Pride Interviews Miya Ocego Star Of Wreck On Her Hilarious & Killer New Series
Miya Ocego Star Of Wreck On Her Hilarious & Killer New Series
The trans actress on her connection to Cher, going toe-to-toe with a masked killer at sea, and why the future is trans!
Wreck’s opening sequence perfectly embodies the spirit of the show: A young woman wanders the halls of a cruise ship eventually realizing she’s being stalked by a masked killer and a chase ensues. She narrowly dodges the swings of his knife, eventually coming face to face with her would-be murderer, only to discover they’re disguised... in a duck mascot costume. It's absurd, and you can’t help but giggle despite the dark scenario. It's just the first of many moments when the horror comedy series displays how deftly it can balance its two tones, making for a highly addictive and enjoyable viewing experience.
Also, it is so, so gay.
The series is set aboard the ocean liner Sacramentum, where a masked killer is picking off its staff one by one. Jamie (Oscar Kennedy), a young gay man, sneaks aboard the ship to investigate the mysterious circumstances under which his sister went missing. He soon finds himself not only drawn into a deadly mystery, but into a group of young (also mostly queer) people who could either be allies or deadly enemies.
Among that group is Rosie Preston, a stunning trans woman who works on the boat as its resident Cher impersonator (we told you this show is gay!) and is played by trans actor Miya Ocego.
Wreck marks Ocego’s first major foray into acting, not that you would ever guess that the statuesque scene-stealer was fairly new to the game. It’s the kind of role that Ocego had dreamed of playing while growing up in the small British village of Lymm and studying acting at The Arden drama school in Manchester.
“When I first got the character brief, I connected to the character so much, it was amazing. She was feisty, she was independent, she was just everything that I kind of saw myself as,” Ocego tells PRIDE. “And then when I saw that she was a Cher impersonator. I was like, 'Oh my gosh, I need this role.'”
Thankfully she did land the part and is well on her way to becoming a fan favorite, both for her ethereal beauty and her feisty personality — both in front of and off camera. PRIDE sat down with Ocego to talk about the joy of stepping in the role of Cher (literally) , what chills and thrills we can expect from Wreck this season, and why this series’ queer and trans representation is so important.
PRIDE: Your character, Rosie, is pretty mysterious. What can you tell us about her?
MIYA OCEGO: She’s a Cher impersonator on the ship, so I'm sure you've seen some pretty iconic outfits. She just kind of appears now and then in these different Cher looks, which is just amazing in itself. She comes more into it as the story unfolds and gets in with the gang to find out what's happening on the ship. And yeah, she finds out that her boyfriend is on the ship. So that's a shock to her. You see her character really come to light in the latter episodes, and shows her more feisty side
Yes! the first time we see her, she’s in full Bob Mackie Cher regalia. I understand you’re a big fan of Cher — I mean who isn’t — how was the experience of getting to wear all those amazing costumes?
Getting into the costumes was so fun. And I'll tell you what, one of the costume designers worked on a set of Mamma Mia 2 and I actually wore shoes that Cher wore, while I embodied Cher, it was insane!
What I love about Wreck is that it has a great balance of horror and comedy. It’s very funny but also the slasher bits are scary! Are you a fan of the horror genre?
I’ve always been obsessed with scary movies. So to have our own kind of comedy horror series, it was amazing to be a part of it. But yeah, it was scary on set, I'll tell you that for free. This set was so realistic just like the blood and gore. Have you seen Quacky yet?
Courtesy of Hulu
Yes! What was it like coming face to bill with them on set?
I can't spoil it, but I knew who was inside the mascot. So that kind of took the scariness away, but they were like, 6'5" tall. I'm 5'10'' so I'm pretty tall, but it was intimidating. But I always get so scared in interviews now because they always bring this mascot secretly to interviews. I'm on edge right now, even in my own home. I'm like, 'Oh my gosh, is it gonna jump out?'
Watch PRIDE’s full interview with Miya Ocego below.
I promise I don’t have a Quacky! Alright, why do you think queer and trans folks are drawn to the horror genre?
I think queer people have such a connection to scary movies because they can relate to the fight that the characters have to go through in these scenes. It's a fight which most [of them]...have to go through themselves in life, which is unfair. [Final girls] are such resilient, iconic people that stand up to the baddie. There's such a power about them. And I think a lot of people see themselves in these characters, and this scary genre, because in reality, it's some people's lives.
Courtesy of Hulu
Wreck is so queer. So many of the characters are LGBTQ+ identified and it's never treated like a big deal or reveal. What did it mean to you to get to star in a series with representation like that?
Honestly, it was amazing for me as a trans woman — and Rosie herself is trans. But what I love about the character of Rosie is it's never spoken about. These people just kind of exist how they are and live authentically who they are. And that's what I think that we should take in today's society, all these people just trying to exist without all these labels and judgments upon them.
[Wreck] really doesn't focus on the trauma of queer life... it just focuses on [the characters]. You get to know their face-front value, stripped from the labels. They've got bigger things to worry about on this ship.
Courtesy of Hulu
Do you feel like things are changing or improving, in terms of opportunities for trans actors now?
I think definitely slowly but surely, like you see in programs like Heartstopper and Euphoria with these amazing trans characters, which I never had when I was growing up. So, I think we're definitely moving forward. But...the trans community is under attack literally every single day. So it's draining, it's draining, it really is. But you’ve just got to look to the future and remember who you are and why you do what you do. And not let the fears and judgments of others hold you back from being who you are at the end of the day.
What's next for you?
Well, season two is happening and we're going over there two months [from] today, we start filming so that's exciting. I know I can't wait to be back over there. and see where the story goes in season two.
I know it's going to be bloodier. It's going to be queerer. And it's just going to be literally an elevated kind of season one. I do think it gets mentioned that Rosie's trans in season two, which I think would be great for the trans community, any kind of exposure is good exposure. Just to show that we're here, we're queer, and we're doing it.