Interview: Kalama Epstein on The Fosters 4B & Joah in a Trumpian Age – Exclusive
As half of the popular Joah ship, Kalama Epstein has made quite an impact since joining The Fosters last year. The show returns to Freeform on Tuesday at 8/7c, and we caught up with Kalama to find out what to expect from The Fosters 4B.
The Fosters was recently green-lit for a fifth season, so congratulations on that! Where were you when you got the news? What was your reaction?
Kalama Epstein: Thank you very much! I was in New York, and I was just scrolling through Twitter. It popped up, and a bunch of people were freaking out about it! I was very excited and very, very happy for the whole Fosters family. It was awesome.
Although Noah’s only been on the show since the The Fosters 4×03, he’s already established himself as an interesting and complex character. What’s next in terms of his character evolution?
Over the course of 4B, we’re definitely going to see more of Jude and Noah’s relationship, and their characters evolving together. Getting to see where their relationship goes and how they grow and the lessons they learn is going to be a lot of fun for the viewers. I’m very excited to see how viewers react, and how they take everything that happens!
What can we expect for the Joah ship in season 4B? Is it smooth sailing, or are there icebergs ahead?
It’s sailing, all right! That’s not to say that it’s all clear sailing, but the ship is sailing full-mast. We’re on a steady course, but there have been reports of a few rough sections and stormy seas – and maybe a thunderstorm or two.
Related to that, Hayden Byerly has said in recent interviews that Jude wants to take the relationship further in season 4B, but he’s apprehensive. How does Noah deal with that?
Noah deals with that in the best way he can. He wants to make sure they’re both comfortable in every situation, which was established in The Fosters 4×09. He wants to make sure that they’re in the right place in their relationship and that they don’t move too fast.
How does The Fosters season 4B compare to 4A? Is there a progression you’ve seen related to Noah specifically, or in general?
There’s definitely a progression in Jude and Noah’s relationship, and also in how the pot comes into play. Also, we touch on how far they want to take their relationship physically. We kind of touched on that when Jude and Noah were on the couch in episode 9, and we get to progress with that in a really cool way. That episode’s fantastic – I can’t wait for everybody to see it.
What’s coming up in the rest of the season that you’re most excited for in terms of the fan reaction?
The season 4B premiere was definitely my favorite episode I’ve shot yet. I think everybody will understand why when they see it. We even got to do our own stunts! There’s some fun stuff later on in 4B as well. I’m very excited for people to see all the mischief that Jude and Noah get into over the course of the season.
You play a gay character on The Fosters, and you’re an LGBTQ+ ally in real life. In such turbulent political and social times, what do you think The Fosters means to viewers? What role does it play?
I definitely think we need a show like The Fosters during this time. There are other shows out there that are advocating for the LGBTQ+ community, but there’s still a lot of hatred, especially right now. There’s still a lot of people trying to block LGBTQ+ civil rights, and it’s horrendous and it’s terrifying and it’s scary. The Fosters unites and unifies and brings everybody together. I think we need that. I get DMs from people saying, “Thank you so much – this character really helped me in a time when I was struggling.” Kids and teenagers need that. They need something they can connect with and attach themselves to. The Fosters does an amazing job of touching on those issues and creating characters that people can relate to and that can help them. The show can even be therapeutic for some people. I think it’s incredibly important to have right now.
Don’t miss The Fosters‘ triumphant return to Freeform on Tuesday at 8/7c. (Joah shippers, we have two words for you: Coconut Telegraph.) In the meantime, keep up with Kalama Epstein on Twitter and Instagram.