Kali Reis Piercings Sparks Debate Around Her ‘True Detective’ Role

"If you’re going to come for me, make sure you give me something worth playing with," says Reis

Key Takeaways

  • Reis’s check piercing represents a unique blend of toughness and vulnerability.
  • Her character in ‘True Detective’ sparked some debate among viewers regarding the authenticity of her appearance, particularly her facial piercings.
  • She has worn her piercings since 2009, even throughout her boxing career.

Kali Reis, an accomplished ex-professional boxer turned breakout star of HBO’s ‘True Detective: Night Country,’ has captivated audiences with her powerful performances and striking appearance.

Known for her distinctive cheek piercings, Reis represents a unique blend of toughness and vulnerability that resonates both on and off the screen.

Reis’s journey into acting might seem unexpected, but she approaches it with the same intensity and dedication that characterized her boxing career.

As soon as I’m walking out and that bell rings, I have to transform into this warrior, physically,”

Kali Reis

Reis told The Cult.

This transformation extends to her acting, where she fully commits to her role, seemingly shifting between her real-life persona and the character she portrays.

In True Detective: Night Country,’ Reis plays Evangeline Navarro, a complex character with a deep backstory.

The role required Reis to dive deep into Navarro’s psyche, journaling as the character and shedding her personal identifiers, such as her septum piercing and gauges, before stepping on set.

She would remind herself, “Kali’s taking a seat,” which helped her fully immerse herself in the role.

Reis’s tough yet empathetic Alaska State Tropper’s character sparked some debate among viewers regarding the authenticity of her appearance, particularly her facial piercings.

Critics questioned the likelihood of a police officer sporting cheek piercings.

However, Reis responded to these critiques with characteristic boldness,

“If you’re going to come for me, make sure you give me something worth playing with.”

Kali Reis

She has worn her piercings since 2009, even throughout her boxing career, and finds they add to her charm and identity.

Despite some skepticism, especially on platforms like Reddit, where users debate the realism of her character’s appearance, there is no official policy against such piercings for Alaska State troopers.

Moreover, many jurisdictions have relaxed their regulations on tattoos and piercings.

Reis’s piercings are more than just a fashion statement; they are part of her artistic expression.

Coming from a musical family and seeing boxing as an art form, Reis integrates her visual style into her overall persona.

Her tattoos and facial piercings, including her memorable cheek piercings, are not just accessories but an extension of her identity.

In True Detective, her piercings were not covered up, a decision that speaks to the evolving representation of characters on screen.

It’s 2024, and people have tattoos, even police,” Reis noted.

This choice helped maintain the authenticity of her character, making Navarro more relatable to contemporary audiences.

Reis’s seamless transition from boxing to acting and her distinct visual style has made her a standout figure.

Her piercings, far from being a distraction, enhance her individuality and are a tribute to her identity.

In Case You Didn’t Know

  • Kali Reis is an award-winning actress who has won the 2021 Best Actress Award for ‘Cathc The Fair One‘ at the Newport Beach Film Festival.
  • Reis has a professional boxing record of 19 wins, including 5 by knockout and 13 by split decision.

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