experience pretty liberated – clearly,” she grins, stroking her scalp in recognition of her new hairstyle’s upkeep. “I shaved my head all over again on Instagram Live!”

Seamón would somewhat shell out lockdown broadcasting her every day routine than looking at her following vocation go she is reluctant to weigh up the respective deserves of audio-generating and performing. “I cannot make up my intellect, like, at any time,” she smiles. “I’m going to say both of those for now. That could improve pretty rapidly, my intellect is all in excess of the location.” Right after these kinds of a whirlwind trajectory, it is an comprehensible technique – clearly, this multitalented teenager’s journey of self-discovery is only just obtaining off the floor.

Identity Disaster is out now the total sequence of We Are Who We Are is readily available on iPlayer

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