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Erin Kellyman's 'Willow' Queer Character Healed Her Inner Child


“It’s not a story where they’re hyper-sexualized,” the actress said. “It’s just two people being in love.”

Editor's note: this post contains SPOILERS for Willow on Disney+.

The first season of the Disney+ television reboot of Willow, originally a fantasy movie from the 1980s, is about to wrap. In a recent episode, fan-favorite character Jade, played by Erin Kellyman, embarks on a journey that she didn't expect after discovering she'd been lied to about her family history for her whole life.

Jade also gets something we've all been waiting for since the first episode -- her best friend, Tir Asleen princess Kit, revealing her true feelings for Jade and feeling free enough to make the move.

"Literally the second that happens, Jade is all-in," Kellyman told The Hollywood Reporter. "She's been waiting a long time. It's so frustrating watching two people who so blatantly love each other not talk. It's not a story where they're worried about being gay. It's not a story where they're hyper-sexualized. It's just two people being in love."

Kellyman, an openly gay woman, said the opportunity to play a relationship like this offered representation she didn't have growing up. She noted that if she had seen Kit and Jade's relationship as a child, she would have felt "a lot less isolated and scared and weird."

The Jade-Kit romance on Willow is part of Lucasfilm's growing frontier for inclusivity within the studio. When asked how it felt to be part of the on-screen representation for the studio, Kellyman said, "It feels like I'm healing my inner child."

She added, "Having not seen these shows when I was younger, now being able to be the representation that I didn't have is something that is so peaceful. There's something so peaceful about it, something so reassuring and calming."

On what she hopes people take away from Kit and Jade's relationship, Kellyman said she wants people to understand that things get a lot easier if you just communicate. "Kit and Jade go through a lot of episodes of just not talking, and it's so tense. As soon as they literally share three sentences with each other, or three words with each other, it all eases. The tension goes and they can finally just be. I'd probably say that. Talk to the people you love."

New episodes of Willow stream every Wednesday on Disney+.

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Andrew J. Stillman