Wednesday, July 6, 2022

Interview: Bebe Wood Talks ‘Love, Victor’ Season 3, Lake’s Journey, and More [EXCLUSIVE]

The third and final season of Love, Victor is here. This season, Victor makes his choice between Benji and Rahim, and he and his friends face new challenges and go on journeys of self-discovery. One such friend is Lake Meriwether, played by Bebe Wood. Throughout the show, viewers have gotten a sense of Lake’s personality, seen her enter new relationships, and watched her face her own set of personal challenges.

Recently, we had the opportunity to chat with Bebe about playing Lake, her experience working on the show, and more! Read on to find out what she had to say.

Note: This interview was edited for clarity.

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Nerds & Beyond: This season we do get confirmation that Lake and Lucy did have some love vibes going on. What was your reaction when you learned that Lake would be canonically queer? What was it like to bring that relationship to life with Ava [Capri]?

Bebe Wood: I was really, really happy. I think like from the moment I started playing Lake, I always had the feeling that she was queer. I think a lot of the things that she says indicated that, you know. Even like her unapologetic talking about, you know, her crushes, like whether it be Mia or whoever. She’s always been, I think, very open about it. And you know, even if it started as like a “joke,” I think there’s truth in all humor, and if that’s how she was dealing with that then, then so be it.

But I think that it’s always been something that I had hoped for. And a friend of mine – his name’s Marcos. He is one of our executive producers, and he’s one of my best friends – it’s something that we always discussed or talked about. I’m really happy that they decided to go that way, because I think it makes a lot of sense for her. I think it’s who she’s always been and and it was magical to do that with Ava, because I’ve known her before Love, Victor, and so it was really, really – I don’t know, it was just magical. She’s an amazing actor and I wouldn’t have wanted to explore that with anyone else, honestly.

Nerds & Beyond: Continuing from that, something I also really loved about Lake is that she didn’t really seem pressured to define her sexuality, you know. She just knows that being with Lucy makes her happy. Can you talk a little about why you think that absence of pressure is so noteworthy?

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Bebe Wood: I think it’s noteworthy because like… I don’t know, I think there is a lot of emphasis on labels in society. I think a lot of people feel passionately about labels because they fought hard for theirs, and I think that’s completely valid. But I also think some people don’t connect with that as much, and Lake is one of those people. I think I am one of those people. And you know, especially like I think it’s also just partly how she views life, you know. There’s less pressure, I think, about certain things. I think she just wants to explore herself, explore her life, especially having just come out of such a high-pressure zone. I mean I think like season 1 and season 2 were very much a lot for her. She put so much pressure and emphasis on what people thought of her and certain points in her life where, at this point in her life, I think she’s just wanting to let go of that and explore things without having to think about what other people think, because that’s all she’d known before. I think in season 3 she gets to kind of live the way she wants to and has this agency that I don’t know she felt she had before, you know what I mean? So, I think that’s partly why it’s noteworthy.

Kelsey McNeal/Hulu

Nerds & Beyond: That’s a perfect segue into one of my other questions. Especially I think we see a lot of how tense Lake’s relationship is with her mother, and how Lake really struggles beyond her upbeat personality because of that. What were some of the challenges of having to balance the very upbeat Lake with the one who’s facing all this pressure from her mother? What’s something you hope people who face similar situations gain from Lake?

Bebe Wood: I think my favorite thing about Lake is this sort of like contrariness. She has this sort of like magical little thing about her where she is so unapologetically herself, and she is so bold and comfortable with who she is, and yet she harbors a lot of this insecurity. And she’s so comfortable saying, you know, “I’m my own boss. I only need myself,” and yet she has this deep desire to be loved and cared for because that’s not necessarily something that she’s felt a lot, whether that be at home or in life or whatever. And so, it’s this contrariness that I think is very human, you know. It’s this like nuance that I think, regardless of who you are, you can relate to [it] to some degree. And ultimately, I hope people watching just know that they’re not alone, whether they feel represented by Lake or someone else on the show. I mean I think that’s the whole message. Our show is a show about being unapologetically yourself and a show about love, whether that be love for other people or love for yourself or all of it. That’s what I hope people take away.

And I think in terms of the challenges of playing Lake, I never had a traditional high school experience. I was never worried about, you know, “Ahh, what are my peers going to think? Ahh, what happens if I do this or do that?” simply because I didn’t have peers, you know what I mean? And so, I think it was important to me that I understood what the traditional high school experience was like so that I could lend myself to the role in an accurate way, and also understand why it was so high stakes for her to maintain this image and maintain this facade that was idealized, or what she viewed to be perfect just for other people’s sort of like benefit and enjoyment. It was important to me that I understood why it was so important to her because I think naturally it was hard for me to understand that simply since I didn’t have the same experience. But I hope that people walk away just feeling slightly less alone and slightly more empowered.

Nerds & Beyond: And you know, speaking of love, Lake has also had quite a journey with Felix, and even this season we see that their love for each other doesn’t ever really disappear. How do you think that first love helped shape what would come later? What have been some of your favorite Lake and Felix moments?

Bebe Wood: That’s a great question. You know, I think a lot of like Lake’s getting over everything – or not getting over, because I don’t think that’s the right way to put it – but a lot of Lake’s accepting of what she’s gone through in the past, the cards she’s been dealt, who she is as a person, she did on her own. But you know, if you don’t have people in your life to support you, it’s going to make the process exponentially more difficult. I think [that] not only was Mia one of those people, but so was Felix, naturally, as they were in a relationship. I think he really encouraged her to come out of her shell, which is why she kind of had more of an arc in season 2 and also why I think she did the things she did in season 2. Because I’m not so sure she would’ve felt comfortable enough and secure enough in herself to do the things she did in season 2 and season 1, like sacrificing her relationship for Felix’s well-being. I’m not so sure she would have done that in season 1. But I think she… I think because of Felix, she has grown a lot as a human being and has allowed herself to think about and explore certain things, obviously, as we go into season 3.

I think my favorite scene to do with Anthony [Turpel], and I think this might be my favorite scene we’ve ever done together, is the scene where Lake knocks on his door and is like, “I didn’t really know where else to go,” and they just kind of have a really lovely hug. I think that’s like, maybe out of all of the intimate moments they’ve had in the past, whether it be sexual or romantic, I think that one’s the most sexual… sexual, no. The most [laughs] I think that one is the MOST sexual [laughs]. No, I think that was the most intimate, just because of their history. I think it’s like the most intimate, and it’s funny ‘cause it is like an entirely platonic moment. I think that’s a beautiful thing and says so much about their relationship.

Nerds & Beyond: Another friendship that I really loved is Lake and Mia’s friendship, especially because they have just this solid base, and their support never really wavers for each other. Why do you think their friendship is such an important one to spotlight? What do you enjoy most about acting across Rachel [Hilson]?

Bebe Wood: Ah, my god. I could answer this question forever. [laughs] I mean Rachel is one of the most thoughtful, kind people I’ve ever met, and so it was so easy to sort of fall in love with her and be friends with her and act with her. I think a lot of our real-life chemistry and relationship lends itself to our roles, which I’m thankful for. I really do love acting with her, and I hope we get to act together again in the future.

I think friendship is important because it’s kind of like the one constant I think in everyone’s lives. And especially for Mia and Lake. I mean they kind of have very crazy family lives even though their family lives are very different. They’re both rocky… I don’t know if rocky is the right word, but there’s a lack of security, I think, in both of their family lives. I think that is why they can lean on each other and rely on each other and support each other so much, because I think they really are family. And you know, your family is the friends you choose, or your friends are the family choose… I don’t know how it goes [laughs] but you know it’s very much in that sort of vein. I think they are each other’s family to a large extent, and they’re kind of the one constant, and I think that lends itself to real life. I think like regardless of whatever romantic entanglement I’m in or whatever, it’s like my friends are always gonna be my number one priority, because they’re gonna be with me forever, you know. [laughs] Whether they like it or not!

Kelsey McNeal/Hulu

Nerds & Beyond: Lake has some of the best one-liners on this show. I think every one-liner you’ve ever said just always makes me laugh out loud. So I was wondering, are there any that are especially memorable to you?

Bebe Wood: Oh absolutely. I will never forget the moment I read this on the page. I think I just about died, and it is my favorite. I think it rings true, but I loved the whole, “I’ll ditch these gays like a corporation after Pride month.” You know what I mean? Like that one’s just iconic on so many levels. [laughs]

Nerds & Beyond: Yeah, I agree. Every time I see the Pride advertisements starting, it’s like the first thing that comes into my head. It’s perfect. [laughs]

Bebe Wood: Right? [laughs]

Nerds & Beyond: I think it’s safe to say that Love, Victor has just done so much good during its run. How has playing Lake impacted your life for the better, and what are you most proud of about being part of the show?

Bebe Wood: Hooo, that’s a big question. It’s funny ‘cause, you know, I think we all really grew up together, so it’s impacted me on a huge personal level – spending three years with the same people and also during a sort of massive global event is and was a fascinating experience, and one, I think, that brought us all very close together. I mean we all grew up and got to experience some pretty crazy ass things together, you know. So I was shaped and impacted by that just personally.

In terms of being a part of the show, I mean I just feel so grateful and humbled to be a part of this project, because it’s crazy that like the more and more we do it, or the more that comes out, the more we tell the story and unfold the story and share the story, the more people I hear from that connect with it, or have accepted certain things about themselves that they hadn’t before because of it. It’s just like very, very humbling, and I just feel so honored that I have been able to be a part of this project. And I’ve never been… I don’t know, so like taken aback by the amount of support that we as a cast have received. It’s just so, so lovely. I think like… yeah, it’s just very humbling. I feel very grateful.

Nerds & Beyond: What’s something you hope viewers take away from season 3 and from Love, Victor in general?

Bebe Wood: I hope people feel, like I said before, like that slightly less bit alone or seen in a way they haven’t felt seen before or represented on television, in a way that they haven’t been represented before. I think one of my personal favorite things that I – like just as a fan of the show – I love seeing, in season 2, the friendship between Rahim and Victor, because I hadn’t seen a lot of like first to second gen or second to first gen friendships on television before. And I know that my life has greatly improved befriending people who have similar backgrounds and experiences to my own; I’m a second gen. I don’t know, I’ve just never seen that before on TV, and it warmed my heart and reminded me why representation is just so important. So I do hope that people walk away feeling that little bit more represented or heard or seen or loved or empowered, you know. And I hope people like the end.

Nerds & Beyond: Finally, moving on from Love, Victor, what are some of your biggest career goals that you hope to achieve?

Bebe Wood: WOW!!! Um. [laughs]

Nerds & Beyond: No pressure or anything. [laughs]

Bebe Wood: [laughs] So, I do music outside of acting. I would love to make a full-length record someday. I have songs and things all ready to go, I just need to get things off the ground. But I’d love to do a record, like 10 or 12 songs. And I really do wanna produce or create something of my own one day. I would love to write something and get it made and make something for and dedicated to the people that I love in my life. So, yeah. I want to produce, and I want to write and create and continue to act and also hopefully make a record sooner rather than later.

Thank you to Bebe for taking time to talk with us! All episodes of Love, Victor are streaming now on Hulu and Disney+. Stay tuned for our season 3 recaps here. Be sure to read our review here and find our other coverage on the show here

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