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Adwoa Aboah and Erin Kellyman on the Playful, Inclusive Spirit of Disney's Willow

New Disney+ series Willow is the 1988 fantasy by George Lucas A sequel to the film, but with one key difference? This time around, the hero’s journey has been greatly expanded in scope and inclusiveness. Many of the protagonists and supporting characters are people of color, and an intimate relationship is central to the narrative. As Adwoa Aboah, a model and actress in the series, told

Vogue: “Why doesn’t this fantasy world include all different types of people?”

For Erin Kellyman who plays Jade, a freckled multiracial castle warrior who falls in love with a future queen, Willow’s naturalistic diversity as a welcome addition to the collection. “We’re just being

in our characters,” says Kellyman, who grew up in the English Midlands and previously appeared in Disney’s Solo: A Star Wars Story . “It’s not overemphasized. I think people of color can play roles that aren’t necessarily POC. It’s just about them as characters and people.”

Future queens Kit and Jade The heartfelt relationship between was hailed by critics as “the first true franchise on Disney Plus to really center on a queer story.” (Disney has often faced audience criticism for only offering fleeting or coded LGBTQ+ narratives.) “Queer lure” when, in fact, there is no such narrative involved.) But for Kellyman, who considers himself queer, what really attracted this breakout character was its multidimensionality and multifacetedness. Very well written Jade is a character. Kellyman said she read the show’s script and “was in love with [Jade] right away and joined it.

As the adventure progresses, Jade and a group of unexpected allies embark on a mission to rescue Kit from danger. Halfway through, Jade encounters a long-lost The older sister, played by Apoya. After a brief moment of saber-rattling, the two quickly reconnected and rekindled their family connection. Kellyman said the on-screen pairing was a full circle moment. A growing up in her childhood Moment is seeing a campaign photo of Aboah at the airport – she has modeled for countless luxury brands and appeared in various editions of Vogue – that marks the One of the first times she saw someone who looked like her on a billboard.

“I remember going to the airport with my mom and our plane was really late so We were stressed and running all the time,” recalls Kelly. “I remember seeing Adwoa on this screen and suddenly being very stiff and still. I told my mom, ‘Wow, she looks like me. My mom and I just stood there for a long time, looking at Adwoa’s face on this giant screen. See a half-breed with freckles and red hair? I just never saw it. once. ”




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