Canadian actress Karen Glave best known for roles “The Day After Tomorrow,” “The Shape of Water,” and “The Handmaid’s Tale” was recently cast in the Netflix hit series Self Made: Inspired by the Life of Madam C.J. Walker. She plays the sister [‘Peggie Prosser] of Madam C.J. Walker, played by Academy Award winner [Best Supporting Actress for The Help] Octavia Spencer. Glave was also recently cast in the Starz hit series American Gods season three where she will play a character named Aye.
She recently spoke with The Hype Magazine about her role in “Self Made” and how important it is for African Americans to learn their history through similar projects, as it’s not taught in primary and secondary institutions throughout the school year.
In your upcoming role, you will be playing Peggie Prosser in the Netflix hit Self Made: Inspired by the Life of Madam C.J. Walker. Can you share what Peggie’s role as a part of Madam C.J. Walker’s hair company?
As it pertains to our Netflix series, Peggie is one of Madam C.J. Walker’s biggest cheerleaders from the beginning. Madam C.J. Walker [Sarah] is Peggie’s sister in law and Peggie helps her in any capacity, from packaging to initially trying to help her with clients. Peggie is supportive of her.
Since being a part of this project, how has it influenced your drive to be more than just an actress in terms of entrepreneurship?
It did inspire me because Madam C.J. Walker went through many trials and tribulations in terms of getting up, knocked down, then getting back up again, and persevering. So, it has given me a sense that you must believe in yourself. Working on this project, I learned that a lot of the people behind the scenes were African American females, from camera operators to executive producers. That was also inspiring to me, and learning that Octavia Spencer, who plays Madam C.J. Walker is also one of the executive producers made me aware that we must create our own projects and find our own work. It has also inspired me to want to get into producing and creating my own content.
How prominent is it to have projects like “Self Made” in today’s climate with African American children not be taught about their history at home? Due to their parents working more hours to put food on the table?
Well, I hope that with the younger generation- I’m thinking teens to 20s- they probably won’t know about Madam C.J. Walker’s Story unless they watch “Self Made.” We are living in a time where we are all at home practicing social distance. There is a lot of time to watch Netflix, exercise, and do homework, and it’s important for young people of color to know that this woman [Madam C.J. Walker] existed and she looks just like them. We hope that they will want to learn more about her and research her. There were so many other characters during that time, in art, and literature, and it’s important for young people of color to know that we come from a rich background and have overcome much.
The show was filmed in St. Catharines, Cambridge, and Toronto. How unique was that experience for you being that you studied at George Brown Theater School in Toronto, Canada?
It was great, and I was able to spend most of my summer into September working on this project. I loved it. I wasn’t able to go to St. Catharines when they were filming there, but I was able to go to Cambridge, but that is what they do when they scout different locations to shoot scenes to look like certain periods. To me, it was great, and I was already here since I live in Toronto, and the rest of the cast flew in. It is further than where I live in downtown Toronto, so it was a little bit of a commute. I also wanted to add, before studying at George Brown Theater School I obtain my degree in Psychology.
LeBron James and Maverick Carter are executive producers on the project. Can you describe what it was like working with Maverick for the first time?
Well, I did not have a chance to meet them because they weren’t on set, but they were a part of it. We did a table read for the first two episodes and we had everyone gathered around; Netflix and Warner Brothers were all represented there. I could see the care that was put into this at the first read-through. That and the fact that they put their efforts in to make this happen and had Octavia and everyone else’s back in getting the project produced. It meant a lot to know that we had the backing to tell our story and their clout behind it. I could tell it was going to be special.
You will be joining the cast of Starz American Gods for Season 3. Can you about the character you will be playing?
All I can say is that season three of “American Gods” will be airing in the fall and my character’s name is Aye.
Originally posted on The Hype Magazine.