ATM: If your character were to look in the mirror, then what do you believe she would see?
NB: I do not think Penelope looks in the mirror with much ease. She probably does not really look into her own soul. If you know what I mean. This would be hard for her to ask the question of “Who am I? Who am I becoming?” This is quite difficult for her to ask a hard question. It is easier for Penelope to plot and move forward. Also, to distract herself with plans of how she is going to get back on top.
ATM: How would you express Riverdale’s civilization such as social life, social norms, and how they operate?
NB: I do not think there are any social norms. I think Riverdale is an extremely twisted place. I feel like teenagers are the off springs who are the normal ones. The parents are all completely out of their minds. Who knows? Maybe this does reflect a lot of how young people see adults. We have all got to a place where things are quite confused, and no one really knows what is good or what is bad anymore. There is a lot of crime in Riverdale. You can get away with an enormous amount of criminal activity without getting caught. The story has a sort of reality where anything can happen. You can get away with poisoning, drug dealing, and murder. In season one, the kids all starting out innocent has rapidly changed. I feel like if you are watching scenes now in Season 3, you feel bad for the kids. You see how things get really complicated easily. If we are not careful, then these children will become twisted like their parents quickly. It is quite a complicated civilization and community in Riverdale if you put it all together.
ATM: What is your character really searching for? Is it power? Is it a sense of trying to internally belong to herself? What is it?
NB: Penelope runs the Maple club. It is a club of domination. It is less about sex, and it is more about control. I am going to speak as Penelope here. I tie it into the fact that I have had this awful childhood where I was adopted as a small kid. I was groomed into the Blossom family essentially to marry my adopted brother. This is very already twisted. You can understand as Penelope I have a weird understanding of life and family. Over the last few seasons, she has suffered a lot. Always fighting with her daughter and the relationships with Nana, Rose, the mother in law are abusive. Penelope has had enough of all this. She is trying to figure out who is she. At the same time, she is getting revenge. She is finding her own power and being a madame. She is a dominatrix and a madame of a bordello that is specialized in domination. This is all about her getting her power back. She was in love with serial killers and understands them. It all makes sense when you try and understand someone who has been controlled and separate their whole life. Penelope is one a path to expressing herself and finding her own power.
ATM: What labels would be attached to her if she lived in our reality?
NB: She is a feminist, but a dark feminist. I would not say feminist hate men the way Penelope does. She has her own personal cost to bare. I would call her dominatrix. This would be a label I put on her. I would call her a murderer. I would call her a victim because of being abandoned as a child, sent to an orphanage, adopted by a very strange family that was out of control. I would label her a bad parent for sure. I would also label her as hopeful. Hopeful is a little bit too sweet. She is in search of redemption. She is a bit of a martyr. She sees herself as a bit of a Jon of Arc or someone who is along these lines. Is she prepared to die for other women to reclaim their power? Maybe.
ATM: What seems to be some of your character’s coping mechanisms?
NB: Penelope coping mechanism on a superficial level is style. She has had a distinct style and dresses with incredible class with an old fashion vintage aesthetic. No matter what happened to her even when losing her house and family, her dignity, her inheritance, she always found a way to look good. She covers herself. She protects herself with this mask of class, style with what she looks like on the outside. She does not conform to any norms. I have a kind of the 20s or 30s aesthetic. Her other coping mechanism is that she is closed and mysterious with what she reveals. There is a quiet to her personality. She will only reveal what is actually going on in her mind when she directly pressed for information by someone. She probably only tells Betty because she is her niece. Penelope has a secret desire to aim for the family because she has lost everyone.
Coping mechanisms are an outer shell for control and a very serene posture and vibe that does not reveal to me. In the end, her coping mechanism is that she has this skill. She has a quiet power in how she gets through to people in her path. This is her ability to poison. She has some secret abilities, and this is how she copes. Planning and plotting are a part of her coping mechanism. In her core, she is playing a chase game here. She has a very clear plan. She is picking off the pieces in her past. So, she can control and win her game. Maybe she is like a chess piece and maybe the queen on the chessboard.
ATM: How would an audience from South Africa view your character and her nonconventional ways?
NB: This is an interesting question. Very interesting. While a household name in South Africa, I was on a show where I played a journalist. She was always on a mission to out the baddies and hunt down the truth. Now, I am kind of the opposite. Now, I am the baddie. Betty is the blonde who is in my case. My fans in South Africa view me so well. This is a real switch around. To be honest, they have been very complimentary of my acting skills. They say “This is incredible to see your range. You seem to be able to play anything. You are so evil on screen now, but so loving in real life.” I go “Well this is acting life. This is a part of the craft.” You take a character and you put it on. You try this skin on. It was fantastic playing the romantic show in South Africa. It is now fun being a terrible villain. They are very proud. I get a lot of “I am proud of you and how far you have come and stuck with it.” There are not a lot of South Africans that have survived the whole international transition. I am very blessed to have done this and have brought my fans with me.
ATM: How would a New Zealand male viewer perceive your role?
NB: A lot of what I did was a comedy when moving to New Zealand. This was fun. I just did Happy Together with Damian Wayans Jr. I do love this side. For them to see me play in an award-winning Australian movie production than playing this actress. They would go “Yes, this probably makes sense.” I do not know if you can see it, but there is a bit of comedy in Penelope. She is so complete in this and twisted. It is to the point where I say horrific things to the character Shellie that you can almost burst out laughing. It is like I cannot believe that this is happening right now. A New Zealand audience would be smirking at Penelope going “There she goes again. She is completely mad.” If you saw it from a male perceptive, then they would be a little terrified. She is a male hater on the show. I was also a dominating woman on the comedies in New Zealand. I played the hard-drinking, brash girlfriend in Isidingo.
ATM: What connection do you try to draw while working the Palm Oil Organization?
NB: If you get to know me as Nathalie Boltt and not Penelope the actress, then you will see I have always been a very passionate conservationist and a wildlife activist. The only connection there is the red hair with the orangutan. The orangutan is the key species that are being critical in endangered. I reached out and said, “Can we make it a red hair connection?” This would really raise awareness going “Hey, Riverdale this is Riverdale, but also hey guys have you realized what is going on with the other side of the planet.” A lot of people do not know how their choices of what they buy in North American stores affect third world countries, especially in Indonesia. The oil mayfar. This is where some cosmetics and in cleaning products come from. I am a person who entertains with my madness, social media captions, humor.
Then I go “How about this?” People go “What?” I go “Yeah, this is what happens. You have a choice every single day in what you do and what you buy. We can all team up together and make a difference. I have really interesting fans that if they follow me they do not just get some superficial posting of pictures on set or this outfit or that. The rest of the time I am encouraged to think, to speak, express themselves, and make smart choices. I also think the people who follow Riverdale are the young people who will use their inherent through our inheritance in the world and change it for better.
We are at a time where you see so many smart young people speaking out about gun violence at school, how some politicians do not represent them, or how the environment is in absolute crisis and nothing is being done. I like to be one of those people who goes “Come on let’s say something and make a difference?” If I can help you make a difference, then I will help you run with it and start making a difference. This is my role in a way. This is my other role in a way in life. To use my profile for good. To get back to your original question. I hope that my fans in Indonesia can see this. Even though they are far away, I want them to know that I see them, I hear them, and care about them. There is quite a difference between Penelope and Nathalie Boltt.
NB: What can you admit about the reality of endangered species in Indonesia and how this can transform a person’s emotions?
ATM: It is very real and scary in what is happening down there. We are losing tropical rain forest at the rate of a football field every three seconds. If you can picture what this means. Everyone needs to think about is the rapid break and forests as the lines of the earth. They are being cut out. It is simple to understand that when you lose these lines you die. No matter where the forests of the earth that are being cut down will not have the forest in our area and we die. Going down here and seeing how devasting the Palm Oil industry has been and how quickly we are losing our forests. We need to do something need and change policies. We need to boycott Palm Oil. It became real when I went down there. It is not sad little cute pictures of baby orangutans or other animal species being taken to orphanages. It is not cute. It is just devastating.
You see places that were full of life and they have been replaced by this monoculture that has nothing living in it. It is at a rate that is far that we will eventually lose our rainforest within three years. I am trying to wake people up to this is being real and not made up. I am helping Palm Oil investigation and an engineer to develop an app where you can just scan your product to see if Palm Oil is in it. We are also looking to develop a sustainable Palm Oil plantation. This does not exist yet. At some point cutting your own indigenous forest will stop. This is what you can learn and find from being in the forest. We are not there yet. I am trying to help this, happen.