Exclusive Titans Interview: Damaris Lewis On Blackfire In Season 3

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Titans season 3 is perhaps one of the more personal ones this year for the HBO Max drama, particularly for Anna Diop’s Starfire. After the setup in the second season, Blackfire, played by Damaris Lewis, has become one of the main focuses for season 3 as the Tamaran sisters deal with their family conflict. While the Red Hood war is still ongoing, the fourth episode, appropriately titled “Blackfire,” was a significant chapter for Kori and Komand’r. Even though things may be good between them now, there are still many episodes left of Titans season 3 to come, and the show has only touched the surface of their complex family history.

Recently, DC TV Podcasts/Titans Podcast was fortunate to chat with Blackfire herself as Damaris Lewis broke down more about the events of the fourth episode and where things will go this season. As Lewis has spent almost two seasons playing the iconic Teen Titans baddie, the actress chatted about what she has enjoyed exploring with this character, where the Blackfire/Starfire situation will go in future episodes, creating the costume, and more.

UPDATE 9/2/2021: READ THE FOLLOWING PART ONLY IF YOU HAVE SEEN TITANS SEASON 3, EPISODE 6 “LADY VIC” – SPOILERS INCLUDED:

DC TV Podcasts: Something I really enjoyed in 306 [“Lady Vic”] and was kind of surprised with that I didn’t expect to see was the dynamic that Blackfire started developing with Superboy. I’m still cracking up at her wanting Connor as her “manservant.” But I think there’s more to that, thinking ‘Twitter is gonna ship this.’ I know for a fact there’s going to be shippers after this episode. But on a serious note, what can you say about that going forward because even though they’re so different from each other, there was still so much they could relate to in just that one powerful scene in the car.

Damaris Lewis: I think you’re again, hitting the nail on the head. Blackfire is assessing everyone. She’s assessing. She’s still at war, right? She’s assessing who she can trust, who she can’t She might be saying in the house, but it doesn’t mean that they’re friends. And so I think that that’s what you see with Superboy when you hit 306. She’s assessing this character speaking to her. Everyone is being really nice to her. This is new, this is weird. They gave her a home. And so when you get to that 306, I think it’s a deeper level of her questioning that this idea that she had about herself as being completely broken. And I think it might need some assessments. You might actually have to assess that. But also too, it’s Blackfire. Right, she doesn’t trust anyone. This could be all part of their plan to make sure that she doesn’t hurt anybody. So why is he talking to me? Why? Why do you care? The thing about Blackfire is that she’s always telling the truth. And it’s the truthtellers who are the ones who end up being the ones who have been the most hurt, most of the time. So that car scene, you know, Blackfire is telling the truth. She has no reason to not tell the truth. She knows people aren’t going to believe her. [laughs] So if you lie, and then they don’t believe you. It’s kind of a wasted cost. So in 306, you really see her start to one by one assess the Titans. And I think it starts off with Superboy.


DC TV Podcasts: Now that you’ve spent more than a year with this character, what have been some of your takeaways from getting to play Blackfire?

Damaris Lewis: Oh, that’s a great question! My biggest takeaway from playing a villain, from playing Blackfire is that you should never underestimate the multitude of people who don’t fit in. We put them in a box, and make them the “other”, and make them weird, and make them strange. But those are some of the most brilliant people on Earth, they are the ones who change the world. And so for me, it really gave me a sense of peace and empathy. This age that we’re in, it’s very easy to react to a tweet that someone might say that you might not like, and then sit back and go, ‘Okay, well, do you know this person? Is this person having a good day? Are you having a good day?’ Blackfire really taught me about the multitude, [she] taught me about unlimited.

DC TV Podcasts: Before you got the role, were you familiar with the Teen Titans? Or was that something you got to kind of explore as you booked the show, including exploring the rivalry between Starfire and Blackfire?

Lewis: So I was familiar with the show before I got cast. I absolutely loved Blackfire, the episode where she gets to meet the Titans and she’s looking at Robin’s cape, and she’s fabulous. And she’s on the dance floor. And she’s kind of doing her own thing really got me even more excited about playing this character because she’s already established as somebody who kind of shakes up the room.

DC TV Podcasts: What I really loved about episode 4 is that it really explored more about what happened between them on Tamaran and it’s definitely not as black and white as some might see it. It’s a very complicated sibling dynamic so can you tease if we’re going to explore that more throughout the season, even maybe through some flashbacks? Because I know many, including myself, who have been wanting to see Tamaran in the flesh, is that something you can talk about?

Lewis: This season a lot of questions are going to be answered. Let’s just say that in terms of Komand’r, in terms of Kori, in terms of our parents, the “who, what, where, when and why” of our world are going to come to the forefront, and that is all that I will say about that.

DC TV Podcasts: Intriguing! So the way episode four ended, it seems that there’s peace between the sisters, for now. But as you probably know with siblings, things can sometimes get chaotic. So what can you say as we go forward? Would you say that she’s becoming a Titan, or should we still expect her to go a little rogue as we get further into the season?

Lewis: Well, I think you hit a really good point about the energy that we left episode four off with. Blackfire is a Tamaranian, Kori is a Tamaranian, they were taught to honor their family. So though, they do not trust each other by any means, they are family. And that’s what you see when she gets in the car. Right? ‘Where are you taking me? Just get in the car. I don’t trust you.’ Well, you’ve got two options, right? She chose family. And as this continues, you’re going to really, really, really enjoy the ride that we take you on. To show you who Blackfire is, not necessarily just as a villain, but as the woman underneath the – I would say flesh but I don’t know if it’s flesh that she has, every time I talk about her and I want to say human I’m like ‘Nope!’ You’re gonna definitely get to partake in Blackfire and Starfire learning more about themselves through each other.

DC TV Podcasts: What can you tease about Blackfire’s dynamic with the Titans as she gets to know them a bit better? Like how does she react to someone like Dick Grayson?

Lewis: Well, I think from the time we walk into Wayne Manor, she thinks everybody’s crazy. So I think right off the bat. She’s confused. Why is no one serving me? Why is no one rolling out the red carpet for me? Why is this car so filthy? Who are these people who live here? I called Wayne Manor ‘quaint,’ right? So it really is this fun fun fun opportunity for her to look at the Titans as ‘You guys are weird. None of you are related? And you respect each other, what is this? No one’s trying to kill each other.’

It’s really confusing for Blackfire and I think that’s what you see in that moment instead of her asking those questions, she tries to do what she does and claim her space, claim her authority because if you do that then nobody has to get vulnerable with you, right? She’s already been vulnerable right so that with Kori and Gar they know what she’s like when she’s down but nobody else does. So I think she’s really gonna have fun playing up the fact that nobody else knows what she looks like broken.

Titans-Blackfire-Concept-Art

DC TV Podcasts: Something I really enjoyed with episode four was the fight scenes between Starfire and Blackfire, it makes me even more stoked to see them clash when they are in their suits! So can you talk about developing Blackfire’s fighting technique with the stunt team and can you tease when we might see that costume in action, perhaps with a cape?

Lewis: Absolutely. So well, Blackfire’s fighting style is the Brazilian martial arts form of Capoeira. I personally am a Samba dancer, I’ve been dancing Samba for the past 11 years. And when I was conceptualizing Blackfire, I saw her as a fighter who was low to the ground. Because I feel that it’s very, very rare that we see grounded women. We have the heels on, but we can still be down there, literally. So with the stunt team, I want to Larnell [Stovall, Titans Stunt Co-Ordinator/Director]. and I basically said to him, ‘Hey, I’ve got this idea. How did you feel about doing something different?’ and we set it on Capoeira and I went into training in 2019. Actually, I started my Capoeira training before the pandemic, with an amazing teacher named Xingu [del Rosario.]

And we learned the basics., we drilled it and we drilled it, and we drilled it. One of the funniest things I will say was training with them. And really getting to experience a different side of martial arts, but also too I have to give it up to Lj SuperSuit [Laura Jean Shannon.] We did my fitting with me working out. So we’d have a fitting and when they were doing the shoulder pads, I would go into a handstand while they were fitting me. So that we knew how much space I needed for my shoulders so that I was unrestricted when it came to our fight scenes. It was a group effort, I must say, on everybody’s part. You will see that suit in the season. I will not be telling you how. [laughs] And I will not be telling you when, but just know it’s going to be worth it.

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DC TV Podcasts: And…is there a cape? [laughs]

Lewis: She does have a cape, she had a cape in the hologram. I don’t know if you guys saw that. So I believe that she’s already established that she has a cape but I don’t know if she has a cape! [laughs]. She has got a lot of really cool clothes coming your way!

DC TV Podcasts: Well given how amazing Kory’s fashion style has been, I can only imagine what Blackfire’s wardrobe is going to look like!

Lewis: She’s very androgynous! It’s going to be subtle, but it’s going to make a difference. It’s heavily based and influenced by her suit. And I wanted to make sure that whenever we saw her, we saw a regal woman, no matter what, obviously after 3×04. Whenever you see Blackfire, you will see a queen!

Titans season 3 release new episodes every Thursday on HBO Max – tune in next week after episode 6 for more of our chat with Damaris Lewis!

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