After achieving viral success across TikTok, the Netflix original series Ginny & Georgia is returning for a second season. The comedy-drama that holds a surprising dark side was a hit in early 2021, and fans are eager to see where the residents of Wellsbury stand after a dramatic cliffhanger at the end of season one. We caught up with Chelsea Clark, who plays Norah — one of Ginny’s friends (or perhaps a former friend), in anticipation of the season two premiere.
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A viral success
When Ginny & Georgia season one came out, much of the world was still in lockdown due to the pandemic. So the premiere was not exactly what Chelsea had envisioned.
“I was working on the West Coast, and I remember I was in my hotel room alone in my Wellsbury sweater, lying in my bed… and I was just refreshing my Netflix so that I [could] watch it when it finally dropped. It was crazy, because I was not expecting any of this to happen when it all happened.”
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The show quickly hit number one on Netflix and held that title for 27 days. The success of short clips posted by fans of the show on TikTok, helped spread the word of Ginny & Georgia.
“My sister, who was in high school at the time, came home from school one day, and she was like, I don’t think you understand what has happened. This show has… taken over my school. Everybody knows the show, and everybody’s obsessed with this show. Then she proceeded to show me all of the TikToks that were made of the show. I was like, ohh that’s crazy! It was such a surreal moment.”
“It’s also hilarious that it translated so well on TikTok! Not all shows do!”
We all knew that we were working on something special.
With the instant success of the show, Chelsea was glad to have the support of her fellow castmates.
“We had a group chat of all of our castmates and in the group chat, everybody was [texting], ‘hey, are you guys OK? What are we supposed to do? Are we good?’ When you work on a show, you really never know how it’s going to be received. We all knew that we were working on something special. The writing and the storyline speaks for itself, but you never know if the audience is going to resonate with it. So I think it was a really gratifying moment to know that all of the hard work that we had put in and all of the hard work with the writing and the whole production side of it, was really paying off.”
I always wanted to be a performer.
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A love of music started Chelsea’s career
At the age of 24, Chelsea is already a veteran of the industry with her first on-screen credit going back to 2010. But it was her love of music that introduced her to the silver screen.
“When I was really little my mom put me in piano lessons and then I asked to be in voice lessons. I told my mom, and she was like, how do you know what that is? I was like, it’s just like piano lessons… but for voice, duh. So she put me into voice lessons and then I started doing musical theater songs and that drove my acting. I got scouted from my music school, and it all kind of just happened! I didn’t really realize what was happening until I looked back 10 years later and I was [realized], ohh, that’s so crazy!”
“I always wanted to be a performer. I always wanted to sing and I always wanted to be entertaining, I just didn’t realize that film and TV was an option until I started doing it.”
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Looking back at her time in the industry, Chelsea is glad that she still had a sense of normalcy growing up. Her family stayed in Toronto throughout her childhood, and she continued in her Toronto school while also exploring her passion for acting and singing. She keeps this in mind while giving advice to the next generation of young actors.
“My advice would be, if you have extracurriculars that you like to do, don’t stop doing that. That is what’s going to make you different with your acting and with your experiences that you’re going to bring to your characters. There’s nothing you can do except be disciplined, go to your classes and be a good person. It’s not about making [acting] your entire life, it’s about bringing your life into this industry.”
I learned so much about myself, and my physical capability.
Chelsea stayed true to that advice by taking up an extraordinary extracurricular when she got to university. While in her first year, she joined the school’s Dragon Boating team. Dragon Boating is a sport similar to rowing, with longer boats and the athletes facing forward rather than back.
“I went to the first booth I saw at the club fair and signed up for Dragon boating. I did not know that they were the most competitive team at my school and that I was signing up to be a part of competitive Dragon boating!”
Although her intentions were initially to socialize while also learning about the sport, Chelsea ended up learning an additional lesson.
“I learned so much about myself, and my physical capability. We got to go Hungary for an international competition, where our boat won gold! It’s crazy the amount of time that it takes to dedicate to a sport like that. But it was so worth it because I had the most amazing time.”
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A vampire and a new venture
Between all her other endeavors, Chelsea has also found time to take on a new role. On the dramedy vampire series Ezra, she has stepped into the writers’ room, taken a seat in the director’s chair and put on an executive-producer hat. While this is the first time Chelsea has taken on these roles, she hopes it is not the last.
“I didn’t realize how much I loved writing until I actually had a platform where I could say things that I really wanted to say and I got to write. Then to be able to direct an episode and have the entire cast and crew be so supportive knowing that it’s like my first time doing it was wonderful. The whole experience was just so amazing. It’s definitely scary, but totally worth it. So worth it.”
It was a really humbling moment…
Now that she’s taken a step behind the camera, Chelsea believes it makes her even better in front of the camera.
“All of the behind-the-scenes work happens before actors get to set so that people can be the most efficient when we’re on set shooting the scene. So we don’t actually get to see people setting up the lights. We don’t get to see people building the sets. We don’t get to see people going and buying the wardrobe. We don’t get to see any of that. All we see is the end product. It was a really humbling moment to understand the whole experience from the beginning to the end. To be part of that process really changed my perspective of what it’s like to work on a project because I saw and I did the tech scouts, the location scouts… I was part of all of that. When I go on set now, I think I’m just a lot more appreciative of everything that had to happen to get us to this point.”
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Another thing that helps Chelsea on camera? Being so close with her Ginny & Georgia castmates.
“A ton of time had passed between filming season one and filming season two, and I remember a bunch of us were really nervous about going back on set and seeing everybody because people change! You don’t know who you’re gonna meet again, you know?” She says.
“I remember we all showed up on set and we were filming our first school scene, and after the first take, we all just kind of looked at each other and were like, oh ok, this is fine! This is exactly the way that it was like, we’re good! We’re all here together. It’s a really supportive group to be a part of.”
What’s next for Norah in season two
There’s some good stuff.
At the end of Ginny & Georgia season one, it seems like Chelsea’s character, Norah, and Ginny were done being friends. So what can we expect from Norah in season two?
“I think that Norah has a few moments where she gains a little bit more of a backbone. Norah’s character really comes through in what she values, how she values her friends and being a part of that friend group. It’s really nice to see her come to her own and make her own decisions but still stay true to who she is. I’m very excited. There’s some good stuff.”
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What’s next for Chelsea Clark
As for Chelsea, what’s next is self-care and self-discovery.
“What’s next is continuing to try and balance my life. But also just creating more. I really do hope to be able to have another series out there that has my name as a writer on it or has my name as a director on it. I really want to expand what I do in the industry because I think it’s so important to have women in directing, women in writing rooms [to] represent the life that you live, so that the things that you see on TV can resonate with more and more people. So that’s what’s next!”
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Season two of Ginny & Georgia premieres on Netflix Canada on Jan. 5.