Christine Mené is a content creator and book editor who…
Based on the British series Miranda, created by Miranda Hart, Call Me Kat stars Emmy award nominee Mayim Bialik as an optimistic and fun-loving woman continuously defying societal expectations to prove she can live a happy and fulfilling life on her own terms.
After purchasing and running a cat café for a few years, Kat decides she needs some time away to reset. After a few months of traveling the world, she returns feeling refreshed and ready to ascertain what she wants from life and whether her future includes a journey to motherhood. While she was away, Randi and Phil kept the café afloat and decided to make a few changes. Randi is still dating Carter, who runs the local watering hole next door, but Randi’s newfound love for her work is straining their relationship.
Kyla Pratt, who plays Randi, returns to her role opposite Mayim Bialik in the hit comedy. She recently also guest-starred on FOX’s drama series Fantasy Island. Recently, Black Girl Nerds video interviewed Kyla about returning to the role in addition to how the collaborative dynamic of Hollywood has changed throughout her career.
We’re excited to be chatting with the legendary Kyla Pratt! You’re such an icon! For many of us growing up, there weren’t many actors who mirrored young Black girls on the big screen. You truly held it down for us for over two decades. You have been an integral part of shaping and leading representation for Black actresses in film and television, so just know that we see you and we salute you!
Aww, thank you so, so much!
As we know the season finale of Call Me Kat is right around the corner. Can you believe it’s already Season 3?
Time has flown but so much has happened. A lot of us feel like we lost two years during the pandemic. To start this show during that time — I’m fortunate enough to get to do what I love to do and have my little escape. In turn, we were able to help people have an escape when they tuned into the show too. Ending Season 3 is wild because we always end the season with hug. We hope to see each other outside of work, but we also hope to see each other back in the same building to create the same magic. It’s an amazing experience to be a part of a family.
Your character is an aspiring artist who keeps it real. She’s a hard worker, and she’s super relatable. Tell us about your journey in bringing Randi to life. What did you look forward to the most when developing the character this season?
It was difficult because when we first started. We had to wear masks/shields and we couldn’t be within six feet of each other. So, it’s hard to develop a character when you can’t see someone’s face or when you’re trying to understand how this person moves and what they do. You don’t want to give the character just anything, you know? I wanted to give Randi the truth of who she really is, which is why it was hard for all of us at first.
Then as we got closer and as the masks started to come off, we were our own little pod. We were with our families, but we were with each other at the same time. It gave us a little more freedom. I think the writers have done an excellent job with bringing our characters to life and giving us the fuel that we needed.
There were even times people would give me lines and I’d be like, “Hmm, Randi wouldn’t say that, can I switch it? I gotta flip it!” Luckily, I’m a part of a team that is comfortable with me doing that because it’s a collaboration. We collaborate. That’s what I love about what I do for a living because we all need each other. When you watch the TV show, there are writers, producers, directors, set decorators, wardrobe stylists, and PAs. We all need each other to make this possible, and that’s what I love about the energy of our set. Also, anyone who comes to visit our set is like, “I never want to leave!” That’s how we feel being there. So, hopefully we get to continue to give people the energy that we have the past three years.
One thing that stands out about this cast is that the audience can feel a real sense of comradery. When it comes to driving inclusivity and fostering diverse collaboration, how does this show set itself apart?
In this show, you have people who are from different parts of the country and the world. We also come from different backgrounds within the industry. You have a Broadway Tony-award winning actor, sitcom child stars, and you even have Julian Gant who started acting in his twenties, so you truly see all these different, talented people coming together on screen. One of my favorite things about the show is watching it and seeing that within that diversity, there’s also similarities. We’re all human beings who can gel together and have fun.
Mayim is someone who grew up in a different way than a lot of people would expect, and she had parents who were very conscious. Sometimes, she thinks about certain things before I do. She was someone who called me before we even started filming to talk about having a hair stylist and makeup artist I felt comfortable with as a Black woman and who Julian felt comfortable with as a Black man. Having those conversations makes our show so unique. I never really had that opportunity in other spaces that I can remember. Simple things like making sure that our background actors are diverse and look like normal people, prioritizing diversity in the mix of our directors and writers — I love what our show is doing.
As an industry veteran, you’ve been on the scene for quite some time. Are there things you’ve seen in the industry today that are different from when you first started out?
The fact that this is happening is a blessing. It helps you feel more comfortable when you know you have a team that thinks about you and cares about how you feel. What I love about being a part of our cast and crew is that we would have conversations and they would be just that — conversations. They weren’t debates. I’ve had to break down certain things for people and I’ve had cast members break down certain things for me, and that’s the best part about being with people who are not like you. Now, it is also great to be around people who are like you because you can relate and feel at home. But, then to also be around people who aren’t like you who are willing to listen and grow with you is an amazing experience because having a cast filled with genuinely good people is a blessing in itself.
Call Me Kat isn’t the only FOX series where fans can catch you. You’ve recently guest starred in Fantasy Island. Give us the scoop!
Fantasy Island was an amazing experience! I get to play a character named Peaches who is actually an imaginary friend. If you don’t know anything about Fantasy Island, it’s basically a place where people are going through unusual or tragic things in their life and they go to an island to try to make their desires happen.
The character who I’m playing opposite of is played by Jessy Schram, who is amazing. She’s a jilted bride, so she comes to the island and wants to be loved. My character, Peaches, comes along and reminds her of that child-like spark and energy that a lot of us forget about when they grow up, go into the world, and have to deal with society.
We all need to keep a little bit of that essence, and Peaches just comes through and has to remind Jessy’s character of what she needs to do in order to feel loved and to feel like herself again. It was so much fun playing this character. Plus, we got to shoot in Puerto Rico. The cast is amazing. Trying to avoid the bars and the buffets was the hardest part because I was like, “Focus, lady! You’re at work!” [Laughs.] But, I had such a great time, and I was so happy that FOX asked me to be a part of it.
The season finale of Call Me Kat airs Thursday, May 4, 2023, at 9:30 PM ET/PT on FOX. You can also tune into the fun by streaming the show on Hulu.
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Christine Mené is a content creator and book editor who is a lover of all things related to Harry Potter, Marvel, DC, Disney, and BTS! Be sure to check out more of her work at starfirepress.com.