The sci-fi series Paper Girls recently premiered on Prime Video in late July. Based on the comic book series of the same name, the show follows four 12-year-old girls from the fictitious Stony Stream, Ohio. The story escalates when the group accidentally time travels during the early hours of their morning paper routes on Hell Day 1988, the day after Halloween.
Riley Lai Nelet and Fina Strazza are two of the young actresses who portray two of the titular characters of the show. The 14-year-old Lai Nelet plays Erin Tieng, a Chinese American girl who has just begun her job as a paper girl. The 16-year-old Strazza plays KJ Brandman, a Jewish American girl who plays field hockey and comes from a wealthy family.
Fangirlish had the opportunity to participate in a roundtable interview with the two stars at San Diego Comic-Con.
During the interview, the girls spoke with such maturity and eloquence whether the questions related to the connections to their characters or the depth of the material in the show. Lai Nelet, in particular, briefly detailed what it was like to act opposite Ali Wong, who plays adult Erin in the show. She shared that industry lessons, such as how to take care of yourself, were among the things she learned from the older actress.
For Strazza, her character is a role model of sorts. She described how the “incredibly compassionate and loyal” Brandman is who she would like to be.
Both Lai Nelet and Strazza also highlighted the importance of the Paper Girls narrative and the privilege they’ve been given in getting to help tell that story. From racism to homophobia, the show addresses an array of more mature subjects not typically present in media that centers around adolescents.