Portraying a Strong Female Voice in Youth Programming: Tamara Almeida of Apple TV+’s Ghostwriter
The Ghostwriter series reboot is a verified hit for Apple TV+ with a Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Children’s or Family Viewing Program in addition to the four previous Daytime Emmy nominations received. A story built around a family secret that must be solved by four young friends, Ghostwriter is the ideal blend of modern entertainment that sparks an interest in the love of literature.
While the cast centers on an adolescent foursome that includes notables such as Isaac Arellanes (of HBO’s Primetime Emmy Award Winning Series Euphoria) and Hannah Levinson (of the People’s Choice Award Nominated Series Designated Survivor), one of the most popular adult characters is that of Tess who is portrayed by the gifted Tamara Almeida.
There’s a complexity to Tess which hints at her importance to the story and the true identity of the “ghostwriter” who is releasing fictional characters into the real world that is Ghostwriter. Created by three-time Emmy Award Winner J.J. Johnson, Ghostwriter offers the same family entertainment brand as Johnson’s other famed productions as well as an ample amount of intrigue to keep the adults riveted.
As the grandmother of Rueben (played by Isaac Arellanes), Tess is linked to the central characters of the story in present day. Because she is presented in a series of flashbacks that take place in different decades, the role offered Tamara the chance to explore a progressive minded woman of the past. Tess is honest to a fault, a feminist, strong and committed to making the world a better place.
Ms. Alemeida divulges, “I see her as very passionate, which others could read as explosive or even selfish at times. I think she’s often thinking about what she can or should do to help create the future she wants to see.” Tamara’s presentation of Tess culminates in a woman who is not always endearing but who appears to always have fairness as her goal.
The actress stresses, “I tried to make it as personal as I could, using the scenes provided to showcase different relationships and facets of Tess. I considered the time-period, the world she’d be living in, and the obstacles she’d have growing up in said times. She was passionate, an advocate for women, and had enormous strength. I tried to find moments where I could honor her tenacity, her sensitivity, her love, and her power. I think Tess is motivated to love and propel women forward, and our story supported this. It was such a pleasure to get to play this part.”
Without revealing any secrets about Tess’s importance to the storyline of Ghostwriter, her connection to the core secret of the show is immense. Adult fans of the original series will be riveted by this updated Ghostwriter as well as Tamara’s spectacular performance.
Almeida concurs, “I loved Ghostwriter as a kid, so I didn’t want to mess it up. On a personal level, I was just really nervous! Tess allowed me to get honest with myself about my own hurt in relationships and my own aspirations, bigger than just what I would be doing in the moment. It can be very daunting to go to those thoughts but sometimes as a character, you feel brave enough to explore things you wouldn’t typically entertain. This felt like a safe space for me to question everything I wanted, and how I’d like to impact the world. It allowed me to get very clear with my own passion.”
Those who want more of Tamara Almeida will be happy to know that they’ll be able to see her as the lead in director Leo Scherman’s film Secrets at The Inn, co-starring Zoe Belkin, Luke Humphrey, and Spencer Macpherson. Airing this summer on Lifetime, the film explores family, loss, mystery, and secrets. New production for Apple TV and HBO Max will also include Tamara but won’t likely air until 2023.
Writer: Coleman Haan