In a recent interview, Josie Totah talks about playing a transgender student in Peacock's reboot of Saved by the Bell.

Totah is best known for her recurring role on the Disney Channel's Jessie. She started performing at 10.

In 2018, Totah, 19, came out as transgender.

Speaking with Variety, Totah described her character of Lexi as the “it” girl of Bayside High.

“I would say [Lexi's] the most like Kelly Kapowski [from the original show] in that she’s the 'it' girl at the school,” Totah said. “But I would say she’s a much more evolved version, a much more upper-echelon, smarter, wilder person – in the best way. What I think is so awesome about the show is the dynamic characters and the fact that the writing is just so, so smart this time around.”

In an interview with PEOPLE, Totah, also a producer on the show, said that the show's producers wanted “to tell a story that normalized being trans in high school.”

“The entire character isn't based on that one part of her. We have normal lives. We do normal things. And there is so much more to us than our gender identities,” Totah said.

Totah said that for her acting had been an “escape” from not being able to be her “authentic identity.”

“I grew up in a small town [in California] where I often felt like I was drowning because I couldn't be my authentic identity,” she said. “All I wanted to do was pretend to be someone I wasn't. Acting was an escape.”

She added that transgender people have “said how much the show already means to them. It's humbling.”

“We've come such a long way,” Totah said. “But there is so much more to go. I want to uplift people and write about things that really matter. It's about telling progressive stories – and shifting the way we view our culture.”