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Angélica Celaya Dishes on Zed, ‘Constantine’ and What’s To Come

Based on the wildly popular comic book series “Hellblazer” from DC Comics, seasoned demon hunter and master of the occult John Constantine (Matt Ryan) is armed with a ferocious knowledge of the dark arts and a naughty wit. His soul is already damned to hell, so he’s decided to abandon his campaign against evil until a series of events thrusts him back into the fray, and he’ll do whatever it takes to protect the innocent.

With the balance of good and evil on the line‎, Constantine will use his skills to travel the world, find the supernatural terrors that threaten us all and send them back where they belong. After that, who knows… maybe there’s hope for him and his soul after all.

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The cast also includes Angélica Celaya as Zed, Harold Perrineau as Manny and Charles Halford as Chas. Writer Daniel Cerone serves as executive producer with David S. Goyer.

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This past Friday, Monsters and Critics had lunch with “Zed,” Angélica Celaya, to discuss her place in the story.

The road ahead is going to be arduous for John Constantine, the cigarette smoking trench coated dabbler in the dark arts has been tasked with a divine mission: Get rid of the demons on Earth for the people upstairs. After damning a young girls soul to hell, he in turn damned his own, if this mission is any chance for John to save his soul, he will do everything he can to not go to hell for his mistake.

This may seem like a lone mission, and John doesn’t like the type to have many friends, but he will have some company. This is where Zed comes in.

I’m not talking about the EDM hit maker, or that guy from “Pulp Fiction” who is dead, I’m talking about Zed Martin, a mysterious woman with psychic powers who has a connection to John, Zed (played by Angélica Celaya) doesn’t know how she does, but in joining John in his fight against evil, she will soon discover why the Exorcist is in her dreams.

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Who Is Zed Martin?

Mary “Zed” Martin made her comic book debut in Hellblazer #4, a peculiar, beautiful woman with white Bride of Frankenstein streaks going through her hair used her psychic abilities to help John Constantine find her missing niece Gemma in the “Waiting For the Man” story, she made additional appearances in the series until issue #22.

In the TV series, it is clear after the second episode that Zed will be apart of John’s battle with evil. The tension between the two is very present, even in her introduction to his story. “Well there is definitely lots of tension,” said Celaya when asked about Zed’s possible romantic connection to John, “it gets really interesting because he’s not only a dabbler in the dark arts, he’s also a dabbler in women.”

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“The Devil’s Vinyl” Episode 104 — Pictured: (l-r) Matt Ryan as John Constantine, Angelica Celaya as Zed Martin — (Photo by: Tina Rowden/NBC)

Who Is Angélica Celaya?

The Mexican American actress made her debut in Spanish television series on Telemundo, her English language television series debut was on an episode of USA’s Burn Notice. She had also appeared in multiple episodes of the reboot of the TV series Dallas. Born in Tuscon, Arizona, she studied Psychology at school which explains why she would want to take on such a dark, mysterious character.

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“The Darkness Beneath” Episode 103 — Pictured: (l-r) Matt Ryan as John Constantine, Angelica Celaya as Zed — (Photo by: Tina Rowden/NBC)

HOW DOES ZED FIT INTO CONSTANTINE?

It was made clear in the pilot that Liv, whom John saved from a demon would not be a long term part of the show, she is sent away for her own safety. At the end of the pilot a woman is shown illustrating John’s portrait. This is where Zed will come in, as a long term character, but not as the damsel in distress, she will be the strong female lead this series needs. When your are opposite John Constantine, you have to be able to kick some serious ass.

In the second episode Zed meets John when he’s in town trying to solve a Coal miner’s mysterious death, they meet by chance but his face is constant in her dreams and she finally found that face. She touches his arm and see into his soul, John tries to be dismissive towards her ability but it is clear that he is curious.

She tries to get answers but instead gets roped into his case, where John uses her apparent powers of clairvoyance to find out what is raising ghosts from the mines. The episode’s story and the dynamic between the two is reminiscent of an episode of Doctor Who, where the doctor, in his typical arrogant British fashion (not so much unlike Constantine), thinks he can solve the mystery alone but the companion is the one who verily helps solve the mystery, also saving his hide along the way.

This occurs here in Zed’s debut episode, but the outcome is a lot darker than any episode of “Doctor Who,” and after the coal mine event, John is ready to move on but Zed wants to come along, she wants to understand what her connection to John means, but he is apprehensive. John can’t figure out who she is or if she is really good to bring along due to the potential fate of those who accompany him. All Constantine imagines is that Zed as is another death on his conscience waiting to happen.

Yet she stays, but will she bring out the good in the bitter curmudgeon?

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“The Darkness Beneath” Episode 103 — Pictured: Anjelica Celaya as Zed — (Photo by: Tina Rowden/NBC)

“She’s not a hero, not to herself, she’s surviving, she wants to help, she wants to survive and she believes everyone should have the same opportunity as she had. the opportunity to survive, the opportunity to change your own destiny.” said Celaya of Zed, since Zed will be a huge part of this season, it’s curious to see how her comic book origins will translate on the TV screen. “Her [story] is too big to take on entirely, her family is crazy. By the eleventh episode there are some tough situations and it will be made clear why she has these walls, why she’s and would rather deal with demons than her family.” Celaya said.

Though there will be alterations to her character’s story to make her potentially a constant part of the series, including her ethnicity being American Latina rather than British. Which Celaya feels will give the character a fun new edge rather than be a defining characteristic. She is excited to take on such an intense, sarcastic and conflicted character. “When I’m on set I see her sarcasm, the way she is, she is very intuitive in the arts and very expressive, really creative. Which to me is much more interesting than Wonder Woman.”

The comic book medium yields very few complex, strong female characters like Zed, Hellblazer was an incredible series for introducing such badass, no goodie stereotype meeting women. Which makes me excited to see this character not only a part of the show, but a story defining part of it. The tension is high now, but throughout the season we will learn more about Zed and her background, and inevitably her connection to the damned John Constantine.

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