Interview: Kalama Epstein Talks Joah, The Fosters 4B, & LGBTQ+ Allyship – Exclusive
Who else can’t wait until The Fosters season 4B airs on Freeform next year? We chatted with Kalama Epstein (Noah) about what’s coming up next on the show, Jude and Noah’s blossoming relationship, his LGBTQ+ allyship, and his quest for the perfect burger. Read on for our interview with Kalama Epstein!
Noah was introduced to viewers as a gay member of a local church youth group. We subsequently learned that Noah’s pastor mom helped him get a medical marijuana card for his anxiety – and he sometimes uses the drug for recreational purposes. He’s definitely an interesting character! What initially drew you to the role, and what do you like most and least about Noah? Do you think you’d get along with him in real life?
Kalama Epstein: Immediately the role caught my interest because of the fact that his mom is a pastor, he is openly gay, and his church is very accepting. It is pretty rare to see something like that in TV and film today! I dislike the fact that Noah does not seem to have the best decision-making skills. If you are having problems with your boyfriend’s family, the last thing you want to do is piss them off more and break their trust. I do love that Noah has a big heart and believe he truly has good intentions when it comes to his relationship with Jude. I think Noah and I would get along … The biggest attribute we both share is being able to get along with pretty much anybody. We are both friendly and outgoing. We would definitely be able to hang out.
With regard to the Jude/Noah ship name, Mariana came up with two options in The Fosters 4×05 (Judah and JuNo). However, Joah came out on top in two Twitter polls conducted by Hayden Byerly and The Fosters official account. Where do you stand on this divisive issue?!
I was originally a Judah shipper, but once I saw Joah I switched almost immediately. Joah is not clunky, and it is a cute ship name. #JOAH
Noah is the first person Jude’s been romantically linked to since he and Connor broke up. The Jonnor pairing had such a loyal and committed following – did you experience any fan backlash? Have viewers generally been welcoming toward Noah and happy that Jude found someone new?
I have experienced my fair share of backlash, but the majority of fans have been super-welcoming and accepting to me and Joah. I was happily surprised by how many people were immediately on board for Joah, and how many people are still on board after Noah has “corrupted” their innocent Judicorn; I think most fans and viewers are happy Jude has someone new.
You list the Los Angeles LGBT Center among the charitable organizations you support. As a straight actor, how has your experience on an LGBTQ-inclusive show like The Fosters informed how you approach being an LGBTQ+ ally?
I was raised in a very liberal progressive household and I have many family members who are a part of the LGBTQ+ community, so I feel like I have always been an LGBTQ+ ally. I am really happy and excited to be a part of this show. The Fosters is such an incredible environment. It is really inclusive and you can feel the love and support for not only the LGBTQ+ community, but also just for each other as human beings on set and at the table reads. It has been a truly amazing experience for me so far!
Production of The Fosters 4B recently began with episode 4×11, “Insult to Injury.” Will you return for the second half of season 4? What can you tell us about how Noah fits into The Fosters 4B?
I will be back! I am trying to be as cautious as possible when it comes to spoilers and information about 4B, but I can say that the 4B season premiere was the most fun I have had shooting an episode of the show so far. Jude and Noah definitely get into some mischief. I cannot wait for everybody to see what we have been up to!
You’ve been acting since you were 9 years old. What do you love most about it? If you could work with anyone in the industry, past or present, who would you choose and why?
There is something about immersing myself in a character and going to places emotionally that I do not go to in my life. It can be an amazing emotional release. Any emotions that you are dealing with can be used to your advantage to intensify a performance and create that release. If I could work with anyone in the industry, I would have to choose Christopher Nolan. He is my biggest inspiration as a director, and is somebody I look up to and have the utmost respect for.
Lastly, we heard you’re on a mission to find the perfect hamburger! How’s that going? What’s the closest you’ve come to perfection thus far?
I have found the closest thing to perfection in a burger joint called Grill ‘Em All. It is a heavy metal-themed burger joint located in the city of Alhambra in SoCal. They have a burger named the “Witte” that is hands down my favorite burger of all time. I go there anytime I get the chance… which is pretty often.
Thanks for taking the time to answer our questions!
You are very welcome! Thank you for the fun questions!