It’s so cliche to say, but we’re gonna say it: Chance Perdomo is about to make it big time.
The British actor received acclaim earlier this year for his lead role in BBC drama Killed By My Debt, and is now starring as our favourite pansexual warlock in Netflix’s spellbinding original series, Chilling Adventures of Sabrina – a darker take on Melissa Joan Hart’s version of the iconic teenage witch.
“It provides freedom artistically and creatively to be able to play someone who is a representative of the world we live in,” Chance tells us of his character, Ambrose Spellman. “We’ve already seen the shirtless white man running through the jungle trying to save the day narrative that’s often perpetuated in Hollywood, so it was freeing to play a more authentic narrative that we haven’t already seen.”
Because the series – and Chance – will be absolutely massive, we caught up with the performer to take pictures of him (as you can see), and to discuss his role as a sexually fluid sorcerer.
So… I’ve binged Sabrina and I’m obsessed.
Yeah? I’m glad you like it.
I was a massive fan of the original, but it’s completely different. It’s dark and Buffy-esque in a way.
Buffy meets True Blood type.
Yeah, Buffy meets True Blood and Harry Potter.
Definitely, definitely. I’m glad you’re comparing it to those shows, it’s an honour. And I thank you very much for those kind comparisons.
Can you tell our readers what makes this version of Sabrina different from the 90s series?
Well this version of Sabrina is still family-oriented, but it’s a lot darker and a lot sexier than the previous iteration, the classic Sabrina. It’s more of a coming-of-age story of the character, as she balances her witch and warlock side and her mortal side. Which side does she choose? The path of light or the path of night? She’s in a moral and self-aware conundrum, and a crisis of sorts. Ambrose is there for her, to be her confidant and her partner in crime.
Are there any scenes in particular that you think will shock fans?
I can’t give too much away, but some of the prosthetics are so lifelike, that they might actually have you under the covers, so to speak. Some of the demons and the embalming scenes are super super realistic. For me, I’m quite wimpy when it comes to horror films, I can watch them but they give me chills and I can’t watch them at night. It’ll definitely give the audience heebie-jeebies.
There was a scene in the fifth episode with the sleep demon, where you were giving yourself an autopsy. My lord, that was…
That’s one in particular. My mum came over actually, and she got a screening of episode five, and – in a good way – she had to turn away. She loved it, but it was so graphic and she had to take a breather for a second!
You play a pansexual warlock. What drew you to the role?
I was excited. It provides freedom artistically and creatively to be able to play someone who is representative of the world we live in. Not only is he an ethnic minority, but he’s also pansexual. We’ve already seen the narrative of the shirtless white man running through the jungle trying to save the day that’s often perpetuated in Hollywood, so it was freeing to play a more authentic narrative that we haven’t already seen.
Were you aware of the term ‘pansexual’ before you got the part?
No, I was not. I had to be educated and informed on the definition of pansexual, and I’m glad I’m informed now so I can play Ambrose and not think of pansexuality, and just focus on his emotions and who he is as an individual. In terms of the narrative, his sexuality was put in the character description because it’s a very important part of his arc, the beginning, the middle and towards the end of the season.
How important is it to have a visible LGBTQ character in a show like this?
It’s very important because, what Netflix does well with this show, and Roberto and the show’s writers, is that they don’t use sexuality or ethnicity as a buzzword. Because the audience is so global, they try and get more accurate representation of the world we live in today. I think it’s so important to play Ambrose and – from the beginning – have him inform the world of his sexuality to show that it’s not a buzzword that requires a lot of thought.
In the first couple of episodes, we see Ambrose with a male love interest. How does their relationship evolve as the series goes on?
Ambrose has multiple love interests come into play, but from the first five episodes we don’t see that come to fruition. I don’t wanna give away the relationship, but Ambrose and Luke have a trajectory and an arc of sorts, but it plays out just like it would in real life. They have their ups, they have their downs, they have their doubts, their triumphs together.
What aspect of Ambrose do you enjoy playing the most?
His mischief. I say mischief, but he gets into quite a bit of trouble, and it’s quite fun to play out. He’s like Loki from The Avengers. There’s a duality between his body and mind because he is effectively an old man in a young man’s body, so I have to try and have the sense of wisdom beyond my years come through in Ambrose. He’s been through a lot vicariously, because he’s been under house arrest, so he’s seen the world evolve and change without him, basically. Sabrina and Ambrose have a very loving and interesting relationship, but at the same time he’s her confidant, he’s her best friend, he is the Alfred to her Batman, partner in crime. He’s seen her grow up into a young woman, so it’s quite a complex but very important relationship they have together.
What part of Ambrose do you identify with the most?
I identify with his heart. Because he has been trapped for so long, he has insatiable desires and it comes together with Luke Chalfont, his initial love interest. They’re both hungry for each other. But he is a very loving individual and very compassionate, he’s been through quite a bit. I wouldn’t say I’ve been through the same things as Ambrose, I haven’t been in prison but being away from home has definitely made me value family and home and time together all the more so.
How long have you been away from home?
I went to Vancouver in the middle of March, but I’d also just moved out of my family home a few months prior because I was in London filming a movie. It’s been close to a year now that I haven’t had proper family time. They came over to Vancouver for a little bit but it’s just been hard being away from them because my family is quite close-knit, just like the Spellman’s.
Sabrina has a massive fanbase, are you prepared for what’s to come?
I don’t know if you can ever truly feel prepared. It’s something that I’ve never experienced before. I’m willing to take it all as it comes, and I personally find that if you think about things too much, it can drive you a bit loopy. I wouldn’t say I’m ready, I wouldn’t say I’m not ready, I say I welcome it.
Photography Nick DeLieto
Grooming Brittany Gharring
Fashion Michael Fusco