PRUNE: Introduce yourself - what do you want the world to know about Nafessa?
NAFESSA: I’m an actress originally from Philadelphia, and I play ‘Anissa Pierce,’ AKA ‘Thunder,’ on the CW’s “Black Lightning.” I’m a fearless dreamer and I’ve made my dreams about being more than about myself. It’s about understanding my platform and using it to help others, and I think that’s what my purpose in life is really is all about.
PRUNE: Fans may know you as Thunder. Talk to us about this groundbreaking role on CW’s Black Lightning.
NAFESSA: It’s a role that I’m really passionate about. I took on the role because there was voice in the industry for black female super heroes, and in particular a lesbian one. ‘Thunder’ is strong minded, fearless, and an activist and she unapologetically walks in who she is.
I felt it was really important for younger women who would be watching the show to have that representation, to see that visual and to be inspired by that.
Nude skin dress by Sho Konishi
PRUNE: How has playing Thunder changed you as a person?
NAFESSA: I think if anything she’s encouraged me to walk more boldly in who I am, and to authentically be myself even more. She’s inspired me to be more aware of what’s going on within my country and the world and how I can make a difference. She’s truly inspired the activist in me!
PRUNE: Acting wasn’t always your career as you originally pursued law. How did you find your way to Hollywood?
NAFESSA: I was unhappy in what I was doing in all honesty. I had this ‘ah-ha’ moment of what my purpose truly was, I literally saw the vision of it, and that inspiration was all I needed to go on an audition, get fired from my job and be where I am today. That’s why I can never say ‘fearless dreamer’ enough, I fearlessly went after what I wanted, and want that to be an inspiration for the next young woman.
PRUNE: Who is your industry role model?
NAFESSA: Beyoncé for sure! I’ve always admired her work ethic, her independence and how strategic she was with her career. She’s a boss and knows exactly what she wants, and that has always been an inspiration. I’ve grown up with her, and her music is like the soundtrack of my teenage years into adulthood and even now. Songs like ‘Independent Woman’ and ‘Survivor,’ just her knowing who she is, what her worth is and that she can replace a man if need be. It’s just that strong independent mindset that she has, that has been an inspiration. I didn’t have an older sister, so I was looking to Beyoncé to give me the knowledge.
PRUNE: Three words to describe yourself –
NAFESSA: Fearless, Steadfast, & Faithful
Black Circle Top by Arianne Elmy
“INDIVIDUAL” cubism hoodie by Sho Konishi
PRUNE: Dream costar?
NAFESSA: Denzel Washington for sure. I just think he’s the best of our time in my mind, I grew up watching him. I would love to be opposite of him and work with him in some way just because I think he’s a G.O.A.T. He’s a chameleon, there’s nothing that he really can’t do, he’s just a G.O.A.T.
PRUNE: What are your 2019 career goals and projects?
NAFESSA: Well I just finished filming BLACK AND BLUE with Naomie Harris and Mike Colter, and for most of the rest of it I’ll be filming season 3 of “Black Lightning” and. As far as goals, I would really like to find myself doing some more behind the scenes and start doing more producing and I would also love to something comedic.
Allie Top by GEORGINE
Silver Skirt by Isabelle Donola at Dreams On Air
PRUNE: Where can we follow you on social media?
Interview: Dylan Rubinstein @thedylanjader
Fashion Stylist: Alison Hernon at Agency Gerard Artists, Instagram: @718blonde
Hair: T. Cooper t crowdMGMT using ECRU New York, Instagram: @tcooperbeauty
Makeup: Mark Cornwall, Instagram: @marc_cornwall
Assistant Fashion Stylist: Jacy Morris & Sarah Burns