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What do you do when you find out that your parents are actually trained assassins who hunt monsters? Netflix’s October Faction follows a family’s journey tackling that unique dilemma. But in addition to capturing a family in an uncommon predicament, October Faction stands out with its diverse team on and off-screen.
The family at the centre of the show is multiracial and behind the camera, Canadian screen legend Director X directed the show’s premiere. The cast includes newcomers Gabriel Darku and Aurora Burghart, who play the teens unaware of their parents’ unconventional careers as monster hunters.
For Darku, acting wasn’t his first career choice, but after studying at the Toronto Film School and appearing on shows like American Gods and the Youtube Premium’s Impulse, he’s all in.
In Darku’s words, October Faction is a “supernatural horror thriller that is grounded in family.” Think Chilling Adventures of Sabrina meets Supernatural. We caught up with the homegrown horror star to talk all things October Faction.
HOLR: It’s still pretty rare to see a multiracial family on TV, like we see on October Faction – especially in this genre. How important has that been for you?
Gabriel Darku: It’s very important. It’s great to see that the industry is headed in a more inclusive direction and that they’re representing people who haven’t been represented throughout history in this way. As a mixed-race person myself, I’m noticing that I can see myself in so much more material these. Now I feel very fortunate to be part of pushing that narrative forward by being on a show that wants to be conscious of who they’re representing.
HOLR: Acting wasn’t your first choice as a career. Are you surprised by where it’s taken you?
GD: Absolutely. It came as a big surprise to me when I realized how much I enjoyed doing this professionally and studying it in school. But of course, as you’re studying and breaking into the industry, you go in knowing that it’s a tough industry to get into and that when you do auditions, you’re lucky to book 1 out of every 30. So I was surprised by how quickly everything got started in my career and I feel like I owe a lot of that to my agents. I lucked out by managing to get represented by some of the top agents in the city. It’s a mixture of the hard work that I’ve put in, but also being there at the right moment
HOLR: Were you familiar with October Faction comics before signing on for the TV adaptation?
GD: I was not. I hadn’t been familiar with them at all. And getting the role was so fast that when I signed on, we started production that same week. So I got my hands on the comics as soon as I could and I loved it immediately. The tone and the aesthetic are phenomenal and it gave me insight on how the characters interact with each other and how the family functions. At the same time, the show that we made is almost like a prequel to the comics. We made our own backstory for these characters.
HOLR: What about your character Geoff resonates most with you?
GD: His integrity and his openness. He’s confident in himself and he’s comfortable with who he is. He doesn’t do things to please others, he is who he is unapologetically and he prefers to be upfront with people. I try to live my life with the same values. With Geoff being part of the LGBTQ community and myself being a person of colour, I resonated with him being on the minority side and running into stereotypical bullying in school. Being from a rich family, everyone in town knows who he is, yet he’s still looked at as a weird kid and struggles to find friends at first. He’s like a popular unpopular kid – that’s also something that I felt in high school. That’s how I related to a character who is, in essence, quite different from myself.
HOLR: Are you hopeful for the future of diversity on-screen?
GD: We still have so much work to do but it’s clear that the industry is trying to make these changes. I’m really passionate and excited to be part of projects like this, that make these conscious casting choices. So I really do feel hopeful for the future. We’re also at a point where people behind the scenes, like directors and producers of colour and members of the LGBTQ community, and people who are both, they are also getting the chance to create and tell their stories. It’s going to take a while for it to come full circle but I think that we’re heading in the right direction.
October Faction is now streaming on Netflix.