Sydelle Noel is most recently known for her role as Dora Milaje in the historic Black Panther film following her continuous roles in the TV series Arrow and GLOW. Noel spoke to ESSENCE about the upcoming season of GLOW and why it’s important to showcase Black love in film and television.

Noel plays Cherry “Junkchain” Bang in GLOW, a comedy series set in the 80’s, following the journey of out-of-work actresses in Los Angeles who have joined the Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling aka GLOW.  Noel’s character “Junkchain” is a former student-athlete at the University of Georgia who lost her dream and a track scholarship after getting an injury.  Noel speaks on the growth of her character in the upcoming season of the series stating, “In the first season you saw the dynamic of Cherry being a badass, and you saw her pretty much being a coach to the girls.  She was basically a mother figure.  In the second season, you see Cherry hit a rollercoaster, and you’re seeing a more vulnerable side of Cherry that you haven’t seen before. So, I’m glad people get to see [that], a different side of her.”

When asked about the upcoming love life of “Junkchain,” Noel added, “I was blown away and I was telling them [show creators, Liz Flahive and Carly Mensch], literally commending them, and saying thank you because you hardly see that. You see the exact opposite. You see the single mother struggling with kids. You hardly see a woman in the growth of her career and then a husband supporting that. I was so grateful for that. And you still get to see that, even more so in the second season, you get to see Keith really supporting Cherry and really being by her side through all of the emotional trauma that she goes through. He’s right there by her side, and I’m so glad that they got to show that, and I’m so glad that everybody gets to see that.”

Noel continues and touches on the importance of young black girls having the representation of a Black female character like “Junkchain,” saying, “It’s so important. I’m just going to use myself as an example. Being a tomboy growing up, being someone who is very physical, was something that I didn’t see when I was younger.  I never saw that on television. I’m glad that you see that a woman, as strong as Cherry, is a working character and that [she has], Keith. He was a stay-at-home dad but now he’s worked his way into the wrestling area as well. Growing up, I was always like ‘should I be athletic? Do I need to be a little bit more girly?’ I was a huge tomboy, and I hardly saw tomboys on television as myself. I didn’t see a representative of myself. For me, to be a representative for little girls out there, I’m very thrilled and I hope it doesn’t change.”

Season 2 of GLOW premieres on Netflix June 29.

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Jamara Robinson is a communications student at Howard University. Her passions range from topics within entertainment with an emphasis on hip-hop culture. She’s landed several opportunities through combining her passions with her strengths in writing, marketing, and social media.

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