Jessie Mei Li and Amita Suman wear CHANEL

Interview by Ella Bardsley

“When you feel as though you're not
represented, you can feel really left out,
and you can feel judged. So when you
see that being done in a very positive
way, I think it just brings everyone closer
[together] for all the right reasons. “
– Amita Suman

Shadow and Bone has the magical
ingredient that makes every fantasy
series so nauseatingly addictive:
escapism. With dragon-like monsters,
magicians (known as Grishas), and
an evil force threatening to guzzle
up the kingdom of Ravka, we’re
certain Netflix’s other-worldly
offering will more than satisfy your
supernatural thirst. But don’t let
the series’ penchant for life-altering
powers – from summoning light to
manipulating fire – fool you into
thinking it’s just another Game of
Thrones or Harry Potter knock-off.
Despite the obvious parallels, there’s
more to its magical formula. Shadow
and Bone might be based on the
make-believe, but it ironically reflects –
and even seeks to remedy – real-world
issues under the guise of a fantasy show.

Amidst a cast of Hollywood’s newest
heart-throbs, including Freddy Carter,
Archie Renaux, and Kit Young; Jessie
Mei Li and Amita Suman effortlessly
shine through as the series’ two
unbreakable female protagonists.
Playing Alina Starkov and Inej Ghafa
respectively,  both character’s gritty,
authentic, and raw portrayals of female
strength – despite their magical skillsets
– undoubtedly become their most
prominent power in the series. 

After breaking the internet, the show's
female front runners, Jessie Mei Li and
Amita Suman become our Summer 2021
cover stars. They sit down to discuss
ticking the wrong boxes, doing casting
the right way, and why they’ve quickly
become Gen Z’s latest poster girls for
female empowerment.

Photographed by Edward Cooke
Styled by Holly White
Hair by Halley Brisker at The Wall Group
Makeup by Amanda Grossman at The Only Agency
Styling Assistant Imy Moore
Editorial Director Huw Gwyther
Art Director Olivia Woodgate
Retouching by Jody Brock

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