Recently I spoke with the talented and versatile Victoria Park. Victoria plays Kamilla on the CWs The Flash and was kind enough to talk about her career, the show, and what fans can look forward to.
I saw that you had studied at Northwestern and have extensive training but what drew you towards acting and what would you say was your big break?
It’s funny because I didn’t originally move to LA to pursue acting. I studied cinematography at Northwestern and took an acting class to potentially help me as a director. I wasn’t expecting to love it as much as I did, and I definitely wasn’t expecting to have the career that I now have, but I’m so grateful it turned out the way that it did. I love any aspect of storytelling, but the unique perk of acting is being able to live and experience life as another person. There’s a freedom to express or react in ways you might not feel able to in your own life, and I love that if you do it well, it gives you the ability to connect to people you might not get the chance to otherwise. For me, my big break was probably when our pilot, Sweet/Vicious, got picked up to MTV. I absolutely loved working on that show, and I only wish we got the chance to work on it longer.
How did you prepare for the part of Kamilla and how much did you know about the show and history of The Flash Going In?
I didn’t know that much about The Flash going into my audition. I knew it was based on the comic and that it was a popular show, but that was pretty much it. Luckily, Kamilla is a character that doesn’t exist in the comics, so there was a lot of freedom in creating her character however I (and the writers) saw fit. I also had the added benefit that Kamilla enters the show knowing nothing about Team Flash or that Cisco is Vibe. That gave me the ability to learn more about the show and the comics in real time as Kamilla did.
I saw that you consider yourself a Foodie; do you have favorite places to go in and around Vancouver?
I am! There are so many places I love to eat in Vancouver, but my favorites are: Danbo for ramen; Finch’s in gastown for their blue brie, pear, and prosciutto sandwich; Miku or Minami for aburi sushi; and Phnom Penh for truly ph(e)nom-enal (see what I did there?) Vietnamese-Cambodian. My mouth is watering now, thanks.
With the previous season being halted short of the intended season finale due to Covid; what was it like in the time between the shutdown and the resumption of filming?
Well I’m sure anyone can attest to that time being difficult just on a human level. I had to put a ban on reading the news before 5pm, because otherwise my mental health would plummet and it would be next to impossible to get anything done. But global pandemic (and everything that came with it) aside, it was nice to have so much uninterrupted time at home with my husband and our cats and dog. In this industry, it’s pretty uncommon to have that much time in one place with loved ones, so I consider that a huge blessing. I was definitely itching to get back to work though in September, and it was so good to see the cast and crew again after six months apart.
As a follow up; what did you do during the shutdown?
It was such an odd thing for the industry to pretty much shut down for a few months; I’ve honestly never known that to happen. But it was nice to take time to rest, work on my mental health, and explore other creative endeavors, such as painting and writing. I also took part in typical “pandemic activities” such as puzzles and baking, just like most people who found themselves with a surprising amount of time on their hands. We also took every possible opportunity to get outside; we took a lot of camping and hiking trips and discovered a new love for the beach.
What was it like your first day back filming and have things changed much under the new guidelines?
As I mentioned earlier, it was so great seeing everyone again after our six months off. It was so difficult not to hug everyone after so much time apart! Getting used to the covid restrictions took some getting used to at first, but after a while, it became second-nature. I do still wish we could hug again, but I’m just grateful for the opportunity to work and that we’re able to do it safely.
Looking at your character, how would you say she has grown since her first appearance and how would you like to see her grow going forward?
Over the past three seasons, Kamilla has stepped up a lot as a member of Team Flash and Team Citizen. She’s grown in confidence and in a relationship, both with Cisco and the ladies of Team Citizen. Now that she’s out of the mirrorverse, we’re going to get to see Kamilla turn to her love of photography to help process all that she went through, and I’m excited to see where that takes her.
The cast of the show has always had the core base but a good amount of moving parts in terms of new and returning cast as the stories dictate. How was it joining the team and what were some of the challenges you faced early on?
I was pretty anxious before my first day of work. Joining a cast/crew that has been together for five seasons is nerve-wracking to say the least. But everyone was so kind and welcoming on that first day, and it wasn’t long before I felt like “one of the gang”. Another thing that made me nervous was not knowing how the fans would take to Kamilla, especially given the size (and social media presence) of the Arrowverse fandom. Luckily, the fans seem to love Kamilla as much as I do and have been so supportive of both Kamilla and myself. I’m super grateful.
Are there any funny stories you can share from filming?
Honestly too many to count! Any day working with Tom, Grant, and Carlos, though, is guaranteed to be a racket. Those three will take a joke/bit further than you ever thought possible.
It was really odd not having the usual panel at SDCC in Ballroom 20 for the show. Do you miss conventions and do you have any favorite moments from them?
I’ve actually never had the chance to go to SDCC or any conventions; this past summer would have been my first time! With things starting to open up again, I’m really looking forward to my first convention and to meet all the fans in person at last.
There has been news of a new character coming to the show; does the arrival change up the dynamic much and how long does it usually take to adjust to a new normal when new cast members join in?
We’ve been really fortunate in that every new addition to the show has not only fallen into place as one of our own but also added so much to the dynamic. I’m sure this new cast member won’t be an exception, and I’m excited to welcome new members to the Flash family.
I debated if I should ask this or not but with all the harassment of the Asian community in the news; have you noticed a difference in Canada vs when you are in the U.S.
I’ve actually noticed a difference in both Canada and the U.S., and not in a positive way. Working in Vancouver has always felt so safe because of the large Asian population there, but there have been a growing number of anti-Asian attacks that my friends (and even I) unfortunately have been on the receiving end of. Same goes for the U.S. As terrible as it is, violence/discrimination against Asians has existed in America way longer than covid. It’s up to all of us to talk to our friends and family about racism, participate in bystander intervention, and let our senators know that anti-Asian (or anti-Black, anti-immigrant, anti-LGBTQIA, anti-disabled, or anti-anything for that matter) sentiment has no place here.
Since you have worked as a Writer, Director, and Producer, how would you compare/contrast it to acting and which do you prefer and find the most challenging?
There are positives and challenges to all sides of production, but honestly, I love it all. I just love participating in telling great stories, no matter what hat I get to wear. In this current moment, I’ve been really enjoying directing. It might be the most challenging, but it has also been so rewarding. I hope I get to continue to work on both sides of the camera, in various capacities, for a very very long time.
What can fans look forward to coming up on the Flash and do you have anything between now and next season you want to tell the readers about?
We’re coming up to midseason, which means graphic novel #1 (and the big bads that come with it) will soon be coming to an end. We’ll see how Kamilla and Cisco (as well as Team Flash and Team Citizen) play into all of that very soon, and you can definitely expect some big reveals. Get ready.