Chilling Adventures of Sabrina may be a show driven by strong women, but it's also a show filled with a diverse group of characters — witch and mortal alike — who help the teenage witch come into her own while facing their own demons — literally. Chance Perdomo plays Ambrose Spellman, Sabrina's warlock cousin who has been placed under house arrest but doesn't let that stop him from having fun — he has multiple steamy sex scenes with a variety of partners, and it's incredibly refreshing to see a pansexual person of color depicted on such a huge show. We caught up with Perdomo to talk about his character's journey through season one, the power of Sabrina's diverse representation and those spellbinding sex scenes.
OUT: How does it feel to finally have the show out?
Chance Perdomo: I don’t know how tout it into words. It’s exhilarating and anxiety inducing to say the least, because how do you prepare for these kinds of things. But at the same time, i welcome it, it’s a beautiful experience.
Tell me about the journey that Ambrose makes over the course of the season.
Ambrose is very much resentful towards the world and the fact that he can’t take part, that he has to live his life vicariously through texts and books that he reads and questions that he asks, living variously through his family. The most contact he has with the outside world is during funerals. He’s quite a tortured soul, and he goes on the arc of discovery. And once it’s established that he has a prospect of reintegrating to society, he clashes with his past and asks himself who he is, where he belongs and how does he navigate this new world. He’s been entrapped for 75 years and that’s a hell of a long time. It’s a very existential question of belonging and can he relinquish his past and move on in the future.
As we learn as the season progresses, Ambrose is pansexual, and those feelings of isolation are very common for queer people. What is that like to play?
It’s refreshing and artistically and personally gratifying. There’s a sense fo the existential angst of not belonging that you can really sink your teeth into from an artistic standpoint. Its gratifying bringing forth new narratives. I don’t remember the last time I saw a pansexual person of color written with depth. It’s very much not the Hollywood story that you’re used to and I’m happy that we’re finally having wider representation of the world we live in. Its timely and refreshing. I don’t want to call anyone out but there are some TV shows where you’ll see queer characters who have their relationships, have their moment to shine and as soon as that quote is met, they’re killed off.
What is it like to work on a show centered around and driven by strong female characters?
It’s refreshing and timely. Gone are the days when you’re having the white man beat his chest and go save the damsel in distress. Sabrina is anything but the damsel in distress and Aunt Zelda has certainly never been anything close to a damsel in distress, if anything she’s causing distress to all those who oppose her in her calculated way. I understand that we’re not really making rapid change with these stories, but at the same time there’s a way to measure it. I used to look up to Batman, and if Bruce Wayne had been black like myself, it probably would have had an incredible subconscious effect on me, just like when Black Panther came out and the nine-year-old in me felt validated. It’s a blessing to be able to play our part.
You have some pretty steamy sex scenes over the course of the season. What were those like to shoot?
I’ve never done any intimate scenes before, so it was really a baptism through fire. Once we got to know each other it was all laughs and giggles. There’s always a hell of a lot more shot than what actually makes it in, they use about three seconds of it but we’ve done take after take after take. With Luke (Darren Mann), we were laughing because there was this really cool shot where I take my scarf and I wrap it around his neck and pull him up to kiss him, and we were like “that’s such a sick shot!” But it only exists in our memories now.
Where is Ambrose when season one ends and where would you like to see him go next season?
I’d like his past to really come into the forefront. We have inklings of the reason to why he’s such a tortured soul. Towards the end of season one he’s left not knowing where he’ll be moving forward and what his role, not only with his family but in the coven, and if he has a place, and who can he trust.