Olivia Holt tells Dominic Corry about the dark themes in Marvel's new series Cloak & Dagger.

Were you aware of the comic book before taking this role?

No. When I went in for the audition I actually ended up reading the first comic just to sort of understand the tone and where the characters come from and who they are because we knew very little and also Marvel gave us very little to go on. Then once we got the parts, they plastered Cloak & Dagger comics all over our hair-and-makeup trailer. So while we were getting ready for a shoot day, sometimes we would just pick up one and read it. It was pretty epic.

Although their super-powered connection is established early on, Cloak & Dagger takes its time bringing Tandy and Tyrone together. How did that affect the dynamic?

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They're both very complicated human beings so throwing them together to be the answer to each other's long-held questions . . . it's very rare that you get the opportunity to build that. So I personally loved that we got to build them as individuals and then also watch them form this complicated relationship.

Are you prepared for the fan scrutiny that comes with starring in a comic book adaptation?

Yeah. So far the response has been really cool. Everyone seems pretty stoked about it. And even people who were fans of the comics through the years, I think they're excited to see what we're now bringing to the table in a live action way, which for us is exciting. We're just grateful to be a part of the Marvel Universe and to be able to portray these characters and their stories and the journey they go on.

This feels like a slightly more progressive Marvel series than most. Do you hope it will spark conversations?

We focus on a lot of heavy topics: sexual assault, police brutality, addiction and a lot more. It was interesting timing, we were in New Orleans shooting the show while this whole movement was happening from the #MeToo movement to the March for Our Lives. We started to gain a lot more perspective and we started feeling a lot more passionate about the material. It's so important for us to tell an authentic story, to not glamorise anything, to not sugarcoat it, to not throw it under the rug. That we get to have an open dialogue about something that is real and happening in society right now is very important to us.

It also touches on privilege.

It exists. We don't want to throw it in people's faces or get too preachy, but to normalise it, to make it something that is happening. The first time [Tandy and Tyrone] actually have a conversation is in that fourth episode and they get to hash it out with each other and really explain and go into full detail what it's like in their shoes. We want to make people feel like they're not alone. And I think, as millennials, we want our generation to have a voice and we want them to be opinionated and to speak up and that's one of our goals for the show.

What was it like filming in New Orleans?

New Orleans is an amazing city. There's a lot to like. There's a couple of things not to like: I will say the weather was not fantastic. But yeah it was cool - the city has so much culture, the food is amazing, the people are amazing. The music is insane. When Aubrey and I first got there to shoot the first episode, we just walked around New Orleans on our own and people were just playing music just for fun. And we just got to sit there and listen. I really enjoyed it.

• Cloak & Dagger premieres on Duke on September 23 at 9.30pm.