Kalama Epstein – The Fosters
By: Jamie Steinberg
Q) What are the recent projects that you are working on?
A) I have been working on “The Fosters.” I’ve done a couple short films that are in the works and going through some festivals right now. Hopefully, they will be online in the next year or so. I just finished filming a Walmart commercial that is airing around. That is a funny one so I hope everyone gets to see that.
Q) How was Noah originally described to you?
A) In Noah’s original description there was no mention of the pot, which I think is hilarious. That is such a huge, huge part of the character now, especially this season. It will be interesting to see it effects the character. Originally, he was just described as the pastor’s son who belongs to a Christian youth group where he is accepted for who he is. Then, he was a gay fifteen year old who is the pastor’s son and accepted for who he is and that was in a Christian youth group. It was the essence of the character at first and then we got to build on that over time.
Q) What were your first thoughts when the pot aspect was added to your character?
A) I didn’t believe they were doing that at first. I think the pot was introduced the third or fourth episode my character was in. Hayden comes up to me on set and says, “Yeah, we’re going to be smoking pot next episode.” I was like, “What?! What?! You must have gotten it wrong. That has to be for a different character. That’s not for us.” Sure enough, we talked about the anxiety in the next episode and smoking marijuana. I didn’t believe they were doing that to our characters to first. But when you think about it, it’s really not that crazy. At first, I was surprised because he was the Bible boy – the pastor’s son. I didn’t see him going down that path and look where he is now!
Q) Did you and Hayden Byerly get to spend much time together to develop chemistry between your characters?
A) We didn’t spend much time together before we started filming. As soon as we started, I think the first day on set we definitely bonded pretty instantly. We just started talking and we hit it off right away. The first day we started filming together was the first scene at the youth group, we just hit it off and became great friends that day. We have only gotten closer as we have continued filming.
Q) What have been some of your most memorable moments from filming?
A) Definitely the boat scenes for the season premiere of 4B. That was a ton of fun! Especially when we had to jump. We got to do our own stunt, which was pretty fun. They had stunt doubles there, but in the end we ended up feeling comfortable filming it ourselves. So, we got to jump from the boat to the dock. That was just a blast figuring out the blocking and doing that over and over. Those boat scenes were hilarious!
Q) Now that Jude and Noah are allowed to see each other, will that bring them closer or was it more of a forbidden love attraction?
A) Just from looking at the character, you can only get closer with that. There is no more hiding. So, when you don’t have to hide anymore I think that definitely strengthens the relationship. I’m excited to see how that strengthens them as a couple and how they grow as a couple. I don’t think there is anything bad to them being able to see each other. If anything, it is only good.
Q) Is there somewhere you personally connect with Noah?
A) My biggest thing with Noah is if you want to call him a bad influence on Jude, yes. To a certain extent he is a bad influence on Jude. I mean, all teenagers experiment and try new things. It’s not necessarily a bad thing. But if you want to say that Noah is corrupting Jude, yeah…Maybe he is, but he doesn’t have bad intentions. He never has bad intentions. He always has the best intentions. He’s never trying to corrupt Jude. He is just a teenager having fun who cares so deeply for Jude. I just feel that in that way, Noah is just a very kind hearted soul and a kindhearted person, which is how I see myself. That is very much how I see myself.
Q) With such a big cast on “The Fosters” is there someone you would most like to have a scene with in the future?
A) I have not gotten to do a scene with Elliot Fletcher who plays Aaron. I have not gotten to do a scene with him yet and I would love to because he’s such a cool guy. I’d love to do a scene with him.
Q) What can you tease is to come the rest of the season for Noah and Jude?
A) I think you are definitely going to see the relationship kind of grow as they figure out who they are as people and figure out who they are as a couple. As they teach each other new things and experience new things you’ll definitely see them grow and become stronger as a couple and as friends. I really cannot wait to see what people think of some of the episodes coming up. It is so awesome and I just love this season so much! I’m very, very excited to see everyone’s reaction to how Jude and Noah grow, how they become stronger and what they face as a couple. I’m very excited to see how people react to that.
Q) What kind of fan reaction have you gotten to Noah?
A) The majority of it is fantastic. Pretty much all the tweets I receive are all good. Of course, there are people who don’t want to accept Noah. They don’t like him, which I can understand. If you don’t like him, you don’t like him. There is nothing I can do about that. The majority of social media interaction and reaction I see is mostly love for Noah, which makes me so happy and very excited that people are enjoying my character. I was very scared when we were filming the start of Season Four that he was going to get a really, really bad reaction and fans would hate me. But thank goodness I was wrong! I can say that I was wrong.
Q) What would you like to be sure everyone knows about Noah?
A) There are a lot of people who think that Noah is just trying to corrupt Jude. I really strongly believe that is not the case. A lot of people are worried that Noah doesn’t really care about Jude, which I disagree with. I think he cares about Jude very, very deeply. I feel like that is the only thing about Noah that people get wrong. They feel he is just there to corrupt and be a bad influence on Jude, which I would disagree with.
Q) What would you like to say to everyone who is a fan and supporter of you and your work?
A) Thank you! Thank you for watching the show. Thank you for supporting me. Getting all the support on Twitter and Instagram means a lot to me. It truly means the world to me seeing the support on social media. When people say they love the character and the work it feels my heart with joy. I am really thankful to everyone who supports the character and me. I wouldn’t be able to do it without you. So, thank you very much.