We all have wondered if we met one of our superheroes in real life, what our first question might be to ask them - looks like 'Naomi' star Cranston Johnson has his inquiry already figured out if he were to meet Superman.
Ava DuVernay and The CW are flying high in 2022 as DuVernay's new series, 'Naomi,' has entered into the DC Universe and in our homes, which premiered on January 11th.
The series stars Kaci Walfall (“Army Wives,” “Power,” “The Lion King” on Broadway) in the title role, NAOMI follows the journey of a cool, confident, comic book-loving teenager as she pursues her hidden destiny. When a supernatural event shakes her small hometown of Port Oswego, Naomi sets out to uncover its origins, with a little help from her fiercely loyal best friend Annabelle (Mary-Charles Jones, “Kevin Can Wait”). She also has the support of her adoptive, doting parents, veteran military officer Greg (Barry Watson, “7th Heaven,” “The Loudest Voice”), and linguist Jennifer (Mouzam Makkar, “The Fix”).
After an encounter with Zumbado (Johnson, “Filthy Rich”), the mysterious owner of a used car lot, leaves her shaken, Naomi turns to tattoo shop owner Dee (Alexander Wraith, “Orange Is the New Black”), who becomes her reluctant mentor. While unraveling the mystery of herself, Naomi also navigates her high school friendships with both military kids and local townies, including ex-boyfriend and high school jock Nathan (Daniel Puig, “The System”); Annabelle’s longtime, loyal boyfriend Jacob (Aidan Gemme, “Deliver Us From Evil”); proud “townie” Anthony (Will Meyers, “Bad Education”); and fellow comic book enthusiast Lourdes (newcomer Camila Moreno). As Naomi journeys to the heights of the Multiverse in search of answers, what she discovers will challenge everything we believe about our heroes.
Your Voice Media correspondent Ty Cole chatted with Johnson about the series, what he would ask Superman if he met him, why Walfall is the perfect actress to play Naomi and even joins the conversation on who thinks should host the Oscars.
Cole: Zumbado is already giving the audience a lot of intensity, slightly establishing himself as the bad guy. As we continue to unravel Zumbado, let us know some of his qualities and how he will be a major part of the season?
Johnson: When we first see him, he's this mysterious character and we're trying to figure him out as we don't know his motivation. That's the exciting part about playing Zumbado as he's very unpredictable. As the series continues, we will see more of the backstory and the origin story on how my character is linked to Naomi without giving so much away.
Cole: In your opinion, what makes a good villain and what makes a good superhero?
Johnson: For me, what makes a good supervillain is someone who is unpredictable, mysterious, an enigma, and we can't put into a box - we don't know really what this person is about. Having those qualities and having a fine line of aggression and intensity with vulnerability. If you can have those blends, that's what makes a great villain. A lot of the times when we find people with these qualities, sometimes they really are victims - something similar I'm doing with my character. An excellent superhero is someone who is likable and will support everyone - doesn't matter sexuality, race, etc., they are fighting for the people to lift up their spirits and give them hope.
Cole: What do you think it will be about the main character that will have fans fall in love and connect with her?
Johnson: There's this quality that Kaci has that's so warm and lovable - it translates on screen because that's who she is in real life. When I watched the pilot a few months ago - I wanted to see more of her smile and energy. She's a positive individual that we're going to want to fight for her and be in her corner.
Cole: If you could meet Superman, what would be the first question you would ask him?
Johnson: Great question (laughs). I would like to know about his kryptonite and why this is something he's susceptible to. The comic book lovers may already know that question - for me growing up, while Superman is iconic, you also heard about his kryptonite. To me, I have never done the research in knowing that, so definitely want to learn about it.
Cole: The Oscars are coming back and this time with a host … many people are sharing who they would like to see execute the hosting duties. Is there anyone you would like to see host come March?
Johnson: I'm a huge Jamie Foxx fan, so I would choose him because he has the comedic element, the dramatic element, and is a former Oscar winner. He's so relatable to me and I enjoy his work so I would love to see him, host. I'm sure whomever they choose, they will be great.
While we wait to see Johnson host the Oscars one day, you don't have to wait to see him in action on 'Naomi' which airs on The CW on Tuesdays at 9:00-10:00pm ET/PT