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Alyssa Wapanatâhk

1st May 2023

Interview & Digital Editor: Pankhuri Bhutani

Editor-in-chief: Owen James Vincent

Photography: Jenna Berman

Assisted by: Tristan Miura 

Styling: Sarah D’Arcey 

Hair & Make Up: Ksenia Ogolikhina

Cover Design: Emily Curtis

Disney+'s latest offering "Peter Pan & Wendy" has taken the world by storm. The live adaptation of the classic fairytale has exceeded all expectations, showcasing a completely novel storyline to the fans of the fantasy character and story.

With a star-studded cast that includes Alexander Molony, Yara Shahidi, Ever Gabo Anderson, Jude Law, Jim Gaffigan and Alyssa Wapanatâhk, the movie has without a doubt transformed into one of the most highly anticipated projects to grace our screens this year. 

Alyssa Wapanatâhk was recently seen crafting a surreal performance as the beloved character of 'Tiger Lily', bringing in an inspiring addition to the adventurous world of Neverland. Tiger Lily's soothing charisma and wisdom acted as a gentle aid to Wendy's character from within the film. Alyssa's on-screen presence successfully adapted the character straight from the pages of J.M' Barrie's work right onto our screens.

Being a member of Bigstone Cree First Nation, Wapanatâhk's breakout role in "Peter Pan & Wendy" is just the beginning of what appears to be an immensely established career. Even though it has been only a couple of days since the project has been out on the streaming service, the movie has already garnered an impeccable response, being deemed as a massive success. 

Wapanatâhk's performance truly showcased her versatility as an actor as her intricate portrayal of 'Tiger Lily' is currently been praised by film critics and fans from around the world, many claiming her to be a trailblazer for the future generations of indigenous actors and characters.  

We recently had a conversation with our latest cover star- the talented Alyssa Wapanatâhk regarding her creative process behind continuing the legacy of Tiger Lily, her reaction on getting the role, her thoughts on the prominence of diversity within the entertainment landscape as well as what the fans can expect from her performance in the movie.

Dress: Joesph Ribkoff

Hello there Alyssa. So lovely to have you over at ReVamp! How are you doing? How's 2023 been for you so far?  

Hi ReVamp Magazine! My year has been… one word - Phenomenal! Thank you so much for this magazine feature. I am beyond thankful for the shoot, and being able to represent in a beautiful way.

I obviously have to begin this interview by asking about your recent involvement in the highly anticipated live-action adaptation of "Peter Pan & Wendy". First of all, huge congratulations on the project! I'd love to know how you ended up landing on this role as well as what your initial reaction was like when you found out you got it?

Thank you for asking. I love chatting Peter Pan and Wendy! Of course, playing Tiger Lily has been a whirlwind of never-ending joy. My initial reaction was utter shock and I am only now starting to thaw from that shock feeling.

Gown: Maria Lucia Hohan

Tiger Lily has such a massive prominence within the Peter Pan world. I'd love to know what your impression of her was when you first watched her on-screen for the first time? 

My first time seeing my girl Tiger Lily on screen was an overwhelming feeling. I felt a big change, seeing how powerful she was, all of the hard work coming together after waiting three years was a huge payoff. I’m thankful

Being an Indian myself, Tiger Lily was one of my favourite characters from the Peter Pan world since I resonated with her on such a personal level.

Even though this movie has such a beautiful plotline, the diversity that it includes showcases its true prominence as it branches out for the audience to get to have a perspective of the characters from so many distinct backgrounds.

I wonder what was your experience like working alongside such a diverse cast and crew affiliated with the project?

The diversity felt like home. For me, that was a huge part of my childhood. I had friends from every walk of life and seeing each of us in our “main character” ways, each being celebrated for our differences and holding the space for each other at the same time felt good.

Gown: Naeem Khan

Would you say there was any element that you specifically added to Tiger's character while portraying her in the live adaptation that wasn't initially there within the film or the script when it was first offered to you?

Actually, some people know this, but not all! Tiger Lily being rooted in my own Cree heritage was something that wasn’t written in but we added it in afterward thanks to David for offering that and leaving the door open for my collaboration!

Blouse: Zimmermann / Skirt: Chloe / Earrings: Copper Canoe Woman

What was your creative process like regarding this character? Did you stick exclusively to the script in terms of getting to know her mindset or did you seek out any other sources as well?

I stuck to the script for the importance of the overall story but built in my own version of Neverland that I hope people can feel when they see Tiger Lily. She isn’t just there, but she has her own life and her own goals. Not only that but I also looked to my culture, ceremony, and elders for resources, so that I could honor my people and language the most I could. I did not want to leave out any detail so this was the most important for me.

What was your initial reaction to finally getting to wear Tiger Lily's costume? Do you remember the first time you put it on?

Getting the costume on I felt like coming into my power. The essence of Tiger Lily was there, but when the beadwork came on, I was in full force! Ready to go to war!

Blanket: Models Own /  Gown (under) Naeem Khan

Since Tiger Lily is such a widely loved character that already has an immensely huge and established fan-base out there, did you ever feel any sort of pressure while trying to embody her character? 

I always felt the presence of her past every day. The past versions were in my heart, and so were the fans but most importantly my people. I felt the ones who came before me. My ancestors. I felt a sense of thankfulness, that the world is finally making a change. And so knowing just how great this is, I took it day by day and kept them all in my heart and mind. 

Dress: Cecilie Bahnsen / Earrings: Copper Canoe Woman

What's next for you, Alyssa? Any upcoming projects you're currently working on?

I do have a few projects on the horizon that I am SO excited for. Although still under wraps. Riverdale is one of my most recent projects and we are just finishing up the season finale!

Dress: Free People / Earrings: Copper Canoe Woman

(Thank you for taking out your time for this interview, Alyssa. Sending you lots of love for the movie!) Lastly, I'd love to know if there's any message you wish to convey to your fans reading this interview currently?

The most important thing I want everyone to know is that each of us, big or small is unique and deserving of great things, no matter where you come from. 

Peter Pan & Wendy is now streaming on Disney+

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