The following contains spoilers from the Aug. 19 episode of HBO Max’s Titans.
Blackfire aka Komand’r of Tamaran has resurfaced on Titans, though perhaps not in the way anyone expected. How will she rebound from her time spent in captivity at the hands of the U.S government — and how will she react to her unlikeliest of saviors, in little sister Kory aka Starfire (played by Anna Diop)?
TVLine spoke with Damaris Lewis, who became a series regular with Season 3, about Blackfire’s return and the “shocker” she brings to the Titans moving forward.
TVLINE | Very interesting episode this week, not at all what I was expecting. What was your reaction when you saw where Blackfire was going to be at the start of Season 3?
Oh my gosh — it was not what I was expecting in the best way possible. After taking over that poor lady’s body [in the Season 2 finale’s bonus scene], I was not expecting to start Season 3 in a vulnerable position, so to see the writers jumping in with this sisterly connection from an emotional standpoint, it was a beautiful thing. I knew right then and there that I was going to have a lot to play with.
TVLINE | Were you sad for Blackfire?
Absolutely. Blackfire and I connect very, very, very deeply. I actually told the writers a lot about my own personal story, growing up, and how I’m always sad for the person who tells the truth but no one believes them. How can you not be, right? We all want to live lives where hopefully we can tell the truth every single day and have people who love us no matter what. But that’s not Blackfire’s experience.
TVLINE | As you said, last we saw her we thought she was going to start kicking ass and taking names, but then we find her being held prisoner by some geeky guy in a basement. How the mighty have fallen.
How the mighty have fallen. You see her get a little jolt of energy when Kory is in there, ready to bust out some fighting moves on her sister, but you’re absolutely right, it is completely not what I think anybody was expecting. As the season goes on, I think people are really going to like it.
TVLINE | How is Blackfire feeling right now about being rescued by her sister?
She is absolutely confused. This has never happened to her before, in her life. She’s never been saved by her sister, she’s never been looked out for by her sister, she always is the one who gets in trouble and stays in trouble…. You see that when they gets upstairs and she’s like, “Where are you taking me? I don’t trust you, you’ve never done this before. Why would you come back for me?” And to be honest with you, this is where the fun begins.
TVLINE | Meanwhile, the biggest thanks that Starfire gets is a complaint about how much the getaway car smells.
I know! [Laughs]
TVLINE | Had Blackfire returned to Earth with an agenda? Like, why did she take over that parking lot lady in the first place?
This is a good question…. At the end of Season 2, you’re just watching Blackfire do what Blackfire does, and I think if there’s an agenda to that, it’s, “Get out of my way.” But you’re going to see that “get out of my way” is not her agenda as the season progresses. You’re going to see a bit more of, “Listen to me.” You’re going to see what happens with sisters, when someone feels like they’re not listened to. It can either be really bad, really good, or really confusing.
TVLINE | Will Kory have moments where she regrets her decision to save you?
I think Kory regrets her decision when she makes that decision, to be honest with you. Deep down, Kory has a big heart, and she can’t let her sister sit in there, so she makes a decision based on her heart, not necessarily her mind. Yeah, Kory regrets that decision every single day. I don’t think she’ll ever not regret that decision.
TVLINE | Will Blackfire have a specific, interesting dynamic with any of the other Titans?
Good question…. You’re going to see her really observe everyone, intently, as the season goes on, but there is a bit of a shocker that’s going to come for a lot of the fans, when it comes to the Titans and Blackfire. But I can’t spoil it; it’s a bit of a plot twist.
TVLINE | Should we be worried at all about Kory’s shrink friend? Such a nice guy….
Such a nice guy. I mean, I already made her kill one of her boyfriends. [To target another] would be vicious.
TVLINE | Now that you’re a series regular, what sort of nuances have you found to play with the character?
One of the big things about Blackfire is she is so androgynous. You’re going to see her in leathers, and fringes, but you’re also going to see her in heels and boots. Her hairstyle’s going to change every single episode, and you’re going to see her in the bad-ass supersuit that she’s got…. What I’m loving more than anything about this character is we are completely shattering this idea of a “tomboy” — like, what does that even mean anymore? A woman can be strong and hard but also empathetic and gentle and soft, and she can speak without speaking and still control the room.
Some of my favorite moments with Blackfire this season are when she’s not talking, how you can still feel her presence whenever she’s there. To be able to be able to play that is a challenge because you have to make sure that your posture is a certain way, your shoulders sit a certain way, your eyes are in a certain position…. To keep that up for the entire season is a big, big, big challenge that I had, but it was one of the funnest challenges because it really allowed me to be dramatic and to really bring back that funny villain who is annoying to her sister, but the audience got. The audience kind of wants that annoying sister.
TVLINE | How do you and Anna Diop get on?
Great. I started hanging out with her long before we filmed, so a sisterly dynamic was already there, which I’m really keen about when it comes to filming. And watching her be able to play scenes so differently this season was a joy because while I’m new, there was already something set up for her. The challenge for her character is I challenge her character. I think it’s always really fun when you get to meet somebody as a human, as a person in their real life, but then when you get on set and the cameras roll, be able to play with that. And I think Anna does that really well.