SheWired, a sister publication of The Advocate, did a profile of Atlanta Native Bex Taylor-Klaus and her first major acting role as the “street kid” named Bullet who serves as the protector of her town’s homeless youth on The Killing, AMC’s critical darling adapted from a Danish series.
This 19-year-old credits her ability to portray this character, in part, due to being a tomboy and also working with The Rainbow Center in Atlanta, a Jewish resource for GLBTQ individuals, their families and friends.
We’ve included some excerpts below:
SheWired caught up with the 19-year-old actor in an exclusive interview in advance of the season premiere of The Killing, to find out how Taylor-Klaus got the job while barely out of high school, and why people always assume she’s a lesbian.
You had just moved to Los Angeles last summer to start your acting career, while trying to finish high school. Where did this role on The Killing fit into that? Did you arrive and get cast immediately?
Bex Taylor-Klaus: No, I had been going to auditions since I moved. Even after I got the audition for The Killing, I had to come back again and again until they finally called to tell me I got the part.
You really embody Bullet onscreen, and she’s such a different kind of character than we usually see. How did you get into character?
I grew up being a tomboy. I even used to have a little Harry Potter haircut and wore Harry Potter glasses, so playing Bullet isn’t much of a stretch for me.
You were a peer leader at The Rainbow Center in Atlanta. The center serves gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and questioning folks and their families and friends. Where do you fall on that spectrum?
I like to say I’m just Bex, but if you have to put me in a box, I’m straight.
Did working with LGBT youth at The Rainbow Center help you understand Bullet?
A little bit, yes. It’s funny because when I was at the Rainbow Center people would talk to me and tell me how nice it was to speak with someone who understood and had gone through the same things. But I didn’t. People assumed because of the way I looked that I was lesbian, but they were actually helping me understand them.
Show creator Veena Sud has said she was inspired for this season from Streetwise, a book of photographs from Mary Ellen Mark about teen runaways in Seattle; and serial killer Gary Ridgway. Did you delve into that material as background and inspiration for your own character?
I didn’t know that the show was inspired by Streetwise until after we started shooting, but once I found out, it became a little obsession of mine. I’ve always been interested in forensic science and criminal psychology, so it was a fascinating read.