The new Prime Video series Paper Girls is a sci-fi story about four 12-year-old paper girls who get caught up in a time travel war. During the early morning hours of Hell Day 1988, the day after Halloween, the girls have just begun their paper routes when they are suddenly transported into the future.
Two of the girls, Mac Coyle and Tiffany Quilkin, have more of a tougher demeanor in comparison to their other peers. The young actresses who portray the characters — 16-year-old Sofia Rosinsky and 15-year-old Camryn Jones, respectively — addressed this during a roundtable interview at San Diego Comic-Con that Fangirlish participated in.
Coyle is a tomboy with a penchant for swearing who was the first paper girl in the show’s fictitious suburb of Stony Stream, Ohio. Rosinsky mentioned how Coyle’s shell is a coping mechanism she uses to survive in her “rough household.” Ultimately, however, the shell becomes the character’s identity but breaks apart throughout the show as she befriends the other paper girls.
Quilkin is an intelligent only child with a great interest in science and technology. According to Jones, her character turns to technology to cope with her loneliness. In tandem with this, the negative experiences Quilkin goes through as a Black girl in the ‘80s lead her to develop a “hard exterior.” Similarly to Coyle, bonding with the other paper girls is what gets Quilkin to “let her guard down.”
These two characters are just part of a narrative that has been lauded for diversity and inclusivity. With four young girls as the main characters, the female representation is obvious. But the show also highlights different socioeconomic backgrounds, several races and religions, different family dynamics and more.
“No matter who you are, there’s representation in it for you,” Jones said.
The duo also revealed that they all met in a similar fashion to their Paper Girls characters.
Jones recalled how, upon being cast in the series, the four girls were all asked to refrain from contacting one another till the show began to parallel their characters’ meeting. But once production got underway, the girls “clicked instantly.” They would get ice cream, do escape rooms together, and play laser tag. Rosinsky also noted that their working environment promoted more time to bond with one another.
“Even just, with filming, being in a scene where we’re all running and cramped in tight spaces and stuff, it was like an apocalypse boot camp,” Roskinsky said with a laugh. “We were kind of forced to get to know each other whether we liked it or not.”