You’d think that Jaz Sinclair would be instantly recognizable to fans of Netflix’s Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, but apparently, she’s not.
Sinclair plays Rosalind Walker on the series, one of Sabrina’s best friends and a teenager, who has the ability to see into the future thanks to a curse placed on the women in her family.
“People don’t recognize me on the street as Roz,” the actress told ESSENCE during a chat at PUBLIC Hotel. “Sometimes I’ll be with my castmates and [people] can’t tell [it’s me] because I’m not wearing glasses and my hair isn’t as poofy. It’s the craziest sh-t. It’s like some Clark Kent sh-t.”
The 24-year-old actress finds herself relating to her character in many ways—both are outspoken about issues close to them. While Roz fights alongside her friends to start a feminist book club, Sinclair uses her platform to start honest conversations about the realities of social media, which she said can blind people to life’s “ups and downs.”
“Sometimes you’re at a hotel in a beautiful place and you’re on the floor crying because life hurts. To project just the [happy] image when people are in low moments, they feel like they’re the only ones going through that,” she continued. “That’s the scariest thing is when people feel like they’re alone. I definitely want to use my platform to not perpetuate that idea.”
Sinclair is an open book. For instance, she doesn’t hesitate to talk about her identity, briefly delving into her own upbringing.
As a Black woman you do have to work harder for everything. The world is not going to hand you things.Jaz Sinclair
“I grew up with the White half of my family. My grandpa, a couple of years ago, was like, ‘So, my Black friends told me that I f-cked up.’ I was like, ‘Really, what’d they say?’ He was like, ‘They told me I was supposed to have the talk with you and I didn’t have the talk with you. And ‘the talk’ is about how the world is going to be different to you because of the color of your skin.'”
“I’m kind of glad that I didn’t know that, but at the same time, my naivete has slapped me in the face. The world is going to let me know how it feels one way or another,” Sinclair added.
It’s true that Sinclair has had to adapt quickly, but it’s also pushed her to find and uplift complex stories.
“I had a complicated upbringing, so I had to rely on myself and figure out what that meant and rely on my good friends,” she explained. “I had to have a strong sense of self to get through.”
“As a Black woman you do have to work harder for everything. The world is not going to hand you things. [People] will question whether or not you deserve things all the time,” Sinclair continued. “You’ll get less than your non-Black female counterparts and your attitude has to stay, ‘Oh, I’m just so grateful to be here. Oh, thank you. Oh, lucky me,’ even though you shouldn’t have to.”
But Sinclair isn’t just grateful, she’s already looking to expand her platform through music. It’s likely going to be an extension of who she is and the message she wants to share.
“I don’t feel a lot of pressure in regards to music, which is really cool,” she told ESSENCE. “I’m not [worried about] how I’m going to feed myself. It gives me more room to be authentic artistically so when and if I do come out with something, it’s going to be really authentic.”
But until she has the time—the actress spends 11 months in Vancouver filming Chilling Adventures of Sabrina—Sinclair is content to spend her days with friends, writing poems and songs, and making plans to see the world.
“We get caught up and we think ‘This is my life now and I’m stuck with it until I die.’ No, every day is a decision.”