Are you familiar with the Skate Kitchen universe? First conceived by a chance meeting on the G train in Brooklyn, NY, Skate Kitchen started as an empowering collective and community of female skaters, and now spans social media, short films, feature films, and its latest incarnation: prestige TV. The beauty of the original real-life Skate Kitchen and its fictionalized derivatives is that it maintained the same core group of talented young skaters throughout each metamorphosis. Helmed by director Crystal Moselle, 2018’s Skate Kitchen introduced the world to Rachelle Vinberg, Honeybear, Nina Moran, Anjani Russell, and Dede Lovelace as slightly modified on-screen versions of themselves. Like the skater girls Moselle met on a subway train, the five young women in the movie are figuring out life, love, and landing tricks, all while navigating the often sexist environment of skate parks.
After the eponymous film’s success in 2018 year, and the cast’s interest in further pursuing acting and bringing a fresh perspective to ensemble coming-of-age stories, HBO ordered a spin-off series of the film, with a bit of a twist. In HBO’s Betty, premiering May 1, we’re meeting the girls before they formed an online and IRL friendship around their shared love of skating, which they later call “skate kitchen,” inspired by comments on videos of them skating telling them to get back “into the kitchen.” It’s a hot, sticky New York summer, and Camille (Vinberg), Moonbear (Honeybear), and Indigo (Russell) have yet to meet childhood friends Kurt (Moran) and Janay (Lovelace). They’re barely on each other’s radar, but all share the same vision for the world of skateboarding: a place where girls can just skate and chill, and not feel like the groupies that many popular skate films depict them to be.
They’re not trying to go pro (in real life, or in the films and show), but they are trying to get into some trouble.
Ahead of the show’s premiere, Refinery29 chatted with the Bettys of Betty. Here they are in their own words.
Interviews have been edited lightly for clarity.