Inuvaluit woman plays lead in rebooted series

Jordan Peele has become one of the largest names in pop culture. Peele’s latest entry into the film world, Us, has turned out to be just as large of a phenomenon as his first instalment Get Out. Both films have offered audiences non-franchise concepts, which was believed by the movie industry to not be impossible anymore.

This is why it was fitting to find that Peele would be tackling the reboot of The Twilight Zone, from the original black-and-white weekly anthology.

This is also why it would be fitting for Peele to cast Marika Sila, a hoop dancer, motivational speaker and budding actress originally from Tuktoyaktuk, in the North West Territories to a lead role in one of the episodes.

She received the email that she was chosen as the lead character of an episode of the rebooted series while at the gym, and it provoked an emotional response.

Its fourth episode, called “The Traveler” — starring Sila, Greg Kinnear and Steven Yeun — aired Thursday with the series beginning to air on April 1.

Sila spent her early childhood in Yellowknife and this episode was her first big debut, Sila said. She’s had a small role on the comedy series Lucifer and she was also the lead in a short film called The Last Walk filmed in Alaska, which recently earned her a nomination for best emerging actress at a film festival in San Francisco.

The character she plays is an Inuk woman who serves as the first officer to attain the rank of sergeant in Alaska.

The original Twilight Zone, which was produced and hosted by Rod Serling, was one of the foundational blocks of televisions first Golden Era. As a weekly anthology, it used science fiction and horror devices to tell filmed allegories about life in America in the late Fifties and early Sixties.

This included extra-terrestrial invasions, post-apocalyptic wildernesses and futuristic cultures which served as metaphors for Cold War paranoia, fear of nuclear holocaust and the unrelenting conformity of society at the time.

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