‘Paper Girls’ teens discover Chicago
When they came to Chicago last summer to film “Paper Girls,” the four teenage actors were visiting the city for the first time and getting their first taste of the city’s temperamental climate.
Fina Strazza, who plays nerd field hockey player KJ Brandman, can’t forget enduring the sweltering humidity as she runs, bikes and fights on the very physical series, while dressed in multiple layers for her autumn frame.
Then there were the thunderstorms.
“We had a lot of lightning, so anytime the lightning struck within eight to 12 miles of the shoot, we had to shut down for 30 minutes,” Strazza, 16, said during a recent visit from return to Chicago with his comrades.
Based on the graphic novel series of the same name, the sci-fi adventure “Paper Girls” debuts July 29 on Prime Video. The eight-episode series concerns four Ohio girls who deliver newspapers at the start of “Hell Day” the day after Halloween in 1988, when they are abruptly transported to 2019.
They work together to find a way to get home while avoiding the Old Watch, a group of militants who have made time travel illegal. And they come face to face with their future, adult.
During their weeks in Chicago, Strazza and fellow “Paper Girls” stars Riley Lai Nelet, Camryn Jones and Sofia Rosinsky got to experience the architecture and kayak the Chicago River. But what they loved most was receiving Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams every weekend after filming.
Another highlight was a school-style Spirit Week when the cast and crew dressed up for everyday themes like Disney or the 80s. They also enjoyed their free time by dancing, listening to music and modeling Troll dolls to look like the girls they portrayed.
“I really admire Tiff’s protectiveness of the people she loves and her drive to achieve her goals,” Jones, 15, said of her character Tiffany Quilkin. “She is also very encyclopedic. And I admire that.
Nelet, 14, who plays Erin Tieng, said she sees her character as a responsible person who tries to take care of the people she loves.
Rosinsky, 16, who plays Mac Coyle, admired her character’s sense of humor and fashion choices and her adaptability.
“KJ has a very strong moral compass and is fiercely loyal,” Strazza said. “I strive to be the same.”
Strazza, who grew up in what she describes as a strong female home, said, “The show puts so much emphasis on female power and our steps were very feminine. We had four female directors and a lot of the producers and showrunners were women. So that’s something that I think shines through the show.
The young actors bring up the series’ themes of friendship and having people by your side.
“If you like science fiction, we have amazing special effects,” Rosinsky said. “If you like coming-of-age stories, you’ll fall in love with these guys.”